Introducing the Defensive Guard (diary entry)

resistance band guard30.11.19


We reached the five and a half hour point of my client’s MMA course on Saturday. This morning we worked on all areas, but mainly concentrated on fighting off the cage and from the guard.


The lesson began with a wide range of warm-up and revision activities for muscle activation and muscle memory. This began specific light callisthenics and dynamic stretching – rising kicks, Indian push-ups and Indian squats – moving onto agility ladder training – chopping in all directions, jabbing on and off line, shuffles, spear knees, wrestling hip-switches, double-leg takedowns, single arm jump overs, bear crawls, monkey crawls and sit-outs. This was followed with snaking, side-winding, lizard crawls, upas, arm-bar leg raises and triangle leg raises.


We then did some partner drilling. This began with one-for-one sparring, setting up kicks with hand techniques. This was followed with 1, 1-2, 1-2-3 sparring combinations all of which had to include a takedown entry.


I then took the training onto the cage wall where we drilled dirty boxing work. Here the fighter threw body shots into the belly pad whilst working to keep his hips low and his head under his opponent’s (the coach). The drill involves over-hooking or under-hooking one arm whilst throwing shovel hooks into the body. They are then triggered to trap the arm on the target side when the coach blocks the fighter’s arm. The fighter then switches sides with his head and resumes striking on the other side.  At some point the coach double under-hooks the fighter and turns him into the cage. The fighter responds with the same trapping/striking exercise before putting his own under-hooks and turning the coach into the cage.


We then went to the ground and did some light guard passing from open guard allowing for strikes.


Moving onto techniques, we went to the ground and covered aspects from spider, half and defensive guard. The spider-guard drill consisted of varying between gripping the opponent’s arms on the outside whilst keeping their feet on his hips to pushing away on the hips to get back to a standing position. The former of the two movements is a control position if the latter position cannot be immediately attained. Half-guard looked at transitioning from a classic half-guard to a loose lockdown position and immediate use of the knee shield.


The defensive guard is the name many give to Kron Gracie’s full guard in MMA. We covered this concept by keeping our guards high and immediately moving off on an angle. From this point the guard can be opened for omoplata positioning if required, presenting the fighter with many options including far more accessibility for strikes.


The lesson finished with an intensive 5 minute round of MMA sparring and some PNF stretching to warm down.


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