August 2009

Success in Mixed Martial Arts Depends on Your Thinking like an MMA Fighter, Part 2.

In my martial arts training facility I have Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts trained as separate disciplines so that the classes are specializing in their particular game. The Mixed Martial Arts being made up predominantly of Muay Thai for striking and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling for the grappling.

In addition, as we talked about in Part 1 of this blog post, there are numerous tactics, such as striking on the ground that are taught which are specific to the MMA game. One area of focus that I have found needs attention, in the early part of a student coming from a predominantly grapplers’ background, is that of striking in the clinch and on the ground, whether on the top or bottom.

Mixed Martial Arts has given us the ability to do this to a far greater extent than any other modern day competition medium. Success in any game requires that you utilize all tactics available and this requires developing the mind set that will enable you to think like a complete MMA fighter, this in turn requires that you develop a striking game for clinching and your ground game. Here are the areas that you must consider:

1) Striking as you enter the clinch to do damage and develop good position for takedowns.

2) Striking in the clinch to obtain better control and to frustrate, wear the opponent down or potentially knock the opponent out.

3) Train striking as you break from the clinch both offensively and defensively.

4) Strike as you go to ground, e.g. knee drops into knee ride.

5) When training and developing striking tactics from the top position pay close attention to maintaining good position and base for stability and develop good biomechanical movements for power hitting.

6) Train strikes from the top for knock outs, damage accumulation and setting up finishes.

7) Striking from the bottom in guard to set up sweeps and finishes.

8) Striking from underneath when the opponent has the dominant control position is an often overlooked part of training Mixed Martial Arts escapes and will definitely add a useful dimension to your fight game.

9) Striking from the ground when the opponent is standing

What must become part of your mind-set is seeing and taking of opportunities to strike the opponent effectively when the opening presents itself. Work strikes into all parts of your game plan, as you train, to enhance your total set of fight tactics and remember striking when clinching and grappling is not only to incur damage and knock-outs, but it is also about annoying the opponent so that he/she moves position and presents opportunities that you can capitalize on to improve your position, and providing you with a more complete set of mixed martial arts fighting techniques.

Success in Mixed Martial Arts Depends on Your Thinking Like an MMA Fighter, Part 1.

Often when training mixed martial arts with new aspiring MMA fighters, particularly those that have a strong grappling background, I am made aware that they are sticking to their grappling game and missing opportunities for striking.

The sports that we engage all have a set of rules and parameters that determine how the game will be played and how we are required to behave. This is certainly true of all combat sports and there are strict requirements on the tactics that we can use.

Mixed martial arts competition has introduced a total new set of parameters to the martial arts competitive fight game. The practitioners of this fighting system draw there techniques and tactics from several existing fighting systems that all have there own set of rules that they are practiced by. This can limit the exposure to, and thus practice of, techniques outside of the rules for the particular game that the fighter is engaged in.

Thus we see practitioners from predominantly wrestling backgrounds with poor striking (both in the standup and on the ground) and strikers with poor grappling skills.

As the evolution of mixed martial arts continues schools and gyms of mixed martial arts are developing a more comprehensive set of tactics and techniques as their knowledge and experience increases. Distinct tactics have been developed and are continually being perfected that are a direct result of the mixed martial arts fight parameters that allow both striking and grappling. A large body of knowledge is being generated that gives mixed martial arts its’ own and rightful place among the martial arts disciplines.

In part 2 of this blog I will cover the areas that an aspiring practitioner must develop aside for the fundamental striking and grappling game in mixed martial arts.

What does Anthropomorphism and Self Defense Awareness Have in Common?

Today I wish to express an opinion that I feel very passionate about, prompted by a recent news article; that of the human arrogance and anthropomorphic viewpoint that all creatures should abide by human rules and laws.

This lesson also brings to my attention how it relates to many peoples attitude to their rights and self defense, and how it often gets them in to situations in which their lives are threatened and even taken

The harsh reality is that we are only sharing this universe, and in particular this little rock in one of its’ millions of galaxies, with many other magnificent creatures forged from millions of years of evolution.

The news article I was referring too, like many I have seen in the past, reported that a wild-life park attendant who looked after the tigers was killed and eaten by a tiger and the tiger was put to death. A beautiful animal, the product of thousands of years of evolution and member of a species that has been hunted to near extinction by humans, destroyed for behaving in a manner that its’ instincts dictate.

The human attendant had worked with these animals for years and must have known what he was dealing with. Having reared it from a cub he was very fond of it and must have forgotten that this was a wild animal, guided and motivated by instinct.

The human made a fatal error and paid the price but why then did the tiger have to die for just being a tiger. This was not the same as a domesticated animal like a dog, this was a wild creature that is widely accepted as not able to be domesticated.

The authorities and other fearful citizens supportive of the killing with there anthropomorphic views reinforced by religion that we are something special with dominion over all other creatures have driven to extinction so many beautiful products of evolution .

We as humans are supposed to be the creature with the large brain, surely we must understand that we have only risen to our position because we can manipulate our environment. Very few other creatures can, and if they do, it is of a limited nature.

They certainly do not know our laws and cannot consider us as anything special, if we are in their environment and territory they will act accordingly and we must behave as per their rules that are governed by their instincts, over which they have no control.

The same hysteria and killing frenzy is also seen when a shark kills a swimmer or surfer, all sharks in the area are hunted down and killed. We as humans with our ability to modify our behavior have no rational reason to kill these creatures as we are the ones putting ourselves in danger by entering their territory, a territory that we are poorly prepared for. In addition, if we do wish to play in their territory we must be aware of the dangers and exercise awareness.

This same awareness and attitude must also be exercised in our self defense preparedness, when we venture into the foreign territories or neighborhoods of our fellow humans because we are by far the most dangerous animal in existence and we prey on our own kind. I cannot emphasize enough the necessity to develop a realistic understanding of your own abilities and limitations when it comes to self defense.

In addition if you’re looking for a no nonsense book on useful street self defense methods check out my “No B.S. Street-fighting and Self Defense Guide” by clicking here.