From the ground up (diary entry)

The guard is often considered an advantageous ...

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Eastern Green Primary Schoolonce more hosted me as an all-day coach. I taught half hour taster workshops on mixed martial arts and the CCMA approach to students aged from five to 11. With such short spots it is very useful that CCMA’s warm-ups are not abstract exercises, but relavent movements that replicate what students would be doing on the focus mitts and in the sparring. We did some shadow boxing that covered all ranges then some MMA games and some freestyle focus mitt work. All in the all I think it was well-received. The school has some wonderful teachers and assistants as well as some great facilities, and the majority of the students are a real credit to their progressive thinking headmistress.


I have never professed to have any degree of expertise in the Malaysian and Indonesian martial art of silat. However, I am interested in their concept of training from the ground upwards. Teachers in this system compare it the way a plant or tree grows. It’s a pretty and poetic idea. The more probable reason why these systems begin low to the ground is because of the environmental conditions they were developed in. Fighting in jungles and undergrowth naturally cultivates tactics that rely a lot on low and crouched stances. Nevertheless, it provides a refreshing approach to the usual stand-up, clinch and ground pattern of most MMA lessons.


We begin finishing off our work on the kimura. This week I taught the lock from the northsouth position. Then we looked at it as a tactic for establishing an armbar or as a contingency plan if the kimura failed. Further attributes from learning this combination is the feel of fighting for the armbar.


Taking the position of the person being armbarred, we looked at how to counter the hold and either get a stand-up position or pin an opponent. This flowed onto asymetrical groundfighting. Now we returned to the point of view of the person who has just lost the armbar and been stacked, covering how he could attack his opponent’s leg. We looked at the cover, climbing an opponent to get a vertical position – as in a self-defence situation – or going for a low single leg takedown.


The lesson finished with stand-up fighting. This comprised of two restrictive sparring exercises. Both forbade fighters from allowing their front legs from leaving a square, encouraging more aggressive tactics. The class fought two rounds of boxing and two rounds of kickboxing.

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