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Discovering Escapability in Olympic Weightlifting

That is a kind of matters that not often come up in discussions of weightlifting approach, however it might show to be the reason for issues.  One in all them is that it might inhibit a lifter from making a greatest effort to finish a lifetime PR.  I unknowingly developed my escapability when as a teen my dad and mom enrolled me in judo classes. 


Within the sport of judo, there’s a fixed twin going down in an try to put oneself in a extra favorable place in order to beat the opponent.  One athlete could also be thrown by the opponent however can place the physique so full level will not be scored.  This may in the end result in a reversal on the mat.  This ceaseless jockeying for place and leverage goes on all through the match till one combatant is said the winner or the time clock ends the match.  A key talent that’s acquired in judo is that of escapability—the flexibility to get out of a dangerous scenario, typically in a really temporary period of time.



Rediscovering Escapability

So I knew I had this talent once I start weightlifting.  I didn’t suppose a lot of it, didn’t place any emphasis on it, and have by no means considered teaching it till just lately.  I found the worth of it someday, nevertheless, once I received right into a scenario that was probably perilous.


It was a standard coaching session on the outdated Downtown LA YMCA.  There have been about 6 or 7 of the common lifters there together with coach Bob Hise II,  and we have been working up in clear & jerk singles.  My legs had all the time lagged behind my clear, however something I may arise with, I may jerk with wonderful elbow lock.  This specific event was on the finish of every week of heavy coaching and we have been in all probability extra fatigued than we realized.


I received as much as 110 which was a 90% weight.  I cleaned it with some problem and did a typical grinder to face.  At that time, I figured that I had the jerk nailed.  I drove the load straight overhead and to my shock, my elbows did not lock and the load started to drop from overhead.  On many events, it might have been regular to then lose the load ahead or behind and simply step out from underneath it, however this time it may solely come straight down. And it did!  It truly hit my head.  In a flash, I spotted I may get significantly injured if I didn’t do one thing.


Adrenaline hit and it was a life saver.  I instantly pancaked and went spreadeagle.  I beat the bar down ensuring to launch my grip on the bar in order that I wouldn’t threat a wrist damage.  On the best way down I spotted that my head was deeper than it was huge so as a substitute of face-planting I turned my head to the aspect as I hit the ground.  Superb what goes by your thoughts in a time of utmost peril.  The bar hit the ground, didn’t injure something, and simply rolled ahead barely nicking my aspect turned head.  Your entire incident was extra embarrassment than an indicator of failure.


I walked away relieved however much more assured in my capacity to flee peril.



I didn’t take into consideration this in any respect for a lot of my teaching profession.  A lot of that point the vast majority of lifters that I coached have been juniors and seniors. Nearly all of them had begun their athletic careers at an early age and discovered many common athletic expertise.  I witnessed a lot of harrowing escapes made potential by the escapability expertise of some distinctive athletes. 


Currently, I’ve been working with extra Grasp athletes, lots of whom have began their athletic careers after the age of 40.  They’d not been concerned in grappling or bodily contact sports activities have been escapability expertise are developed.  Consequently, they’re hesitant about descending within the backside place of the snatch and fewer regularly the cut up of the jerk.  Within the case of the snatch, the standard considering was that there was a mobility difficulty, however since then I believe we’ve all discovered that many who’re hesitant about descending into the snatch can do a correct overhead squat.   So it’s not a mobility difficulty.


My take is that a number of of my grasp athletes who’re hesitant about descending into the total snatch place are inhibited by a insecurity of their escapability expertise. 


I don’t have a technique for coping with this drawback.  My preliminary commentary is that escapability is acquired throughout a sure window of time, through the youthful ages.  I suppose that somebody may give you a pathway to buying these expertise, however I’m undecided that lots of our standard train protocols could be very efficient.

I’m simply figuring out a scenario right here.  I believe that any coaches working with novice grasp athletes ought to maintain this in thoughts when they’re coping with this inhabitants.  A few of them could by no means be capable to descend right into a backside place with out leaving themselves an escape route.  This may even apply to athletes who’ve good shoulder mobility however nonetheless want to maintain the pinnacle from being positioned immediately underneath the bar within the jerk.  Ah, properly.  One other dilemma to ponder!


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