Dominant, Mobile, & Reversible

Freedom is the ability to maintain a diverse set of options in spite of chaos and discomfort.

In this image, we see Reyadh and his partner rolling (sparring in a ground grappling context) for submissions. Reyadh is in top mount, a clearly dominant position, but he is trying to attain a higher mounted position to stack the deck in his favor even more. The power to escape the mount position comes primarily from the hips and the legs, via bumping and shrimping. By securing a higher mounted position, Reyadh puts himself futher away from his partner’s hips and legs, thus making the position easier to maintain. This higher position, with Reyadh’s knees high in his partners’ armpits, also makes it easer for Reyadh to attack and more difficult for his partner to defend with his hands. Finally, because of the compromised position that the high mount puts the defender’s hands in, Reyadh is also able to get out of this position to retreat or address other potential threats more easily than from a traditional hip-to-hip mount becuase his opponent can not easily hug him and keep him in the position against his will.

The grappling in Taikyoku Budo focuses on attaining and attacking from dominant, mobile, and reversable positions. High mount is a good example of all three of these principles in action. Dominance is measured by tori’s (the attacker or ‘taker) ability to attack with uke (the defender or ‘receiver’) having little or no defenses available. Normally, tori’s goal is to flank uke, but high mount is an exception where tori attacks uke head on. High mount is also a mobile position because it allows tori the ability to move to even more dominant positions as uke defends tori’s attacks. It is also a position in motion, in that tori is free to attack while those attacks set up better opportunities, if not a direct win. For a position to be reversible, it must allow tori the option to attack, to secure the position indefinitely via pinning, as well as the freedom to disengage and flee if necessary. Dominant, mobile, and reversible positions give tori, in this case Reyadh, the abiity to make the best choice for the circumstance instead of painting oneself into a corner with no exit strategy.

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is a practitioner of Taikyoku Budo and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu at Kogen Dojo

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