There are three patterns that’s important for novices to learn and master in BJJ – Shrimping, rolling and bridge. The third one is what we’re going to talk about in this article.
It’s a technique that allows you to apply tremendous amounts of force even when you’re on your back. It also helps you create opportunities to escape should you find yourself in a dangerous position or an opportunity to sweep an opponent that’s on top of you.
Bridging is one of the techniques you can utilize when you find yourself in a situation where you’d want to create some space between you and your opponent. You can also use bridging as a way to manipulate your training partner’s weight to get them off on top of you.
How to Bridge Properly
To put it bluntly, to bridge is to create, well, a bridge using your body.
It usually begins with you lying flat on your back, making sure that both of your feet are close to your hips. Your toes will be flat on the ground, with your heels not touching the mat. This way, bridging up is a lot easier and there’s a deeper follow through as well.
Put emphasis on keeping your feet as close to the hip as possible as keeping them away will make it near impossible for you to raise your hips high. While bridging, you’ll want to raise it as high as possible.
To do this, not only do you have to bring your feet closer to your hips, but you’ll also want to bridge over your shoulder.
Another thing that you’ll want to do is keep your head up as you bridge. You don’t want to be looking at the sky because that’ll impede the height of your hips. This means that as you bridge, you’ll have to keep your head up, with your belly button pointing to the sky and you turn on one of your shoulders. Be sure to keep your eyes on the mat as well. Do all these and your bridge will be much higher.
Try to keep your forearms in front of you too. Stretching your arm out may seem like a good idea, but it leaves you wide open and if you do that, your opponent could easily attack you.
To add even more momentum, you’llwant to slam the floor with the elbow that’s adjacent to the shoulder you’re bridging over. So, if you’re bringing over on your right shoulder, you’ll want to slam your right elbow into the mat as you bridge up. This brings greater momentum and helps add a bit more height. As always, keep the free hand in front of your face to make sure that your body’s not fully open for an attack.
To warm up, try alternate bridging over your left and right shoulder until you get a feel of things.
For a more in-depth discussion about bridging, be sure to look up online videos explaining how to do so and what its main use is.