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Head Games - How Controlling Your Opponent's Head Can Lead To Victory

There’s an old wrestling maxim that says something along the lines of “where the head goes, the body will follow.” If you wrestled in high school like I did, this was ingrained in your head by your coach. It was one of those things that he just always fell back on. This same principle also applies to riding a motorcycle or even driving, sort of.

With driving, or riding a motorcycle for that matter, this is more about where your eyes and where you’re looking. Have you ever driven past an accident off the side of the road and you, just like everyone else, rubber-neck, slow down, and turn your head over to the shoulder to see what happened. We’ve all done it, I get it, but did you notice that by turning your head you also subconsciously also started drifting over to where you were looking? When riding a motorcycle, this is even more important because you’re much more exposed to the elements. You’re taught not to get fixated on any one object or portion of the road, but rather look down the road and keep your head straight.

The reasoning behind why you start drifting over the the side your head is turned is before your head controls the rest of your body - and that is very important to those of us who dabble in jiu-jitsu. Honestly, controlling the head is one of those fundamentals that you should’ve learned as from the beginning and if you didn’t, you’re at the wrong gym. Think about it this way, your head is atop of the spinal column. Your opponent’s head is their body’s steering wheel. As you crank their head one way, their body is naturally going to want to turn that way as well and you should be taking full advantage of that when rolling on a mat. By controlling your opponent’s head, you’re controlling their body’s action. In addition, you can put them in some very uncomfortable positions.

Think about your head movement next time you’re rolling and also notice your opponent’s head. Control their head and you’ll control them. See you on the mat.

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