The dangers of slamming and how to prevent your opponent from picking you up

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A slam witnessed at the 2013 World Championship. Photo: Erin Herle

In most Jiu-Jitsu tournaments the list of illegal techniques contains the obvious eye-gouging and punching. The more subtle include knee-reaping and the use of slamming from guard.

Many MMA fights continue after a submission from guard is locked in because the opponent stands, picks up the person and slams them to the ground. In severe cases this can result in loss of consciousness or even paralysis as in the case of fifteen-year-old Gabriel Diniz who lost the use of his arms and legs after being dropped on his neck. Fortunately, he has regained some movement in his shoulders and feeling in his legs. Discharged from the hospital and now working towards recovery in a physical therapy rehabilitation center, he has hope to one day get back on the mats.

The dangers of slamming extend from back pain, to loss of breath due to sudden pressure on the solar plexus, to muscle spasms, to seizures, to loss of consciousness and paralysis. It’s important to know the consequences and how to prevent them.

Check out this video below that shows some examples of slams. Whether from guard or even when taking someone’s back, the presence of this harmful counter is prevalent. Even Marcelo Garcia and Ryron Gracie have experienced it.

In order to prevent a slam from the guard, make sure you hook the inside of your opponent’s leg to avoid letting them stand with you. In a triangle and an armbar this also facilitates the intensity of the submission as the angle produces a tight hold. See James Puopolo use this technique:

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