Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Badger Johnson - Can Trapping Work?

The question is, “Can Trapping Work”

I think if you broaden the idea of 'trapping' it certainly can work.

First, define what trapping is. It’s the immobilization of a limb, the body or anything in the midst of combat that will fix or slow or impede the opponent.

As far as ‘arm trapping’, which most people focus on, you also have to have studied the most robust methods available in the 'elbow-to-elbow' range for THAT type of trapping to work.

Here's an example of broadening the idea of trapping:

1. Trapping the opponent's intent. Here you are causing the opponent to 'pause' either physically or mentally. A loud 'ki-ai', which momentarily startles the opponent will trap his intent. A pinch, a grab, even a slap can cause a momentary pause or flinch, creating an opening.

I would suggest though that you also have to have some unbalancing, or forcing the opponent to ‘weight’ his stance so that he can’t take a step or his weight is forward. The trap requires at least two points of immobilization. One is the prime element, the other is the movement or the feet or bodyweight or center of gravity.

2. Trapping the opponent's limbs. A trip, a catch behind the knee, grabbing the foot to sweep are all 'traps'. They aren't necessarily 'flow traps', they just prevent stabilization of the Center of Gravity (CoG). You also have to do something to cause weighting or unweighting so as to immobilize their escape just for a fraction of time.

3. Trapping the opponent's head. Here you have the Thai clinch, a neck capture, a neck throw, even a neck crank and a nutcracker from top control will prevent the movement of the head. Up against a wall, putting your weight on the opponent's head prevents the takedown attempt. You are not so much improving the attack as defending or thwarting it.

4. Trapping the opponent's motion, as in cutting off the ring is a form of it.

5. Trapping the opponent's grip. Wrist control, Kimura, trapping the hand which has grabbed the lapel to lock the arm into position are all examples. As you trap the grip you have control of the joints now available.

6. Trapping the opponent's wrist at the extension of a punch. Here, you have to also unbalance the opponent by extending his energy off center and making his weight go to the front foot.

7. Trapping the opponent's weight. You make them put their weight on one foot or another, which temporarily prevents them from stepping. Judo does this all the time.

8. Trapping the opponent's body - grapevine, crucifix, total hold down, back control with hooks in, top control with hooks in and flattening out, and various body locks all trap the opponent's body. You gain the ability to apply leverage and to either lock in a submission or use the free hands or feet to strike.

9. Trapping the opponent's will. Beginners can sometimes tap out just by smothering top control. You take something away, freedom, feeling of not being able to breathe, space, causing panic.

10. Various foul tactics - fish hooking, small joint manipulations (Wally Jay's small circle JJ), hair grabbing, toe locks can be used to control movement.

So make your traps function by changing center of gravity, preventing movement or freedom, pinning a limb, the head or the body, and if you do the typical centerline trapping, have mastered the various wrestling moves done in that range (whizzers, single-collar ties, over and under hooking) as well and use them together. Be aware that you must functionalize these and as stated above you should be trapping or weighting their movement to prevent escape during the primary trap.

Also don’t limit your definition of trapping. Find ways that set up and make your traps work and train them against a variety of opponents. For more on this see the youtube videos that Roy Harris has done, showing how he scoop traps a punch and making his opponent put his weight on this lead foot. This makes all the difference sometimes.

Badger Johnson 1/8/2015

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NOTE:  My sincerest appreciation for Badger's gracious consent for permission to archive his essay to my site.

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Unknown said...

Like that! About time we see this expanded as it should be and not just arm traps.


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