Defining the Center Line

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I have some core principles I like to focus on. I have mentioned some of these principles in other blogs I have written. For instance, I talk with my students a lot about their grappling GPA which means their ability to Grip Fight, Posture, Angle & finally Attack! One of my sayings is that the moment you stop grip fighting…you lose. Once you stop the grip fight you are going to lose either the immediate take down, pass, sweep, escape or possibly even the whole match. Once you have established your grips you want to focus on using those grips to set up your posture and angle. As an example, I may be in the top guard position and the first thing I want to do is secure my grips on the biceps to establish center control and then I can use those grips to begin posturing up. To go a step further I would want to continue bettering my grips by possibly grabbing the belt and pushing it up towards my opponents chin as I then posture up and back further toward the legs. In doing this I also want to pay attention to the angle that I am posturing as it can create more or less leverage.  Now that I have gained the dominant grips which have allowed me to posture up effectively, I am in position to begin my attack which in this situation would be the guard pass. An attack can be an escape, pass, sweep, take down, submission or any reversal in this wording. 

The order of events here is so important because if you don’t have good grips and posture before you attack you are always exposing yourself to an attack in the process. Beginners do this all the time. They are so focused on getting out, or attacking that they forget all the necessary steps that allow for them to do this effectively and they end up making their situation worse.

There is a brief moment between posturing and attacking that is also extremely valuable to your attack. In this moment you want to Define the Center Line. Defining the Center Line allows for you to determine which attack will work the best. There is both a vertical and horizontal center line. The vertical runs from your head down the center toward your feet. Your horizontal runs across your hips. Defining the Center Line can be done in so many different ways based on what situation you are in. Let me give you a real obvious example.

Let’s say you are in under the mount and you want to do a bridge escape. Once you have won the grip fight by trapping your opponents arm and leg and have postured your feet and body to perform a strong bridge, you have to take note as to whether your opponent is more on the left or right of your vertical center line. If I have trapped my opponents arm and leg on the left side but he is leaning real heavy to the right side to defend, to then continue the bridge to the left would be a waste of time & energy. Maybe I would rather bridge to the right quickly without trapping his arm or leg and as he bases out to defend, I would shrimp out on the right side where space is created. Defining the center line can help me preserve energy & make my efforts way more efficient.

In short, you must focus on your Grappling GPA and in that moment between posturing effectively and attacking, you want to make sure you define the center line in order to choose the best attack.  

Since there is so much to discuss when it comes to defining the center line, I have created a video so that we can get into more detail without confusion. I want you to have a clear picture in your mind of the examples given in the video because Defining the Center Line can drastically improve the effectiveness of your attacks. Check it out…