Angle of Attack

Pick your favorite technique. Now that you’ve got that in your head, how many different positions can you execute that technique from? If you can only picture yourself doing the move from one place, then applying the principle of angle of attack might be a useful exercise for you.

Let’s take the armbar as an example. Many of us learn the armbar from bottom guard position, and learn to finish it by pushing out partner over onto their back. Can you picture finishing the move with your partner still sitting up? What if your partner stands up, could you finish it from there? And if they stack you up and rotate your belly toward the ground, could you finish it from there?

Thinking about different angles, of course, is only the first baby step. The real work is getting a patient partner and actually finding all those angles. Ideally, you’d pick someone who knows the technique pretty well, and maybe has a few ways of executing it that you don’t. Move, play light, and see how many different positions you can execute the move from. What was once merely your favorite technique will soon become your favorite endpoint that you can see how to get to from almost anywhere.

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