Working from neutrality to advantage: The basic insight behind all martial arts is that of gaining some form of prior advantage before committing to an attack. In however, our opponents strongly and craftily resist any attempt on our part to gain any form of advantage and so we spend the majority of our time on the mat in neutral positions. It is important to that EVEN WITHIN POSITIONS THAT ARE CLASSIFIED AS NEUTRAL (no points scored) THERE CAN STILL BE MINOR ADVANTAGES GAINED THAT CAN ACCUMULATE TO A DEGREE WHERE A BREAKTHROUGH CAN BE ATTAINED AND POINTS SCORED OR A APPLIED. Often it may be something small, an advantageous grip, foot position, placement – anything that affords you a greater degree of control over him than he has over you, no matter how small. Understand this – ANY GIVEN NEUTRAL POSITION IS IN PRACTICE, ONLY AS NEUTRAL AS THE RELATIVE SKILL LEVEL OF THE TWO ATHLETES. Learn to go beyond seeing POSITIONS as dominant or advantageous and start to look for ACTIONS AND PLACEMENTS that are advantageous. These are less obvious, less well defined, but against skilled opponents, they will be the resource you call upon more than any other. Here, Georges St-Pierre and Garry Tonon work from neutral position for leg control. Small nuances in grip, limb positioning, placement of and directionality of will determine winner and loser in these situations.

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