Closed wedges

Closed Wedges

The essential feature all of jiu jitsu is control that leads to submission - this is the foundation of my approach to the game. Any deviations from that mindset are abhorrent to me and my students. The most fundamental form of control is that over movement - AND THE MECHANICAL BASIS OF IMPEDING MOVEMENT IN JIU JITSU IS THE WEDGE. The human body can be positioned as a SET OF WEDGES around another body to restrict movement and make possible the control required for submissions. Our favorite form of wedges are double sided reinforced wedges. That is, wedges positioned on both sides of the limb or torso we are trying to control and where something locks the wedges in position. Usually BODYWEIGHT is the thing that locks wedges in place - That’s is how most conventional pins work - but ashi garami does not involve bodyweight since you are usually sitting on the floor when you apply it - so we need another method. That method is CLOSED WEDGES where ONE OF OUR LIMBS LOCKS OUR OTHER LIMB IN PLACE SO THAT THE WEDGES ARE REINFORCED BY YOUR OTHER ARM OR LEG AND NOT EASY FOR A RESISTING OPPONENT TO DISLODGE AND GET AROUND OR OVER. In the case of leg locking in particular we greatly favor locking our legs around an opponent’s leg either with crossed feet or triangled legs. Most of our favorite finishing positions have this feature. The highest ranked in our leg locking hierarchy are those variations within the cross ashi garami featuring triangled legs - we call these variations “inside sankaku” (inside triangle). Here, talented junior, Drew Hooper, takes a brilliant win last weekend at Rise Invitational 4 in Manhattan. Notice the extremely solid connection he has achieved with the use of this inside sankaku variation and how it immobilized even a tough, competitive opponent in a way that gives him very few defensive options. This is exactly the kind of leg and hip control you should be looking for as you make your progress in the leg game.