Facial Harassment – 3 Sneaky MMA Moves

High level MMA competition has often been compared to chess.

Like chess masters, top fighters constantly go over various scenarios, studying counters and counters-to-the-counters.

The more techniques you study and drill, the easier it will be to anticipate your opponent’s moves and set yourself up to land strikes, improve your position, or snag a submission.

While mastering the basics is essential, slipping in an unconventional technique can be a fun and effective way to throw your opponent off of their game.

In the video below, Pro fighter and CSW instructor Ben “Badger” Jones demonstrates 3 sneaky submissions not commonly seen in traditional submission grappling arts.

The first submissions is a facelock that uses pressure to jam your opponent’s jaw out of alignment, similar to a slow motion knockout punch.

Yes, it’s nasty.

Yes, it will make you an unpopular training partner if you try it on your unsuspecting buddies.

But if you ever find yourself in the middle of a close “chess match” of a fight, perhaps a bit of facial harassment could be a game changer in your favor.

[box]If you’re interested in other unconventional techniques to catch opponents by surprise, check out these videos in our members’ section:

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What do you think about these techniques? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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MMA Takedowns: Running CSW Style

Certainly any type of takedown can be used in the sport of MMA, but how to set them up and integrate them into a world where Neck Cranks, Chokes, Knees, Strikes and Submissions of all sorts can be employed as counter measures can sometimes be a daunting task. Cross Training Pioneer Erik Paulson has helped to continue the research and development of this field. Some would argue that he’s polished and even helped shape the landscape of MMA takedown protocols used in modern times. And you can put me into that group.

Here are some out takes we shot in 2009 and 2010 regarding some of those takedowns. As you might expect, these became part of the daily takedown regimen taught and studied at our school. And as the old saying goes, “Practice becomes habit, you don’t live up to your expectations, you live down to your drills and your training.” Such was the case in 2011 when a hand full of our students put these takedowns to the task at a local Submissions Only Tournament (no, time limits, no points).

Both the competitors seen in the videos (Jared Fahrner and Heinrich Mokofisi) used the running takedowns to eventually win their divisions.

One interesting idea to note was that one of our overall strategies going into the tournament was to employ the Catch Wrestling Concept of never offering your head to your opponent by means of “Shooting” for a takedown. Instead the competitors elected to use more upright, Grecco, Catch and Judo style takedowns when the opportunities presented themselves.

This not only allowed them to keep their heads and necks away from trouble but also gave them ample opportunities to utilize the Half Haltch, Grovit, Front Head Lock and Guillotine to control their opponents when they shot in and in some cases submit them outright.

Long story short, thank you again Sensei Paulson and Coach Robinson. This stuff works and works well.

And as a parting holiday present, we’ve included a final gift, an awesome impromptu lesson in leg locking for after you’ve taken your opponent to the mat. Courtesy again, of the legendary Sensei Paulson. So listen up and Lock On!

MMA – Catch Wrestling Technique: The Gotch Toe Hold

I’ve been saving this little beauty for a rainy day. And seeing as how it’s been a little quiet around the vlog as of late, I thought, it’s a perfect time to unleash some more pain. I mean, sharing is caring right?

Ever since I first read about the Gotch Toe Hold, I’ve been interested in learning more about it. Well at this year’s first quarter Certified Catch Wrestling Audit, we had a chance to do just that. After being teased with a first glance look at the technique during our shoot for the “Say Uncle” Catch as Catch Can book (pages 198 and 199 cover the technique in pictorials), I wanted to get some more hands on time with it with one of the last surviving practitioners of Catch, Coach Billy Robinson.

He shared his thoughts on a few variations and follow ups and then signed my copy of the book.

If you’re interested in picking up a copy, it would help Coach Kiser and I out as well as Scientific Wrestling (the guys responsible for putting together the Audits and the book) if you could use the link below and purchase your copy from Amazon.com

Jake Paul and Coach Kiser demonstrating the basic CACC Ready Stance.

