Ground-Fighting using the Heavy Bag (diary entry)

Heavy bag ground diary12.05.20

Tuesday’s second lesson brought this client up to the ninth hour of his Mixed Martial Arts course. Unlike Monday’s – who was primarily a kickboxing student – this client has been through several of my different courses and is very familiar with ground work. However, this course has been his first introduction to striking on the ground. Having a free heavy bag in his isolation, we were able to complete his ground-striking drills. I also did some more clinch-work and we did some intensive shadow boxing work.

The lesson began with some dynamic stretching before we swiftly moved onto some shadow boxing that took us through all the ranges. Then we moved onto the heavy bag. Last week we spent a lot of time drilling suplexes and double-legs. I decided to ease off the throws and look at ways to use a free bag (that is a heavy bag that is neither hung nor freestanding) for in-fighting or striking in the clinch. We went through the basic drill for fighting against the cage – shoulder bump/spear knee/slashing elbow/re-pummel under-hook. Due to the bag not being supported in any way I brought in lifting as a way to turn this into a posture-breaking drill rather than a cage-wall drill.

Going to the ground, we revised the original pin transition from both sides and then incorporated the strikes all the way to the end before chaining on various possible submissions. From here, we looked at using the heavy bag to represent an opponent in the turtle position. This exercise involves a much faster transition using a sprawl position and moving around on the toes with the hips pushed tight into the bag. I layered in strikes and submissions as we progressed through the drill.

The final section of the lesson consisted of three rounds. Round one and two were each five minute visualisation MMA shadow boxing. Round three was a tabata of alternating sprawl/spear knees with fast punching from a squat posture.


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