Extra Ground-Fighting (diary entry)


Phil Shirly Photography circ. 2009


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 stances. Ground-fighting from the top and from the bottom are distinctly different. The fighting from underneath is particularly sophisticated and an art unto itself. After learning to escape from pins, fighters have three guard ranges with a multitude of different tactics to use.
The lesson began with a series of specific dynamic stretching, movement and sport-specific callisthenic exercises. This was followed with some revision drills from the top position and from the guard. Top position was concerned with a transition through pins. We also explored various submission options from the different pins and how to transition into them. Next we drilled guard submissions using the legs mainly.



Phil Shirley Photography circ. 2009

For this special lesson we focused on leg-locks and other guard ranges, all of which is new material for my client. Prior to the previous lesson, my client had his first introduction to a leg lock via the knee-bar. We went back through the technique we covered that involved passing guard from a standing position. My client learnt the ankle-lock as a counter move to a counter to the knee-bar. We then covered the basic foot-lock from a similar position.

Next we moved onto the butterfly guard position, a mid-range guard. From here we trained a basic sweep and also took the back, where we went into some detail attacking with a choke from back mount. Prior to covering the long-range guard, I introduced a transitional guard drill. This is a movement pattern that regular readers will recall I have recently covered a few times with one of my other clients. The drill teaches the fighter to move safely between guard positions, coordinating hip-blocking with acquiring hooks. Once I was happy with my client’s smooth transitioning we looked at the hook guard. From here we covered a basic sweep and I also introduced the heel hook.


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