In our Self Defense and Mat  Monkey classes, one of the many skills our students will is learn is how to fight on the ground or ground fighting. When learning to fight on the ground, one of the main goals is to successfully pin our opponent onto their back. In order to do so, we must learn how to off balance our opponent to get them down, then hold them there effectively. If you find yourself being pinned, it can be very difficult to escape as these pins were designed to work, but it’s still possible with the right timing and effort! Learning how to off balance, pin, and escape a pin if need be, are the first 3 things you need to learn in order to have a friendly ground match with your partner!

Off Balance.Steering Wheel
Step back and to the side with one leg “Open the Gate”. With the same side that stepped back, pull forward and tuck in you and/or your partners elbow. Guide your partner onto their back on the mat. 

Pin.Kesa Gatame (Scarf Hold)
Once your partner is on their back, sit close to their body, in their armpit, with your back against them. Trap their nearby arm to your stomach with your arm, then go around their neck with your other. Hunker down and hold tight, keep your legs in a nice wide base, but not so wide that they can trap one of your legs with theirs.

Escape.Up Hill Turn
When being pinned, place your hand on the back of your partners head. Push their head down toward the mat, while turning towards them and getting onto your knees. From there, move back and sit up, pulling your head out from their arm.