Search This Blog


Black Holes

Black holes are theoretical astrophysical phenomena that are the proposed result of a star collapsing on itself and creating a gravity field so intense that even massless light is attracted to and consumed by it. Gravity and "holes" are the themes of today's blog.
Anterior-Posterior Unbalancing
The stepping fields following anterior-posterior unbalancing
When kazushi (unbalancing) is applied in the anterior-posterior direction your opponent will either step forward or backward on the side with the most pull/push
Lateral Unbalancing
The stepping fields following lateral unbalancing
When kazushi (unbalancing) is applied in the lateral direction your opponent will most likely step sideways with or against the pull/push
Sweeps in BJJ/submission wrestling and throws are essentially the same thing, the former is performed while in horizontal plane while the latter occurs more in the vertical plane. When someone throws or sweeps well the universal concept of giving vs. taking occurs: Your partner gives you the sweep or throw rather you taking it (aside: does this make a takedown a give-up?). This is not to say that physicality has nothing to do with throwing or sweeping technique, just that physical strength only gets you so far. In order to be receive the gift of a throw or sweep, we must sometimes convince our opponent to give it. Hence the concept of the Black Hole, the overt or subtle removal of a base or post that allows a throw/takedown/sweep to be performed effortlessly.
In throws and takedowns we need to displace our opponent slightly and use this dynamic change in equilibrium to perform the throw. The Black Hole is denying reestablishment of equilibrium by re-posting the foot, head, or hand). That is, your opponent falls into the "gravity well" created by denying them the repositioning of their limbs and center of mass. The Black Hole effect can be prior to, during, or after the dynamic disturbance to their "stance". For example, if you shot a single and secure the leg it behooves you to push or pull your opponent into the spot where they would normally use their leg to regain their balance or fall. In the second case, we can deny them their balance by shooting the single and switching to a double catching their "free" leg and denying the re-post opportunity. In the final case, we use the aftereffects of the disturbance to open the Black Hole. If we push, our opponent typically pulls and vice versa. Thus an arm drag or head snap sets up the single leg by their aftereffects not their initiation.
Thus we test our opponents, pulling and pushing them to see what they will do and how this will feed us a takedown. Most people work well on the primary linear axes of anterior-posterior and lateral directions. We back step and side step in daily life all the time. When circular and diagonals are introduced this becomes more difficult. In addition, more than one Black Hole can be opened by working diametrically opposite and perpendicular angles. Well coordinated athletes can defend one Black Hole but not two or more. If we have secured one limb and threaten to trip one way or dump the other, they not only have to battle for balance but also calculate the odds of you taking them two different directions and the chance of switching up.
Limb quadrants depicted on da Vinci's Vitruvian
On the ground neutralizing the triangular base is the key part of sweeping and reversing position. With apologies to Leonardo da Vinci, we can divide the human body roughly in quadrants. Each limb's base overlaps with the one closest to it, thus the left arm's area shares balance duties with the opposite arm and left leg. As with throwing we must create a Black Hole, wherein gravity is stronger than our opponent's base. The easiest way to do this is to shut down the limb in the direction where no overlap is possible, roughly the diagonals off the primary axes. However sweeps can also proceed in overlap directions by securing both limbs in overlap areas. In any case, we must deny the reestablishment of base by securing limbs.
Triangular base switch-ups depicted on da Vinci's Vitruvian
On the ground it is often more difficult to create the Black Hole effect. Your opponent can reestablish their base in many more ways. They can create a new base triangle by repositioning a foot or hand, as well as using the head, opposite foot or hand to create a new vertex of a triangular base. However, by controlling appropriate limbs and positioning yourself we can still open a "gravity friendly" path to the mat for your opponent. In addition to the push-pull energy of stand-up throwing sweeps have a lifting component, e.g. hooks inside or double foot sweep to biceps, that allows another way to open the Black Hole.

No comments: