Wednesday, May 11, 2011

my hips are joined to my brain

No, my brain and hips aren't directly physically joined. :-)

But I made an interesting observation in class the other day. It was a repeat of the same thing happening under slightly different circumstances the week before. Only it didn't strike me the first time.

We were doing something which involved step one (do X), then step 2:  hip out, then step three: something else etc. I found that I automatically did the hip out step while I did step one. It was like my hips were on autopilot, and knew where they had to be for the next move. I can't recall what we did, but I remember that it was a known patten. So knowing where I needed to be, I automatically lined up for the next move in the progression. Step 2, the hipping out, happened without conscious thought.

The week before, we did some X-guard entries in our no-gi class. The guy I drilled the moves with is fairly new. He's young and strong (plays footy), and found all the moves no particular challenge. However, he had to make a deliberate effort to add in the hipping out step, which was critical to being lined up properly. I had trouble getting my old achy body doing some of the moves, BUT I automatically did the hipping out as part of the move before, because I/my body KNEW where it had to be to do the next move.

I only realised the significance of that on Saturday, when it happened the second time (well, the second time I took notice of it).

I have recently made a special effort to use my hips more, especially in escapes. As a result, I've noticed that when we drill hip escapes, they are becoming more powerful and more effortless. And concurrently, I have more luck regaining guard. That makes sense. Most intesting though is what I'm calling the brain-hip connection. My brain is starting to be on autopilot when I move, telling the hips to do their stuff. The result of that is more efficient movement and more "spare" brainpower to deal with other grappling problems.

Is that progress or what??  :-)


  1. I'm right there with ya. My second month or so, my instructor's wife told me "you have big hips, they will be helpful." I'm still slow to use them, but I'm getting there.

    Yay hip-brain connection!

  2. Well, I've been BJJing (new terminology, ha!) for well over two years now, and it took me that long to figure out how to use the hips.

    But now, when we do hip escapes up the mat, I out-hip-escape the young guns :-)

    So don't give up. Think HIPS. Think hips ALL the time, and it'll come :-) Eventually they just happen.