Today’s class (read: ass whooping) brought to mind something Dave Camarillo said about what distinguished John Danaher’s approach to jiujitsu.  He paraphrased John as saying that he wasn’t teaching and coaching to develop great sport jiujitsu competitors.  Rather, his goal was to create complete grapplers.

However, to be more precise, it wasn’t necessarily the class itself that brought this to mind.  It was Joe, a blue belt who tapped me at least seven times during our 10 minute round.  Each time I tapped, it was to a wrist lock.  A wrist lock applied with his hands.  With his hips.  With his head.  (Yes, his head.)  A couple of times I saw it coming and was helpless to stop it given the position I allowed myself to be put in.  But, the majority of the time, I didn’t even see it coming.

How often do you drill wrist locks in your school?  How often do you use them in sparring or think of a holistic strategy for applying them in different positions?  I’d bet good money that Joe has invested time in each.  Pair that with a grappler who isn’t thinking about a wrist lock, and the stage is set for a wrist lock clinic!

The point of this post isn’t to advocate learning the wrist lock.  It’s rather a reminder to keep in mind how vast the universe of grappling actually is.  It’s incumbent on us to learn it all, or face the dangers of tapping – not because we were out-techniqued – but rather because we never saw the attack coming at all.  After all, isn’t that why the tough guys of UFC 1 were all vulnerable to Gracie Jiujitsu?

With that said, I did want to include a video of a Mundials match in the black belt division that was decided by a standing wrist lock, often taught as part of the self defense curriculum.  (If you can point me to it in the comments, I’d really appreciate it.)  But, since I can’t seem to find it right now, in the meantime, check out this wristlock from the bottom closed guard, as demonstrated by Megaton Dias.

Oh – and thanks Joe.

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