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Not too long ago on a mat not too far away…… GRIP WARS!

Following on from last week’s post on the importance of having a number of strong appropriate grips while defending the grip advances of your opponent. This blog entry is concerned with the breaking of grips once the opponent has established them so they cannot effectively control you against your will.

Tension is the flavour of the day when breaking an entrenched lapel grip on your Gi, and by that I mean grip your own lapel BELOW the site of your opponent’s grip and keep it taught. This will negate any malleable and slack movement as you then begin to peel and roll away the grip of your opponent from the bulky part of their thumb. As seen below, a loose lapel means there is a lot of Gi to move around and will make grip fighting that much harder.

Breaking a grip on the sleeve or pants can be a troublesome endeavour as, like mentioned above, the limbs are easily moved and most mobile when in a rolling scenario. The most effective and intuitive way for a beginner to break the grip on the sleeve or pants is to fully extend the opponents arm so that it cannot follow any longer and then dynamically pull your limb away so that the arm, and subsequent grip cannot physically follow.

Obviously, trying this on a limb that is not fully extended means the opponents gripping arm will have slack and thusly follow your grip break. A fully extended arm means a weak grip, think bicep curling and the point in which the muscle is at its weakest is when the arm is fully extended and the muscle is lengthened.

So the take home message from today is that whether you find yourself battling a lapel grip or a grip on the sleeve/pants, you need a high degree of tension either on the Gi or the opponent’s limb so that when the defensive manoeuvre comes, the grip cannot follow.


Jake Anderson

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