Limb Coiling

Keep your limbs coiled close to your core, ready to strike.

In particular:

  • Keep your chin down, with your shoulders hunched to make it harder for your opponent to secure a grip on your neck
  • Keep your elbows pinched tight to your core
  • Keep your knees bent and loaded.

You want your limbs coiled in this manner because:

  1. by keeping your extremities closer to your core, you make it harder for your opponent to isolate and control your limbs
  2. coiling your limbs allows you to “load up” and create bursts of force when the moment is right.

Consider how a snake coils itself, contracting vulnerable areas of its body and spring-loading itself to strike.  This is how you want to position your body in Jiu-Jitsu.

Limb coiling works because of the 3 Joint Rule: if your opponent cannot control 2/3 or more of the joints in your limb, they cannot control the limb. Limb coiling denies your opponent access to your elbow or knee, making it harder for them to control your limbs.

When it’s okay to extend your limbs:

By default, your limbs should be coiled. You can extend them when:

  1. There’s a productive reason for doing so, and
  2. You can extend them without your opponent gaining lever control.

When the timing is right, extend your limbs to generate force against your opponent.  When extending your limbs, ensure your opponent cannot counter the effort by grabbing the limb you’re extending.  If you are in a situation where your opponent can grab an extended limb, the time is not right to extend it yet.

Remember that every outstretched limb lowers your defenses to some degree and can be accessed as a lever by your opponent.

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