BJJ tips: Pressure, gravity and dominating from the top

Gravity should always be your friend in BJJ / Grappling whether you are on the top or the bottom, even in the standing phase, as I said in a previous post. I talked about the more unusual bottom application  and here are a few grappling concepts to consider regarding the top positions.
Never too young to start jiujitsu
Starting with what we said last time, about never really being fully under your opponent in the bottom position, I would like to reverse the roles and say that, when on top, you want your opponent flat under you. That applies whether you’re on top mount, side control, half guard, back mount or even knee ride. You achieve that by:

  1. Preventing them from turning into you: There are many ways to do that. From cross face to pry bar to knee control but they all boil down to one thing: They are not allowed to freely look your way. Control the head or hips and the body will follow.
  2. Preventing them from turning away from you*: Same situation here. The ways are many but the fundamental is that you want their shoulders or hips controlled
  3. Play the physics game: Apply your weight directly through him. This can be done by following the simple formula for pressure:
Pressure = Force / Contact area In other words, pressure is how your force (your weight) is distributed over the contact area between you and the opponent. In order to increase your pressure you can:
  1. Increase the force: No not gain weight but rather put more of your weight on him by anchoring properly and lifting your knees off the ground.
  2. Decrease the contact area: Don’t just lie on your partner. Constantly find ways to turn and wedge to reduce how much of your chest is in contact with your partner.
The beauty of the above is that it can be practiced with or even without a partner. Just use a medicine ball, a training dummy or a Swiss ball. Get into Side control on a ball / dummy and play around. Your body will tell you when you exert more pressure on the ball because it will exert it back on you. Play with this and you will soon here the magic words from your training partners: “Man! How much do you weigh?”

That’s the receipt you want. Come on. Admit it!

*You could of course allow them to turn away and give you their back, but that’s another objective and it should still be done on your terms.



Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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