“Invisible Jiu-Jitsu” Weight Distribution with Henry Akins

Using your weight From The Bottom
In future issues we plan on exploring this concept more in depth with Henry. What he’s shown us in this article is really the tip of the iceberg. One thing you probably wouldn’t realize is that this concept is also applicable from the bottom. How is that possible, you ask? Well, the concept is about using your weight efficiently. Whether you’re holding 100 lbs. over your head, or carrying it at your sides, it’s still 100 lbs. working against you. From the bottom there are many ways to distribute your weight on your opponent to make their actions much more difficult. One way is preventing your opponent from standing up when in your closed guard. In this example Henry is going to shift his weight and focus it on his opponent at just the right time. When done correctly it feels more like a parlor trick than jiu-jitsu, but it’s extremely effective and can be used to set up a sweep, or bring your opponent into your clinch.


1. Sean is in Henry’s closed guard. Sean steps up with his right leg first. This means that in order for Sean to stand up, at some point, he’s going to have to place all of his own weight on his right leg so he can get his left leg up. [/third_paragraph][third_paragraph]H02

2. Henry “bites” his legs into Sean’s hips. [/third_paragraph][third_paragraph]H03

3. Next, Henry raises his hips and rather than being relaxed, is placing the weight of his lower body onto Sean. [/third_paragraph][/row]


4. As soon as Sean begins to put his weight on his right foot to stand up Henry can feel the movement and focuses his weight onto Sean’s left knee. This transfer makes it extremely difficult for Sean to stand up on that left leg. [/double_paragraph][double_paragraph]H05

5. With Sean stuck and off balance, Henry can then pull Sean into him, bringing him into the clinch.  The real desired effect is to keep your opponent from standing and working his guard pass. [/double_paragraph] [/row]


If you’re a regular reader of JJM, you’ve seen a lot of technique articles. Hopefully, many of those have helped you improve your jiu-jitsu. In the three years that we’ve been around and I’ve been writing these articles, I can honestly say that this one, this concept of invisible jiu-jitsu, has had by far the most profound impact on my own jiu-jitsu. I’ve employed countless techniques I’ve written about, but this is not one simple technique. This is a concept, that when employed properly, will “transform” you and your jiu-jitsu forever. I’ve been using this concept for about two months now after Henry first demonstrated it to me in person. Since then I feel like it’s had an immeasurable impact on my jiu-jitsu. I’ve managed to submit fellow purple belts without a submission. Almost every partner I’ve sparred with has told me how heavy I felt, and how stifling my top game is now. Guys who used to pull guard on me now fight for top position from the start. That’s helped my confidence, and in turn, improved every aspect of my jiu-jitsu. And that comes only after a couple of months. I’m still just a novice with the concept at best. I really hope that you’ll give it a chance and dedicate some time to embrace it. I think you’ll be very thankful you did, and all your opponents will rue the day.

For more techniques from Henry Click HERE



Mike Velez is the Editor and Publisher of Jiu-Jitsu Magazine. He has been training since 2009 and is a brown belt under Rafael Oliveira of Gracie Barra in Chino, CA. You can contact Mike at mikev@jiujitsumag.com.

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