Put the Guard to the Test (diary)




Tonight we revised guard-work and then began putting everything under pressure, progressing through specific to general rule-set sparring.


We began with our usual warm-up of mobility and callisthenic, muscle-activation exercises. We then drilled sets of solo movements – bridges, snakes, arm-bars, triangle chokes and oma platas. Next we did some partner drills – arm-bars, triangle chokes, oma platas, guillotines and kimura key-locks/sweeps from guard. Next we worked on using the mid and long range open guards to move around an opponent as mobility exercise. This was finished with drilling stacking to pass guard. Although a few details were touched upon, this was not a technique-orientated lesson.


The last part of the lesson consisted of 4 x 5 minute rounds of sparring. Two of these rounds were specific sparring in the form of guard-passing under submission grappling rules. The next round was also fighting specifically from the guard, but under MMA rules, allowing for strikes. The final round consisted of MMA sparring.


Photograph by Charlotte Von Bulow Quirk, featuring Tony Hughes & Jamie Clubb for “Mordred’s Victory and Other Martial Mutterings”

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