Ground-Striking (diary entry)

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My second client on Tuesday completed his seventh hour of this course of MMA training. Most of this course has occurred during the lockdown period which means we have had to train via online video streaming. Tonight we spent a lot of time looking at striking combinations on the ground, using strikes to set up submissions and progressing our pin transitioning.


After a warm-up of sport-specific callisthenics and dynamic stretching, we moved onto striking combinations. I began these techniques from standing. We looked at the simple jab/cross that can be thrown from the mount position and when posturing in guard. However, overhand punches become more relevant when striking from the top. From standing these are usually reserved as a knockout blow coming off the end of combination or when drawing an opponent onto a punch. However, within the clinch they can be thrown more frequently and we drilled them in combination with under-hooks. Taking it to the ground they can be thrown in batches of two and beyond as the fighter strikes downwards at the opponent. We drilled it from kneeling all the way up to a standing, stacking position.


Next, I introduced horizontal and inward diagonal (number two angle) hammer-strikes. These work from any top position on the ground. These were then combined with the overhands. We then built this into an up and down combination – overhands from a bent-over position, overhand/hammers all the way down to a kneeling/mounted/posturing position. Elbows were then introduced. We looked at horizontal and slashing elbows. These were combined to the up and down drill, added onto the kneeling position. Chopping elbows can also be used from this position and also from side control along with back elbows.


As we transitioned through pins, I went through the various submissions – Americanas, Kimuras, arm-bars and arm-triangles – that can be used from each position. These submissions are set up by the strikes. As we came to the north-south position we went over the shovel hooks and the angled overhands used to attack the body. We also drilled the reverse arm-triangle.


The lesson finished with 2 x 3 minute rounds of visualisation shadow sparring followed by 6 x 30 seconds of intense repetition work: rapid punching combinations, rapid punching, rapid kick-punch combinations, rapid knee strikes, rapid clinching, rapid sprawls, rapid up and downs, and rapid snakes/shrimps.


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