In my quest to be the best grappler I can be, I began studying Judo to supplement my BJJ. Insodoing, I bought and read Jigoro Kano’s “Kodokan Judo,” and Neil Ohlenkamp’s “Judo Unleashed.” I also enlisted a new BJJ student, Neil Coker (a Judo Black Belt, and national level judoka) to begin coaching me.
What has occured is a continual analysis of how the principles of one art can benefit the other. Nowhere has a principle of Judo benefitted an aspect of BJJ more, for me, than in the realm of SWEEPS! Continue reading →
It is inevitable that in BJJ you will be told, “Control the hips,” or “It’s all about the hips,” or something along those lines. The advice is sound! What do they mean? This essay is going to try to demonstrate a way to direct your attention to controlling your opponent’s hips. We will first look at what I call the “Hip Control Zone (HCZ).” Then we will dissect several different positions both offensively and defensively with respect and attention paid to the HCZ.
Hip Control Zone (HCZ):
Imagine you are on your back, under side control. Every time you try to elbow escape, you run into his arm or his knee and you are never able to get your knee to your elbow. Or, you are attacking someone from your guard; each time you move to sweep or swing on an armbar your legs seem too short or your butt feels like it is stuck to the mat. What you’re imagining is probably a past reality and likely will happen again; someone has managed to control your hip mobility and they did so by controlling your HCZ.
The HCZ is a moving target. Depending on the position, it can be a small target or a very large target. If a person is flat on his back the HCZ is small, but if the person bumps up onto his side turning into you, the HCZ grows larger and harder to manage. However, the core of the HCZ is the area on a person’s side where their hip bone begins.