This week will begin a brand new arch in MMA Gospel’s Technique of the Week featuring Hapkido master Ed Perdomo and his assistant Adam Valencia. This set of three will focus on the set-up in a big way. It has always been stressed throughout the year- long run of Technique of the Week that the set-up is everything and as we draw closer to the anniversary, just six weeks away, MMA Gospel has chosen to present two arches that stress the core principles of grappling that have always been the underlying theme of Technique of the Week. This arch will begin with a Reverse Half Nelson Sweep from Turtle to Side Mount, and will continue into a pair of submissions from the Scarf Hold in the following weeks.
Ed has won out over Adam in a scramble, leaving Adam stuck in the Turtle position, looking for a chance to roll out into guard. Ed knows that he has all the opportunities to end the fight here if he sets himself up properly. Adam has a tight Turtle, so Ed can’t run his legs through for a hook so he explores other options. First, he makes sure his weight rests against the side of Adam’s back instead of on top of him. This is a rookie mistake that makes it easier for Adam to roll. With his weight on the side, Ed has control and is able to use strikes to break up Adam’s Turtle (LEFT).
Once Adam moves his hand enough to defend the strikes, Ed will have enough room to run a Reverse Half Nelson. He does this by inserting his rear hand into the gap between Adam’s closest knee and elbow, going under the armpit, and placing his hand on the back of Adam’s head (RIGHT). The position of the hand, palm-up or palm-down, is a matter of personal preference. A palm-up position as shown here offers more control throughout the sweep, whereas palm-down affords more power.
After gaining control of Adam’s head, Ed begins the sweep. He starts by sprawling out onto his toes to increase the pressure on Adam and then begins to circle around Adam’s head to the opposite side (LEFT). As he does, Ed reaches over Adam’s waist with his free hand and grabs his hip.
As Ed moves around Adam, the pressure from the Reverse Half Nelson alone will force Adam to roll over out of his Turtle (RIGHT). Ed keeps his weight forward, pressing down on Adam’s side, and from here he can drop to his knees for Side Mount, turn back towards Adam’s head for North-South, or switch his hips into Scarfhold, the latter of which we will explore next week.
- Open your opponent’s turtle with some strikes.
- Feed your back hand under your opponent’s armpit and behind their head for a Reverse Half Nelson. Palm-up for control, palm-down for power.
- Sprawl out on your toes and circle around your opponent’s head to force the sweep.
- Move into whichever position you feel most comfortable ending the fight from.
This sweep is both simple and powerful as well as incredibly versatile. It gives you multiple options for what position you wish to end in and thus makes it difficult for your opponent to predict what moves you are going for the prepare a counter. An adaptable fighter can even use the counters for one position to help move into another, such as prompting a counter for the Scarfhold position in order to get easily into North-South. Next week, we will begin looking at submissions off this sweep from the Scarfhold.
*Ed Perdomo is a 4th degree black belt in the Korean grappling art of Hapkido and is head instructor of the Hapkido Institute in Morris, IL.