Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's Always Your Turn to Attack

I thought I blogged about this before but if I did it was so long ago I could not find it. I'm past 150 pages of the book that I have proofed and passed on to Jim. Four things struck me as I thought about what I had reviewed so far and the chapters still to come.

The first one was that Jim and I teach attacking from the bottom far more than most people. The last post I wrote had Hana Carmichael attacking from the bottom. The section of the book I was just finishing has Ronda attacking from the bottom.

The second thing, related to this, is that we teach attacking from many more positions than most people do. Almost every judo player and jiu jitsu player I have watched has one or two strongly favored positions. For BJJ people one of those always seems to be "the guard", it's an almost religious attachment. Judo players favor attacking with the opponent on all fours, as Ronda is above. Except, in the example above and the last blog post, the bottom person was attack.

The third thing that struck me is how offensive a style I have - and I mean in the constantly attacking sense, not the constantly pissing people off sense - although both might be accurate representations. When I teach escapes they end up with attacking. I really teaching how to escape and then attack. Other people, when doing an escape, seem to be thinking about getting away. I know personally I am always thinking about getting revenge.

The fourth, and final, related point that struck me is one of what Ronda refers to as my "momisms". That is, something I say ALL the time,

It's always your turn to attack.
Whether you are on the bottom, were just knocked down for  a score, pinned or caught in an arm bar, it's ALWAYS your turn to attack.

I see people doing matwork and they think because they are on all fours in the turtle position they can't do anything but defend.

That's just plain silly.

 There were five kids in my family, and when I was growing up, we always had to take turns. My mom said that was only fair. One of the great advantages of judo was that I never had to take turns with anyone else again. It's always my turn to attack, no matter what. Why on earth would I give that turn up just because I happen to be in a pin at the moment?

I remember at a Nanka practice once when Ronda did one of the escapes we show in the book. Her partner was flabbergasted. That really is the best word. He stuttered,

But, wait, what? How did that happen? I was pinning you and now you're pinning me!

He just didn't realize that it was still her turn to attack.


Steve Scott said...

I like that; "It's always my turn to attack." It sounds like something you would say. You can bet I'll start using that phrase right away at our next workout (but I'll give you credit for coming up with it). It is exactly what the concept of kobo ichi is all about...attack, defend and attack again in a constant stream of aggressive action as the situation continues to develop-all the time working to conrol the opponent with the most efficient positon possible.
Looks like your manuscript is coming along really well. I really look forward to reading your book and will nag my athletes and coaches to buy a copy when it's published.
Becky goes in for the knee replacement tomorrow. I'll call or e-mail you and keep you updated on that.

plam said...


It is way harder (but not impossible) to attack from the bottom when someone is good. Fortunately, many competitors in North America are less likely to be good than, say, retired competitors, so it's easy to find people who can help with ground work.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Yes it is way harder. But, as they say about winning, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Al B Here said...

I've got to apply this more often, as I'm quite victory-challenged in my competitions, local or otherwise.