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View Full Version : stalling or standing up in judo/sambo



blackmonk
1/10/2014 11:34am,
15791


Those of us that are jacket wrestlers, BJJ aside, are fully aware of this stalling position pictured above... Either a stiff, lifeless log like in the the picture, or sometimes a tight turtle position.

While this is great for the ruleset, it is obviously a bad habit to get into for any other combat sports. I think that going to all-fours is an equally viable strategy as pulling guard, but it has to be followed with standing up and escaping, or a reversal.

With wrestling, it's relatively well-explored. We know all the escapes and reversals. With sambo and judo, however, I have yet to find a real, comprehensive philosophy on escaping and reversing from there... Particularly on the topic of returning to a standing position. Does anyone have anything?

I have asked some of the best sambo and judo players that I know, from various parts of the world, and almost invariably they say "Oh, that's tricky."

CrackFox
1/10/2014 11:52am,
I'll admit to turtling loads when I'm doing judo, but I always look to get to my knees and then sit out or establish guard. If I manage either of these, I'm going to take at least one stab at an attack before mate gets called. I'd only ever try to stand up as a way of getting out of a sub.

Quite a lot of my wins on the ground have come from first escaping out of a turtle. I think a lot of people don't expect you to re-attack them once they get to that stage.

blackmonk
1/10/2014 11:57am,
I don't have any problems sitting out with the jacket on, or at least very rarely...

But I have a hell of a time trying to get anywhere beyond that.

CrackFox
1/10/2014 12:07pm,
But I have a hell of a time trying to get anywhere beyond that.

Beats being at the bottom of the turtle waiting for the ref to save you anyway.

I have to admit I much prefer trying to get guard. If I sit out it's usually because my opponent has messed up big time, and let me trap an arm. Never done this in competition though, just relative noobs in class. Could probably have done anything in those situations though and made it work.

BKR
1/10/2014 12:14pm,
15791


Those of us that are jacket wrestlers, BJJ aside, are fully aware of this stalling position pictured above... Either a stiff, lifeless log like in the the picture, or sometimes a tight turtle position.

While this is great for the ruleset, it is obviously a bad habit to get into for any other combat sports. I think that going to all-fours is an equally viable strategy as pulling guard, but it has to be followed with standing up and escaping, or a reversal.

With wrestling, it's relatively well-explored. We know all the escapes and reversals. With sambo and judo, however, I have yet to find a real, comprehensive philosophy on escaping and reversing from there... Particularly on the topic of returning to a standing position. Does anyone have anything?

I have asked some of the best sambo and judo players that I know, from various parts of the world, and almost invariably they say "Oh, that's tricky."

I do not have a comprehensive methodology. The methods I learned for reversals have, from my experience with wrestlers, come from wrestling (it seems to me...as have some turnovers used from on top, but adapted to the jacket/pants).

What I was taught was to not let your opponent get behind you (when turtled...I was admonished that the flat out position was something to avoid). So, I always keep my head towards him, and stay active with reacting to any attempts at control or attack, and look for an opening to sit to guard or move out and attack or stand up.

Judoka do not spend a lot of time nowadays (that I can see at least) in learning how to keep the guy in turtle under control. We spent a lot of time on that, and I've had many coaches and at many clinics spend time on it in years past, but that was when more time in ne waza was allowed as well.

In terms of modern competition, it is easier to stand up (in Judo), as you only have to get both hands off of the tatami and get off your knees to get a restart, even if the guy is on your back or in the middle of a sub. So we train to keep the head towards the opponent, and feel/look for weaknesses in control to get to a "standing" position and get a restart.

I did have access to a couple of judo books at one time that had attacks/reversals from turtle illustrated and explained...I want to say they were by Okano, but are out of print now? It wasn't a comprehensive philosophy, but did have useable techniques.

BKR
1/10/2014 12:23pm,
Beats being at the bottom of the turtle waiting for the ref to save you anyway.

I have to admit I much prefer trying to get guard. If I sit out it's usually because my opponent has messed up big time, and let me trap an arm. Never done this in competition though, just relative noobs in class. Could probably have done anything in those situations though and made it work.

I was always pretty cautions about sitting out as well. Against a skilled opponent (those are the only ones that matter), it can be pretty risky to initiate a scramble from bottom. A good judoka will stay stuck to you and not give any space, or may well try to trick you by loosening up a bit as bait...and then pouncing when you enter the trap.

A good drill we used to do was have one guy turtle, the other stay on top. The object was for the guy on bottom to get up/away and onto his feet or reverse somehow. You can restrict it to standing up, recovering guard, whatever. The guy on top was to keep the guy on bottom on bottom.

We spent fucking hours doing that between the time I was a brown belt (sankyu) and shodan.

BKR
1/10/2014 12:26pm,
I don't have any problems sitting out with the jacket on, or at least very rarely...

But I have a hell of a time trying to get anywhere beyond that.

