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Help with improving top game

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by hackenbush, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. hackenbush

    hackenbush Orange Belt

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    I am trying to find information on improving my top game (gi and nogi). I want to be able to control and position myself better (submissions are secondary). Things like killing the arm, transitioning to various side controls etc...

    Anyone have any suggestions that has helped? Any instructionals or youtube videos to help with the finer details?
     
  2. Bruce Calavera

    Bruce Calavera Purple Belt

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    Can you be more specific? You asked a pretty broad question. Maybe narrow it down to a specific position or transition.
     
  3. millasur

    millasur Blue Belt

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    Only very recently started working my top game, and have to say I'm very pleased with the result, though i'm a little bigger than most at class so that probably helps a lot.. neways - sure youll get some better responses but this is a good start:

    side control - i like both knees up side control, if you are flexible enough to keep your hips low, id say use it.

    get one knee in their hip, and the other knee deep slightly under their shoulder towards the head if you can, you can block the hip on the other side with your arm if you need to, and you can keep the top half of their body down easily by going to a gable grip crossface whilst keeping chest pressure down on them. -> i used to not be able to keep side control at all until I asked my instructor and now I find myself pretty strong here. Little details.

    Not sure what you mean by killing the arm, but if they have their arm inside when yo have side control, you can clear it by keeping chest pressure down on them, switching your hips across and using your knee to clear the arm, then switch your hips back so yoru leg comes back into a control position with their arm now 'out'. (not really sure if that'll make sense, again, i had to be shown this.)

    If they manage to get an underhook on you whilst you're passing/have jsut passed, immediately hop up to knee on belly, as the underhook'll be what they use to escape. go to knee on belly, put pressure down, then recollect your underhook as you settle back to the crossface.

    If you are tryina pas the half guard, fight for the underhook and use your head/shoulder under their chin to push them back flat so you can work the pass.

    Also, use your chest when dominating a position / starting off subs. consciously push down and push your chest into them.

    Sall I got off the top of my head :) hope it helps a bit.
     
  4. hackenbush

    hackenbush Orange Belt

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    I guess it is a bit broad. I think I am looking for some of the finer points of keeping control of the opponent by understanding my positioning better. Better use of my weight and common mistakes to avoid when transitioning between positions. I've learned 5 points/variations of side control but I am still trying to piece together when to use them and when to transition.

    Has anyone put out the defacto instructional on this? I have seen one from SBGI but no one else. SBGi - Straight Blast Gym International

    "Disc #2 - The Iron Coffin Top Game: this one hour and 20 minute dvd covers all the skills and drills needed in order to develop that heavy, crushing, air-tight top game that BJJ is known for. This dvd includes the fundamental 5 skills on top, the different pressures and energies, submissions, transitions, & attacks and drills from both cross sides and mount position. "

    Is that still too broad?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  5. hackenbush

    hackenbush Orange Belt

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    Yes, that is what I meant. Driving the arm above their shoulder to make it useless.

    So push chest to chest? The head should be over the center of the person? Or your chest should be over the center?
     
  6. Bruce Calavera

    Bruce Calavera Purple Belt

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    I think about a few things when maintaining side control. Lift the near side elbow, pin the far side shoulder, turn the head away, and turn both knees away. Never let the guy face you. This gives him two options. Stay in place and wait to get submitted or mounted and turning away giving up the back.
     
  7. Gidselgrisen

    Gidselgrisen Green Belt

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  8. ZuZitsu**

    ZuZitsu** Purple Belt

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    Some tips: From side mount

    1. Use as much shoulder pressure as possible. If a guy cant look at you he can't turn his hips towards you to reclaim guard

    2. If your opponent is trying to roll towards you (to single leg you or whatever) pick up his inside (nearside) arm. If that arm is off the ground he can not roll into you. Its a very simple principle to keep in mind. Think about when your on the bottom and you try get up....you need to get your inside elbow tight to your body to roll in that direction, right?

    3. You also should be looking to always underhook his far arm....if u are looking to control. If you arent giving shoulder pressure or underhooking the far arm...your going to lose the position (unless you plan on moving north/south)

    4. Keep your chest down

    I really dont know what other "rules" or tips I can give you. I try to make sure I am doing these things when I have side mount.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  9. El Beebo

    El Beebo Blue Belt

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    This is good advice.

    When establishing side control you can also "push" their whole body to slightly face away from you by driving your legs a little (when your legs are sprawled out). When in side control, my game is to apply hard shoulder pressure to turn their head, keep my legs sprawled out and drive with my legs to turn their body, and control their near-side hip with a pant grip on their thigh. I've had a lot of success with that. After that, I'm patient and I maintain that position until I can start moving my knees in to attack. If I ever feel like I'm losing side control, I go back to the position I described above and start over. Once you establish control, patience is your friend. It doesn't matter if you submit them right away or at the last possible second before the end of the round, so why rush?

    Also, when killing the arm in your hip, you can use the technique described above, or you can clear that arm by switching your hips and moving to a scarf hold. Thirdly, you can also kill that arm by switching your hips the opposite direction (so that you're facing your opponent's feet). That motion kind of keylocks your opponent's arm with your hip, and they'll pull their arm out. That's when you can move your hips back to neutral and slide your knee in deep. Did that make sense?
     
  10. ZuZitsu**

    ZuZitsu** Purple Belt

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    Sorry dude, seems like I just said the same shit that everyone else said lol I didnt read the replies before replying =)
     
  11. millasur

    millasur Blue Belt

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    better explained by everyone else lol - definitely a good one on the shoulder pressure to turn their face away and lifting the nearside arm.

    regarding the chest comment, I know you didnt ask about subs but was just trying to show that if I'm ever going for a choke keeping chest pressure helps, think of when someone is trying to sweep you from bottom half guard and you're trying to darce them - you have to get your hands in, but the choke isn't your arms/hands strength, it's getting it locked up and then using your chest to exert the force that gets the tap... A bit like scooting up higher when going for an arm triangle from the top, all about weight distribution.:icon_lol:
     
  12. Bathwater

    Bathwater Let me clean you with my love

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  13. DevinTheDewd

    DevinTheDewd Orange Belt

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    The key to building a great top game is to have a stellar bottom sweeping game. Once you can sweep nearly all your opponents at will then you will have no worries trying some crazy stuff on top. I personally find the most threatening top games involved solid pass, immediately followed by side control and setting up any obvious attacks from there. If there is nothing available i like to pop to knee on belly and start attacking to make them react. If i think i can finish from knee on belly i try, otherwise my attacks are just a setup for me to take mount. When you attack mount there is a good chance you will be able to take the back.

    So:
    Sweep (2)
    Pass (3)
    Side Control (3)
    Knee on Belly (2)
    Mount (4)
    Back (4)

    If you can impose that series of moves there is a damn good chance your opponent will have no chance to catch back up in points, leaving you in a safe position to attack like crazy until the other guy makes a mistake.
     
  14. Kozbot

    Kozbot Purple Belt

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    North south position all day son
     
  15. Mat Nemesis**

    Mat Nemesis** Green Belt

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    for side control i would really recommend braulio's vids from cagefilm.com

    he likes to overhook the far arm and go ns for a kimura or armbar
     
  16. Jaxx

    Jaxx Green Belt

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    Stay off your knees/hips. Stay on your toes. Drive pressure into opponents.
     

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