Flow and Resist (diary entry)

arm bar (small)



Tonight’s lesson brought the various individual techniques we have been focusing on back into a chain. This encourages better flow using the guard and combination work. This was all preceded by various mobility and muscle activation exercises specific to ground grappling.


Yet again my attention was drawn to the underlying principles of the techniques. Working these submissions and sweeps requires active core engagement. The hips need to be mobile and the spine needs to be tight as early as possible to fill in the gaps. It is very tempting to rely too much on the legs.


We looked at the arm-bar again, working a few variations and then progressively testing them. It is important that pressure testing is brought in regularly and intelligently alongside flow drills. This makes for the best muscle memory and learning process. The fighter gains a tactile awareness and gets to apply the same movements in repetition against a partner who gradually increases the level of resistance. For the purposes of today’s lesson we stayed within grappling. Next lesson we aim to bring in the MMA element, continue the chain training and increase the resistance with more specific sparring.


My essay on specific training, which has since been rewritten as a chapter for “Mordred’s Victory and Other Martial Mutterings”


Photograph by Chalotte Von Bulow Quirk for Jamie Clubb’s books “Mordred’s Victory and Other Martial Mutterings” and “Bullshitsu and the Fight to Make Martial Arts Work”, featuring Jamie Clubb and Tony Hughes

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