The seven hour point of my client’s MMA course on Saturday looked at layering the entire game at each range.
We warmed up with partner-work from the off. This began with mirror footwork. Here we looked at some advanced movements, such as the diamond step, back-peddling, the Thai knee hop and the forward slide. We then switched levels before staying at a low level for an extended period of time, testing agility at wrestling range. Next we went to the ground with some long-range guard passing.
Padding up, we went back through each range with layered in strikes and other techniques. Stand-up range covered several tactics. We looked at a timing set-up used by Cung Lee in his fight against Richard Franklin. Lee had noticed Franklin’s fondness for throwing low round kicks. He also noticed he dropped his guard enough for Lee throw in a knockout overhand. There are two obvious ways I could set this up as a training exercise – bearing in mind that this was an example of one fighter predicting another fighter’s pattern weakness rather than a consistently effective counter-move – the first one would be throw your own low kicks to prompt a Dutch-style rally. However, I went a second idea that used a baiting tactic and made good use of the foot-work orientated training we had warmed up with earlier. We switched between two diametrically opposing boxing styles, advancing with a square-on peek-a-boo and then retreating with a Philly shell. Low-kickers often attack as a fighter exits to the outside and it is also a common counter-move used against confident punchers. We timed this with a move inside and then a lean-back feign followed with a repetition of the same footwork this time throwing two hooks – a close/medium hook and a long-range hook. We also trained the retreat with an optional shin-check. Cung Lee did not shin-check. He moved into the low kick as he threw his overhand. I brought it in as an extra precaution. However, we also trained intercepting.
We then used the knee-hop to set up for a superman/cobra jab. Here we worked on retaining defence and a follow-up technique, exiting with a teep off the same side.
Next we looked at feigning with a slap-down parry to set up for a neck-tie into a series of crosses. This puts the opponent’s attention on their lead hand before suddenly shooting past for the back of the head and immediately following up with the rear striking hand. Again, this requires timing and promotes fast hands.
Finally we went through using switching levels to set up for strikes before we moved more into Dirty Boxing. Here we went through switching between over-hooks and under-hooks.
On the ground we drilled striking to under-hooking from butterfly guard as well as using the knee shield and cover to go for the electric chair from half-guard.
The lesson finished with five minutes of MMA sparring.