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Bodybuilding vs. Martial Arts

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Раздел Боевые исскусства
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If you would like to know opinion on bodybuilding in connection with/versus martial arts you should read this opinion. Here are some methods and strategies which have worked very well for me against bodybuilders and musclebound body types. Better yet, when any martial artist had any experience in combat against a non-MA bodybuilder, I mean, the seriously built-up type, not the once-a-week-at-the-gym type. Who often go to the gym and flex their biceps say something like “well yeah? that’s what I think”. I asked instructors about this, but the answer is usually a standard-type MA=supreme one, like “I bet SOME areas aren’t built up… My advice is to pay particular attention to the grappling sections.

Stand-Up Fighting Against a Bodybuilder
A lot of it has to do with range. Bodybuilders are generally pretty quick at stand-up fighting, although they are very tense and tire quickly. They tend to hit rigidly and telegraph their punches, using mostly arm and shoulder. They also have predictable range — i.e. you know what their extended reach is — since their forward movement and attack is not very elastic. Tense fighters always disclose their range. Bodybuilders are generally as tense as they come.
Kicks to the legs are what you want to use. Bodybuilders generally (not always) are not all that mobile, so you kick their legs. Front or side of the thigh is very good — pin that elongated muscle against the bone with your shin. Very painful. Also, inside the shin. Sometimes they have bigger, denser legs (again, not always, surprisingly) so you go for the knee joint. If a muscle shot doesn’t do it, then kicking inside the knee joint will do the trick — shuffle in at a 45 degree angle. You’ve got to kick it hard, and if you do you will destabilize the knee in its weakest direction. Down he goes. This is standard Muay Thai. DO NOT do this when sparring with your friends. You’ll mess up their knee. It’s for fighting only.

Grappling Against a Bodybuilder
I like to grapple against bodybuilders, because all of that muscle doesn’t help them much when you take away the space to create any kinetic energy. When in tight, unusually large musculature actually *hinders* the person’s ability in several important ways — they can’t achieve optimal range of motion to actually *use* their muscles, they struggle and become tired very quickly, and the sheer bulk of their muscles makes it difficult for them to create space and escape.
We’ll look at several scenarios.

Keeping Top Position
In grappling, bodybuilders tend to have about 20 seconds’ worth of fight in them before they’re breathing heavily and begging you to get off of them. Again, they tend to overuse their arms. From underneath, they try to bench press you off of them, which doesn’t work if you know how to turn your hips, shift your base, and maintain a stable side control. Generally, all they have from underneath is the “push with the arms and bridge” — no hip mobility, so it’s relatively easy to control such a person. They tend to work either in big bursts or steady rigid armed extending. Usually 2 or 3 bursts is all they have.

Bodybuilder Inside Your Guard
When inside your guard, again they overuse their arms. They can be tough to catch with the cross armlock, but usually will succumb in short order if you are persistent and keep chewing up that arm, pulling at the elbow, and tiring out his lat on that side (remember to rotate the hips fully). I haven’t met the bodybuilder or musclebound person on the mat that I couldn’t get this on. The tiring of the lat on that side will also make him more susceptible to the triangle choke, although you have to have long legs to be able to lock it in properly against someone who is very thick — very important to think about, as you might give away the pass.
In general, work a high closed guard to tire out his arms.

Suseptibility to Certain Finishes
Bodybuilders are *especially* susceptible to entangled armlocks — these are your “figure four” armlocks, which hyper-rotate the shoulder (all variations — aka keylock, ude garami, “Americana”, “Kimura”). They are very, very susceptible to these. The reason for this is that their shoulders are tight. You barely have to rotate the joint before they are literally screaming, before they even begin to tap. For instance, from side control you’re going for the far arm, you’ve got the wrist pinned, and as soon as your other hand comes in under his arm to grab your own wrist, the slight rotation of the shoulder caused by your hand coming under which raises his elbow off the ground is enough to cause great pain. Very little follow-through is generally needed in shoulder locks against bodybuilders.

Modified Entangled Armlock Against a Bodybuilder
Also, you can catch most bodybuilders in an entangled armlock with your arm still around his neck and holding the far wrist from side control. This is notable, since with most people, you must bring your elbow of the arm that holds the wrist to the *far* side of his neck and position it there to complete the shoulder lock. But against people with really big, tight shoulders you often don’t have to do this. This can make for a very tight shoulder lock, since your arm around his neck braces your positioning of his wrist before reaching under to grab your own wrist and flex. Doing it this way enables you to use your shoulder of the arm that is around his neck as a sort of cross face, and it also enables you to keep more of your weight on the side of him where you base sits.
Of course, you can always get the figure four in place, and then bring your elbow to the far side to complete the armlock if necessary.

Following It Up If He Tries to Save That Arm
If he reaches in with his other arm — the near arm — to save that far arm that you’re torquing, you can then pin it with your chest, feed that wrist to the arm around his neck that was holding his far wrist, step over to a posted mount, and now you’ve got him wrapped. His near arm is now wrapped around his own neck, which can be used as a lever to hold him there or turn him. From here, you can thread through and go to a cross armlock, continue turning him to get his back, or hit him from the posted mount position with your free hand. Good solid position — a favorite of mine.

Bodybuilder with Top Position
Last of all, when a bodybuilder has a top position in grappling, they tend to give a lot of room underneath, which enables you to reachieve the guard pretty easily. They can be tough to overturn, however, so it’s often a good idea to start off by getting your guard instead of trying to overturn his side control. From there, you can either reverse him, get his back, work back to your feet, or wear him down with the guard. Bodybuilders have a very dense feel to them, which can make reversals difficult.
by Frank Benn spall7@hotmail.com and
Wilson Leung.

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