Jab Combinations & Positioning for the Arm-Bar (diary entry)


I was amazed how much we squeezed into tonight’s session! We began with a shadow-boxing warm-up, using the jab. The jab provides such a rich area to explore. In self defence I see it as the sensory tentacle of the “fence”. The lead hand that negotiates the situation, determines whether or not the altercation will become physical and, like all good jabs, maintains distance. You can also strike off the jab, although a reasonably high skill level needs to be achieved in order to generate a lot of power. Lance Lewis teaches four types of basic jab or rather four basic purposes for the jab. TVP has 10 different types of jab. A favourite self defence tactic of Mo Teague’s is the finger jab that can be thrown at the eyes of throat.

Moving into the cage or ring, we find the jab is particularly efficient for regaining control, gauging distance and setting up other techniques. The class warmed up striking from different levels and we even broke the rules by dropping the lead hand helping everyone to relax more. Then we brought in the following combinations. For the categorisers among you I have bracketed typical sport contexts where you would commonly find these combinations (kick heights were varied at will):

Jab/lead front kick (American kickboxing)

Jab/back leg round kick (muay Thai)

Jab/cross/back leg round kick (muay Thai)

Double jab/lead leg round kick/cross (American kickboxing)

Jab/double leg takedown (mixed martial arts)

Jab/rear leg round kick/single leg takedown (mixed martial arts)

Jab low/clinch/knee (muay Thai)

We then revised arm-bars. I felt it was important to re-emphasize positioning from the top. The class went through a simple transitional pin drill that takes the top player around the body, detailed on here before:

Side control/scarf-hold/northsouth/scarf-hold/side control/knee-pin/side control/reverse scarf-hold/mount/original side control

This teaches good positional movement. We then inserted arm-bars and locks into the sequence. Below is an ideal progression of how the exercise should go, but was not done in its entirety in today’s lesson. At present the class have been training two arm-bars (side control and mount):

Side control (isolate far side arm, Americana key lock if possible)/scarf-hold (nearside arm-bar if possible)/northsouth (kimura key lock if possible)/scarf-hold (nearside arm-bar, if possible)/side control (arm-bar isolated arm)/side control/knee-pin (arm-bar if possible)/reverse scarf-hold/mount (arm-bar one side)/mount (arm-bar opposite side)/original side control

The class finished with three rounds of restricted MMA sparring. One side was restricted to jabs only, whilst the other could do anything and won when they achieved the clinch.
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