Tuesday, December 7, 2010

3 Points of Contact

I was teaching a basics of Jiu Jitsu class while on holiday in Texas. I was in a small town and was only there visiting a friend who happened to train at an MMA gym called Thunderkick. I became friends with the owner and taught a class.

One of the first concepts I taught was the idea of 3 points of contact AKA a triangle. We take it for granted, those who train often in BJJ. But it is a fundamental idea. That you need 3 points of contact for control. What does that mean?

Well in physics, no object can stand and stabilized unless it has at least 3 points of contact. So in architecture all buildings have to have 3 corners or more to be stable. A table will stand with at least 3 legs. Tricycles are the first bikes we own, and training wheels same concept. Even when we stand on 2 feet, we are actually on 3 points. Our 2 feet, and an imaginary third point. If I push you from the back you will immediately take a step forward for balance, on that third point. If I push you from the front, you will take a step back on that third point. When riding a bike, to come to a stop, you put your foot down or your kick stand out on that third point. And so on and so forth.

So in BJJ when I hold someone down, I am posting on at least three points. Either on the balls of my feet and my elbows, or on both knees and one elbow, or on my head, knee, and foot, or on them and some other variation. Even the way you get up in BJJ is is based on 3 points. Just like the Turkish get up, to stand the Gracie way, you get up on your heel, butt, and elbow first, from elbow transition to palm. From there lift your butt off the ground for a second and plant your foot behind you. At that frozen moment, you are on 2 feet and your palm. Then you go back to standing. This is the only way to stand up against pressure. Look up the Turkish get up, its the only way to get up holding a weight over your head.

It also applies in submissions. Look at the triangle choke, you two knees and your groin make the 3 points. Guillotine: shoulder, wrist, elbow, and your chest sealing the last gap. Rear choke: elbow, and shoulders, with your other forearm sealing the last gap.

So in escapes, it also applies. To do any escape, most of the time it is better to rock them off of their 3 points. You can bridge/upa, which will either force them to post so they don't fall over, or you will literally lift one or more points off the ground. Which is how the bridge and roll escape works from being mounted. Now if the bridge doesn't work, you now destabilized and created so much more space to do some other escape.

3 points of contact, apply it to every part of your game.

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