Stop Getting Stacked Using The Penknife Principle

If you’ve got a solid offensive ground game your training partners are already eyeing opportunities to stack and crush you before you’ve even stepped on the mat. To counter getting folded like a cheap futon, consider integrating what Invisible Jiu Jitsu affectionately calls the Penknife Principle.

Even if you’re a practitioner flexible enough to get folded in half with ease, you’re not going to score points or set up many attacks with your knees by your ears and ankles exposed, prime targets for lock attacks. So as you feel the stack happening, engage your core, glutes, and muscles in the mid-thoracic spine to raise your hips and extend your torso into one rigid, straight “blade” which resists collapsing. You can help stabilize the move by sliding your shoulder blades (or for you beefier gorillas, your trapezius and delts) down toward your waist, creating an even point of contact on the ground and relieving pressure on your neck…you dont want your shoulders jammed up around your ears if you need to “walk” back to create space.

Note: If you have lower back problems, particularly compressed discs, this one might not be for you as it’s a compression of the entire spine. Try it with a partner who won’t assault you before integrating it into sparring.



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