After a student-led series of combat-specific exercises, we continued working on the basics of grading material. As previously explained, CCMA gradings require the student to have a firm ground in self-protection. Therefore, all of tonight's training continued off the fence. We drilled pre-emptive striking, using the wall as a restriction and against multiple antagonists. This moved onto in-fight drills with the focus mitts going through various different postures. Senior grades drilled this against multiple coaches.
Next we moved onto takedowns. The best way I feel to demonstrate takedowns without actually sparring is have a student engage another in a clinch going at 30% resistance. CCMA gradings have no specific techniques. Rather we have activities and create circumstances. When it comes to takedowns, students simply demonstrate the best means they have to take someone down. So, for example a much smaller student should attack the lowline of a larger attacker.
The MMA lesson began with some grip fighting. This was followed by some head wrestling. Next we did an arm-drag counter drill and then moved onto some Thai clinch work. Next we did some guard passing sparring. This worked all grappling.
Keeping the theme going, we moved onto guard passing. In MMA passing the guard is not as an essential skill for a fighter as it might be in submission grappling. Nevertheless, the principles behind it are very necessary. The person passing the guard needs to know how to stack his opponent properly. He needs to know how to posture correctly, so he is not at the mercy of his opponent’s attempted submissions and sweeps.
We went through the mechanics of a basic guard pass and then looked at the principles behind its execution. Simply jumping or standing up in someone’s guard is not good enough. If you haven’t broken the guard’s control you can leave yourself open to lots over easy counters. The person holding the guard can play a long open guard or they might simply attack the legs from the closed guard position and still sweep you from standing. The person passing guard needs to be able drive forward with his hips in a totally dominant way if he is going to stand up.The frog jump is an excellent specific exercise to train this type of guard pass. The motion encourages the student to drive his whole body forward.