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#433596 - 08/12/11 12:26 PM Hard to take down?
Razma Offline
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Registered: 05/19/11
Posts: 36
I started going to a mma gym, mostly just to socialize and hang out. I was rolling around with the jiujitsu and judo students and all of them were astounded over how hard it was to take me down. Is that something that just happens from karate training or what?

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#433598 - 08/12/11 01:19 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Razma]
MattJ Offline
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Not typically. Most karate/tkd folk are not too difficult to take down, unless they've trained for it.
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#433599 - 08/12/11 04:36 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: MattJ]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
I found in Judo I was good at rooting myself and being harder to throw..but an experienced Judoka won't have any trouble with that anyway because they will trick you out of your posture. IN actual randori you will not be able to posture up because with a good throw, you won't feel it coming.

You learn very good, stable body shapes in decent Karate training, but if you want to learn to specifically defend throws and whatnot..you need to just do another art, prolonged grappling engagement and takedown defense is not really a mainstay of Karate. You need to get some grappling under your belt if you want to understand how to 'defend' it..or better yet crosstrain with those guys. There is no panacea art or system that will teach you to do everything.

If you were just practicing static throws and fooling around, they were probably just noticing you were a stiff uke, rather than noticing you were actually hard to take down.

Throws and much of grappling work with the force of the body..people from striking arts often make really bad ukes at first for just practicing technique due to the fact that they are conditioned to move against the body, which is what strikes etc. do. Unless you were actually doing randori, it's hard to say whether you are actually hard to throw. Go ahead and do randori with one of them, try it and report back!


Edited by Zach_Zinn (08/12/11 04:45 PM)

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#433601 - 08/12/11 06:59 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Agree with Matt and Zach. That you are "hard to take down" makes you an exception rather than a rule IME. Anyone who hasn't trained any sort of grappling art is usually going to be very easy to take down. There are sports like Rugby and American Football that may help you out a bit though. Certain karate styles I've seen may help you with posture, and having good posture makes it harder for someone to take you down. That said even good static posture goes to the dogs once you start moving around in grappling sparring.

Like Zach says, if you were drilling throws and trying to "root", you'll be hard to throw/take down. If you are acutally sparring full out and are inexperienced in grappling, you'll present quite a few chances for your opponent to take you down.

The only other thing I know that may make it slightly harder is if you are much larger/stronger than your opponent.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433602 - 08/12/11 11:44 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Prizewriter]
Razma Offline
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Registered: 05/19/11
Posts: 36
In my karate class a good portion of our drills are in staying rooted and not going down. For example 2 people square off one tries to push the other one away. Similar to a football drill.


Another drill we do is a fall break then the second we're back up our partner pushes us to see how stable we are.

I did roll around with the jiujitsu instructors at the mma gym. The session went something like, I was on the ground for 15 seconds before I tapped. The instructor kept getting behind me.


Edited by Razma (08/12/11 11:44 PM)

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#433605 - 08/13/11 05:20 AM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Razma]
Prizewriter Offline
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Certainly those sorts of drills will help if you are being pushed around. Judo is as much of a pulling game as it is a pushing game though. If you're not use to being pulled out of position, you'll be in trouble. IMO it is even harder to maintain posture in a gi because of all the handles the gi provides.

In terms of getting your back on the ground, what position where you in before they got your back? Where you on your back facing up? Did the instructor have you in the mount?

If you have a friend and are sensible there are a TON of instructional videos about how to survive on the ground and escape positions. I was listening to an interview the first BJJ black belt in Ireland gave. He was asked about what new students should expect. He said that no matter what your goal in BJJ was, as a newbie you're going to spend the first few months getting tapped. By proxy, you're going to be learning how to survive in various positions in the first few months. Try and learn about how to escape and defend various positions on the ground for your first few months.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433608 - 08/13/11 12:36 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Prizewriter]
Matakiant Offline
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Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 120
It entirely depends.. If a Karate practitioner has mastered the principles of hara then yes they are very hard to take down.

But 90-98% never come close to it.

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#433611 - 08/13/11 02:28 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Matakiant]
Razma Offline
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Registered: 05/19/11
Posts: 36
The instructor got me in a sacrifice throw. He was barely pulling me and it was so gentle that I didn't realize I should do anything until I was on the ground. I got up face facing the floor with my hands in front of me. He wasn't in my sight. He went around and pulled me into a rear mount and got me in a rear naked choke.

He kept repeating that same tactic 2 more times because I couldn't defend against it. I went home to clear my head and think about what was going and what I could do against it. The next day we rolled again, he got the same choke once on me. The next time, He got me in a rear mount and I stood up (He's about average size so it was pretty difficult but I could do it.)

At that point he told me jiujitsu is a war of attrition and I was using too much energy. And I said that he got me with that same position 4 times now. And he said "Oh so you don't want to be in that position." And from there it turned into a light "Teaching" kind of match where he was giving as much ground as he was getting.

Ad to Matakiant, What is the principles of hara? Is that something about posture or keeping your balance at all times?

