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Conceptual Video on Leverage in Grappling

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    Conceptual Video on Leverage in Grappling

    What's up everyone,

    Just wanted to share a video on that I made that talks about the
    concept of leverage in grappling. it shows some examples and
    applications along with points out some vital leverage points.

    Hope you enoy.

    **On a side note I am accepting more registraions to the Grapplers Guide
    as well. Only open for 72 hours though: so
    check it out :-)***

    YouTube- Discover Important Leverage Points in Grappling

    Jason Scully




      I completely agree. Someone also mentioned this in terms of my calf example. Here was my reply to them. I would retype, but I've done a good amount of typing on other forums already...haha. Now the quote below doesn't apply to what you mentioned but I think it helps.

      The main reason for explaining it that way is because I don't like talking "mechanical". The way I explains things are simple and to the point so it just so happens that wherever there is a joint it's the most distal point of each bone. The back of the head being the distal point of the cervical spine.

      Below is what i said to the other person about the calf.

      His reply: "To me, this the video doesn't make much bio-mechanical sense. You gain leverage by moving further away from the fulcrum. It doesn't matter if the actual area is covered with muscle or not. Muscles act at joints not right at their physical location.

      In your leg pull example, its easier to control the leg at the calf (a muscled area) than at the bend of the knee (not muscled). This occurs because the calf is further away from the fulcrum (the hip joint in this case) than the bend of the knee. The amount of muscle at the actual location doesn't matter."

      This is my reply: "The way I explained it is an easier way to explain it to someone in laymen terms for the average person who doesn't really want to hear an biomechanical jargon, which is most people.

      Also there is a subtitle that quickly explains that where the joint is, that area is the furthest point of the fulcrum.

      I guarantee if you do what I did in the video you'll see what I'm talking about.

      It just so happens that where there is less muscle "which" is usually the joint area (ligaments) you will be able to efficiently apply force against your opponent.

      Also your opponent can generate more power if you hold them by the calf then then by the knee. I've tested it multiple time.

      The hip is also not the fulcum for the calf. What I've come to find and this is just my own observation is that each bone has it's own fulcrum point. For the calf which the bones in thea area are the tibia and fibula the distal areas by the ankle and by the knee will be your best bet in regards to getting better "leverage".

      I've tried it in many different areas and applications.

      Also in my opinion there is a distinction between a "control point" and a "leverage point", however some control points are good leverage points and vice versa. So in this case, while the calf is a decent "control point' and could be used in different applications it isn't the most ideal "leverage point". There is a difference.

      In wresling there is an ankle pick (joint) and a knee pick (joint) takedown but I've never head of a calf pick (muscle).

      Thanks for the discussion,


        He Replied Back With This: If a person is so into grappling that he is watching this particular video, I don't think understanding the basics of how a fulcrum acts is "jargon". Your video makes it sound like it's the physical location of the muscle that matters, when it's just not the case.

        I never meant that the calf muscle acts on the hip. I was talking about stopping the motion of someone moving their leg backwards (an action that mainly occurs in at the hip). If you consider this example. The calf is further away from the hip than the knee is, so theoretically it give your more leverage.

        One example of this is people snaking the calf on a double leg instead of just grabbing at the bend of the knee.

        You could argue that it's easier to grip the knee than it is to control at the calf (like in the knee pick example). Though in this same instance, it's generally better grip deeper on armdrags than at the elbow because it provides a better grip it case of slipping.

        You make an interesting point about the distinction of a leverage point and a control point. I guess a control point take into account more variables than simply leverage against an opponent's joint. ie, how strong of a grip it provides, how quickly you could grab it, how easily an opponent could defend or counter the grip, etc.

        My Reply Back Was: I definitely see our point. In regards to the jargon. From a teaching perspective as an instructor I've used techinal biomechanical jargon with people before and at the most I got blank stares from people. When I give them a simple and consice idea that is straight to the point, it seems to sink in much better. Especially in a class setting. So that format sticks with me. If it works when teaching then I stick with it. If it doesn't then I don't.

        Also in regards to a double leg take down. You snake the legs by the calves as a "control point' not as a leverage point. The true leverage poing comes in when you cut the corner and turn the wheel (which is your arms cutting the legs past across). Which in this case pushes at the knee from the outside in and places pressure on the outer knee area which helps complete the take down better because you got better leverage.

