There are few men that enjoy their nuts being crushed, those that do don’t tend to wear a gi for that sort of activity. I digress. During BJJ practise getting your balls in some less than desirable situations has likely happened to you more than once. In this article we are going to share with you how to lower the chances of it happening in the future. Logan BJJ gym to the rescue, you can thank us later.
Generally speaking there are two positions that you are most likely to get your baby makers in trouble in. The first one, open guard with your back fully on the ground. Next, applying an arm bar.
Let’s deal with these separately before sharing our thoughts on wearing a cup.
1 Less experienced guard passers
Knee on balls #1
Training with low level partners can be the biggest causes of getting your junk scrambled. At Logan BJJ gym we do our best to pair you up with someone your own level but that shouldn’t be something you rely on. The lack of co-ordination can play a significant role but also just not quite knowing how to execute a technique yet. This becomes even more troublesome when your partner is trying to impress and in the midst of trying to compete with a higher belt or ranked sparring partner gets sloppy.
2 Eliminate vulnerable positions
Knee on balls #2
One thing that can be done to avoid this particular scenario is to never lay flat on your back legs open waiting for your opponent to enter your guard. It’s leaving a giant bullseye on your privates that a beginner for some reason is very adept at hitting. A seated butterfly position is a much better alternative that will allow you to perform the same functionality while keeping yourself protected. You can quickly transition to an on your side style half guard to ensure safety and advantageous position.
If you’re adamant about staying on your back with an open guard, don’t do so passively. Frame and redirect the knee as it’s coming in.
3 Technique issue
Applying an armbar #1
This is probably one of the most common submissions where you’re likely to get your balls trapped if you haven’t quite mastered the technique just yet. Have no fear! Captain save your balls is here! You don’t need to risk your reproductive organs to get a sub, you just need a technique adjustment.
4 S mount armbar
Applying an armbar #2
This particular variation of the armbar ensures that your hip avoids separation from your opponent’s shoulder when executed properly. It’s in the space between the shoulder and hip that it becomes possible for trapping to take place. Also, don’t forget the golden rule of armbar submissions, squeeze those knees!
5 armbar angles
Although you may be getting your opponent’s arm in the right position (thumb pointing up), lifting your hips and be positioned where there is no gap, you might still get your nuts crushed.
A simple way to avoid this is to have your opponent’s elbow in line with either one of your hips rather than pulling straight down the middle of your body.
This will allow for the same result for your opponent and a less.. uncomfortable position for yourself.
Check out this video for a demonstration!
6 An Option
Wearing a cup #1
There is no question that for some the simple answer to this problem is to wear a cup. However, they aren’t the perfect solution to the problem, let’s explore why that is the case.
7 Discomfort + dangerous
Wearing a cup #2
While your cup is likely to keep you safe, it may prove to be quite uncomfortable for your training partners. I can’t remember the last time anyone said “Oh I loved that time when I rolled with Alex and I could feel his cup grinding into my spine”. Not only can it be uncomfortable, when performing a submission such as an arm bar it can even prove to be quite dangerous due to force being leveraged by the solid steel cup.
8 Depends on the gym
Wearing a cup #3
It really depends on the gym you go to. Some swear by cups and won’t let you roll without one while others simply won’t let you roll with one. Your best bet is to ask whoever is in charge of your BJJ sessions (i.e. Ben at Logan BJJ gym) what is and isn’t allowed in that particular gym. At TFC the mouth guard is essential when rolling, but the groin guard is optional.
9 Spider vs steel
Wearing a cup #4
If you’re set on wearing a cup but want to minimize the discomfort and the danger factor associated with steel cups, we’d definitely recommend trying out a spider cup. Not only will it keep you protected, it allows for far better lateral movement than your standard steel cup and is often completely forgotten about while rolling due to how comfortable it is.
Keeping your lucky charms safe is a tricky business on the mats, no matter how experienced you get. But remember BJJ is a game of decisions and positions. Make the right decisions, select the right positions and if necessary wear the right protection and you’ll be able to leave the mat with a smile rather than a grimace on your face.
Following BJJ etiquette is an essential part of being part of a BJJ gym. Check out our recent article on the topic here!
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