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#433614 - 08/13/11 07:27 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Razma]
Prizewriter Offline
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I believe the "hara" refers to the one point of a person (mentally and physically) where they are perfectly balanced. Some folks refere to it as the centre of gravity in the abdomen. Thats the Aikido meaning anyway. Literally "hara" means belly in English. Matakiant can tell you for sure the intended meaning though. I don't want to speak on someone elses behalf!

I've heard of and seen Taijiquan (aka Tai Chi) masters grounding energy as they have developed deep control of their fascia and posture. Never heard of anyone in Karate doing something like that though?? Not saying it isn't possible, just never heard of it! Would be good to see a video of it.

Just to show you what I mean here is a video of a Taijiquan teacher grouding force and off-balancing folks with less developed rooting skills:



Re your problem of ending up exposing your back... what sort of "sacrafice throw" is your teacher doing on you? There are some ways to counter sacrafice throws or avoid them, depeding on the throw.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433616 - 08/14/11 12:14 AM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Prizewriter]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:
ve heard of and seen Taijiquan (aka Tai Chi) masters grounding energy as they have developed deep control of their fascia and posture. Never heard of anyone in Karate doing something like that though?? Not saying it isn't possible, just never heard of it! Would be good to see a video of it.



The same concepts exist, and are taught in some Karate. I would say it's a minority of practitioners that utilize the concepts, but there are some out there that do so and do so very well!


Edited by Zach_Zinn (08/14/11 12:16 AM)

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#433617 - 08/14/11 07:50 AM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Matakiant]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By: Matakiant
It entirely depends.. If a Karate practitioner has mastered the principles of hara then yes they are very hard to take down.

But 90-98% never come close to it.




That is very true. In our Goju ryu we often work on this concept of hara. It's like water through your fingers.I keep working on it.All I know is when it's locked in you are grounded and virtually a rock at your base. A terrific concept that I struggle to implement.One day it will click I guess. I sure hope it does.

Mark

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#433618 - 08/14/11 11:16 AM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: gojuman59]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
I've heard a lot of theory about "hara" in Aikido. Similar to what you guys are talking about in Karate though, a lot of Aikido-ka talk a good game but can't actually demonstrate what they are talking about.

Additionally, the "hara" in Aikido is usually only tested against a slow, gradual push or pull. Aside from one Aikido-ka, the only people I've seen (and experienced first hand) who can stay rooted against resisting, uncooperative opponents who are pushing and pulling them are some experienced Taijiquan folks.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433619 - 08/14/11 01:49 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Prizewriter]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
I've met Karate people who have that kind of stuff, but they aren't common, and it's to do with the training, big surprise.

I agree that many aiki people and internal artists talk alot about the theory, but can't demo it effectively.

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#433620 - 08/14/11 04:46 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Zach_Zinn]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri



The interesting thing about this concept is that the lower body feels like it's planted to the center of the earth, while the upper body flows like a branch of a willow tree in the wind. There's a sensitivity that I strive to work on.Not being able to relax makes this virtually impossible. If one is too tense they will be easy to take down.

Mark

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#433621 - 08/14/11 05:18 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: gojuman59]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
I've heard that sort of thing in Aikido before. TBH I found a lot of the Aikido explanations a bit wooly, but then again thats probably my lack of imagination. They were very heavy on poetry and very light on actual detail.

In Chinese Internal arts (the little I did) and Qi Gong they got in to a lot more of the nuts and bolts of the thing, such as excercises to increase fascia control and opening vertebrae to make the body like a spring that absorbs force.

I preferred the latter approach but that was just me. I'm not suggesting either that just because someone happens to teach Neijia they will be able to tell you about rooting and absorbing force. There are a lot of poor Taiji teachers about. That said, having studied Aikido for a few years I've found there is a HECK of a lot more knowledge and expertize on the subject of rooting and power absorption/generation in Neijia arts than there is in Aikido. As for how much of that sort of knowledge exists in Karate and as to how well it is shared... well, you guys will know better than me because I haven't got a clue.



Edited by Prizewriter (08/14/11 05:20 PM)
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433623 - 08/15/11 12:48 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Matakiant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 120
Yes the previous explanations suffice as well.

In my style of Karate it is more often talked about as ''rooting''.

I think it's generally a lost principle in Karate. I only know a few people in my own style who can ''do it'' - I'm not one of them. My ''roots'' are quite weak but I suppose it's a matter of practice when I began and was first introduced to the concept I was far far more miserable than I am now laugh


Edited by Matakiant (08/15/11 12:49 PM)

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#433625 - 08/15/11 07:22 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Matakiant]
Razma Offline
Member

Registered: 05/19/11
Posts: 36
To answer prizewriter's question in the break fall drill we fall down spring back up and assume a fighting stance and the partner pushes us back. Using a fast quick strike kind of push instead of gently pushing. Another goal of the drill is getting up fast. The second our back hits the floor our partner starts counting if they get to 5 seconds it means pushups. So we have to spring to our feet and get our footing and assume a stance quickly before we get checked.

