While I’m just getting into it (I started at the behest of my good friend The Welshman, who is enthused, to say the least), I’m already getting some valuable insights on the nature of leverage and how important the hips & legs are in producing the same.
I was introduced to the top mount arm-bar submission last evening by my excellent instructor (Jason McDonald – whom I call “Prof J” – of Elemental Jiu Jitsu, who has just open his own dojo in Ajax, Ontario), and when I went through the steps, it was much different from any impression I’ve had of what you do to exert the leverage needed to force a submission.
Basically, even though it’s called the “Arm-Bar” and of course includes using your arms and hands to control a captured opponent’s arm – the leverage that creates the irresistible force capable of severely damaging the limb… comes from the hips & legs once the arm is under control!
Below, Prof J is setting up to submit an opponent in a match…
Prof J (2nd Degree Black Belt) Setting Up An Arm Bar Submission
Now, it’s not as if I learned the arm bar and said, “Aha, this will improve my leverage!”
Rather, I was going through my “tight pivot” swing exercises today with the SwingRite and have been working on the pure “push-down” action with the right arm from the top, which I’ve demo’d before, as in the “MCs – Dropping The Hammer” video from the winter of ’16-’17:
As I’ve said in that video and in other videos, people are afraid of that pure down move because they’re afraid they’ll hit it fat, so they turn needlessly with the upper body (bad) or try to swing using the arms and hands (also bad), when all you have to do to not hit fat is to keep the weight transfer moving to the leading foot.
However, there is a good weight transfer, a great weight transfer and then you have the best possible or optimal weight transfer and hip/leg action from the “3 To 9” phase once the “down” move using the 1st Lever has been completed.
DJ’s Down Swing – Summer 2017
The “3 To 9” phase of course is where the club shaft does from parallel to the ground half way down to parallel again post-impact.
So, I was visualizing what I would do from the “3 O’Clock” position to avoid the early rotation or trailing heel lift, when all of a sudden, the hip & leg action from last night’s arm bar lesson popped into my head!
Basically, the hip/leg action for the arm bar would produce a certain feel, and the optimal action from the “3 To 9” position in the down swing… should produce the same “feel” if you’re doing it optimally.
If you look at Mike Dunaway’s swing from the up-the-line angle:
… you’ll see that his right hip makes its appearance much earlier and far more aggressively than my own right hip coming down, even though Dunaway was still square-shouldered at impact:
So, it’s not as if I suddenly learned the hip/leg action for the golf swing – what happened was, as I’m building the complete “feel” map for my new tighter back swing and the following down swing and finish, I hadn’t yet done anything to map the “feel” of the actual hip and leg action, having been focused on the upper body part of the “One Major Move.”
And now I’ve got it.
Athletic motion and leveraging motion are universal, whatever the sport or discipline, my friends – I’ve been saying it for years, but having been introduced to something new and very physical and intrinsically linked to leveraging with the hips and legs – I can’t wait to see what the swing looks like and performs when I get back to hitting balls!
And of course, I’ll be working on how to best explain this concept at a later time, when I have the swing data to back up what I already know is going to be pretty nifty.
More to come!
P.S. – If anyone in the Durham Region-East Toronto/Markham area is thinking of taking up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – Prof J’s brand new dojo is an awesome place to spend free evenings from Monday-Thursday.
Class size is going to grow but right now, you’ll get a lot of personal attention from the man himself. And of course, you’ll run into me and at times, The Welshman there!
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