Pushing and pulling
Most of what I teach from bottom position in jiu jitsu follows a simple three step pattern. FIRST, GET AN EFFECTIVE WORKING GRIP. SECOND, GENERATE KUZUSHI (off balancing). THIRD, ATTACK (preferably in complimentary combinations). When it comes time to begin the study of kuzushi, the best place for most people to start is the seemingly simple, yet in practice, very subtle, dynamic of PUSH and PULL. As the Japanese noted so long ago, when someone is pushed, they will push back, when pulled, they will pull back. Learning to read your opponent’s posture and where their body’s exertion is being directed at any given moment is critical to your ability to off balance them through pushing and pulling. If ever I want to PULL someone, I first PUSH them back - knowing ahead of time that they will instinctively push back against my push and thus greatly amplify the effect of what I really wanted all along - a powerful pull. This seems like such a simple concept, but it takes discipline and training to apply it consistently throughout a match and make it the basis of your initial contact with an opponent that ties into all your favorite attacks. Here, Gordon Ryan pulls with the right hand to create a defensive pull back reaction from the great Xande Ribeiro that will create an entry for a strong rearward pushing trip - a good example of the push pull dynamic in operation.