Diary / Training Notes

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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Re-Covering the Cover (diary entry)

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22.11.17   Tonight’s training was all about going back through the cover tactic. This simple method has been adopted by various different martial arts schools. Quite simply, it revolves around protecting the head by using the forearms and elbows. Everything written beyond this point is my view. I find that the cover can be applied barehanded and with MMA gloves. When it comes to boxing, I feel the peek-a-boo tactic of Cus D’Amato serves as a good equivalent, but one […]

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Fluidity of Techniques (diary entry)

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18.11.17   This morning we brought the CCMA basic course on submission grappling/groundwork up to the seven and a half hour point. We focused entirely on submissions from the closed guard. After sport-specific calisthenics for groundwork, we revised the conventional arm-bar and leg triangle choke from guard.   An area I am very keen to express in training is the fluid linking of movements with minimal delay. This seems obvious, but often I find what gets lost in learning is […]

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MMA Range Training (diary entry)

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15.11.17   Tonight’s MMA lesson focused on bringing everything together. This is where we look at transitioning through ranges and skillsets within a limited rules format. Although MMA isn’t self-protection training, it provides a very rich training ground for mining practical attributes and provides an excellent area to test various specialised techniques in conjunction with others.   We warmed up with some dynamic stretching; focusing a lot on unilateral bodyweight calisthenics that allow for a large range of movement i.e. […]

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Submissions from the Guard (diary entry)

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11.11.17   This morning’s lesson took my client up to the six hour mark of a scheduled 10 hour course on basic submission grappling/groundwork for martial arts cross training. We finished off our basic escape from pins training and moved onto closed-guard work.   The warm-up consisted of all specific groundwork calisthenics and mobility exercises, especially movements from the back. Then we revised escaping side control and scarf-holding using both a reversal and snaking escape. We then finished off this […]

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Building on the Mobile Scaffold (diary entry)

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08.11.17   Tonight we tested and then built off the foundation taught last lesson. I struggle for an appropriate metaphor here and keep on using the term “scaffold”. One doesn’t usually think of mobility, fluidity and transitioning when one thinks of a scaffold, but the point remains that a fighter needs to have a mobile base in order to fight effecienty. The movement from guard resembles the footwork required to effecient when one fights from a stand-up or clinch position. […]

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Escaping from Pins (diary entry)

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04.11.17   This morning brought us up to the four and a half hour mark in a 10 hour basic course on submission grappling/groundwork for martial arts cross-training. Previously we looked at basic top positioning, pinning and transitioning from the top with a few submissions. Today we looked at defence from underneath. It wasn’t my intention to work much on guard-work, which comes under its own very large category, but there is some degree of overlap that flowed well.   […]

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Guard Position Mobility (diary entry)

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01.11.17   Tonight’s lesson moved away from MMA clinch and Muay Thai to explore ground-fighting and working from the guard. This topic came up after MMA sparring in the previous lesson, where my client expressed problems with executing effective movement whilst holding a closed guard position.   We warmed up with our usual set of mobility exercises into calisthenics. Then we completed a series of calisthenic exercises specifically for ground-fighting. This consisted of various crawls and also snaking/shrimping variations to […]

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Explaining the Child Fence for Self-Protection (diary entry)

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30.10.17   The third lesson of my special course on self-protection for young people brought the focus onto the three elements of a conflict: pre-fight, in-fight and post-fight. We looked at the definition of self-protection, dividing into personal security and self-defence. I explained that attitude ran throughout this conflict and should be a rule for life. Being aware of one’s behaviour in everything from learning to direct action has a fundamental impact on survival in violent situations. We discussed situational […]

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MMA Clinch to Ground (diary entry)

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25.10.17   Tonight’s lesson continued with MMA clinch-work, revising Muay Thai entries and adaptations, but focused on set-ups using the elbow and collar tie. We also did some ground work.   Training began with western boxing and Muay Thai shadow boxing, moving onto wrestling entries. This was followed by partner work, which included neck-wrestling, lock-off positioning for knee strikes, shoulder trapping and arm-triangle trapping. We then moved onto over-hook/under-hook pummelling. From here we looked at setting up knee-strikes, elbow-strikes and […]

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