Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Grappling with Guillotines

So I hit a road block of sorts while studying John Danaher's Front Headlock System.  First off, my whole purpose in studying the system is to get better at guillotines, and I do feel smarter on them having watched through the system so far.

As he describes his overall strategy, his assertion is that you need to get good at both submissions from the front headlock position, and positional transitions (i.e. getting past your opponent's arms to the rear of the turtle position so that you can take his back).  He asserts that as you get better at the positional path, the submissions will open up, and vice versa.

I was really hoping for some hand fighting systems similar to what he has laid out in his Back Attacks series.  Ways to get to that uncontested strangle arm from that front headlock position.  But alas, the threat of transitioning past your opponent's arms, and subsequently taking the back is what's supposed to open up the path for your strangle arm. 

And there lies the crux of my issue.  I've never had a problem transitioning to the rear turtle position.  It's always come natural to me.  Simple.  Easy.  And this has never opened up the neck.  My training partners and opponents always seem to guard that neck for dear life from the turtle position.  On a good day, I might get a chin strap.  But the second I do, his hands are all over it like white on rice!  There is no way on God's green earth they're letting me punch that sucker through to a high wrist position!

Now I don't think I'm all that amazing at transitioning from the front to the rear of the turtle, but it's not like I've been training with slouches over the last 20+ years either.  I just don't see people I roll with offering up the resistance that Danaher talks about in his instructional. 

Now I've trained with plenty of strong wrestlers.  We have a few in the gym I train at now.  But none of them seem to use that double leg option for instance to catch someone attempting to transition from the front turtle to the rear turtle.  At least they don't seem to use it on me.  They all just seem to let it happen.  They seem to prioritize protecting their neck over position.  Hence, I don't see this really opening up the neck for me. And that makes me sad.

Now maybe it's silly of me to complain about this.  According to Danaher, I should be content to use his system to get around to the rear of the turtle and take the back.  And HE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!  I SHOULD be content to take the back instead of sinking guillotines.  But I REALLY want to start sinking guillotines! 

I suppose there are worse problems to have.   Hopefully I'm missing something here, and all will become clear after I've had a chance to completely digest the entire system and experiment with it on the mats..

I wonder, has anyone else out there had a similar problem? 

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