Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I don't know what to do with my hands...

Yesterday the gym was closed, but a couple of us got together and did some no gi. I am not familiar with no gi, I kind of feel like a fish out of water.

We have been doing no gi on Sundays for the past couple of months and I feel like I am improving.Over the past couple of weeks my movement is not as awkward as it was in the beginning doing no gi, but I still feel like I am just leaving to many holes. I have been trying to work my guard and submissions from the guard, but I just do not feel fluent enough to catch someone sleeping and slap an arm bar on them. I will save this for a later post, but back to topic at HAND.

This is a really stupid thing and I am sure some other experienced no gi practitioners can help me, but I just don't know what to do with my hands. I try not to grab the rash guard or clothes, but it is kind of hard. I just end up leaving my arms and hands flailing about, and I usually get caught in an key lock or arm bar.   

On a high note, I am having good success with a kimura from half guard, but I over commit and try to force the kimura and continue to hold the grip.While holding on for dear life, I end up loosing position to turtle or mount. By the end of the day, if I could not get the kimura, I just let the grip go, to not give up position to my opponent.

My hands are just all over the place either I can't figure out what to do with them or I slap a death grip on someone and it sticks and I end up getting submitted.

I am going to pay more attention this week during rolling to see if I do the same thing while doing gi. I will try to work and tuck my elbows and arms more and see how that works out.

Please feel free to leave comments and feedback. Email me at: abair1981@gmail.com if you have any questions.


  1. When in doubt:

    If you're in an inferior position, don't touch the mat. Don't straighten out your arms or reach for things or try to grab things. It's probably safe to be thinking "protect my neck" and "the closer to my body, the stronger and safer my arms are."

    If you're in a dominant or neutral position, you can grab their wrists, use your hands like a hook/paw to control elbows, shoulders, knees, hips-- you can even cup under their chin or around their jaw (where their head goes, the rest of them goes.)

  2. Yeah, I agree I never try and let them touch the mat. About my first month, I was getting submitted that way.

    Lol it is funny, I usually end up grabbing a foot during their arm bar transition. I do grab wrists and cup arms, but to me they just feel like I am delaying the inevitable submission by grabbing limbs out of desperation.

    Do anything to survive right?

  3. I almost never grapple no gi. ... and when I do, I always have, "What am I supposed to grab?!" running through my head.

    I end up cupping the back of elbows, and knees a lot... and the back of the neck. Though, I find it to feel less secure, slippery, and generally annoying. =)

    I will also say... Don't listen to me. I don't know what the heck I am doing. hehe

  4. I enjoy gi and nogi equally. Both strengthen different aspects of one's grappling game. I feel nogi strengthens ones use of under hooks and over hooks etc due to the absence of "grips" normally provided by the gi. Rolling with you the first few Sundays in nogi was interesting because you had nothing to hold onto and it was forcing you to move more and forget about the death grip. It does seem like you are moving back to that death grip now that you have found the wrists as a gripping point. Its effective to control and direct but not so much to force your partner as this uses too much energy. You know enough at this point to determine when your arms are in danger. Keep them tight when in danger and use them to attack/advance when not facing any arm lock submission.

  5. Because we do primarily gi at my school, I sometimes forget where to grip in no gi. Unfortunately that became painfully obvious at my last tournament!! lol

  6. The first time I did no gi I had no idea, but it does improve your under hooks and over hooks. Like I said, I find myself searching out the death grip.

    But doing no gi has opened up some things for me that I would not normally try, like triangles. I feel more comfortable now from the guard trying for a triangle than I did several weeks ago.

    Thanks for all the comments and feedback!