MMA: Are you a student of the game?

What did you do the last time you got tapped out, taken down, swept, or set up with an awesome striking combination? Did you slam the mat with your fist? Did you immediately slap hands and start over, hoping to even the score? Or did you stop, shake the guy’s hand and ask how he pulled it off?

If you answered the latter, then you my friend are a student of the game. It takes a well checked ego to be able to ask someone to teach you right after they’ve just finished schooling you, but that’s exactly what Ross Pearson did… well kind of. After his experience with Barboza.

We all make mistakes, get caught, swallow the hook line and sinker, but how many of us learn from those mistakes, and improve ourselves in the process?

Sound off in the comments and tell us about the last time you learned from the guy who caught you.

Muay Thai Lower Leg Kick – A Knock Down Waiting to Happen

Feast your eyes on this super fans! A blast from that past. An awesome clip from the primordial soup known as Taking It To The MMAT. The precursor to what you see before you now, in it’s current and more refined iteration, Damage Control MMA.

This was a clip I shot at Ajarn Surachai Sirisute’s Annual Pacific Northwest Muay Thai Camp circa 2008 (I think). It was during a time I focused an entire year on learning and developing the sweep kick and all its variations. Khuen Khru Scott Anderson, now the Northeast Regional Director of the Thai Boxing Association of the USA, was kind enough to share this awesome technique with me and to this day it is one of my favorites, and one that serves me well any time I square off with a hard hitting bubba who loads up heavy on that lead foot and tries to drop bombs.

What made me think of it was the sweep used by Benson Henderson as he fought Gilbert Melendez at UFC on Fox 7. And I wanted to share it with you because this clip made it’s debut during our Cable Television days and thus didn’t get as many views on Youtube as I felt it deserved.

But Benson Henderson isn’t the only UFC champion who makes use of this most excellent technique, so does Lyoto Machida. Granted he usually uses a foot sweep variation as opposed to a shin induced post remover, but the concept and physics are the same. Now you too can put your opponents down like a peg legged pirates on an ice skating rink.

Lyoto Machida uses a similar technique. However, he favors using the bottom of the foot rather than the shin to remove his opponent’s lead leg post.

I take pride in knowing that we’ve shared this video with our loyal fans and supporters years before it became more widely known as a result of the Ultimate Fighting Championships. I apologize for the background music as this was edited early on in my video making experience. As you can see, over time we phased out that part of the production and I wish I could remove it from this clip as I feel it detracts from Khuen Khru Scott’s instruction.

But nevertheless, it is a proud piece of Damage Control MMA history.

Now go out there and kick somebody!

Basic Muay Thai Pad Drills: Inside Left Kick Counters

Since one of our very first Striking Instructionals “Jab Counters” we’ve had a lot of positive feedback and requests for more striking oriented videos in that format. Well here we are with another attempt at a video we hope you will enjoy.

The Left Kick Counter is a nice addition to the repertoire of any trainer or pad holder that wants to make his or her rounds more realistic. Incorporating these drills takes your partner from simply thumping pads, to reacting, and thinking. Sometimes they will engage the pads, other times simply defend attacks and other times they will defend and counter. This is the case with the Inside Left Kick Counter Drills.

Don’t forget to pay respects before and after your rounds. And don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know if you liked this series of Pad Drills.

Belfort vs Bisping: KO Breakdown

What is it that goes into a surgical Knock Out like we saw on Saturday night when Vitor Belfort placed a perfect shin across Bisping’s temple?

It wasn’t by accident. It was a well orchestrated plan.

It’s easy to believe that you just throw some punches, mix in some kicks and voilà! Knock Out! And certainly, this can sometimes be the case, but this is a spray and pray strategy that is a roll of the dice at best.

Professionals find ways to stack the deck, to count cards if you will, strategically placing bets and thus increasing their odds of winning the jackpot of combat sport, the lights out, sleeping pill.

The members area of our website has always been structured to teach simple, easy to learn techniques and concepts that can be combined to produce potent, highly effective tools for our members. The Bisbing, Belfort fight is a great example of just such a situation.

On March 15, 2011 we released the High Kick Counter vs the Southpaw as part of our Southpaw Counter Series where we discussed the general concept of keeping the lead foot on the outside of your opponent’s lead foot.

Many people have asked us to follow up with a series for Southpaws, giving them options for dealing with Orthodox fighters, however the techniques and theories are more or less identical just reversed. In essence, regardless of your lead, you want to favor your rear sided weapons as Belfort did vs. Bisbping.

Later in 2011 we posted the Basic High Kick Set up video on our youtube channel. The theory for the set up being, that you threaten your rear hand, eliciting a parry defense, clearing a line for your head kick to follow and land, unimpeded.

What we saw on January 19th, was Vitor Belfort threatening with his Straight Left, which Bisping was wise to acknowledge and respect. After taking time to condition a response and set Bisping up, the Left High Kick was ripe for the taking.