Jake Paul and Coach Kiser demonstrating the basic CACC Ready Stance.

On a somewhat related note, it’s so interesting to learn more about the various arts and their general approaches to fighting. I remember during the shoot for the “Say Uncle” book it was at a seminar in 2010, and I remember speaking with Coach Robinson about the basic Catch Fighting Stance. I remember how it appealed to me as it shared a number of philosophies and similarities to the Thai Clinch Method and the Judo Stance, both of which I am more familiar with.

In essence, the Catch Ready Stance is more upright than it’s amateur wrestling cousin. And favoring more of a Grecco and Judo style throwing for it’s takedowns vs the shooting and leg hunting method of the amateur style, I asked Coach Robinson why that came to be. His answer was simple. “Because you would never want to offer your neck to your opponent like that.”

Notice the difference in posture with the Amateur Wrestling version of the ready stance

Seeing how Catch not only employs and allows Guillotine type chokes but also potentially lethal neck cranks such as the Grovit, I took his words to heart. In fact I could hear them ringing in my ears this last weekend as I watched two of my own fighters get caught and choked with Guillotines as they shot in for doubles and singles. I suppose some lessons are hard learned.

Our student Dan Berry delivers his second Suplex shortly before getting caught in an Arm In Guillotine

At any rate, train well and Happy Hunting.

MMA Techniques: Shin Lock 102

We recently did a video for our friends at www.LockFlow.com demonstrating another variant of the versatile Shin Lock. Ever since I learned the proper mechanics from Coach Billy Robinson, the Shin Lock has found an ever growing role in my MMA and Submission Grappling game.

Fringe Techniques and Our Disclaimer

Now I cannot emphasize this enough. Kiser and I often put up video content that demonstrate some of the more fringe type techniques (most of the fundamentals we do are in the Members Only area of DCMMA). This isn’t because we favor these over tried and tested basics, nor is it because we like them better.

We just figure, that if you wanted to see a basic guard pass, there are plenty of resources out there for you already, most of which are done by well respected, high profile instructors.

So we try to keep it interesting by exposing you guys to stuff you may not have seen just yet.

The Ever Versatile Shin Lock

The Shin Locks and their myriad of applications are something that fits the bill and this week we add a few more options based on the initial mechanics taught to us by Coach Robinson. He really does teach you how to learn, and then the rest just starts to blossom.

Add these to the stuff we showed in the BJJ CACC Shin Lock Guard Pass and your opponent will never look at that game the same.

Good luck, have fun, and happy hunting!

MMA Striking Techniques – CSW Style

Some videos more or less speak for themselves. This is one of them. Ben “The Badger” Jones, puts some mojo on Coach Kiser during the 2011 CSW Fighter and Instructor’s Camp.

Jaw Breakers, Liver Shots and Sweep Kicks abound.

Ahhhh, I love being the camera man sometimes.

The Long Sit Out

It’s always a juggling act trying to deliver content to our followers and subscribers that I think they’ll enjoy, while at the same time trying to balance it with what I am passionate or excited about.

To be honest, I don’t think the two are always the same. I know from experience that the flashy submissions and things of that sort have historically always out performed the more mundane subjects we’ve posted and so I try to provide as many of those types of things as I can.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy those types of techniques as much as the next guy,

but at the same time, I find myself more and more enamored by the obscure and or understated positional escapes, grip fighting basics or in this case, Coach Billy Robinson’s take on the Long Sit Out.

I’d learned it, or rather, began to learn it decades ago while wrestling in Jr. High School. But, with wrestling being a season long sport, with only so much time for practices and only a few coaches to manage 3 different grade levels, various weight classes and different levels of potential and skill, there was only so much that I could learn about that specific move way back then.

A season filled with countless losses and 1 victory over the only kid skinnier and weaker than myself coupled with the humiliation a scrawny kid feels after being pointed at and laughed at while wearing his wintergreen tights and doing bridges on the mat in the pre-match warm ups, pretty much sealed the fate of my wrestling career (if I can call it that), and the lesson on the Long Sit Out would have to wait another 20 some odd years before I’d understand it for what it was.

