MMA Injuries: Time to man up!

Train long enough in the Martial Arts, and you will encounter an injury of one kind or another. Learning how to train wisely during an injury is a key component in getting ahead while others would be crying in a corner, licking their wounds.

Well, this week we bring you our friend and regular here at Damage Control MMA, Ben “The Badger” Jones. It’s no surprise that when he injured his bicep while preparing for a bout in Bellator, he was still at it, working out and training, even with his injury.

The key is to be smart about how you train. To find ways that you can continue to be active while both allowing your injury to heal, but also improving your skills in other, possibly neglected parts of your game. Here Ben shares some of his insights into how to accomplish this… Badger style!

If you find this article interesting, we’ve visited it before. Be sure to check out our previous article MMA – Love Hurts

How to Hit without Being Hit! Ghost Fighting Systems

This year at Erik Paulson’s annual Combat Submission Wrestling camp, we were introduced to a new presenter, Phil Norman. Recently Mr. Norman has been making a splash in his area of the world with his students and their accomplishments in the realms of MMA, K-1 and other combat sports.

I’ve always been a fan of the finesse approach to fighting. I.e. learning how to hit while minimizing the damage (potential and actual) that you take in the process. And as common sense as this approach may seem, I am still stunned by how many egotistical cave men there are out there who think it’s somehow “cooler” to take punishment and then retaliate.

You hear it all the time when guys say stuff like, “I like getting hit.” or “I can take a better shot than you can.” Whenever I hear this garbage I always think about what Boxing Coach Marvin Cook once said. “Maybe you can and maybe you can’t but I tell you what, I’ma go ahead and just give that to you because I don’t really know exactly how good a shot I can take. I’ve never taken a really good shot and I don’t ever plan to. It’s just not something I’m that interested in finding out.”

Phil Norman’s Ghost Fighting System seems to fit quite well into this philosophy albeit in its own unorthodox way.

What is most interesting to me about what Mr. Norman Presented to us, was how nicely it seemed to complement and supplement the things we’d already been preaching in our own gym, at DamageControlMMA.com and in our own personal approach to fighting.

Reference the Basic Footwork, Basic Punch Defense, and Offensive Angular Footwork series already available in our members section.

In the featured video Mr. Norman described “The Hang” which is significant to us because it fills a niche that lies between two ideas we utilize in our own striking method. Previously, we employed 2 contrasting methods to deal with the energy presented in “The Hang”. One we refer to as the “Half Moon” and can be seen at the 7:04 mark of the Over Commitment (Striking Formula) video, and the other we cover in the Retreating at a 45 video.

When two people draw from the same well source they will often take the same information but then interpret and express it in their own unique ways. And this is a good thing. It’s what fosters creativity and new combinations/iterations of ideas. Something reminiscent of the Muay Thai 4 Count and how it was being expressed with a particular flare on the East Coast as opposed to it’s execution on the West Coast during the beginning of the new Millennium.

In essence the difference is that when presented with aggressive chasing, forward pressure, we would either circle and then cut a latteral/forward 45 degree angle and throw a straight punch on the second beat, or retreat on a 45 and then reset by circling out. Whereas with Ghost System’s Hang, we now have a third option, and that is to retreat on a 45 and throw an arcing punch on the first beat. An excellent supplement to the Striking Formula.

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think of this very intriguing approach to elusive striking.

Our MMA Students in Action – Nasty Knockouts and Omoplata Arm Break

This was a project we’ve been working on for a long time. Time to develop the fighters, time to collect the footage and get permission for use, and then the biggest delay was in finding a rockin sound track and then getting permission to use it. Which never happened… 3 or 4 years went by and then we finally decided to just publish it without the sound track.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s as good as it would have been with the music in the background, but what is one to do? At any rate we thought it would be fun to publish it anyway, to give at least some credence to what we’ve been showing you guys in the Damage Control Vids throughout the years. There have been a fair number of detractors and critics out there, and I don’t blame them. Many have pulled the “In a real MMA fight” card, having never given any proof of their own experience in such a field.

We didn’t want you guys to have any doubts of your own so here you go. More examples of our own students using what they’ve learned from us in the ring, on the mat and in the cage. And if you would like more, be sure to check out.

Let us know what you think in the comments? Still think we’re a bunch of frauds?

Foot Sweeps For MMA, Muay Thai, and Submission Wrestling

Study the Martial Arts long enough and eventually, you’ll begin to realize just how long it can take some times to learn a certain set of skills. I have been a huge fan of foot sweeps for years and as a result am perpetually on the hunt for different entries, set ups, details and insights regarding this valuable tool.

What I enjoy so much about the foot sweep is that it is so versatile while at the same time being a low risk, high reward technique. Foot sweeps can be used as takedowns, as set ups for submissions or my favorite, as set ups for the Knee.

Here I get a rare opportunity to learn foot sweeps from one of my all time favorite instructors, Ajarn Greg Nelson from “The Academy” in Minneapolis Minnesota. Ajarn Greg was the first instructor to introduce me to the idea of using sweeps as off balancing techniques to set up knees. I’ve been exploring that idea ever since and enjoying every minute of it.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about using foot sweeps as takedowns, and as set ups for submissions or knees. Which do you prefer? What are your favorite follow ups for foot sweeps?