Belfort faked the Straight Left, Bisping crossed centerline with his right handed parry, opening the outside line and Belfort delivered the goods with his left shin and it was game over.

 

Another key to the set up was taking the initiative and forcing Bisping to react rather than allowing him to initiate. This gave Vitor the ability to read Bisping’s responses and contributed to the card counting intelligence which would lend a much higher hit probability to Vitor’s well calculated shot selection.

Thanks for tuning in. We hope this was helpful to you.

Leave us a note in the comments below and let us know what you think of our fist foray into the realms of fight breakdowns.

The MMA Takedown Breakdown: The How of Pressure

This post is equal parts concept and technique. The concept being, to continually pressure with real time, technique revisions and adjustments that will result in the most efficient means of accomplishing your goal… achieving a takedown in an MMA fight.

Phew! That was a mouthful. Restated and in simpler terms, sure, you could just drop in on a double and claw your way towards a takedown. Then again, you may just be clawing your way towards premature exhaustion and ultimately spinning your wheels.

But when you initiate an attack and are prepared to quickly adjust and circumvent the defense your opponent may throw up, perhaps repeating this sequence until your objectives are achieved; you make your opponent’s job that much more difficult, and thus, your job that much easier.

This concept of continual forward pressure, while phasing through various levels (high/head, mid/body, low/hips-legs) and types (takedown, clinching, striking) of attack is great, but just as important is the HOW, or the techniques best suited for applying this concept. That is what this video is all about.

Do you have to use the techniques that we’ve presented here verbatim? No, not at all, but these particular techniques are great examples of how to effect the concept of varied, constant pressure.

Do you always have to finish against a wall or cage? Of course not. There are plenty of situations where you may not be in a cage or enclosed area. Maybe your fight is in a ring, or maybe we’re talking a self defense situation in an open arena. You might want to incorporate some of the techniques presented in our over under clinch series with Coach Chris Wells.

Finally, are the cage takedowns presented in the above video the only ways to finish while against the fence? Absolutely not, it’s just a starting point. We’ve shown you plenty of options in our other videos regarding this subject, which we’ll include below for good measure.

Here are some additional cage takedown defense ideas for you.

MMA Techniques In Real Fights: Southpaw Fighting

When you watch a technique video online and read the comments it can be difficult to tell which if any are legit and whether or not the technique will really work.

This can be the case especially if you haven’t had a chance to build up a solid foundation and understanding through experience.

Naysayers will argue, “That will never work, because all you’d have to do is blah blah.” There are times when these arguments have merit and others when such claims are baseless.

So how do you know which claims to believe?

Well one way is to simply watch the techniques being used in actual fights.

And that is exactly what we present to you this week on Damage Control MMA. Earlier this year we presented our members with a 16 video instructional on How to Counter a Southpaw and shared a few of the clips with the public in our blog post on the subject.

As you can see in the video above, it doesn’t need to be fancy, hard to learn, or overly complex to be effective. And that’s what we specialize in here at DamageControlMMA.com Bringing our members, simple, easy to learn, effective techniques that give results.

Let the naysayers type on. 90% of them talk loud and say nothing. They never present original, informative material of their own. They’ve never posted any videos let alone competed, or shown proof of their expertise in fights of their own or through their student body.

You have our guarantee that whenever possible we will show you our techniques being applied, personally or by our fighters/students whenever possible. We’ve done it since the beginning and will continue to do so throughout the life of this project.

If you’ve experienced good results with our techniques, or even seen examples of techniques we’ve taught used effectively in fights, please let us know in the comments below.

 

Happy Hunting!

UK MMA: Dan Hardy Boxing Combination

The power of the Martial Arts to bring people together, to forge bonds and foster new friendships is nearly unparalleled in my opinion. Next week we will be sharing a proof of concept video demonstrating the use of techniques we’ve shared here on DamageControlMMA.com in actual fights. It is our way of showing that actions speak louder than words.

In addition to a ton of support and positive feedback, we’ve also received our fair share of insults and negative comments. For the most part we’ve got pretty thick skins. We rarely give any thought to these types of attacks. Experience has taught us that friends can do you much more good than you can ever harm an enemy. Which is another way of saying, with a limited amount of time on this earth, and a limited energy, you can choose to spend them contributing to the abyss of hatred and negativity, or you can use them to cultivate positive mojo and to add goodness to this world.

Damage Control MMA Member Robert Carlin is a perfect example of the latter. Over the years we’ve forged a friendship and now, we are all reaping the benefits, the positive vibrations and goodness that he and his team at Antonine MMA has decided to share with us. An awesome clip with UFC Veteran Dan Hardy who demonstrates a slick Boxing Combination.

Remember, you can use your powers to make more happiness on this earth, or you can use them to create more despair. Robert has used his to create more happiness and for that I am grateful. Thank you good friend. We wish you and your team, much happiness and many good days.

