Transitional or Positional Control

12 12 2009

Let’s start by talking about control in terms of Jiu Jitsu. There are many different ways to control someone in Jiu Jitsu depending on what position you are in. For the sake of this conversation let’s talk about control when you are on top either in side control, knee on the belly, north and south, mount, or the back. I have noticed that for the most part there are two general types of control when you are on top either positional control or transitional control.

Positional control is when you assert your control over your opponent by not letting them out of whatever dominant position you have them in. I have found that the majority of new whitebelts all the way to entry level blue belts roll mainly with just positional control on their minds. It is very evident by the way they hold their sidecontrol. Most of the time I see them with their body totally rigid with muscles flexed and pulling their opponent to their own body. (sidenote doing this type of sidecontrol connects you totally to the other person) The whole idea behind this type of control is to hold the position for as long as one can. This can be extremely exhausting. Doing positional control like this requires lots of muscle endurance and strength. Can a whitebelt form a decent top game by doing this over and over? Theoritically yes, but I will tell you this; it’s not easy and it takes a lot of strength… A lot of strength!! This however is just one part of positional control and I want to pause here now in my explaination of positional control because to explain further would be to involve transitional control.

Transitional control is where you control your opponent by not keeping him from escaping but by realizing that he is escaping and to transition ahead of him to another dominant position. For example say you are holding your opponent in sidecontrol and you recognize that they are begining to attempt an escape. Instead of fighting with your opponent you transition to knee on the belly before they have fully initiated their escape out of your sidecontrol. This type of control requires a keen mind, sensitivity, fluidity of movement, good angles, and little strength. The idea is to never really try to hold a position but instead to always transition ahead and allow your movement and your body do all the work; not your muscles.

My own personal game started out with the positional control. In the begining that seemed to me, to be the object of the roll. At this time in my Jiu Jitsu journey submissions weren’t really happening a whole lot so I focused more on trying to dominate my opponents positionally. My thinking was that I would have to first learn how to solidify a position before I could ever look for a submission. Hence the age old saying in Jiu Jitsu position before submission. Well eventually through lots of mat time and grueling rolls (because of my style, at the time my rolls were dominated more by my muscles than my movement!) I started to gain success in my positioning and eventually that led to submissions. But Here’s the thing… People stopped wanting to roll with me. My training partners began to avoid me when it was time for live rolling at the gym. This was disturbing and I didn’t understand it. I was told this is how you do it. I was shown techniques and ways to hold positions and then I was told to try my best to do those things in a roll. I finally asked someone in the gym that I trusted to give me a straight answer and I asked him if people at the gym were avoiding rolling with me and he said “yes sir, your a beast and honestly it sucks rolling with you.” I have to be honest with you, hearing this made me feel pretty good. I mean wasn’t this the whole reason I signed up to do this stuff? Become the best at the gym. Answer that natural competitive nature inside of me? The answer is yes but at what cost? I realized that because of the way I rolled people no longer wanted to train with me. This bothered me because if no one trained with me how was I going to continue to progress? At the time I was a proud blue belt. It was in this moment that I figured the way I thought was wrong and also the way I had been taught was wrong. I realized that I put to much importance on rolls that happened in traing. I competed everytime I rolled with someone! Which I now know is not the best way for me personally to develop as a Jiu Jitsu PLAYER! So I decided to try and relax more in my training rolls. I planned to do this by relaxing and relying more on sensitivity and transitions in my rolls rather than strength. Even going so far as allowing people to start their escapes and not try to fight them but instead try to outthink them and then beat them to the punch. For me this was the way my transitional control was born.

Since I chose to begin developing my transitional control I have noticed a couple key things that I would like to share. Transitional control is made up of a balance of two key elements… Stability and Mobility. To be continued…



7 11 2009

The second half of the tournament got started with obi.
This was Obi’s first time to compete since his knee surgery a year ago.

Obi’s match started with him getting a beautiful takedown and establishing his side control immediately. From here Obi was able to dominate. He soon established full mount and continued his domination. There was a scramble and Obi re-established his side control. The match ended with Obi totally dominating with a score of 9 to 0. Great match Obi! You showed great control and technique in your win!

Obi’s next match was against a very game opponent. His opponent was very calm and collected while obi was not yet fully recovered from his first bout. Obi’s opponent was able to secure the first takedown and score 2 points. From here obi did a great job of moving off his back and turning to his knees. Obi made it back to his feet and it was evident that obi was pretty tired. His opponent secured another takedown and eventually took obi’s back and locked in a choke.

Obi did an excellent job of controlling his positions and dominating the top positions with his first opponent. With his second i think obi did an excellent job of continuing to stay in contsant motion. never allowing his opponent to staple him down and control him. If only obi had a little more endurance in that second match maybe the outcome goes a different way. Keep up the good work obi. In time you will find yourself relaxing and your body moving more efficiently thus keeping you from ever reaching that exhausted state.

next we have me…

at this tournament there were a whole lot of white belts. Then you had a good showing of blue belts. After that the number of purple, brown, and black belts were a little scarce. in my bracket there was only one other guy. he was a purple belt from gracie barra in houston and he definetely wasn’t a little guy. His name was sergio and sergio probably weighed somewhere between 275 and 325. i will try to find the footage of the fight but to summarize real fast…

i took sergio down with a sacrifice throw. i quickly mounted him. then i went to side control and started working for gi chokes… long story short i finished sergio with a keylock while i was in his halfguard. i promise i will try to get the footage of that match up asap… shortly after my match with sergio and i thought i was done for the day, my name was called on the loudspeaker. evidently they had forgotten someone and asked if i would fight him. i of course said yes. the following footage is from that roll

obi and me atama open gold

Now Nick and Art both found redemption in the absolute white belt division.

