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Importance of Posture

This lion statue is a perfect example of posture within the animal kingdom.

HAPPY 2020 EVERYONE! A new decade begins. Time to start setting those yearly goals. One of mine is putting out informational blogs on all things grappling to not only help my students at AXT Jiu-Jitsu, but to help me become a better instructor.

Understanding the importance of posture, in conjunction with balance and base, is something that cannot be overlooked. Like having good footwork is to a boxer, having good posture is of utmost importance to the grappler. It’s in everything we do when on the ground. Plus, it’s happening whether you’re on top or in a bottom position. Instead of going through each and every position let’s go over a couple of examples to help drive this principle home.

When standing across from your opponent, your posture dictates what your strategy. A more vertical stance or posture signifies that perhaps the player is more Judo or Greco-Roman Wrestling oriented. Look for excellent lateral movement and powerful throws if set up correctly. In contrast, a player who is bent over at the waist more, with their knees bent, is most likely to have a solid base with less side to side movement. However, their forward and backward movement will be more explosive and difficult to defend against.

Looking at standing posture a little deeper, answer the following questions: Are you in Gi or NoGi? What stances or postures do you see more in these areas? In NoGi, are you and the opponent in a proper athletic stance? Is it a staggered stance or a squared stance? Thought should be put into these questions. In Gi, what stances or postures do you, and your opponent, have when you have or don’t have grips on each other? These small details often make a huge difference in the stand-up game.

Let’s examine another positional posture…inside Guard. When in Closed Guard (with your opponent’s legs wrapped around your waist with their feet crossed), where is your head at? How is your weight being distributed? Where are your hands placed? Are you remaining on your knees, or are you looking to stand? Various concepts made popular by Jason Scully from the Grappler’s Guide, such as the “Wet Dog”, “Sticky Hands” and “Step-Step”, should be studied and understood if you plan on improving your chances when in this position. Another huge concept of “caging the hips” pays dividends as well.

How about being inside an opponent’s basic Open Guard? Now their feet are not crossed behind your back. Perhaps their feet are pressing on your hips or hooking behind your knee(s). Jason Scully states that understanding concepts such as “Proud Lion” and “Athletic Stance”, as well as “Step-Step” again, will help improve your game.

“So what are these concepts Coach?!” Pay attention in class and do your homework. Several of these concepts are taught in many grappling schools, including AXTJJ.

Learn. Drill. Roll. TRANSFORM!

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