February 9, 2012

Self Defense and Headlock Escapes

Headlocks are rarely utilized in BJJ because they are considered to be neither a very technical nor very practical pinning position. However not training your headlock escapes is a massive mistake! Let’s examine why.

Let’s first examine a self defense street fight scenario where the fight goes to the ground. Keep in mind when an untrained person ends up on the ground that ninety-nine out of hundred times he’ll wrap his arm around your neck or head and hold on for dear life because it is what feels natural. Since this is the only strategy the that untrained assailant may have he will be very likely to single-mindedly hang onto the headlock. This determination in itself can make the headlock a painful experience and escaping the hold quite difficult.

Next let’s account for other grappling arts; judo, sambo and wrestling for instance, which DO have pinning positions that utilize headlocks or look alot like headlocks. What’s even worse is that there are lots of ways to choke, armlock and leglock somebody from these positions. In fact, if you know what to do from there and your opponent doesn’t know how to counter or escape then it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

You ABSOLUTELY NEED TO HAVE some good headlock escapes you can rely on!!!

Just like everything else in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, in order to get good at something you need to do it “for real” during training. Since you hardly ever encounter headlocks during sparring dealing with them in a real down and dirty street fight can be awkward you might not know what to do and won’t be used to dealing with that particular threat.

Here is a video of an effective headlock escape. If you know all the details and do it correctly you can escape even the nastiest headlock applied by a larger, heavier opponent!

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