Take Them Down with Benson Henderson!
Benson Henderson is a long time Mixed Martial Artist known for his ability to strike, clinch and grapple all at a very high level. Benson Henderson has notable wins over big name fighters such as Frankie Edgar, Donald Cerrone, Nate Diaz, Patricio Freire and Jorge Masvidal. Benson Henderson once held the Lightweight titles for organizations such as the UFC and WEC and is now fighting in Bellator. Benson Hnederson has a wealth of knowledge and is sharing some of his favorite ways to control an opponent and take them to the ground!
Benson Henderson explains that whether you are against the cage or in the middle of the ring it does not matter, the positioning of your head and body is going to be the same. Benson Henderson shows that for his double leg position he is bending at the knees, keeping his spine straight and looking up while driving his head into the opponent's side into the lat muscle. Having this positioning with your body and head will make it very difficult for your opponent to wrap your head for a guillotine or land down elbows and hammerfist from against the cage, all while you are in a strong spot to drive with your head to off balance your opponent and finish the takedown. Benson Henderson explains that what many people mess up is that they try to do this takedown by bending at their knees and waist, this breaks their posture making it easier to defend, what you want to do is bend at the knees so you can keep your posture strong and straight which allows you to use your head to finish the takedown.
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Our next body positioning tip is for the body lock, specifically how to perform the proper squeeze to control your opponent so you can take them down. The body lock squeeze is one of if not THE most powerful upper body control you can have on another person. When done correctly the double underhook body lock is super controlling and immensely powerful.
Benson Henderson starts by explaining that the type of squeeze you use on a body lock is very important. If you manage to get double underhooks on your opponent, the type of squeeze you use will determine whether you control and take them down if they will escape or possibly use your incorrect squeeze against you. What Benson is doing when he squeezes, he is not just clasping his hands together and pulling them in, he is pinching his elbows tight first to eliminate any space, then he is sucking his hands in. Notice another subtle detail is that when Benson pinches his elbows in and pulls his grip in he is also driving his chest and head forward as well, this eliminates even more space and utilizes even more of the body in his squeeze.
This type of squeeze is incredibly powerful and controlling. Benson shows that he uses this same type of squeeze when he is behind his opponent as well. This control allows him to do whatever takedown he sees fit for the situation, Henderson shows he can circle to the front, do a reverse trip or foot sweeps, he has tons of options. One more tip Benson shows is that if you have your elbows flared on your body lock, you are giving your opponent space to get their own over hooks and possibly allowing them to reverse you with these grips. Once Benson has his front body lock he shows he has tons of options just like he did from the back, takedowns such as his high leg or inside trips.
Now that we know how to use double underhooks to control and squeeze our opponent for a takedown, Benson Henderson shows us how to use an over under body lock to take the opponent down as well!
Benson Henderson shows that when he has an under hook and an over hooks he can still take the opponent down. What Benson does is he looks to make the opponent step forward with his over hook side, Benson does this by taking a step back on over hook side.
As the opponent steps up Benson looks to step to the outside of the over hook side leg, if the opponent does nothing Benson can look to lift the opponent from the side and slam him or hook the outside of the leg for a takedown but the opponent steps away before Benson has the opportunity to take him down. Henderson shows he can circle and step to the outside of the other side if he would like to but instead he chooses to hook the inside of the under hook side leg for an inside leg trip.
Benson Henderson explains that as soon as the opponent steps out he fits in for his inside leg trip, opening his hips up to wrap the leg and as quickly as possible closes his hips, turning towards the opponent to finish his takedown. Benson Henderson explains that the important detail of the inside leg trip is to go from your open hip position to the closed hips position as fast as possible to make the trip as powerful as it can be!
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