Tonight’s second private lesson looked at the squat exercise. You can find variations of this exercise across the traditional martial arts spectrum. I trained it as sitting stance in Tae Kwon Do (a term General Choi used after he saw a clown gag, where the clown remained sitting in the same position after a chair was taken away). I trained it, at length, in Chinese martial arts as horse stance. I later found it in Traditional Jujutsu as a counter to rear bear hug. In MMA terms, squats are a movement that has many directly applications in stand-up fighting and the clinch position. A fighter squats to drop the level of his attack and also to defend against being taken down. It is important that a fighter keeps a straight back and firm posture when squatting otherwise he compromises the connective strength of the position through the core and legs, and tactically leaves himself open to various attacks to the head and neck.
We first introduced the squat by simply dropping levels whilst performing agility exercises using the cones as part of the warm-up. It next came in on the focus mitts, as we looked at low jabs and rolling (bobbing and weaving). This was then taken over the squat rack. These fundamental strength exercises are great for helping to form a solid base. We performed both back and front squats.
Next we looked at the single leg takedown, working three variations of the technique: the classic leg-trap, the low level driving version and the high level upending throw. This influenced the split squat exercises that followed and also led me onto dumbbell split stance clean and jerks.
The lesson finished with some standing PNF stretching and some floor static stretching with an emphasis on calves and quadraceps.