Tonight we continued work on the guard, but brought it back into the MMA arena. We deconstructed the arm-bar and looked at two different executions from the closed guard.
The lesson began with some mobility and callisthenic exercises targeting specific movements involved in working the guard and activating muscle groups that would take on a primary role. This segued into a partner warm-up in-guard, where we drilled preferred reactions to whatever tactic the opponent might take. This began with adopting a cover to immediately deal with the strikes that were likely to follow and, continuing our theme of maintaining an active guard, immediately engaging the opponent. In simple terms, I had the fighter sit-up to attempt to sweep a posturing opponent and climb his guard if the opponent decided to attempt to crush.
Our previous lesson mainly took the lead that a sweep was preferable, but tonight we looked at the submission contingency. Dealing with a striking opponent cannot be underestimated. An opponent with free reign to strike whilst sat in a fighter’s guard can end a fight very quickly and with devastating efficiency. He just needs to be on-balance and have sufficient range. Therefore, defending and mitigating the damage of these strikes should nearly always be the grappler’s priority. This is unless the fighter’s timing is good enough to sweep or put their submission on way before the opponent has had a chance to settle – that usually means the split second you both hit the mat. Handling the striking not only consists of covering up and retaining an active core (shoulders off the ground), but blocking the hips and using the knees to restrict the punching range whilst initiating the climb for the arm-bar. Hip-blocking as discussed last lesson, impedes an opponent’s mobility a lot on the ground. It is important that the fighter also simultaneously trap the fighter’s wrists when blocking the hips, as punches can also do damage at very short range especially hammer fists. From here we went straight into the regular arm-bar submission.
Just prior to tonight’s final section we went over a faster arm-bar execution involving a high closed guard. The execution involves climbing and closing the guard high behind the opponent’s shoulders and relying on total core activation to hyper extend the arm.
We finished with a 30% resistant round of MMA guard fighting. Here we looked at covering whilst attacking using the guarding position, something I intend to go over in more detail next lesson.