Controlling movement

Controlling movement

A central feature of all good jiu jitsu is that of learning to control an opponent’s ability to move. The best athletes can reduce an opponent’s ability to move to that of a puppet, whose every move is determined by the strings to which he is bound and whose every motion is wholly determined by the puppet master. Note that it is not always possible or even desirable to completely STOP an opponent’s movement - often it is enough, or even better to DIRECT an opponent’s movement - controlling the speed and direction in which he goes. This theme of beginning with stopping, restraining, slowing or directing movement is a central feature of my approach to leg locking. Until you have the ability to restrict or control MOVEMENT, the application of the locks is very difficult against skilled opposition. That is why we strongly separate the mechanism of CONTROL (the ashi garami variations), from the method of BREAKING (usually heel hooks, but there are others). The ashi garami holds an opponent in place long enough for a breaking force to be applied to the leg. What was different about our approach is that multiple ashi garamis were used in a sequence to perform a single lock. At least one of those ashi garami had RESTRAINT OF MOVEMENT as its main task. Probably the most recognized is the ankle lace ashi garami that ties an opponent’s legs together in a way that makes effective movement extremely difficult and sets up some particularly punishing leg attacks. Here, Georges St-Pierre works on binding the ankles together as a prelude to a heel hook variation.