Sunday, November 28, 2010

Video Review: Tim Cartmell's "Standing Grappling"



It's amazing how things can come full-circle.
In my martial training, I started out as a wrestler, and most of my fights went to the ground. In Tae Kwon Do I trained kicking techniques for years. Later in Kenpo we practiced nasty hand strikes and Western Boxing. Aikido and Small-Circle Jujitsu re-introduced grappling techniques. The last ten years have been spent practicing the Chinese Internal Arts, and in an amazing way, it has brought me back to wrestling.
Attending seminars with Tim Cartmell has been a revelation in martial experience. Tim is undoubtedly the best grappler I have learned from, and his background in traditional Chinese Martial Arts is legendary. Many of you know that Tim has become a skilled competitor and coach in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well.
In his video "Standing Grappling", Tim covers escapes and counters to many of the most common grappling techniques seen in common street fights. These include things as simple as wrist grabs, but the meat of the video is on dangerous techniques such as headlocks, chokes and body locks used to slam an opponent.
Tim first introduces the proper way to properly perform these chokes, headlocks, etc. Then he shows how to prevent someone from gaining such a hold on you, and
how to escape if you do get caught in these types of holds and locks.
The difference in Tim's method is that he asserts that striking, kicking and elbowing will simply not cause an extremely strong opponent to release their grip.
Instead, Tim demonstrates very logical and scientific ways to use body leverage that nobody can resist. For instance, he suggests you can not use isolated muscle groups in the arms alone to break holds. Through subtle angles and body positioning, you can force your opponent to have to contend with your entire body weight, the use of torso, back and waist in unison as opposed to isolated arm muscles.
Within each counter-technique is redundancy, that is a "plan B" for every attempt. What to do if the first part of the escape is not successful. What to do if the opponent changes his tactic or positioning. And what to do if the opponent maintains the lock on you after you have successfully thrown him and you both go down together.
There are plenty of opportunities to loosen the hold, strike the opponent and get away. But Tim sticks strictly to grappling techniques that work and can be practiced safely with training partners at near-full strength. Options to many of the techniques include breaking the hold and getting away, or following with a submission such as an arm bar, shoulder lock or choke.
There is probably nothing more dangerous in a street fight as being choked out or slammed to the ground on a hard surface. In "Standing Grappling", Tim demonstrates some very common-sense methods to defend yourself if you are ever caught in a head lock, body lock or choke by an opponent that may be bigger and stronger than you.
Great stuff, and it includes many out-takes of Tim with some incredible BJJ competition moves, and his students at "Shen Wu" sparring and grappling with many of these techniques. I highly recommend this video;
Tim Cartmell's "Shen Wu" website is at this link
and all his videos are available here.

5 comments:

Aric said...

Nice write up.

'The difference in Tim's method is that he asserts that striking, kicking and elbowing will simply not cause an extremely strong opponent to release their grip.'

I guess you mean 'the difference compared to striking instructors.' Tim's idea is pretty standard in the grappling world. Strikes might work but they are not reliable. I wouldn't say it's a matter of how 'strong' the opponent is but by how distracted he is by the strikes.

steve-vh said...

Also key is "Through subtle angles and body positioning, you can force your opponent to have to contend with your entire body weight, the use of torso, back and waist in unison ". It's what those who it happens to can't describe because they don't get it yet.

Great job explaining things very often not even grasped at.

Koji Dojo said...

A good read. Thanks for the offering.

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