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Roy Harris >> Importance of the Bridge...


3/27/12 4:11 AM
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Roy Harris
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The bridge, in my opinion, is the most important fundamental movement in all of Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / Wrestling. Why do I think that way? Well, consider the following:

 

1. It is needed for most of your positional escapes.

2. It is needed when the shrimping / snaky move escapes won't work.

3. It is needed to create space.

4. It is sometimes needed to set up your shrimping movements.

5. It is one of three unstoppable movements.

6. It is needed for most of your submissions.

7. It is the most important movement for the health and development of your posterior chain.

8. When it is taught correctly, it develops the proper mindset.

 

Now, I know there are a handful of students / instructor who have thrown out the Upa / bridge and roll escape technique from the bottom of the mount. Hopefully, you're not one of them. Here's why I hope you're not one of them:

 

1. This technique lays a "mental foundation" for the most important movement in all of grappling.

2. This technique sets the tone for many of your "other" bridging techniques (i.e. the sprawl, the arm lock, the guillotine choke, the footlocker, etc…)

3. This technique will strengthen your posterior chain, if it is taught properly.

 

So, since many of you know HOW to perform the bridge and roll technique, allow me shed some light on WHEN you perform it. Let me tell it to you in a story:

 

Some time ago, in a far far away land, one of the brown belts in my association got the notion that the bridge and roll technique was no longer needed. He believed what others were telling him about this particular technique and he decided to teach this mindset to his students. I caught wind of this and decided to give this instructor an experience he would never forget.

 

At the end of the instruction, I decided to roll with a bunch of students. When it was this instructor's turn to roll with me, I made sure to let him pass my guard, side mount and then mount on top of me. As soon as he mounted, I positioned myself precisely where I needed to be and then waited for the specific position and pressure needed to execute the bridge and roll technique. When they presented themselves, I bridged and roll this instructor off of me. Long story short, the instructor was disappointed with his performance.

 

We kept rolling. I allowed him to mount on top of me again. Again, I waited until the position and pressure presented itself, and then I rolled him off of me with ease. The instructor was now "frustrated."

 

Continued...

3/27/12 4:12 AM
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Roy Harris
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We kept rolling. I allowed him to mount on top of me again and again. I bridged and rolled him six times in a row. I wanted him to get the message. At first, he didn't get the message - because he thought the bridge and roll technique was a worthless technique and because he punched the mat in frustration on my sixth bridge and roll escape. 

 

When we finished rolling, I shook his hand firmly and told him, "Don't forget to train your basics. Neither you nor I are above the basics. Keep training your basics!"

 

I am proud to say he finally got the message  :-)

 

So, WHEN is the appropriate time to bridge and roll someone? Here are the conditions that you need to make this simple technique work:

 

1. Their knees need to be touching, preferably squeezing against, your ribs.

2. Their weight needs to be driving forward just a little bit.

3. One of their arms needs to be fully committed to your head, neck, shoulder or arm.

 

WHEN all three conditions are met, you can easily bridge and roll someone off of you who is unsuspecting. 

 

Of course, this is not something a beginning level student can do against an experienced level practitioner - because it requires a higher level of awareness and timing (something most beginning level students don't possess). However, it is something an experienced level practitioner can do against another experienced level practitioner - I know because I have used this technique against a ton of experienced people, on three different continents.

 

Now, I can hear some of you saying, "Yeah, but what if I don't commit my weight or my arms. How will you escape then?" 

 

My response: "I will use a different, and more appropriate technique. For you see, knowing HOW to do a technique is the stuff of beginning level students. Knowing WHEN to perform a technique is the stuff of intermediate level students. And, since I have been an intermediate level student for a little over a decade now, I know a little about the topic of WHEN. So, if your arm is not committed and your weight is held back, there are two "other" more appropriate techniques ;-)

 

So, for all you intermediate level students, I hope I have given you some food for thought. I hope you run with this and make it your own!

 

Good training to you,

 

Roy Harris

www.royharris.com


3/27/12 7:13 AM
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beauregard
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Excellent article Mr. Harris, especially the "when" part. Thank you.
1/17/13 4:48 AM
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Sebastiaan
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Going to start practicing bridge/roll again. Thx.
3/1/13 7:56 PM
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Roy Harris
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Thanks!


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