An escape for desperate times.

It’s been months since that lesson with Coach Robinson, and I still haven’t quite made the incorporation of the Long Sit Out into my game seamless, but reviewing the technique as I edited the footage, helped me remember some of the details and again, understand when and where to use such a technique during a roll. It’s a late escape from a Quarter Position scramble, or a pre emptive escape from the Back Mount.

Either way, I’ll continue to work on it as an important niche maneuver of my escape and defensive repertoire.

Coincidentally, Jake Shannon and Coach Robinson have just recently released a new book “Say Uncle!: Catch-As-Catch Can Wrestling and the Roots of Ultimate Fighting, Pro Wrestling & Modern Grappling“. It’s a chronicle of the history and men responsible for the brutal art of Catch As Catch Can Wrestling. I must say, it’s a very interesting read which includes great interviews with men such as Coach Robinson, Gene Lebelle, Dick Cardinal, Josh Barnett, Billy Wicks, Fujiwara, Erik Paulson and many others as well as some fundamental play by play techniques. And heh, whaddaya know, even Coach Kiser and I make a cameo.

Without grizzled men like these, the art could easily have died out just prior to my generation. Their dedication to excellence and their tireless work ethic is really the only thing that’s kept the art alive.
Below you can see an out take from the Scientific Wrestling CACC Certification course. Just look at the seminar attendees, sitting exhausted from the morning session, catching their breath, taking notes and rehydrating, while Coach Billy, pulls up two of the young lads to inspect and then perfect their technique.

He just never stops, every second is spent developing fundamentals, and instilling the desire to achieve the perfect technique.

Coach Robinson IS the King of Catch. Long Live the King!

Next week a few more escapes from side cross with one of my Jiu-jitsu coaches, Pedro Sauer BJJ Black Belt, Mike Diaz.


Extreme MMA Techniques – The Taint Lock

And then you put his toes where?!? That’s right, that taint your @$$ and that taint your scrode. Yes folks, it’s come to this, the infamous Erik Paulson, “Taint Lock”.

I doubt that I will ever tire of studying this art. There are so many techniques, so many variations and so many minute details, and I enjoy learning them all.

Few techniques can be said to be as creative, nor as humiliating as the “Taint Lock”. I mean, just imagine, there you are, rolling with your closest training partner when, tap, tap, he catches you. “What the Hell was that?” you ask. To which he meekly replies “Yeah, that was a Taint Lock.”
Time to hit the showers… and immediately wash off that foot.

To be honest, I’ve seen the lock before, a long while ago, in one of Sensei Paulson’s old internet videos (before the advent of youtube). I’ve asked him about it and even worked on it with him on more than one occasion (can I say that without it sounding hmmmmmmmm… wrong?). At any rate, like with any technique, I never tire of seeing it taught. There’s always something new that catches your eye, or some aspect that a different presenter may highlight that you may not have payed as close attention to as you could have.

This was definitely the case with Khuen Khru Alvin Chan’s rendition.

In the past I’ve relied on butt scooting in an using my arms to generate the majority of the leverage on the lock. But watching how Khru Alvin executes the technique, I really liked how he placed his foot on his opponent and used it to push off and generate a considerable amount of additional tap out potential.

A special thanks go out to Khru Alvin this year for sharing his great teaching abilies with us once more and for being such a great friend and mentor. It was an especially busy camp this year and we had to really work hard to squeeze in a few short filming sessions. Be sure to send him your respects and my regards at www.MD-CSW.com

My advisors here at DamageControlMMA.com have suggested that I shorten my posts, and make my updates more frequent. And as I am admittedly no web, computer, or blog/vlog guru, I’ve chosen to heed their advise and see how it goes. Next week, you can look forward to the return of the Legendary Coach Billy Robinson.