Basic Muay Thai Pad Drill: Shield and Kick Return

Harkening back to a series we’ve been visiting and revisiting over the last year or so, we share another Basic Muay Thai Kick Drill. This simple drill is designed to develop defensive reactions and coordination that will allow you to see various kicking attacks and apply the appropriate defense while also conditioning you to immediately retaliate with either the left or right Thai Kick.

As a coach, we encourage you to start out simple. Feed the right kick and have your student return a right kick. Then progress to feeding the right, and having your student return a left kick. Then progress to feeding the left kick and receiving the right. The last basic feed will be to send the left kick and have your student return a left kick.

After your student is comfortable using all the possible returns, vary your feed and be ready to receive whatever return your student executes.

Finally, the idea is to seamlessly weave this particular drill into a varied and active Thai Pad Round. Feed Jabs, Hooks and Crosses to develop your student’s punch defenses. Hold for punches, kicks, knees, elbows and combinations thereof while keeping your student alert with your kicks. This will create, realistic, dynamic and very effective training rounds and your student body will love them.

Taekwondo In MMA

Some time ago, we shared a few set ups for the Turn Back Kick when we did a shoot with Sensei Erik Paulson. But long before that Coach Kiser was using them in the Taekwondo Junior Olympics and as a result developed his own favorite set ups which eventually made their way into a few of his MMA fights.

The Back Kick has a few different uses as it can be used to counter an opponent to circles to your left flank and attempts to create an angle (this variation can be seen in the clip with Sensei Paulson). And as you can see it can also be used as a follow up to a missed or evaded Thai Round Kick.

But in both of these situations, the Turn Back Kick has a secondary effect. It acts as a deterrent, keeping your opponent from rushing in to take advantage of a flanking situation. Even when your opponent backs away or evades your Turn Back Kick, they give up the ability to bridge the gap and thus trade safety for an opportunity to counter. This gives you time to repost and reset.

Share your favorite set ups and uses for the Turn Back kick. Leave a comment and let us know what other TKD techniques you like to incorporate into your MMA game.

Kyokushin Kicking Drills with Shihan Cameron Quinn

As a sport, Kyokushin is a dynamic and very entertaining style. Below is a small example of a myriad of videos out there with various Kyokushin K.O.s and other highlights.

But you don’t have to be a Kyokushin student to benefit from the tried and tested training methods of these hard and formidable men. Here Shihan Cameron Quinn shares some basic and intermediate drills with us. They are designed to teach you the basic angles, a way to condition and build up a resistance to leg kicks as well as how to time and use counters to these basic kicks.

Whether you are a Kick boxer, an MMA Fighter, a Kyokushin Fighter or a Thai Boxer, these easy to learn drills will help you improve your leg kicking offense and defense. Coincidentally, DamageControlMMA.com subscriber and Sanshou Fighter Greg recently submitted his latest match in the forum for discussion and instructor feedback. In it his opponent basically makes the mistake that Shihan Quinn mentions in his video and drops his hands. We’ll let you see for yourself what happens next. Good thing Greg’s opponent didn’t tune in to Damage Control MMA.

MMA Footwork For Beginners

This week’s blog post is a Damage Control MMA exclusive. That’s right faithful Damage Controllers, no youtube updates this week. Just a sneak peek into what we’ve been working on in the Members Area of our little project as of late. Basic Punch Defenses.

Who knew such a simple, and easy to learn technique could be such an effective and powerful tool. Stepping and Sliding Back, Stepping and Sliding Forward. That’s it! That’s all there is to it. The hard part is actually using it. People will move back but won’t spring into their former position. Or they’ll panic and simply cover up, neglecting to utilize their footwork all together.

One of the most valuable aspects of using footwork as the foundation for all of your defensive skills is that it is very general purpose. The same Step and Slide Back can be used to evade the Jab, the Cross, the Hook, Overhand, Uppercut, Straight Right, Jab Cross Combination, Spinning Backfist, the list goes on. One size pretty much fits all when it comes to using footwork as your first line of defense as can be seen in the last portion of the video.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post and we hope you’ll join us for more DamageControlMMA.com in the future.

Taekwondo for MMA

If you are anything like Kiser and I, you’ve had at least a little bit of exposure to Taekwondo. So many people get their start in the kicking based art. It would only make sense to make use of the many skills and techniques that the art has to offer.

After all, Kiser was a Junior Olympics Taekwondo Gold Medalist. I wasn’t near as talented but I did manage to earn a Brown Belt in the I.T.F. style. Many have dismissed the art as a viable contributer to the world of Mixed Martial Arts, but Kiser and I have always found that the only thing a closed mind, and a closed heart have never brought us were limited options and isolation. Being open minded has always opened more doors and brought us more happiness in our training and travels.

Above are a few simple modifications to techniques commonly found in Taekwondo. Be sure to share your favorites in the comments below.

Here’s to “No limitations as the only limitation.”

Ben Jones Clinch Work

Few recurring guests on Damage Control MMA have developed the following and fan base as Ben “The Badger” Jones. Some come for his charming personality, some for his unconventional techniques, and still others just love to see how he’s going to make Brandon’s life a living Nightmare.

Regardless of why you enjoy watching, The Badger is back and he brings the goods again, with a series of techniques from the clinch.

If you enjoy seeing The Badger, make sure you stop by his facebook and let him know. Whenever you guys let our guests know how much you like seeing them on Damage Control, it makes our job that much easier when it comes to asking them back onto the program.

Check it out and stay tuned, we have so much more to come.