Targeting and the arm-bar (diary entry)

Mark Mullen applies an arm bar to Ernesto Mart...

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We began by drilling the 11 punch combination and the punch/kick combination as a direct application for the warm-up. Target familiarization has become something of a CCMA trademark. I brought it into the Hard Target courses and do it whenever I feel it is necessary in training. Hitting pads all the time tends to get you good at hitting pads. There has to be overlap. You mould into the equipment you use and start developing abstract techniques based on the parameters you set. Likewise target familiarization helps bring about realizations and highlights certain individual weaknesses. When students are too accustomed to hitting abstract targets they tend to do odd things like hitting their partners hands when the pads are taken away. Likewise it is not uncommon for the partner taking strikes to start forgetting how to block and begins to use his hands like focus mitts. We then went back through the arm-drag/counter drill, arm-drag/taking the back drill, arm-drag/taking the back from butterfly guard, underhook/taking the back and underhook/taking the back from half-guard. With the revision areas well covered we then looked into submission work. We focused on the arm-bar, a high percentage move in submission grappling and MMA competition that can be applied from any number of different positions. We began with the mount position, which is the easiest place to get an arm-bar. This was first done slowly to get the technique correct and then as a muscle memory drill. Seeing as we have been working on taking the back over the past few weeks, we then drilled taking the arm-bar from this position. This technique, when done full-out involves a forward roll and can be quite dramatic. The session finished with a discussion on the place for submission training in self defence and then Richard Barnes gave a talk on “self defence is the defence of the self”. This boils down to not allowing the negative attitudes of others change your own attitude, therefore remaining in positive control of your life.

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