Well, if you can sit out you can at least try to get on their back or gain control somehow, right?

This is basic, but latch onto something and don't let go...sleeve, collar, pants leg, something, focus control there and move on to an attack or position improvement of your own.

blackmonk
1/10/2014 12:31pm,
Turning to face them is something I see a lot in higher-level sambo matches. The obvious application, I suppose, is being able to see your opponent for a takedown.

blackmonk
1/10/2014 4:10pm,
Has anyone ever successfully used a Peterson Roll with the jacket on? A training partner of mine says he is able to make it work pretty well, although I have never seen him do it in sparring.

Ming Loyalist
1/10/2014 4:16pm,
i turtle way too much for my own good (this became especially apparent when i spent 2 weeks at marcelo garcia's gym) so now in class i will start a 5 second countdown to when i have to get out of turtle by either re-guarding or reversing uke. sometimes it gets me pinned, but it's better than practicing stalling.

RynoGreene
1/10/2014 6:05pm,
Hopefully Aaron will chime in here, but we were always taught that if you're going to turtle, it had better be an active turtle. Don't just camp out, look to force reactions from your opponent, and look to improve your position.

I've got a bad knee and sit outs while under pressure have sprained it twice in the last two years, so I'm not using that too much any more. It sucks being old and broken.

If I have to turtle, I don't want to be flat-backed, and give them and easy ride. I'll keep curve to my spine so that if they try to get rear mount, they'll slide off the top and I can exit the back door. I avoid ever staying in the flat log position. I'll fight to get at least a low turtle to begin fighting, trying to face them, and get them off balance and get to a high four so that I have some space to work. This will open up options.

Once I've squared to them, unloaded their weight from me, and got to something like a high four, my preference is:

1. Re-guard/immediate sweep
2. Square up completely and look to regain upright posture for counter
3. Stand up

I used to like to stand up more but due to my f'd up knee and the scrambling that often occurs getting to that, it is just a bit more risky than it used to be. I used to use sit-outs. Other than that, I generally just try to unweight him while I'm in my turtle so that I can move a bit, then square up. Once squared, regain posture, and look for reversal or stand back up.

Barrel rolls and rolling kneebars are tons of fun against noobs. I've got a very good clamp, so surprise some more advance folks with the barrel roll sometimes, even if their weight isn't too far over.

For the re-guard/sweep options, hip heist sweep, butterfly/half butterfly, and flower are my go-to's. I also like the forward roll/spin to re-guard if he's blocking my knee from coming through.

sambosteve
1/12/2014 8:34pm,
A good drill we used to do was have one guy turtle, the other stay on top. The object was for the guy on bottom to get up/away and onto his feet or reverse somehow. You can restrict it to standing up, recovering guard, whatever. The guy on top was to keep the guy on bottom on bottom.

We spent fucking hours doing that between the time I was a brown belt (sankyu) and shodan.

We do this drill ALOT. Start in turtle and get to the feet from consecutive attackers coming in at different angles. It is incredibly helpful. Like you I try to keep my head towards the guy on top of me. But, I will often try to bait him so I can set up and arm roll or granby if he comes to the side of me to get wrist control (or collar control on a jacket).

You are also right that peek outs can be risky and give up pins against more experienced guys if you fail. Having said that, I love them and drill my guys to do peek outs in combination. I find that many folks (newer guys especially, but not always) stop after the first peek out. Like most techs, the first does not always cut the mustard. Usually the top man will move to counter the first peek out and you have got to nail a second in the opposite direction straight away. Also important is the direction of the peek out relative to the attackers arms on your body (is he in a north south position, side control position, wrist control, nelsons, etc.

Pulling guard is definitely an option, but I do love a good scramble ;) I feel safer there as I know my guard game is not my best attribute. But, I will pull guard for sure if I have to.


Turning to face them is something I see a lot in higher-level sambo matches. The obvious application, I suppose, is being able to see your opponent for a takedown.

Yep...looking for ankle picks and leg locks ;) If the do go to referee's, then rolling kneebar. I will try to set that up too.

sambosteve
1/12/2014 8:38pm,
Hopefully Aaron will chime in here, but we were always taught that if you're going to turtle, it had better be an active turtle. Don't just camp out, look to force reactions from your opponent, and look to improve your position.

100% agree. IMO it should be considered a transitional position. Constant movement. I am speaking generally, not referring to a rule set where you know the ref will save your ass)

blackmonk
1/13/2014 11:24am,
It might be an interesting project to develop a comprehensive way to deal with the various problems that the turtle or par terre positions present, from a sambo perspective.

All of these ideas are great, and of course valuable, but I'd love to have a specific curriculum to start the n00bs out with... Like "right hand goes here", "left knee tucked to chest", etc., rather than just have someone attack them and they scramble.

What I ultimately want to develop is a complete framework for how to return to standing, with the jacket on. Nogi is mostly different, and the dissonance that I experience between the two is sometimes frustrating.