Tonight we covered takedown defence with more practical application, working under pressure and the use of elbow strikes. After warming up with muscle engagement/mobility exercises for grappling, we did some mirror footwork. I then added on targeting for strikes, working from various angles. This then changed to cornering work, specifically escape from cornering. This exercise has a particular relevance to the fundamentals and principles of takedown defence, as a fighter defending a takedown needs to be wary of an opponent closing the distance on them.
We then moved on elbow strikes. The natural progression of this sort of training could have taken us straight into various forms of sparring, but I am of the mind that when a lesson has a particular technical aspect this should be addressed prior to the client being pushed into a more intensive physical area of training. So we moved onto elbow strikes and looked at their application from stand-up, clinch and ground range. We revised the slashing, horizontal, backward, spear, side, uppercut, smash-down, diagonal, chopping and even spinning elbow from a Muay Thai perspective before bringing into MMA territory. This was executed by putting the strikes into combinations. When on the ground we drilled the strikes whilst holding guard and also defending against them whilst holding the closed guard position.
We then pressure tested takedown defence. We worked this using an asymmetrical sparring exercise, a variant on the Strategy One vs. Strategy Two pressure test. In this version the fighter (S1) work MMA gloves and was given the task of preventing the takedown at all costs using whatever legal techniques were available to him. The opponent (S2) wore no gloves and worked on closing the distance and getting a takedown.