Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Memoirs of the "KK" The Kesa Gatame headlock

Probably the most successful grappling hold in my arsenal is the "KK" headlock.
This is a nickname for a judo hold called kesa gatame.
However I learned this hold in "folkstyle" amateur wrestling.
The difference being that in judo I would not simply be concerned with gripping the body but also the sleeve. This is probably the most successful hold in my grappling arsenal.
    I have pinned men 70lbs heavier than I in matches with this hold. I even scored a pin fall on a high school state champion with this hold. I have tapped out practitioners in Brazilian jujitsu, ninjitsu, judo and a Lion's Den student just before he fought at UFC.
It is a simple hold. A headlock which includes an arm. Having your opponent on the ground and laying atop them. It seems sure to be countered, yet it is also sure to accomplish it's task.
They key to accomplishing a pin fall or tap out is to understand that the KK is not a still statuesque lock. It is a process.
    You have two areas, possibly three points of concentration you can be most potent. The chest, throat and head. You also can smother the mouth. I don't think it is possible to get everything accomplished at once. and yet if you stay at only one area of concentration you will most likely be countered. However, if you master riding your opponent out, victory is inevitable.
   To me, the most essential of these areas is atop the chest. You anchor your body by the hold of the collar and elbow. Make sure that you are high on the elbow around the triceps muscle and funny bone. If you pass the elbow towards the forearm, your opponent will escape. Your locking around the head should be under the ear.You should lay your back on the opponents chest. At the minimum, make sure that you have placed your shoulder further than there breast and over the heart. Yet don't want your shoulders passing your opponents opposite arm. At this point bridge with your legs, in order that all your weight focuses squarely on the chest. Your balance will be found in between the grip of the elbow and the bridge on the chest.
    Now this is not a pain lock, yet by concentrating your weight, you are supplying a slow suffocation. This takes a little longer to affect and yet it is much faster than you think. If you fail at suffocation entirely, your opponent will begin to weaken which will help over all in accomplishing victory.
    You can also roll over and shift your weight to your opponents head. This is useful causing a great deal of pain and discomfort and pressure to the cranium. Yet be careful. This is also the weakest part of the series and is most easy to counter. Because in going for the kill, you have allowed your opponent full range of motion. where they can easily slip out or roll you over. I really prefer not use this technique with the exception of losing the ride anyway and simply having this strategy as a last resort. Or in the case of a weaker opponent using the head crank as a means of intimidation for an early submission.
Smothering the mouth can also be a very intimidating tactic. if your opponent is frightened by the lack of air they will get excited and suffocate quicker. Another tactic you can use is to wrap the arm that you have trapped around there head. these tactics are effective but never forget they are risky. You must not lose your balance over the opponents chest in the process. otherwise you will be countered.
  Finally a safer approach is to crank your opponents head toward you as you ride on the chest. This neck crank will accomplish the goal while giving you greater balance.
  There are many ways to apply this hold.  The key is to acquire a lock from the front of the armpit and neck.  Most popular is from a standing position. You acquire the lock and then perform a hip toss.(we will cover that hold later.) Even if on your back, with your opponent on top. you can apply the lock and pull them into a somersault.  Keeping hold of the lock and twisting 180degrees you can accomplish a reversal with your self in control of a "KK".
The lock can be escaped if your opponent rolls into you digs his opposite forearm in, bridges his legsand slips his headout.  It can also be countered if your opponent pulls into you and hooks your legand rolls you onto your shoulders.  It can also be countered if your opponenet pokes your eyes and hooks your head in a figure four head lock.
The key to the first two is maintaining the balance of your back. and using a strong grip on the funnybone while bridging your legs. When your head is attacked roll into your opponent crushing there cranium temporarily until they release. but be careful to roll back quickly to maintain balance and dominance. In a no holds barred situation. you can lock the funny bone with one hand and strike up the nose with the other hand.  Just remember that these tactics ust be quick or you will lose your position.
  When going through this series, it reminds me that a battle is rarely one single incident, but instead a process.If you have any major battle whether physical, mental, political or spiritual.  You have to look at the big picture.  You must be ready to complete the process and not be set back by a short term plan.