Sweeps vs Angle Strikes (diary entry)


The first lesson of the morning was the final lesson of my client’s course on Martial Arts Cross Training. This class saw us revising stick and knife work before using them within the context of MMA ground-fighting. To set the scene for groundwork, we went over a series of sweeps, much as I had already done with my senior client last Wednesday.

Training began with a warm-up of stick-work. We went through 12 angles of the single stick off both sides and then looked at various edged weapon adaptations of these angles. This was followed by some hubud drills to building up dexterity and trapping tactile awareness. Next we moved onto double sticks, using high and low angle strikes through freestyle footwork. High angles were continued as we transitioned through postures and then layered this into footwork.

Going to the ground we looked at three sweeps – the scissor sweep, the pendulum sweep and the electric chair sweep. These all have a relationship with one another – the pendulum sweep having a similar set-up as the scissor sweep, but using an under-hook to the leg like the electric chair. This was done in order to set the basis for MMA fighting in and from the guard position.

After we covered sweeps we looked at using angle strikes in the guard. We trained angles 1-4 and angle 12 as both hammer-fists and elbow strikes. This was performed on focus mitts and as direct applications.

The lesson was finished with 6 x 3 minute rounds of specific sparring. Three rounds were performed with my client attacking inside the guard and three from defending with sweeps only from the guard. No submissions were permitted in order to promote both posturing from the top position and sweeps from the guard position. The first two rounds were grappling only; the second two rounds allowed hand striking; the final two rounds allowed elbow strikes (head cage worn).

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