Headlocks (diary entry)

PHOTO-2023-09-11-14-54-01 PHOTO-2023-09-11-14-54-0308.09.2023

Hour four of my UKSO Cotswolds’ teacher client’s clinch course brought us on to using headlocks. These were all performed as sag takedowns, meaning no big explosive movements or lifts.

We warmed up bulling the collar/elbow ties and pummelling the overhooks and underhooks. Whilst drilling the former we looked at creeping a dominant inside elbow grip. This was a good tactical principle I wanted to address: getting an opponent to ignore a deposit on a strong position. We acknowledged the Osotogeri (major outer reap) basic throw from Judo and its very similar variation in Funakoshi Gichin’s nine throws in Karate, byobu daoshi (topple a folding screen). It’s also found in the Daito-Ryu derived schools of Ju Jutsu, including Aikido. I’ve even seen a kru teach a percussive version in Muay Thai where the nak muay times a forward shove with a back heel kick to destabilise an opponent. Although Judo undeniably had a brief influence over Muay Thai in the early part of the 20th century through its education system, traditional rules forbid what is loosely regarded as “Judo and Wrestling throws”. However, we didn’t perform any of these variations but moved into a sag headlock takedown.

Whilst pummelling we looked for both softness and fluidity as well as properly establishing full overhook and underhook dominance. This became relevant for the pinch headlock where we trained a side headlock takedown and a bodylock takedown. Finally, we trained the two-on-one and used a counter to this to set up a traditional headlock takedown.

The lesson finished with 2 x 3 minute rounds of upper body clinch sparring.


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