We don't do specifically rooting drills but the partner holding the pad during punching drills is supposed to stand there without falling back. Another thing we do is during kata my sensei and his assistants go around Putting a stiff arm there when we're doing blocks.

Another thing my sensei likes to do is when we're practicing stance and techniques he goes around pushing down where he thinks we're weak. One time he pushed me straight to the ground just from pushing on my back leg from front stance.

As for the kind of sacrifice throw. We started on the ground already, starting position him sitting one foot on the ground the other cross legged. We touched hands signifying go although I didn't know that at the time and was leaning forward on my knees he grabbed my arm and guided me down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtI5CMeZ1sM

Basically, like that only we were both already on the ground and a lot softer.

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#433627 - 08/16/11 05:40 AM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Razma]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
How'd you end up face down on the floor from that lol!? I'd understand if you ended up on your back but you must be landing in an odd way if you are going face down.

What is your posture like at the start? The problem with people in BJJ is that they always think they have to be doing something. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing...just posture up, let the other person try and break your posture down.

Try this for a starting posture: Sit in Seiza, good posture, head up. This is a defensive starting posture in grappling. With good posture your opponent will have to work to pull you down and break your posture. If your posture is good as you imply it is, sitting in Seiza will give you a starting point. Don't worry about anything straight away other than keeping this posture. Even if the coach tells you to try a move, don't. Let him break you down.

Here is a posture breaking drill. You want to avoid getting pulled down like this when you are in Seiza. Note the guy posturing up has his hands on his opponents hips to reduce his movement:

_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433628 - 08/16/11 07:33 AM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Prizewriter]
MattJ Offline
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Quote:
The problem with people in BJJ is that they always think they have to be doing something. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing...just posture up, let the other person try and break your posture down.


Sometimes that can work, but the problem is - as you noted - the opponent in BJJ has also been trained to do something, so sitting there in good posture will only work for so long. The other person will be attempting sweeps or reversals. Very important to not let them get grips or wrist control.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#433629 - 08/16/11 07:41 AM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: MattJ]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Agree with that Matt, but I honestly couldn't think of anything else to advise a beginner to do over the internet. Keeping posture seemed like a good starting point. At least if Razma can get that down then Razma will have a "go to" position if Razma doesn't know what else to do. Additionally doing things like breaking grips or defending that Seiza posture is somewhere to start.

I probably shouldn't be trying to coach someone over the internet though lol!
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433630 - 08/16/11 07:55 AM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Prizewriter]
MattJ Offline
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Oh, I see. Nope, you're right. Start at step one! I was a bit ahead of myself.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#433633 - 08/16/11 03:06 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: MattJ]
BrianS Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
My primary instructor was more than difficult for anyone to take down. Wrestler, judoka,etc....He was/is exceptional in many areas though as a 4th degree black belt.

However, I was exceptionally easy to take down even after years of Goju training grin UNTIL I learned to defend the takedown (sprawl) and also learned groundfighting from those that knew it.
I like to think I'm getting much better at groundfighting. I even teach several ground techniques in my class.

Single and double leg
Sprawl
Armbar
Americana or keylock
RNC
Knee bar
Ankle lock
etc..


Edited by BrianS (08/16/11 03:08 PM)
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#433637 - 08/16/11 03:29 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: MattJ]
Razma Offline
Member

Registered: 05/19/11
Posts: 36
Coaching someone over the internet doesn't sound like a good idea, but it's great for discussion. I'd say total I have about 3 months of jiujitsu training and only one month of it is consistent practice and training.

I'm glad I tried the mixed martial arts thing. I enjoy my karate training more than the the muay thai, and I prefer the dojo experience from the gym experience with a cage, but now, I know that I can keep up with mixed martial artists with my karate training and I met a lot of good people. Plus, they send me notices on their events and it's better watching fights when you know the person fighting.

I'm going to try sitting in seiza and just stalling next time. It sounds like a good idea. Especially since so far I was the one on the offense and he just breaks my offense down like it's nothing. It's rather annoying because up till now, I was able to win sparring against other by just applying pressure until they got tired and I won.

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#433646 - 08/17/11 12:42 PM Re: Hard to take down? [Re: Razma]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Originally Posted By: Razma

It's rather annoying because up till now, I was able to win sparring against other by just applying pressure until they got tired and I won.


Welcome to BJJ! Against people where you are at more or less at the same technical level, factors like athleticism, strength, size and aggression are usually what seperates people in a fight. Roger Gracie is probably the best grappler in the world today. He's beaten pretty much every top BJJ practioner in the world. He is great technically, but what helps get him to the top of the pile is that at 6'4" and 210 lbs he is usually a lot bigger than his opponents.

You have to, as the Chinese say, "eat bitter" when you start off training. You have to accept that no matter what you want to do in BJJ, you're going to spend the first 6 months or so getting tapped out. What you've got to focus on is defense initially: staying out of dangerous positions, escaping attacks, getting in to strong positions. That, IMO, will serve you best long term.



Edited by Prizewriter (08/17/11 12:43 PM)
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"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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