You may have noticed by now that this post is purely to provide clarification and some direction in your training and mentality. As always, you should only supplement your training with this blog and take the advice and recommendations of your teammates first and foremost. Thus far, the focus has been on defense, as in you can't putt the ball if you can't drive the ball, to paraphrase myself. This post is no different and will further your ability to not only survive, but to stay in the roll, meaning more time to attack and hopefully make more mistakes.
Make MORE mistakes??
Yeah of course.
Remember touching the hot plate as a kid and that feeling of "Oh, okay now I know what mum was talking about" and yanking your hand away with the lesson burned into your mind and into your hand? Well the beauty of Jiu Jitsu is that you can have those moments without the physical trauma and still learn the lesson.
If not, you can always ask your coach to bring a cattle brand for when you get your guard passed......
Anyway, what's the "Home Alone"?
You might be too young to remember, but there's a scene in the 1990 Christmas film "Home Alone" where young Kevin tries aftershave for the first time and he slaps his hands to his face with his forearms in matching positions covering his throat and neck.
In conjunction with previous posts on frames, the Home Alone is a safe-space in terms of survival. It is a set of frames that protects from your opponent getting chest to chest. When you played tag as a kid and had the safe spot that when touched you couldn't be tagged and made "it". Mine was the back door to our yard, and when I'm playing Jiu Jitsu tag the Home Alone position to me is my childhood door to our yard.
You might have heard your coach or teammates call it the T-Rex arms, and from my own experiences this is more than good. However, taking it a step further and protecting your neck further with your hands up to your face is beneficial when you're a novice and gotta protect that neck. Chances are you've already given up the underhook, so having your elbows just a tiny bit higher to protect your neck isn't that much of a disaster, as easy as it is for me to say behind my laptop.
Think of a submission (no legs, stay in your lane newbie.) and the general thesis is to isolate an arm, or isolate the neck entirely.
Kimura isolates the arm to attack it.
A triangle isolates an arm to attack the remaining arm and neck together.
A guillotine isolates the neck.
Therefore, in a perfect world the Home Alone is negating all three in one. Is it a perfect position?
But team it up with the hip escape/shrimp and you've got a position and a movement to provide you enough technical competency to stay in the roll.
If it falters?
Go back to the "Lucky Last" from the prior weeks blog post found here, and again, stay in the roll. Think Home Alone, then frame game, and if in doubt hip it out.
Thanks a bunch guys and keep on keepin' on.
- Jake Anderson.