We’ll see if our subscriptions, forum activity and following increase as a result of this new format. If not, I’m going to advise my advisors of the efficacy of their advise. Until next time, happy hunting… and give em taint!

Keeping Catch Wrestling Alive

Our journey in the Martial Arts has taken many twists and turns over the years. Coach Kiser and I have had many wonderful adventures and met many incredible instructors, but few have made as much of an impression as Coach Billy Robinson of Catch As Catch Can.

We shared our experience with you, the very first time we met Coach Robinson and Coach Shannon, when they visited our old school in Bountiful, Utah. It’s been a few years since that time, and our respect for these two and what they’ve set out to do has only grown.

You see, Catch Wrestlers are somewhat of a dying breed. Catch Wrestling as an art can be considered, in my humble opinion, as one of Martial Arts Endangered Species.

How did this happen? How could such a formidable art with so much to offer dwindle into a handful of practitioners and even fewer trainers to ensure the survival of the species?

I’m not even going to pretend to know. Perhaps it first began as a business decision as proposed in “The Unreal Story of Professional Wrestling“. Perhaps it has to do with modern conveniences and distractions such as the Wii, Playstation, XBox, and Girls as Coach Robinson once relayed it to me. “Back in our day, we had none of these, it was Wrestling, Boxing, or sitting at home alone.”

Maybe it has to do with the brutal nature of Catch and the feminization of modern human males, who’ve embraced the Metrosexual movement over getting their faces cranked and their shins splintered.

Or maybe the art has suffered due to the lack of an organized governing body to ensure standards and accredit coaches/instructors.

I empathize with this last assertion as I feel that arts such as Muay Thai have suffered from some of the same maladies as Catch.

The lack of a formal ranking and hierarchical structure has made it exceedingly difficult for the layman to know where to go for legitimate instruction.

By contrast, arts such as Judo or Brazilian Jiu-jitsu have flourished under their organization and structure. When looking for an instructor, the first question usually asked is, whether or not the instructor is a “Black Belt”. The Judo and Jiu-jitsu communities are usually tight knit enough that claims by instructors regarding their ranking can be corroborated with relative quickness and ease.

Begin a search for a legitimate striking instructor or in this case a Coach of Catch As Catch Can and what basis do you have to judge your prospective instructor’s ability? This is one of the many reasons why pioneers such as Ajarn Surachai “Chai” Sirisute, Coach Billy Robinson and Coach Jake Shannon are so important to the arts of Muay Thai and Catch As Catch Can respectively.

These forefathers have begun the gargantuan task of establishing organization, structure and an accrediting body to their arts. Under that guidance of Ajarn Chai, the Thai Boxing Association of the USA has taken root and is thriving. I know personally of the high level of skill and the consistent level of quality in the TBA and the instructors it continues to produce.

This gives me hope that the same feat can be accomplished for the art of Catch Wrestling.

Enter Coach Robinson and Coach Shannon and their Certified Catch Wrestler Program. According to Jake Shannon

“The purpose behind the certification program is two fold: 1) to
verify that it’s participants have indeed trained first hand with
someone like Dick Cardinal or Billy Robinson and 2) to insure that
the REAL sport of CACC is carried on, not some cobbled together
mutant born from just watching instructional DVDs and messing
around with your buddies.

Our certification concept is the same quality control concept as
belts in many Eastern martial arts. Each certification provides
evidence that the participant has trained at least 15 to 20 hours
under Billy Robinson, Dick Cardinal, etc.

The assistant coach level is only reached after 100 hours of
verified time, and at the discretion of Billy and I. We’ve only
got two of them besides myself, Sam Kressin and Jesse Marez. Once
you’ve clocked either 800 – 1,000 hours or 8-10 years (depending
upon your other contributions to the sport) of verifiable, and
deliberate effort with qualified expert CACC men, then you can be
full coach in our system.”

As you can see, the foundation for a structured CACC program is just now beginning to take shape with only a few intrepid souls taking the lead on bearing the torch for future students of the game.

