Tonight’s 1.5 hour class with my long-time client and his teenage nephew looked at a complete Mixed Martial Arts combination and tactic concept.
We began with our regular warm-up followed by reaction games, switching levels and 10 minutes of randomised short rounds of very light specific sparring (stand-up, clinch and ground sub-divisions).
The combination and tactic was to take the fight from stand-up to a grounded position with minimum clinching. This began with the introduction of the switch-jab. We brought this punch in after using jabs and double-jabs to set up the range. The switch-jab is not to be confused with a contralateral style straight or a type of cobra or superman punch. It is not a power punch but is more in line with the mirror stance’s “jabbing cross”. Like the jabbing cross the switch action puts the fighter into a mirror stance and with their lead foot on the outside of the opponent’s. The same type of setup might be achieved with a switch-round kick. Although it should be stated that both switches are usually executed with the fighter returning to their opposite or original stance.
Before moving onto the takedown, we looked at other striking options. This included the rear speak knee that can coordinated with the switch-jab by using the jabbing hand to swing back and provide a strong counterbalance or to pull down the opponent’s guard. We can also apply this to a rear leg round kick to the body. The outside positioning also provides the same opportunities we have explored in mirror-guard work – overhand punches, low round kick to the outside of the leg leg, up-jab and corkscrew uppercuts.
For the takedown option I taught a different, more MMA friendly variation on the single-leg. After landing the switch-jab, the fighter inwardly hooks their lead leg around the back of their opponent’s and ducks into the body to carry the momentum forward. The entire toppling action might be successful but it can be assisted by having the fighter continue as they would with a standard single leg once they have the leg trapped i.e. shoot for the knee or ankle of the standing leg. If the opponent is able to withstand the single-leg there is also the option of taking the back.
Given the single-leg works, we continued from the top position where we used inspiration from Khabib Nurmagomedov to dominate using leg trapping. This system of top position control is commonly referred to as “The Smesh”.
The lesson finished with a series of one minute rounds with 25 second rest periods of MMA sparring. We began various different positions from stand-up, clinch and ground.