When Kirill Denisov is up against an opponent who takes a high cross grip, or ‘the Russian arm’, he has two very efficient ways of quickly dealing with this dangerous grip.
The Russian arm is very threatening, as an attack usually follows in quick succession.
Denisov’s response, therefore, has to be immediate. He says that it’s absolutely critical to stand upright, and to not have a broken posture.
From this upright position he turns in towards his opponent, pushing against their shoulder.
Anticipating the incoming grip, and being immediate in the response is as important as being in an upright posture.
From the opposite angle you can see how Denisov turns in, and then steps back as he breaks the grip.
The Russian arm is not a common grip in modern competitive judo, but when it is used it can lead to a number of strong and unorthodox techniques.
So, this relatively simple grip break is a very important one to learn.
If Denisov has a very good understanding of his opponent he is sometimes able to predict the arm being thrown, and in this circumstance is able to catch it as it comes.
He does this by overhooking the opponent’s elbow joint.
He then takes control of the sleeve. in the process, breaking a lapel grip, if they’ve managed to get one.
Before taking a collar grip himself.
By catching the arm, it’s left exposed, with the opponent unable to get a dominant grip. Denisov turns inwards, before going to work on the sleeve with both of his hands. He tucks his arm into his side, which he is says is very effective against those who like a cross grip, as it’s in the opposite direction to their point of strength.
Here is the catch once again, with Denisov dropping his bodyweight down in order to clamp onto the arm.
The catch is about anticipation, and then commitment.
Phenomenal gripping strategies from a man who understands the power of Russian Judo.