Technique of the Week: The Gurney

Technique of the Week: The Gurney

Thank you to Matt Betzold of Team Alpha Male for providing this week’s technique of the week, a modified version of the Twister from top position.

Betzold, a fighter who lost his leg at an early age after eating poisoned candy recently signed with Legacy Fighting Championships.  Read his story here:

Here is Matt’s demonstration of the submission move

The gurney’s start is similar to the stockade position which has application for many grappling arts; however it is most commonly associated as a staple position in catch wrestling. You may have heard it called the stockade, the stocks, the rack, the pirate’s mast, the pirate’s crucifix, the head trap or simply the crucifix or modified crucifix, or you may just know it as that move Brock Lesnar used to turn Frank Mir’s face into hamburger meat at UFC 100.

The stockade presents a number of offensive options, including submissions, transitions to other dominant positions and as a platform to unleash a torrent of strikes.

According to Betzold you want to stay close to your opponent body while in side control.  Keep your knee up high and pinned to his or her side.

You want to pin the arm opposite you to the floor.  Using both hands you are going to scoop underneath his or her armpit and apply pressure, torquing the appendage backward.  Ensure that while applying this pressure you maintain your posture up against their body with your hip.  According to Betzold, “This is very important.  This makes the difference in getting the move and not getting the move.”

While the one hand is pinned under the armpit and applying pressure to the neck and shoulder area you will take your free hand and scoot it behind their body to keep them from moving away.

You then drop your hip and walk your body toward their head putting even more force on the submission which will eventually force your opponent to submit.

If he does not submit you can apply a variation where you will hook your foot over the arm and almost latch onto the elbow region further trapping the arm.  Your opposite leg will then need to come around allowing you to sit flat on your rear pinned up against the body.  Then bring your arm across and grasp handles with a Gable grip and twist.

If your opponent does not tap at this point, let go of the hold and run because you are fighting a zombie.


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