I will not deny that there are other perfectly qualified Catch Wrestlers and Catch Wrestling Instructors out there, but the Scientific Wrestling/Certified Catch Wrestler program is taking great strides towards organizing a structure for learning, promoting and preserving the art. Something that I think is paramount for CACC’s survival and future success.

In these formative years of CACC’s rebirth, with only a few good years left for it’s only surviving Practicing Instructors, Catch Wrestling needs you!

If you enjoy Catch Wrestling and want to see it continue to be a fixture in the combat sports scene, you need to get involved. The Certified Catch Wrestling Program is an excellent way to get hands on with Coach Robinson, one of the few authorities on CACC who actually competed in the art. There are also Toe Hold Clubs (New York,United Kingdom, Carlsbad, Inland Empire, New Jersey, St. Emelie)that you can join in your local area where you can learn more about Catch and help to ensure it’s survival.

Will you be part of the conservation or simply watch as one of Combat Sports greatest contributers withers into extinction?

Erik Paulson’s Short Shots

I’m the nerd’s nerd when it comes to MMA and Martial Arts Techniques in general. They are like comic books or fine wines to me. There are mass produced beauties that everyone has access to and can enjoy and then there’s those very rare and hard to find gems. Sometimes they are even more effective and brutal than the average technique (like the shin locks which are completely game changing, they have the ability to take butterfly and open guard away from your oppoent… WOW).

It might be argued that their rarity contributes to their effectiveness. But either way, I collect them. And this, in my opinion, is one of those rare, though perhaps more esoteric ones, Erik Paulson’s “Short Shots”. It’s a personal favorite of mine. It’s so out of the ordinary as far as MMA techniques go. And the way I first learned about them (through Erik Paulson’s gym tour vid) makes them even more endearing to me.

That being said, I heard Ajarn Greg Nelson comment how useful it is to have one more option here, one more little tweak there that can allow you to capitalize from an otherwise neutral position (I think it was on his MMA Workshop DVDs). And the “Short Shots” have done exactly that from the MMA Clinch. When other people are just locking up and establishing neck ties and underhooks, I am jarring their systems with “Short Shots” en route to my neck tie/Prumb etc.

Check it out, Erik Paulson’s “Short Shots”!

Also from CSW Instructors Greg Nelson and Erik Paulson:

The Catch Wrestling Shin Lock

Training with Sakuraba's Coach, the legendary Billy Robinson

Training with Sakuraba’s Coach, the legendary Billy Robinson

After first learning about the coveted but elusive Knee on Shin Lock and Elbow on Shin Lock, I was obsessed. I had to have them. I had no idea where to find them or how to go about getting on the mats with someone who knew the real skinny behind these old school Catch As Catch Can Techniques. But as luck would have it, the answer would literally fall at my feet.

Jake Shannon president and founder of the Scientific Wrestling Group, a society he has tasked with the consolidation and preservation of the many forms of Catch/Carnival/Wigan style Wrestling, recently changed his place of residence from sunny CA to the desert colony known as Utah.

2, 90 Degree Angles on 2 separate planes make for a more efficient SNAP!

2, 90 Degree Angles on 2 separate planes make for a more efficient SNAP!

W.A.R. Catch Wrestling: Lessons in Catch-As-Catch-Can with Billy RobinsonUpon arriving he needed a place to host an upcoming seminar with the legendary Catch As Catch Can Instructor Billy Robinson, a first generation student of the late Billy Riley. Jake called up his friend, our instructor Sensei Erik Paulson. Sensei Paulson suggested that he get in touch with his state representative Coach Kiser and the rest is history.

Having the once in a lifetime opportunity to train under one of few remaining authorities on Catch Wrestling, we picked as much of Billy’s brain as he and Jake could stand. The result was a bunch of footage that, to this day is some of my favorite material.

For anyone interested in learning more Catch As Catch Can moves directly from Coach Billy Robinson, I whole heartedly recommend
W.A.R. Catch Wrestling: Lessons In Catch-As-Catch-Can with Billy Robinson