Striking & Submission Combinations (diary entry)

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13.01.18   This morning’s lesson brought us to the seven and a half hour point of my client’s 10 hour course in Basic Mixed Martial Arts for Martial Arts Cross-Training. Our theme was ground-fighting combinations from the top position. We looked at revising all transitions from different pins and submissions, isolating striking from the various pins and then combining them. A key point being made throughout the lesson was how much a well-executed, strong position can give a fighter. A […]

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Transitioning Positions in Grappling (diary entry)

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10.01.18   Following my client’s previous lesson, we are embarking on a series of classes focused on transitioning work. This is composed of various drills that can be layered and then applied under pressure. Their purpose is to promote more effective movement and general fluidity through Mixed Martial Arts and Self-Defence. Ideally the movement provides the fighter with options he can use to build on using his own experience.   We began with a series of MMA build-up warm-up exercises. […]

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Clinching for MMA (diary entry)

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06.01.18   This morning’s lesson brought my client up to the sixth hour of his course in Basic MMA for Martial Arts Cross Training. Having focused on the striker’s perspective it was now time to explore matters from a grappling point of view, specifically the clinch-fighter.   We began with a warm-up of MMA specific movements. This started with mirror footwork, focusing on changing levels between stand-up (higher stances for striking/mobility) and clinch-range (lower stances for defending takedowns/stability). The exercises […]

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Transitioning as an Art in MMA (diary entry)

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04.01.18   The first official lesson of 2018 began my client on an exciting new exploratory adventure in mixed martial arts and martial arts cross-training. Having spent the latter part of 2017 focusing a lot on half-guard and its place in grappling, we decided to bring it back into MMA. However, the resulting lesson ended up exploring a more encompassing yet specific topic. We looked at our old friend, transitioning. This is a common soap box subject with me. It […]

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Stand-up Fighter’s Game (diary entry)

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30.12.17   The final lesson of 2017 brought my client’s Basic Course in Mixed Martial Arts for Martial Arts Cross-Training up to the four and a half hour mark. We continued to take our cue from the stand-up range and looked at the bobbing and weaving/rolling action as well as an overall strategy maintaining a stand-up fighting range and disengagement.   The lesson began with a series of exercises based on changing ranges. Partner-work included mirror footwork and transitioning out […]

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Slipping the Jab for MMA (diary entry)

23.12.17   Tonight’s lesson on Basic Mixed Martial Arts for Martial Arts Cross Training brought us up to the three hour point. We revised some of the previous lesson’s material and then focused on stand-up to clinch transitioning, finishing with a groundwork conditioning exercise.   We warmed up with footwork add-ons. We began with western boxing and then adding on Muay Thai techniques, followed by bulling and pummelling from wrestling and then some basic movement drills attacking and defending the […]

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Sparring in the Shadows

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Strange Behaviour? There are many elements to martial arts practice that look strange to the outside world. Despite its widespread and time-honoured use, shadowboxing is one of these elements. Most individuals can understand sparring with an opponent. Most individuals can see the benefit of hitting focus mitts, strike-shields and other hand-held pads. And just about anyone who has felt a massive urge to “let off some steam” can relate to hitting a heavy bag. By comparison, the act of performing […]

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Submissions from and against the Half-Guard (diary entry)

20.12.17   Continuing our work with the half-guard, my client and I decided to round up 2017 with details on incorporating the half-guard into the main guard game. The road that led us to the half-guard had begun with my client’s concerns in MMA that he didn’t feel very competent fighting from the guard. He had come across a common problem many students encounter when they pull guard in an intense fight; they become stuck in the position and are […]

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MMA Basic Training Begins (diary entry)

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14.12.17 Tonight we began the first of a scheduled 10 hour course on Basic Mixed Martial Arts for Martial Arts Cross Training. This lesson brought us up to the one hour and a half point. We looked at building transitions between the previous covered disciplines: stand-up fighting (Boxing and Muay Thai), clinch-fighting (Muay Thai and Wrestling) and ground-fighting (Submission Grappling). The lesson was begun with a brief overview of the proposed programme and a definition of MMA. For the purposes […]

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Lockdown Work (diary entry)

13.12.17   Tonight’s class continued our work on the half-guard. As promised, we specifically looked at the lockdown. All our warm-up was partner-centred, gradually increasing range of mobility and intensity as the exercise drills progressed. We did under-hook/over-hook pummelling, butterfly guard sweeps and butterfly guard arm-drags. Then we immediately reviewed the basic lockdown sweep.   From this position we looked at under-hooking the leg and passing an arm (handcuff), which we previously covered in the lesson before last time. We […]

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Extra Ground-Fighting (diary entry)

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09.12.17   This morning I taught a special extended two hour session on my client recent 10 hour basic submission grappling/ground-fighting course. Due to its nature I am now considering to make this course 12 hours as standard rather than the usual 10. There is just so much to cover in submission grappling with two distinct games going on. Every combat sport has its attack and defence strategies, but they are mainly confined to the two individuals standing in similar […]

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Reviewing the Half-Guard (diary entry)

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06.12.17 Tonight’s lesson turned into an unashamed revision of my client’s previous lesson. Not only did I not add on techniques or introduce new techniques, we reduced the number of moves executed in the previous lesson. This was important due to certain fundamental details we needed to better confirm. Half-guard is a very useful position for no-gi grappling and there is a burgeoning contingent of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu-inspired fighters that are arguing its place more in MMA. If you […]

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Ground-Work Self-Defence (diary entry)

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    01.12.17   The final part of my client’s 10 hour basic course on Submission Grappling/Ground-Fighting brought us back to the self-defence line. All lessons up to this point worked within the context of grappling with another ground grappler. Here the student can explore the art and the sport rather than be concerned with its place as a counter-assault method. Tonight all of that changed, as we had a different objective. Here the fighter is focused upon damage control […]

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Validating the Half-Guard (diary entry)

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29.11.17 At my client’s request we explored the half-guard. I have observed how controversial this position has become in MMA over the past 10 or so years. Some still maintain that the position is far from ideal and fighters holding it are prone to “eat up a lot of punches”. Interestingly they make this argument against the deep half-guard, which is where a lot of innovations have been coming in since Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu have actively taken […]

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Guard Passing – Brabo & Knee-Bars (diary entry)

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27.11.2017   The penultimate lesson of the CCMA 10 hour course on basic submission grappling/ground-fighting for cross training in the martial arts brought up to the nine hour point. Here we revised the leg submissions from the guard, covered in the previous lesson, and focused on passing the guard. Tonight’s lesson brings us full circle by moving into the pinning positions again.   The warm-up consisted mainly of groundwork crawls. These are a collection of static and travelling callisthenic exercises […]

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