Art won his first fight against a friend from marra senki named james. it was an excellent match with good jits played by both players. Art won by sinking his hooks in right before the match was over. In Arts next fight he fought his opponent to a stand still and they had to go to overtime to decide the winner. In the 2 min of overtime no player was able to establish any points but yet the ref decided to hand the victory to Art’s opponent. Great job Art!! i was so proud of you. i know you were fighting a hurt groin and an injured arm. way to persevere and get you a win.

da boys atama open

Nicks redemption came when after his first win in the absolute white belt division he earned the right to fight the same guy that he lost to by 3 points earlier that day. Nick took the guy down passed his guard, took his back and one body triangle and a choke later the match was over. Nick went on to make it all the way to the finals of the absolute white belt tournament! In the final nick was doing awesome and was winning the match 2-0 when with only 1min left, nick got caught with a scissor sweep from his opponents closed guard. After the fight nick was awarded the Silver Medal for the absolute white belt division!  Nick has only been training for 4 months and he went up against some really good white belts that day. great job nick!!

Halfway through and were 0-2

7 11 2009

So here we are, the day of the competition. Art and Nick have already competed. Both guys did well. Let’s start with art…

Art was the first guy of the competition to fight. Needless to say he was not as warm as he would have liked to be and he is fighting a pulled groin injury.

The fight started with art’s opponent shooting for a double and switching to a single. Art sprawled and attempted to crossface and take the back. Unfortunately his technique was just a little slow and peformed correctly so it didn’t work. His opponent took side control and eventually finished art with an armbar from kasa gatama. Great try art!

Next we have nick…

Nick started off by throwing his opponent all over the fighting area! After throwing him around nick pulled guard. From here nick and his opponenet were locked in a battle of grips and posture. Nick was unable to utilize his sitting guard effictively and his opponent was unable to open his guard. In an attempt to hunt for a submission nick threw up a triangle. His opponent defended well and passed nicks guard and established side control. You guessed it he scored three points. Nick escaped and put his opponent back in Closed guard and continued to fight. They scrambled to their knees and with only 1 min left in the match. Nick was hardpressed to score and get the win but was unable to do so with so little time left in the fight. I am proud of nick. With only 4 months of training he pulled guard even though he was obviously the stronger of the two. Nick might not agree with me but I think this fight will be an excellent learning experience for his Jiu Jitsu evolution.

Weigh Ins and Eat!!

6 11 2009

We made it to Houston in great time. We quickly checked in to our hotel and then made our way over to Legends Sports Park so that art could weigh in asap. Art is the only one of us that is trying to cut weight, so he hasn’t eaten at all today.

We all made weight. Yeah! Next it was find somewhere to eat quick. We asked a couple of people if they could point us in the direction of some good food. More than one person suggested this close place called Papa’s ice house so naturally we decided to go there. Let’s just say that the only good thing I have to say about this place is that it has pretty good sausage.

After eating we kind of felt like having some sweets so we cruised around woodland Houston looking for somewhere to chill and have some dessert. We settled on a resturant / wine bar called Americus. The place was awesome. After eating some dessert and relaxing like kings it was time to hit the sack and prepare for our perspective battles to come.

Good luck guys! Let’s play our Jits tomorrw…

Off to the Atama Open

6 11 2009

It is 1:14pm on Friday Nov. the 6th. This is the commencement of our journey to compete in Houston at the Atama Open. Our group consists of…
Art Manzano, Obi Chike

Myself, Jason Yerrington and my father Dr. Robert Yerrington

Stay tuned I will keep everyone updated on the upcoming battles! Here’s to a great tournament and an awesome trip!!!

Congrats Randy!!

5 11 2009

Congratulations to Randy for his promotion to blue belt! Randy’s Jiu Jitsu game has matured in many ways since he first came to Ohana. Rolling With Randy now I can feel the evolution of his game. Keep up the good work Randy,and congratulations again.
Jason Yerrington

Side Control Sweep Variation

24 10 2009

With todays post I want to build on the foundation that I started with my last post. Last time we talked about getting our crowbar and our buffer zone and escaping to butterfly guard when your in your opponents side control. Today we will talk about a variation from our side control escape and turn our escape into a sweep.

Let’s start with the same position as last time. Randy has side control and my arms are in the worst position possible.

First step is for me to get my crowbar in just like last time. Randy is very tight with his underhook, in this situation it is very dangerous for me to try and put my buffer zone in. So I decide to stay with the overbook.

Take a closer look

Now I intiate my escape just like last time. I bring my knee up

Then I post with my outside foot and shrimp away from Randy. By doing this I have created space between randy’s knee and my hip

Then just like last post I insert my knee as far as I can placing my shin against randy’s hips.

Now after this I still try to create space by pushing into Randy with my shin but because of his underhook pushing him away is much harder. So rather than struggle with Randy I hook under his leg with my arm

Next I start my sweep by pointing my knee to the ceiling and lift his hips with the arm that I hooked under randy’s leg. By pointing my knee towards the ceiling I am supporting the majority of randy’s weight with my knee so lifting him with my arm becomes extremely easy

Take a closer look

Now I start to roll for my sweep. I drop my overhook pinching my arm tightly to my body to keep Randy from posting with his outside hand.

Now to I finish the sweep by stabilizing my knee on belly position

Now let’s put it all together…