        If you just snake the calves and you don't cut the corner on a double leg then it will not be as effective.

        Now if we take a "peak" double in considering which is a straight on double where you are blasting straight through, then you would cut behind the knees, not the calves.

        Also with this he stated:

        "I never meant that the calf muscle acts on the hip. I was talking about stopping the motion of someone moving their leg backwards (an action that mainly occurs in at the hip). If you consider this example. The calf is further away from the hip than the knee is, so theoretically it give your more leverage."

        You have to consider that the leg isn't just one peice so there also needs to be consideration that the person can actually bend their leg at the knee. If I'm holding them be their calf they will be able to generate more force against me when they bend at the knee and mule kick, or so on. If I'm holding their knee. It's ok of they bend their leg a the knee. They still won't be able to mule kick back. Now if I'm holding at the ankle it is actually an option that is very good as well because they will have trouble mule kicking back as well. And if they lift their knee up a simple lift of their ankle will put them off balance also.




            Thanks for the reply. The main point of the video is to give a straight forward "focus on this concept" route for people to think of something they would have otherwise not thought of. Which I find a lot through teaching BJJ for a while now.

            And definitely from my experience it is much easier to say "focus on the joints for leverage". Just hoping if someone has control issues they might be like "hmmm, what if I put pressure here".

            If they do that then they just moved one step closer to not relying on their instructor all the time.

            Another point that i find works well in regards to getting better leverage to keep someone from sitting up on you in closed guard is putting pressure on the solar plexus or lower sternum area. And that reason i believe would be because you are at the furthest end of both the sternum and the inner part of the ribs.


              This seems one of those fundamental things that is not really explicitly instructed but seems completely obvious only after somebody points it out.

              Thanks for the video.
              Curiosity killed the cat. But damn it had a blast.


                Originally posted by hpr View Post
                This seems one of those fundamental things that is not really explicitly instructed but seems completely obvious only after somebody points it out.

                Thanks for the video.
                Very true and you are welcome. I'm not sure if anyone else has a video about it on YouTube but I couldn't find one anywere. It's nothing new. Just explained in simple manner.


                  Here is some video for some clarification above...hope it helps

                  YouTube- Leverage Clarified From Video 1 (BJJ, Grappling, MMA)


                    Hoping I can try to contribute a little bit :-)

                    I think of control points and leverage points as feeding into each other.

                    A control point is 'good' if there are fewer degrees of freedom between it and the person's core.

                    Looking at the arm, if I control just ABOVE the shoulder joint closer to their neck, their arm movement does not directly affect the control. I am above that joint and and took away that degree of freedom.

                    If I lock at or below the shoulder joint, their upper arm movement now comes into play to help them escape. They gained 1 degree of freedom. They will continue to have that 1 degree of freedom while I continue to control from their shoulder joint down to JUST above their elbow.

                    At and below their elbow joint, they gain another degree of freedom (their forearm movement now affects my control).

                    The same for goes for the wrist. Grabbing the hand is SUCH a bad control point because the other person has so many degrees of freedom. How easy is it to peel off a grip on your hand?

                    I like to think of passing the guard as progressively taking away the number of degrees of freedom a person has.

                    They start with 3 degrees of freedom (foot, lower leg, and upper leg). I control just above the ankle and they are down to 2 (took away their foot). I control just above the knee and they are down to 1 (took away their lower leg). I control just above the hip and they are down to zero (took away their upper leg).

                    Their escapes rely on them reversing that and gaining back their degrees of freedom.

                    One interesting thing is that as I pass their guard and move my control points closer to their core, the effective leverage of those points is reduced. BUT, the control at the core does not require huge amounts of leverage but rather technical pressure and hand position.

                    When I move to submit, I isolate a limb (arms, legs, head) and work back out to gain leverage to finish the submission. For example, direct attacks while holding just above the shoulder are... well, I haven't seen anything unless you want to punch and drop elbows :-). That aside, you have to move to just above the elbow joint to start chewing on your submissions. Then you have to move to just above the wrist to start locking it up and taking space to finish.

                    That's just my thoughts on it. I don't talk about this sort of thought process with people locally with the exception of 1 guy (local black belt who likes questioning everything). Its nice to have a place to brain dump and then get feedback on it.

                    BTW, thanks for the videos Jason!



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