Transition (Bottom): Sit Through

Student Objectives:

  1. The student will practice how to safely perform the Sit Through while in the Turtle Position.
  2. The student will explore how to rotate their hips to clear their head and challenge their partner's base.

Teaching Cues:

  • Giraffe eats the leaves
  • Post the foot
  • Sit Through
  • Hug

Lesson: Sit Through

The practicing student will start in the Turtle position with their forearms and knees flat on the floor.  The assisting student will put their chest on the back of the practicing student and then place their hands on the floor next to the knees of the practicing student.  Their weight should be evenly distributed between their knees and their hands.  This is a learning position, as future opponents will avoid putting their hands on the floor and they will typically sprawl.  We only do this to allow easy movement and build understanding of spatial control, specifically how to clear the head.  Once this has been built, encourage students to try different variations of grips and weight distribution.  

The practicing student will start by clearing their head.  Initially have the student drive forward until their head pops out on the side of the hip.  Clearing the head from under the body is extremely important to avoid neck injuries while sitting through with the hips.  If the student can not clear their head, then they should not Sit Through.  

Once the head has cleared from under the body, they should post the foot on the same side that their head has cleared.  It should be gently posted with their foot flat on the floor.  The opposing hand will then be placed along the inside of the knee on the side that the head has cleared.  After clearing the head and placing the hands/feet in the correct position it’s time to sit though.  The practicing student will slide the knee that is still on the floor diagonally under their body while simultaneously waving the outside arm up and back.  This motion should, combined with an extension of the neck, should create a powerful lever to throw the assisting student forward while also allowing an advancement of the hips towards the back of the assisting student.  The practicing student will then quickly turn towards the back of the assisting student and take a dominant grips. This should leave the practicing student in the Turtle top position.  

As the student becomes more proficient with the entry and execution of the Sit Through, have the practicing student practice clearing the head by rotating the hips and shuffling on their hands and knees.  Allow the students to explore the benefits of rotating the hips rather than just extending their neck or driving forward to clear the head.

Possible Extensions:

  • Start the practicing student doing a slow motion Double Leg.  Then have the assisting student lightly sprawl.  This should leave the student who practiced the Double Leg in the perfect position to do the Sit Through.  It will take some practice to get the timing right, but this is a realistic entry for the Sit Through.
  • Combine the Sit Through with the Hook Replacement immediately upon completing the Sit Through.
  • Once the student completes the Sit Through they can practice spinning back to the front.  This makes the Sit Through into a drill for maximum reps in a short amount of time while also allowing them to build balance and perception for how to spin on top of someone.

Possible Refinements:

  • Make sure the students know they can not Sit Through if their head is being hugged.  The Sit Through should only be used when arms are hugging over the shoulders.
  • Make sure the students know hugging around the torso, past the shoulders, is a terrible idea as it locks the bodies together.  If they do this, and their future opponent’s complete the sit through, it may smash their face in the floor.
  • It is common for students to turn the wrong way after completing the Sit Through.  Make sure you emphasize that the student turns towards the hips and not towards the head.

Reference materials:

Teaching Reflections:

  • How did I do teaching?
  • What could I do better next time?
  • Did the student gain proficiency in lesson material?