Testing Half-Guard (diary entry)



This morning I reached the seven and a half hour point of my client’s further course in Mixed Martial Arts. This two hour lesson spent extra time looking at the half-guard from a submission grappling perspective and then when it is integrated into MMA.


We began with mirror footwork, building up into various drills from different ranges. This included underhook pummelling into takedowns, neck-wrestling into strikes and bulling (collar and elbow tie) into breakaway punching combinations. We moved onto grip fighting and wrestling, and then guard passing and guard defence sparring.


Next we went back over the half-guard position, better establishing the lockdown. Getting this part right is key along with promoting the under-hook behaviour i.e. get the under-hook as soon as you get half-guard and hold onto it as along as possible. We flagged up issues regarding defending against chokes, which are typical counters to half-guard sweep attempts. The electric chair submission was covered, as well sweeping from both sides and taking the back mount position. We also revised the Kimura lock and looked at its versatility.


The integration process then followed. I taught a simple flow drill, moving from half-guard to butterfly guard and full-guard. Then we brought in strikes and did some progressive pressure testing against the half-guard position.


The final section of the lesson comprised of a round of focus mitt work, linking punching combinations to takedowns, a round of focus mitt work linking kicks to takedowns and then a round of MMA sparring.LOCKDOWN

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