This is a short video from an ACL chapter team practice out west, Utah I think. It was the first fight I tried to cirtique and actually the reason I started a blog after having written a few paragraphs on it but having no where to put them. I’m a bit burnt out this week so I figured I’d do something small.
The video starts with helpful introductions so we know who everyone is. Action starts at :05 seconds, where Buddy and Evan let Jacob take over the fight. He moves to the right(of the camera) and manages to get Buddy and Evan stacked in a line. The key to 2 on 1 fighting is maintaining a what we call a 45. It means drawing a line from the 1, in this case Jacob straight out, and lines from the 1 to the 2, in this case Buddy and Evan, the angle from the first line to each of the second lines would be 45 degrees. Note that Buddy and Evan start in this position, they just don’t keep up when Jacob makes his move. Buddy needed to move in towards Jacob closing the distance as Jake moves and Evan needed to step back(refuse) while stepping to the side to keep the angle.
Part of the problem is a lack of vision and communication. Evan never checks to verify Buddy is in a good position and Buddy never lets Evan know where he is so Evan can move accordingly. It’s tough to tell whether Evan sees buddy move up on his left around :11, but he doesn’t move correctly. If he side stepped twice they could have reestablished the 45 and possibly cut off all angles of escape for Jacob besides going between them. When stepping up next him a short tap to the shoulder or yell should be enough to let Evan know Buddy is there and it’s time to move over instead of staying lined with Jacob. Tapping NOT a technique to use in the open field during chaos, as your teammate might mistake it for enemy engagement and drill you in return. But in a 2 on 1 scenario, or when battle lines are established contact like that can be effective communication. The lack of it here is what allows Jacob to continue keeping this a 1v1.
Since this is just a 2 on 1 in practice and not a 2 on 1 in a larger battle Jacob decides to engage. If they were the last 3 standing in an actual match I’m hesitantly thinking just avoiding contact would be best as I’m guessing Jake can tire out the other two. However that may be false and trying to drop one quickly while he still has energy may be the better plan. I’ll need to try both a few dozen times to figure out which I think works better. Regardless this is practice where the point is improving skill not winning so Jake’s choice is a fine one. However his charge is not as well executed as his movement at the beginning.
To start with axe is basically useless as he approaches. His grip is too wide for an effective blow with the head, his back hand is too low to use the butt end to strike, and his over under is less effective for a check even if he had the axe horizontal and ready. The charge is straight in at Evan who’s bigger and ready. After contact he briefly breaks out but doesn’t change measure and is still well within striking and grabbing distance.
Some better options would have been charging in and at the last second lowering the shoulder and plowing into Buddy hoping to catch him off balance. Dropping the axe to a baseball grip and swinging low to cause pain. Switching to a both hands over grip on the charge and punching with the back hand while trying to sweep the front leg. No matter what choice though the key mistake he makes is not leaving right after he fails to drop his opponent.
For his part, Evan handles the charge well. It would have been nice if on the initial contact he stepped in and swung the blade of his pole into Jacobs side driving him towards buddy but he does alright pulling away to lessen Jacobs impact and then following up with strikes to keep Jake busy till he was grabbable. Again there’s a lack of team cohesion here as Buddy tries to walk around Evan to strike at Jacob from the right. That’s where Evan is swinging and it’s unlikely Jacob is gonna escape going through the pole. Instead Buddy should hustle up and pinch off the left where Jacob has an open lane to escape. I will say he gets his timing on when to attack right though. As soon as Jake and Evan tie up he rushes in with a punch. He’s unable to land it, but the movement was right. That might be another time when kicking the leg out would have served better as well, but I think that’s a preference thing.
The rest of the match is mostly hugging. Buddy tries to get some strikes in, but they are all up high near protected areas and largely ineffective. Need to be working the hip and thigh gaps in the armor. Alternatively trying to peel one of Jacobs arms off, trying to destabilize his base or remove a leg would all also be good options. Evan let Jacob control that clinch. Needs to work on maneuvering that pole out the way so he can get top position on little guys. Whether by “swimming” his arms inside to get a thai like clinch between Jake’s arms, reaching out and around to either grab Jake with under hooks or to free his arms to try and smash into Jake’s elbow breaking his hold, or putting the pole through the arms, so one end is over one of Jake’s arms, and the other end is under Jake’s other arm, and twisting to force him to release. All viable options that give him control over that grapple. Also knees and leg kicks work real good(well?) in close like that.
Jake did great, despite doing a sacrifice throw. He got on top of Evan’s head, kept the pressure on, worked for a leg takedown till he got throw off. At that point, separation was again, probably the best option. However if he wasn’t gonna separate that grab was well executed. He comes in from the side, where Evan can’t defend, quickly gets control and tries for a leg sweep. If he hadn’t been pulling quite so hard, he might have been able to stay standing. A deeper step with a hip bump and that could have been a successful hip throw even.
Overall a decent practice match with some things for everyone to work on. Biggest take away teamwork is essential to really capitalize on a 2 on 1. Work the 45. Attack at the same time and try to force the opponent into your buddy. As a 1, you need to be in and out. Never stand where they can both get at you and if they can, break the engagement and start again. These are all things I need a lot of practice on in my own game and I’ll be working on them as soon as my ankle heals up.