Head Controls Takedowns Richard Grannon

Head Control Take Downs : Rear Drag and Reverse Guillotine

The Head Control is a go-to favourite across the combatives community. As a way of getting another person to the ground what could be more direct, aggressive and efficient than grabbing them by the head and forcing it violently in the direction of gravity?

The problem is that most people arent going to let you do that to their head. Trained or untrained, drunk, high, psychotic or stone cold sober its a fairly basic instinct since childhood to maintain balance, to clear your breathing, hearing and sight apparatus and to basically keep peoples hands from interfering with the region of your skull.

This is where we need to think a little more out of the box in terms of head controls. Directly or indirectly aren’t chokes head controls? Don’t some traditional Judo/Jujitsu throws depend on controlling the head through control of the gi? What about boxing? Won’t they control the head at times?

Most people seem to tend to think of head controls in a classically “Combatives” way. Grab the head, twist and drop. If you get that opportunity to do it that easily, thats great.

Nothing comes that easily in my experience.

You have to fight even to get into the position where a head control is an option. The set up is as important as the execution. And the execution needs to be violent and delivered with determination. Or else you will find the head is popped back out of your hands and you will be left standing holding an invisible rugby ball.

Don’t practise head controls that presume you can limply hold on to the head and the human will submissively follow.

Assume the human will fight like fuck. Assume he is bleeding profusely, or sweaty or covered in ale and slippery.

Assume he is doing everything he can to pop that head back out from whatever grip you have, even at the expense of the safety of his neck/throat/face.

Don’t practise head controls with your arms outreached like a zombie, turning his neck like you would the wheel of a car.

Think rugby and rugby ball. Close to your body, turn his head with arms not your hands, your back not your arms, your spine and your legs not your back, with centrifugal force rather than muscular force and so on.

Think knock him off his feet. If he is flailing for balance you have a much better chance of catching that head and turning it.

Above all: think violence.

If it doesn’t look like violence, how is it going to fit into a violent assault.

Remember the words of Deputy J Jones from Rory Millers “meditations on violence”

“Violence of Action, Trumps Technique.”

a very slick arm drag and RNC by a homeless man

About The Author

richie grannon

Richard Grannon is a martial arts instructor and psychology coach.

Leave A Response