THE OUTERCLINCH: WEAPON DISARMS AND WALLFIGHTING
THE OUTERCLINCH: WEAPON DISARMS AND WALLFIGHTING

The Russian Tie

The Cop’s Russian is a combat variant of the Russian Tie.  Wrestling is a very diverse, constantly evolving art.  The Russian Tie exists in Greco-Roman wrestling, Freestyle wrestling, Folk (high school and collegiate) wrestling, as well as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Submission wrestling and Catch wrestling.  Therefore, what constitutes a “normal” Russian Tie may vary depending on who you talk to.  Here is the Russian Tie as it was taught to me in the US.

 

The “normal” Russian Tie

As I have said in the Cop’s Russian chapter, the grips and leg positions are different in Russian Tie than Cop’s Russian. 

  1. Your hand is usually palm up and pulling backwards to 6:00.
  2. Your left hand is usually grabbing as high on the front deltoid as possible (not on the bicep)
  3. Your head and shoulder are ready to assist
  4. Your left leg is back and your right is forward

 

From that Russian Tie position, your goal is to bend your opponent forward at the waist so that he is doubled over and staring at the mat.  PIC

You do this by moving your upper body forward and down.

  1. Your left front delt slams into your opponent’s right rear delt
  2. Your head and torso move in the same direction to help this motion
  3. As your opponent’s torso moves towards the doubled over position, your core puts pressure on your opponent’s elbow
  4. From the doubled over position, walk your opponent’s body to the right and down at a 45 degree angle until he is prone, belly-down on the mat
  5. If that doesn’t work, use the captured arm as a lever to spin the opponent clockwise in  a downward spiral until his body hits the mat belly-down

 

Ukrainian Variant Russian Tie

The differences between a normal Russian Tie and the Ukrainian Variant include the placement of your head, hands and feet. 

  1. Your forehead is pressed into your opponent’s right middle delt as opposed to being behind his rear delt
  2. Your left hand is as high on your opponent’s front delt as possible and nowhere near the bicep
  3. Your right hand is palm up, never palm down, and pulling backwards towards 6:00
  4. The pulling motion you do on your opponents arm is like shoveling snow in reverse.  You pull down and to the right in a curving path.  The key is to constantly keep your opponent’s arm in motion until he hits the mat.  If you stop your motion, your opponent can create between his arm and your body, especially at the shoulder and elbow, to counter.
  5. BOTH your legs are back in a sprawl so that your hips are low and your back is arched backwards as far and as round as possible.  PIC PIC(If you’re not familiar sprawling it’s good to do the wall drill in the picture.  For defending your legs from being grabbed, you need to know a few details and I give a further explanation later in the book.  However, if you have the arm captured as you would in a Russian Tie, what you see here is all you need to know about sprawling to get started with this Ukrainian Variant of the Russian Tie)
  6. From this Ukrainian Variant position you hop from your sprawl in a circular motion, counter-clockwise instead of clockwise. 
  7. Unlike a normal Russian Tie, the target of your force is NOT the elbow but the rear delt.  The pressure created by both your downward spiral and your forward sprawl should be very strong and if you do it right you should force your opponent to the mat.

 

Juggling Variants

So as you see, this Ukrainian Variant is very different than a normal Russian Tie which is very different than a Cop’s Russian.  For sport purposes, the advantage of combining a normal Russian Tie with its Ukrainian Variant is that it makes you less predictable.  When the opponent expects you to go clockwise, you go counter-clockwise.  When he protects his elbow, you attack his shoulder.

For combat, I prefer the Cop’s Russian to both of them because it’s easier and less risky for me to take people into a wall than it is to take them down.  Or, if I’m going to take them down I’d rather take them to the wall first to break their balance and then take then down than try to take them down in open space.

But what if there’s no wall?

Well then, taking people down in open is easier than trying to disarm somebody standing in open space.  If I’m trying to take somebody down from Cop’s Russian there might not be time for me to switch grips, but the mechanics of these other variants give me options: 

Do I put my head behind his shoulder or up against his shoulder?

