Upper Body Grappling and Conditioning (diary entry)

20140321_210020_resized_1This morning’s first private lesson focused mainly upper body grappling and associated exercises. We began with the neck, training it using light “bulling” with the collar and elbow tie. At this point we covered some neck strengthening exercises – forward, side and rotational gravity exercises using the head with the body lying down. We then did front and back neck bridges followed by the side wall lean using the Swiss ball. The neck was then applied offensively in an isolation training drill where two opponents try to get their head under each other without using their hands or arms.

Next we worked grips and hand dexterity by drilling arm-drags. Following from the neck orientated training we also drilled the necktie grip, which combines gripping the back of the head with a wrist grab. We then used this to set up for an ankle pick. Working off the drilling model I introduced the Kimura arm-lock. This was done from standing and then from guard. We also trained the sweeping element. I then brought a medicine ball into the training to overload the motion. This exercise takes the ball from next to the shoulder over to the opposite hip and then back to the opposite shoulder and then to the other hip. Holding a Swiss ball with the fighter’s feet off the floor helps keep the pressure on the core and keeps the whole action more specific.

DSC_0199Moving onto strength training, we began with pull-ups. This followed by hanging knee raises to build-up to hanging leg raises. Whilst he still had strength for these exercises, we finished off the section with commando pull-ups. We then moved onto kneeling bent-over rows. I prefer this exercise to be performed without any support, but this instance we different. We used a Swiss ball to add a different stabilizing element. We then covered the same action in direct application as a knee pin into an arm-bar. I finished the session with a pressing action to train the opposite motion. This was in the form of press-ups with accommodated resistance in the form of chains.

The lesson finished with PNF stretching and upper body stretches focusing on the shoulders and neck.