Sparring at All Ranges Part 3 (diary entry)







Tonight’s first private lesson was the fourteenth in my client’s second series of Martial Arts Cross Training for Mixed Martial Arts. We continued looking at specific sparring. Last time we focused on striking within the clinch. This time we went to the ground.

The class began with a series of ground exercises to promote betting movement and for my client to take away from the lesson for his solo conditioning. It is unsurprising that there has been a lot of modern Yoga crossover in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training given the limitations of human movement. I know of at least two programmes boasting a combined yoga and BJJ conditioning regime. However, it should be pointed out that the majority of asana work and the various movements through postures have their roots in the late 19th century. These “yoga” movements are, in fact, Indian wrestling and gymnastics exercises. So, the grappling connection is no coincidence.

After warming up we went through all the basic positions on the ground. We looked escaping and transitioning through pins before we drilled fundamental submission holds from the guard. Then we looked at tactics in the guard for striking. This is the famous “ground and pound” strategy popularised by wrestlers in MMA competition.  Unsurprisingly the striking tactics were similar to the clinch, however, the person posturing in guard has two very apparent considerations: firstly he has a gravitational advantage of his opponent, secondly he is more vulnerable to submissions than he would be when stood up.

We looked at the safety position from posturing and maintaining a strong hand guard. Then we looked at striking using the momentum of having a limb pulled for striking and striking with the opposite hand when being pushed. This was drilled and then pressure applied in specific sparring.

Yoga Poses aren’t 5,000 Years Old