Do I put my near leg forward, my far leg forward or do I sprawl both legs backwards?

Do I spin myself and my Badguy clockwise or counter-clockwise?

Do I attack his shoulder or his elbow?

The answer will of course depend on any number of things within that situation but mainly on how my Badguy is moving at that particular point in time.  If I make all three variants part of my Narrow Focus and I put in the necessary training time to get to a good level of timing with all 3 variants, I will have more options to flow into what my Badguy is doing.

Three variants of Russian Tie is enough for my Narrow Focus, but for my Wide Range I will probably be visiting Greco-Roman Wrestling instructors all over the world and picking up variants until I’m too old to train.  The reason is that I want as a deep an understanding of Russian Tie as possible.

There are many takedowns and armlocks but for dealing with weapons they are all secondary to the Russian Tie because the Russian Tie in 30 years of exploring martial arts the Russian Tie is the only arm control that I know of that maintains 3 points of control (Maybe Chickenwing and Hammerlock have three points of control if you do them right, but they have other disadvantages.)  Double-Leg and Single-Leg takedowns, bodylocks and most throws are a very bad idea against a knife.  All of your takedowns must maintain the best arm control possible and that means the Russian Tie and its variants.

 

So what if my Badguy somehow blocks all 3 variants? 

Are there more ways to take a Badguy down from Russian Tie without letting go of his weapon arm?

Read on.

 

The Shoulder Shrug

The Russian Tie has many entries but within the art of wrestling there are 3 entries that are particularly useful:  Shoulder Shrug, Arm Drag and Baseball Grip.

The most common entry is the Shoulder Shrug:

Opponent puts you in a collar tie (grabs you by the head or neck).  In one motion you will move several parts of your body clockwise.

  1. You Backstep, meaning that you pivot on your left foot as you slide your right foot back in a clockwise circle behind you.
  2. Turn your head from facing your opponent to looking over your right shoulder.  This is a violent motion that assists the Bump in the next step.
  3. As your left Bumps into the right forearm of your opponent towards your right side, your whole body backs up this motion.
  4. Your right hand moves up to the inside of your opponents falling forearm to catch it as it flies off your head/neck. The grip is usually, but not always, palm up as opposed to the palm down grip of the Cop’s Russian.  For some Shoulder Shrug variants, you grab or palm the forearm before the Bump.  For others, after the Bump.

 

Ukrainian Variant Shoulder Shrug

I learned this Ukrainian Variant of the Shoulder Shrug from its inventor, Renat  Akhmedhanov, of SpartaBox gym in Kiev.  The body mechanics with the Ukrainian Variant are identical to that of a normal Shoulder Shrug.  The only difference is the added feature of a “Pinch and Twist”, which, in my opinion, makes the Ukrainian Variant superior to the Shoulder Shrug I had learned in the US.

 

  1. “The Pinch”.  From a single collar tie, shrug your shoulder upwards until it is pinching your opponent’s forearm between your shoulder and head, holding it in place.  (You do NOT lower your head to your shoulder.)
  2. “The Twist”.  Keeping your pinch, rotate your body clockwise as you would with a normal Shoulder Shrug.  The only difference now is that your opponent’s body is moving with you because his arm is stuck. 
  3. “The Catch”.  You don’t have to chase your opponent’s right arm is you might with a normal Shoulder Shrug because it is coming right to you and he can’t draw his arm away.  You just have to be ready, “Johnny on the spot”, with your right hand moving in to secure the best palm up grips possible to secure your Russian Tie. 

 

The secret of this move is not the pinch.  The pinch is a weak control that would only hold a strong opponent for only a second at best.  However, the pinch is combined with a twist that creates tight, strong pressure like the turning of a vice-wrench.  With proper form and timing, even a strong opponent would have a lot of trouble breaking out.  By the time that happens, he will already be deeply in your Russian Tie.

 

 

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