Tag Archives | Grappling

Covers & Grappling (diary entry)

Side headlock defence 6

10.11.2023 The final hour of my client’s Self-Protection course was all hard skills. We went back to the pre-emptive strike but looked at grappling alternatives for a mid-level threat. This took the form of the arm-drag and counter-arm-drag back to fence. We escalated this to a pressure test (unscripted and uncooperative). The arm-drag introduced the importance of gaining the back position. Next we moved onto the main feature of the lesson: when matters go wrong. This type of hard skills […]

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MMA/Muay Thai

Cat & Ollie MMA stylesimage00001 copy

24.07.2023 Monday’s lesson was a two-hour booking for my couple clients, finishing their 10-hour MMA styles course and beginning a new Muay Thai course. After a dynamic stretch and sport specific calisthenic warm-up, we began an overview of the styles work. This began with some light specific sparring. One fighter stuck to their swarming/muay bouk style and the other to out-boxer/muay femur style. I pitted attack against defence only, forcing the individual styles to work on their own way of […]

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Testing the Ranges with One-Sided Sparring (diary entry)

omoplata specific sparring

27.01.2023 Hour 10 of my client’s first Mixed Martial Arts course with me focused on looking at both conditioning exercises and putting his skills under some pressure. One of my mandates for taking these sessions was to not use sparring due certain medical reasons. This is something of obstacle when it comes to teaching a combat sport. However, we have found ways to work around this challenge. We have regularly used reaction games, both touch and no-contact, and I keep […]

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Self-Defence Clinch (diary entry)


                                                                                10.11.2022 Thursday morning continued my work teaching Hostlebro Taekwondo’s visiting two teachers from Denmark. This morning’s shorter session, which also saw involvement from Athena School of Karate’s Mary Stevens, looked at clinching from a self-defence perspective. We mainly trained all […]

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The Guard Drill (diary entry)

armbar from guard2 (close up)

20.06.2022 Hour seven of my couple clients’ submission grappling course brought them to using the guard. As with the top positions, I covered a flow drill. They transitioned from closed guard to open guard to spider guard to butterfly guard to half-guard back to the open guard and closed guard. Throughout the drill they did variations from different positions and we looked at the all-important safe transitioning. Services 

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Swarm to Clinch (diary entry)


28.02.2022 My client couple’s second lesson looked at strategies on accessing the clinch from the stand-up range. I went through the drills covered in last week’s special lesson for Athena School of Karate. This began with footwork exercises to corner off and escape from corners using footwork only. Then we brought in the use of high guards and some aspects of the cover. In MMA guards need to be even more active than they are in boxing. This is because […]

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Transitioning to the Clinch Range at Athena Karate (diary entry)


16.02.2022 I was honoured to be invited back to the wonderful Athena School of Karate to cover a lesson on range transitioning. The head teacher told me that during asymmetrical sparring, students were finding it difficult to access the clinching range. We went through the following exercises to help fill this gap both figuratively and literally: The cover. By building up a robust and mobile cover the students were able to build their confidence when taking strikes. Defence only pad-work. […]

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Waistlock Takedowns & Breakfalls (diary entry)


13.12.2021 Monday night my couple clients entered hour two of their 10 hour course specifically focused on the clinch for MMA. As last week, we are currently only covering the wrestling aspects rather than the striking. As part of our warm-up we covered back breakfalls, side break falls, backward rolls and backward shoulder rolls. We then revised some of the previous lesson’s material with the collar and elbow tie into two-on-ones. From here we went to taking the back, looking […]

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Side Control & Scarf-Hold Escapes (diary entry)

Tracey & Liam 2

11.12.2021 I gave a bespoke private class over Zoom to Kuroten Karate founder and her son, focusing escapes from two fundamental pins: side control and scarf-hold. After a grappling based warm-up of dynamic stretching and callisthenics, we moved onto pin transitions. From here we looked at working from reversals and hip escapes, which are the main basis for escaping pins. We also looked at different stages of a pin, such as when it is in transition, and how to best […]

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Teacher Development Programme: Clinch & Ground (diary entry)

zoom mikael lesson clinch sparring

09.11.2021 Tuesday night’s first lesson was my client’s teacher development programme booked by Denmark’s Holstebro Taekwondo Klub via Zoom. Tonight we finished off our clinch section with three types of single leg takedown, a series of sparring exercises and finished with top position ground-fighting. This was all preceded with relevant dynamic stretching and callisthenic exercises used to warm-up/activate the right muscle groups and movements. Single Legs: We covered the basic single-leg involving trapping the leg between the knees and shooting […]

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Junior MMA Continues (diary entry)


08.08.21 Sunday morning saw the return of my parent/child clients as they enter the second hour of a five hour programme in Junior Mixed Martial Arts. As discussed in their trial lesson, the structure of these classes will be to teach the fundamentals of western boxing for the first two thirds whereas the final part will focus on more game-orientated extra skills, such as grappling. This morning we began the boxing with circular footwork. This was to encourage movement after […]

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MMA & Wrestling (diary entry)


04.08.21 Wednesday night’s first lesson focused on junior mixed martial arts training. It has been a long time since this client has covered unarmed combat arts and decided to give him a lesson of overall run through the different areas. We began with a warm-up of dynamic stretches and MMA specific callisthenics. Then I started him on the focus mitts using MMA gloves. Once he was comfortable throwing combinations and defending, I layered in takedown defence, knee strikes and the […]

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Anti-Grappling Children’s Self-Defence (diary entry)

forest school karate anti grappling WPAA session

22.03.21 Forest School of Karate invited me back for the fourth and final hour of the anti-grappling section. The previous session finished covering the basics of grappling to lie a foundation for the anti-grappling. Having confirmed the behaviour of striking whilst being grappled and retaining strong grappling positions, it was time to look into more serious clinch and ground situations when striking options were less attainable. This included sprawling, biting, eye gouges, head-butts and elbow strikes. As is the case […]

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Hard Skill IV Private Lesson (diary entry)

eye gouge

16.02.21 My second private lesson on Tuesday was a one-to-one teacher consultancy on my fourth official self-protection hard skills (self-defence) presentation. This is the final part of my basic self-protection course adapted for online teaching. The course brings us to the clinch stage of fight management. Here we discuss why grappling is to be treated as an incidental and tangental phase of self-defence training, why it needs to be learned and where its place lies in mid/low-risk situations.I teach grappling […]

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Defending the Takedown (diary entry)

In-fighting attack7

25.01.21 My ongoing course on “When Parents Aren’t Around” children’s self-protection kicked off my Monday night teaching. We are currently on a diversion route through grappling in order to understand anti-grappling and then move onto anti-abduction. Grappling is also a very common situation for many children to find themselves in due to its primal nature. Tonight we revised dropping levels, neck-ties, under-hooks, taking the back, over-hooks and double-leg takedowns. From here we explored a few incidental techniques such as sweeps, […]

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Takedown Defence (diary entry)

ryukyukan karate WPAA 8

19.12.20 Saturday morning’s second lesson was my eighth hour with the Ryukyukan Okinawa Karate and Kobdudo, Matsuri Dojo teaching children’s self-protection as part of my “When Parents Aren’t Around” course. We are in our third hour of anti-grappling. When things go wrong and a person is grabbed matters can really go bad, especially with children who are likely to be dealing with disproportionately larger threats. This morning we revised all previous grappling material from the clinch plus escaping the mounted […]

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