Friday, March 22, 2013

The Front Face Lock: A Useful Grappling Technique?

After class, I went over a hold with Steve and Allan which comes from catch wrestling.  It is the front face lock, and I chose it for a special reason.  One of my favorite wrestlers, Chris Jericho, used it to subdue Goldberg when the latter attacked him for real backstage.  I watched Billy Robinson, who trained Kazushi Sakuraba, teach the hold on Youtube and decided to see what my boss and fellow instructor thought about it.  They pointed out several things:

1) The hold leaves your opponent's arms and legs free, which is not good when your groin is within reach.

2)  If your opponent is really strong, they can just pick you up and slam you.  In fact, Allan mentioned that this actually happened to Sakuraba during a match with Wanderlei Silva, which led to a serious injury that resulted in a doctor's stoppage.  Imagine the same thing happening to you when there aren't any referees or doctors to stop the confrontation.  Not a scenario that I want to be in. 

3) Even if they don't slam you, an experienced fighter can escape and put you in a nasty wristlock with relative ease.  Again, something that I would prefer to avoid. 


4) Even with all of the above, the front face lock can be an excellent way to set up a guillotine choke or another lethal attack.   

In other words, it's a good transitional technique.  In fact, Billy Robinson shows that you can use it to set up a takedown in the video.  We did not actually test this aspect of it in the academy, but it's definitely something that I will bring up next time. 

You can see the video here:

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