52 Blocks grappling includes joint locks, chokes and leverage techniques. Effective grappling requires ease of movement from a position on the ground when on your back, stomach, side or knees. Avoid exposing leverage points or placing yourself in an inferior position, such as on your stomach. Many grappling situations require small moves and a considerable amount of time to execute. Don’t fight against your opponent’s weight or strength. Grappling is a matter of superior positioning, using the element of surprise to outwit a stronger adversary.

A ground fight must be dynamic to be successful. Take advantage of every weakness in your opponent’s technique. This principle also applies to defense on the ground. Your proximity to your opponent on the ground allows you to feel his intentions before they are manifested. Perform defensive 52 Blocks techniques explosively and without hesitation.

When executing grappling techniques from a standing position, the physically weaker fighter will often lose. When you get too technical with a technique, you give up valuable time, and you give a stronger opponent the opportunity to escape or reverse the technique. The first stage of the ground fight is therefore an unbalancing technique, rather than a controlling technique.

Exercise 1—Point of Leverage Experiment with finding the point of leverage that allows you to turn your opponent to an inferior position. How can you use the point of leverage to defeat a larger adversary? Any technique aimed at unbalancing your opponent can be used in conjunction with a point of leverage. Don’t fight your opponent at the point of attack, because this is where his concerted strength is focused. A good point of leverage is the elbow. Explore how to use your opponent’s arm as a crank.

Exercise 2—Positioning The more weapons you can use simultaneously, the greater potential you have for success. Experiment with combining two 52 Blocks moves into one and moving your opponent to an inferior position. Identify superior positions and discuss how they can restrict your opponent’s fighting ability. Can you conserve energy by moving your opponent to the inferior position, rather than moving yourself to the superior position? Identify techniques you can use to move your opponent to an inferior position without struggling against his strength.

Exercise 3—Chokes Take turns applying choke holds with your partner (tap out before you pass out). Discuss how most people fight the arm that strangles them. Experiment with escaping a choke. At what point must you initiate your escape in order to be successful? The awkward position neede to apply a rear choke generally gives you an opportunity to apply a front choke, and vice versa. Identify techniques that can create a reaction designed to expose the arteries on the sides of your opponent’s neck.

Exercise 4—Reversing the Mount Experiment with reversing the mount (when you are on your back and your opponent is straddling you). Explore how to take advantage of your opponent’s high center of gravity; for example, by raising your hips forcefully and pushing off with one foot to unbalance him forward and to the side. Explore the possibility of grabbing your opponent’s fingers and executing a joint lock while at the same time using unbalancing technique. How does the move split his focus? How precise must your technique be in order to be effective?

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