Roy Harris >> Question for Mr. Harris
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|3/19/08 4:31 PM|
Edited: 19-Mar-08 04:38 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Mr. Harris, I was reading through some of the old Monthly H.I. updates on your website and came across a link to an old post on your forums about footwork. In it you say: " From our perspective, the most important elements of stand up fighting are footwork and balance. The most important elements of groundwork are hip movement and head positioning. So, footwork is to kickboxing what hip movement is to groundwork: Essential and fundamental!" My question is about head positioning. In my limited experience in BJJ, I realize the importance of hip movement (obviously someone with more experience and higher awareness realizes this point on a much deeper level). But I don't completely see the head positioning aspect. I wanted to list what I came up with and just wondered if you could elaborate on the importance of head positioning (and add and/or correct what I came up with). First the old axiom where the head goes the body follow. Head positioning is important for your posture when in closed guard. Your head needs to be in certain positions at certain times to protect/defend against choke and collar attacks as well as some other submissions. Position of your head at certain times can aid in positional control. The positioning and adjusting of your head can effect your base and balance. Head positioning is key in passing guard. I look forward to your response. Thanks for your time.
|3/20/08 11:02 AM|
Member Since: 01/01/2001
For the beginning level student (1 month to five years), head positioning is important, but not crucial. I say this because positioning the head is something that requires a higher level of awareness to self.
Most beginners have an already hard enough time trying to focus on the positional basics. I write this because the positional basics are boring to most beginning level students. They find it more fun and interesting to focus on sweeps and submissions.
When do I begin to focus on head positioning with students? When they begin to ask more complicated questions. For example, when students ask, "How do I pass the closed guard?", I know they are not ready for something simple like head positioning. However, when the ask, "I am having difficulty passing the guard right at the point in time when I uncross the ankles. I tend to get caught in triangles and guillotine chokes quite often and I am not sure why." I know they are ready - because they have asked a more complicated question AND the question is directly related to head positioning.
In the beginning of head positioning, everything matters. Placing one's head up, away and in centerline is important in some situation. In others, the head is placed down, in centerline and very close to the opponent's body. And, in other situations, the head is placed half way between fully up and fully down, and off centerline. Everything is relative to the opponent's position.
However, for me to spend a considerable amount of time on the topic, I need to student who is aware of himself (and his body) AND is willing to spend a considerable amount of time paying attention to where their head is positioned and how it affects the positional basics. Only then can I teach head positioning from all of the basic positions.
The points you have written above are right on!
Good training to you,
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