MMA Guard-Work (diary entry)

Defence from guard to standing4


This morning my client completed his seventh hour of a 10 hour course on MMA Ground-Fighting. We continued our work on fighting from the top position in the guard and then began work from the guard position for MMA. Striking and defending strikes from these positions is an art unto itself, requiring a lot of work looking at how to transition effectively.

We warmed up with both top and bottom position callisthenics. Bear crawls, stiff-legged bear crawls, lizard crawls, hip-escape/sit-outs, frog jumps, seal crawls and press-up springs are all good exercises for developing the strength and fitness for from the top. Whereas snaking/shrimping, triangle crunches, arm-bar crunches and shoulder-bridging (umpa/upa) are good exercises for fighting underneath.

Partner warm-ups focused on top positions in the guard. We revised the frog jump/power-clean into a stacking position, where the student jumps from his knees whilst in the guard to a stacking posture. This progressed onto revision of the stacking combinations we trained last lesson, including striking combinations. Then we drilled the muscle-memory exercise for passing through a guard. This consisted of transitioning from one combat base to another. This moved us onto drilling the full pass and then we layered on the striking from the previous lesson.

Next we trained passing around the guard. This largely focused on standing up and fighting asymmetrically against a long-range guard. We trained downward punching combinations, the toreador pass and the knee-pin.

Work then began on the guard position. The first tactic for an MMA fighter in such a position is to disengage and get back to their feet. We covered blocking the hip with the foot and then transitioning to a standing position. This was done in a proactive fashion, maintaining a strong defence and sending the momentum forward from combat base to standing. Then we trained the scissor sweep.

The lesson finished with two rounds of specific sparring. The first round consisted from the top position and the second round restricted the fighter to defending from the guard.

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