Clinch, strike, takedown and submit! (diary entry)

The closed guard

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18.07.11 Tonight was our last night at the Eastern Green venue until next term. Next week we are back at Woodlands School and Sports College (very shortly changing to Woodlands Academy) for the summer holiday period. We took advantage of the extra mat space and focused on grappling. After a warm-up that included footwork, shadow boxing, bear crawls, snaking/shrimping, crab crawls and various rolls and breakfalls we moved onto the clinch range.

Clinch began with the highline and neck wrestling (muay Thai's plumb position). Here we looked at movement and control before the application of hand strikes, elbows and knees. The class drilled taking control of the plumb position and the v-step footwork, progressing from compliant warm-up drills to full-resistance.

Next we moved onto takedowns, addressing high, mid and low line takedowns. This was done from the single person in the middle exercise. One person is clinched by any one of the students that surround him and he then has to take them down from the clinch position. I called out which line of takedown I wished for the defender to take. If this failed they went straight for a back-up technique. I matched the height of attacker and the manner of their clinch with the type of takedown. Today this was done as an illustrative guide. On gradings and when under pressure the student would be expected to select the appropriate technique according the above mentioned criteria.

Going to the ground we went to the closed guard. Lower grades went over the basic arm-bar from this position. Intermediate to advanced grades worked on the arm-bar/triangle choke/oma plata (shoulder lock) combination. The lesson was then finished with some guard passing sparring.

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