Specific boxing hands positions

Where do you guys like to position your forearms when using the "boxing hands" posture against side control? I mean when you're on the bottom.

I see at least 3 variations of this posture:

  1. One forearm under the throat and one on the hip. The problem I've had with this posture is against strong guys - I don't feel I've got good enough leverage to push on the hips with just one arm. And the far arm's effect on the windpipe can be minimized by the top guy if he moves his head.

  2. One forearm under the throat and the other one under the chest. I'm starting to like this one perhaps the most because it seems to give optimial leverage for creating space between your chest and his, but then you have to switch to another posture (f.ex. the far underhook posture or both arms stiff-arming the hip/leg area). Oh well.

  3. Both forearms under the chest. I'm not sure if this one has any advantages over the second posture.

Which one do you like and why? It sure would be nice to have a few comments.



One by his hip and one by his neck.

This gives me enough power to push his hips away, creating space to pull guard. It also helps when I want to drive the hand framed on his neck under his shoulder so I can get to my knees.

triso, I find that when I try to push on his hips like that, and he's much stronger than me AND he's pinching my hip between his elbow and his knee, I just can't shrimp away and pull guard.

"I just can't shrimp away and pull guard."

I don't know about you but if the top guy has any skillz, I can never just shrimp away and pull guard. I think in your situation you would want to relax and wait for them to shift their weight or change their position before you start your escape, especially when they are much heavier.

If you must get out (eg in a comp and you're down on points and they are just holding on) ... well, I would probably just lose, personally, but you could try working with position #3...that one gives you the strongest chance of swimming for an underhook, and in that situation you're gonna need to alternate between bumping, shrimping, pulling guard, and going to your knees to escape.

(2) is the best for me. If you can´t create space with your hips and far frame don´t even think of pushing on the hip with your near frame (on the hip or whatever) - you will only get it killed.

But Jonpall... I wouldn´t consider 2 boxing posture. The point of boxing posture is (3) - two arms under chest to prevent chest to chest contact. Forearm under throat is already a different thing in function IMO.

Indrek, that was a very good post. Thanks. But there is something about your second paragraph that confuses me for some reason.

Did Twinkle Toes not have some pretty sweet video instruction on this topic on his web site/my space?

ttt for link

What I meant with the second paragrpah was that boxing posture as in your (3) - "two forearms under chest" functions completely differently from "forearm under throat postures (1) and (2). So I would not consider them variations of one posture but rather two different forms of posture (1 and 2 are variations of the same theme). I´d say (3) is even more similar to straight jacket than forearm-under-throat in the way it functions.


You are missing one of the most fundamental of postures:

Near--side forearm on his hip, the other arm underhooking his far arm (his arm closest to your feet) - when you can't shrimp out with posture under the throat, this posture allows you to reach your hand up (as high as you can towards the ceiling), and then push him DIAGONALLY off you using your bicep in his armpit.  This posture works great for two reasons:

1. It removes his elbow from trapping your hips, allowing you to shrimp/snake
2. It removes the weight off your chest, pushing it beside you, which allows you to get on your side easier

If he counters this posture by putting his weight on his far arm, you reach around and grab his gi or his lat, shrimp your hips INTO him, and DRIVE that forearm that's on his hip at a 45 degree angle towards your feet and towards the opposite side he is pinning from.  KEEP YOUR HIPS ON THE FLOOR however, a beginner mistake is to try to bridge, which defeats the angle you are pushing him towards.

So, let's say my opponent is pinning me on my right side.  I put my right forearm in his hip, and try to establish posture with my left forearm under his throat.  When/if that fails, I will BRIDGE to make space, and then slide my left arm under his right armpit.  I may need to bridge a second time, or I may not, but I want my BICEP to be in his armpit.  I then drive my bicep at a 45 degree angle to my right and over my head, turning onto my right side and moving my hips away from him.  If he counters by putting all his weight towards his right side, then I reach my left hand around his back, grab around the outside of his lat (lattisimus dorsi muscle), and then pull his lat and simultaneously DRIVE my right forearm into his hip, pulling/pushing him at a 45 degree angle towards my feet and my left side, as I first pin both my own hips flat to the floor, and then move my hips to my right as I feel his weight reach centerpoint on my hips.  With a gi, I would have the options of grabbing his gi or his belt instead of his lat, and optionally gripping his belt (at the side of his hip) with my right hand instead of using my forearm on his hip. 

I find that when escaping, it is necessary to be able to alternate directions in the blink of an eye, in order to defeat the pins of more experienced grapplers.  If you are locked into the "I've got to shrimp my hips away" mentality, you will only get so far.  I'm not familiar with it being called "boxing hands position," so if I'm missing something here that you are specifically focusing on, then I apologize (and please explain).  But without the escape I just described to mix in with the postures you listed, I find it extremely difficult to escape against someone with developed skills, or that are bigger/stronger, precisely because of their ability to "kill" the posture both under their throat and under their hip, either singly or in combination.

Let me know if that all makes sense to you.


ttt for jonpall

Adam, the far underhook IS actually a part of my arsenal, but thanks for that GREAT post. I liked the parts about bridging to insert the underhook and also rolling the guy over to set up the shrimp.

Since I got you on the subject Adam, it would actually be interesting to hear how you use those moves against someone who's crossfacing you (either fully or partially) - and you've got a gi on.


If he is in side control on my right, and crossfaces me:

I put my right hand in his left armpit and my left hand on the left side of his neck or on the front of his left shoulder.  Then I BRIDGE - and right at the very top of the bridge I will bench-press and straighten my arms to remove the weight (and the crossface).  I will then bridge a second time, using the sustained-space to insert my underhook under his right armpit, turning onto my right side as my hips come back down and snake/shrimp to my left, throwing his weight to my right and over my head at the same time.  Works like a charm, gi or no-gi, even if he's got his hand grasping my lapel.  The great part is, if he insists on maintaining a grip on my lapel with his left hand, he risks getting put on HIS back after I shrimp and go to my knees, driving my weight into him......... his grip anchors his "far" hand to me and destroys his base.  I would of course drive my weight at that same 45-degree angle (to my right and over my head from when I was on my back).  Won't usually get the turnover on anyone more than once, though, but it DOES inspire them to remove that grip, and you might get an opportunity to take his back out of the deal as well.

It would be interesting to see you perform this on a videoclip, actually :) But when I attempt to do something similar to shit, I always feel that you're going too strength against strength. It feels like it takes too much power to do. Maybe I'm doing it incorrectly, I don't know. Thanks.

I'll see if I can do a videoclip sometime next week (still got to get the armbar escapes clip up too). 

It really doesn't take much strength at all, because you are just playing with your opponents posts and his balance.  By offbalancing him with the bridge, it doesn't take much to redirect the weight.  You are NOT "lifting" him - you are just "pushing" him (and you aren't pushing him straight up either, but at an angle to the side).