Cornering …

I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic recently as, more often than not, my coach is giving me instructions during drilling or live rolling and, as I’m driving home, I think about how that would translate into tournament matches.

If you haven’t read it , I noted in an earlier post that you will probably not be able to hear your corner man in a match, so get his/her voice into your head and understand what he/she expects from you in the positions you most commonly find yourself in. However, if you CAN hear your corner, your opponent probably can as well.

As a result, I’d prefer that my corner NOT tell me what to do specifically. Unless you have an intricate system of calls/motions (a la boxing + baseball), you’re only giving your opponent more information to use against you. Here’s what I’d prefer to hear from my corner:

— Tell me What They are Doing. In telling me what they are doing, it SHOULD be enough to let me know how to defend it, counter their counter, etc. Something as simple as “Watch out for that triangle” is enough.

— Give me Body-Generic Terminology. I don’t need to hear “Underhook both legs. Look up. Gather him to you. PASS!” Instead, I need to hear “POSTURE!” and probably “HEAD UP!”

— Along those same lines, I need Movement-Generic Terminology. Things like “Circle!” or “Pull the trigger!” or “Hips!” are very helpful; things like “Get back to guard!” or “Shoot!” are not.

Points and Time: Pretty simple. Where am I in points and how much time do I have left?

DEFEND, ATTACK and POSITION: These three generic terms are pretty self-explanatory, but they can be very helpful, at least to me. Sometimes, I don’t see a choke coming until it’s too late, or am looking for a sweep and giving up an arm; sometimes, I’m waiting on a choke and the time to wait has past; sometimes, I rush the sub and need to get to a better position. Hearing my corner screaming ATTACK! forces me to get my grips and look for that choke right now. (As my dad used to say “Not now; RIGHT NOW!”)

What do you need to hear from your corner in tournaments? What has worked and what hasn’t? Does it matter to you at all?

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