All fighting is problem-solving around immobilization

In the striking arts, for instance, through feinting and other set-ups, we’re hoping to immobilize an opponent’s head for the briefest of moments to land a devastating cross or hook.

In catch-as-catch-can wrestling, the goal is immobilization of the shoulders toward the mat (pin), or limbs for strangling/breaking (submission).

The immobilization objective can also be scaled to the standing portion of a wrestling exchange. Particularly, restraining the feet and legs (a la freestyle leg attacks), or even the shoulders and thoracic centerline (think Greco), will help us displace an opponent’s center of mass (i.e., the hips) and get him or her down to the mat.

So, it makes sense that if you can achieve both of these objectives simultaneously–immobilize the upper-body’s centerline and then follow-up by shackling the legs–you’ll dominate while in the neutral (standing) position.

Recall the eight essential skills for winning the neutral position, which we’ve espoused before…

– Posture

– Motion

– Hand-fighting

– Changing levels

– Penetration

– Lifting

– Pivoting

– Bridging

…and consider how these work in conjunction toward immobilization of your opponent!

If you’re relatively new to standing grappling, an example technique—or an array of movements (chained wrestling)—might be helpful.

At HHGC, one of our favorites is the Russian tie (or 2-on-1). The Russian tie is incredibly versatile since, when locked in correctly using the first three skills above (posture, motion, and hand-fighting), it immobilizes an opponent’s shoulder-line. Then, when followed up with a subset of our remaining neutral position skills, the 2-on-1 can immobilize the legs to take an opponent down.

Check out the attached clip, which contains just a small sample of the Russian tie’s application, and see if you can discern which of each of our eight principles is at work in each vignette!

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