Live long Damage Controllers and be excellent to one and other.

Muay Thai Knee Set Up Combination

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A friend of mine once expressed that, in his humble opinion, the keys to being a good Martial Artist were quite similar to those involved with being a good Magician. He must have sensed my lack of comprehension as he continued to explain himself. The essence of pulling off any trick is misdirection.

Whether this is accomplished with the beautiful and scantily clad assistant, hand gestures or smoke and mirrors is all just a matter of how you want to accomplish this. Mercifully neither Kiser nor I are scantily clad and neither of us has employed smoke or mirrors… yet, but we certainly do our share of misdirecting our opponents. Whether it’s attacking the neck in order to secure a submission on someone’s arm or as in the case of this video, drawing our opponent’s attention to their head so that we can access his ribs, spleen or liver with our knee, the concept applies.

Look left, go right. Touch high, go low. Squeeze the wrist to twist the foot. The concept is basic and when applied, you will make your own kind of magic on the mats. No go out there and get David Blain on your friends.

MMA and its JKD roots

Years ago a great man wanted to see what was possible if the restrictions of classical system and tradition were replaced by the philosophy of “no way as way, no limitation as the only limitation”

That man was Bruce Lee and the sporting permutation of his vision is what we know today as MMA. At the technical level, Bruce Lee’s art is known for its ability to seamlessly transition from one art or range to another. Something that MMA professionals are only now just beginning to realize and incorporate.

One of our favorite nods to the JKD tradition is the use of the shuffle step kick entry. In the members area of our website we elaborate further on the variations and possibilities we like to use but here you can see how we’ve applied the basic concept to the realm of MMA.

The key for using this entry is to consistently mix your dedicated striking attacks using the shuffle kick entry with your compound takedown attacks. Again something we cover at length for our members.

Until next time, “Take what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is essentially your own”. Leave a comment and let us know what you’ve found useful.

How to Street Fight 101

A slight departure from the beaten path here at Damage Control MMA, we are proud to share with you our very first, Street Fighting Style video.

Actually, Street Fighting is more the general arena where you might use these types of tools. The art is known as Panantukan or Philippine Style Boxing.

How Different is MMA from Street Fighting?

I say slight departure, and yet, the way Guru Sullivan taught, was very familiar and easy to assimilate into the Boxing, MMA, CSW, and Muay Thai fighting methods that we specialize in. And it makes sense when you think about it. I mean, how much different is putting your fist on someone’s chin than putting your finger into their eye from a purely mechanical standpoint. Both take timing, set up and placement. But aside from that if I can punch you, I can put my finger in your eye. If I can grab your head for a Muay Thai Style Clinch, I can grab a fist full of hair and yank your head down for a knee. If I can catch you with an inside leg kick, a slight change of angle and I’m kicking a field goal with two balls and splitting the uprights.

Martial Arts or Concealed Carry?

As was discussed in our article “I Know Smith and Wesson” the debate over the practical merits of Martial Arts in a world filled with Concealed Carry Permits is never ending and continues to rage on. But I still believe that those of us with Martial Skill will always have more options and more flexibility (in terms of the force continuum) than those who simply go out and buy a gun. And no one said that you can’t learn how to be a weapon as well as be an expert at using one.

Walking The Dog… A Case Study In Time To Deployment

But take a recent experience of my own as an example. As a proud new owner of a rescued Dog, I was taking him out for our nightly walk. It was late, I had just finished up teaching at the gym. I came home, showered, grabbed some chow and by the time we hit the pavement it was about 11:30 pm. About half way through our walk we turned a corner and BAM!!! 5 or so Belgian Manlinois type dogs charged us from out of the darkness. They were off leash and before I could think one launched itself at my new pup, mouth gaping, fangs glinting in the moonlight. I was carrying pepper spray, a tactical flashlight and all manner of other types of defensive gear, but there was no time to deploy any of it.

Instead, without hesitation, a Muay Thai Teep came flying from my right leg, catching the lunging canine mid air and sending him 3 feed sideways. After deflecting the malicious mut, Boone Dog (my Boxer) and I found ourselves surrounded by 4 other dogs. There was no escape route. But by this time I was able to grasp the pepper spray that was in the front pocket of my hoodie. I spun and circled somehow keeping the other dogs at bay when finally their owner lumbered over from his yard across the street and helped to get a handle on the situation.

A commenter on the Smith and Wesson post claimed to be able to draw and fire his sub compact 9 mm in under 1 second. If he were in my place we’d be talking about a dead dog or two, perhaps some collateral damage, and some face time with the local sheriff’s department. As it was, no one was injured in the situation, not even the dog. I used more of a push kick than one designed to injure. We all walked away and went home that night. The only casualty was my pair of soiled tighty whities and my neighbors lawn which received a free fertilization from Boone who also felt the immediate urge to empty his bowels.

The Flexibility of Martial Skill

The point is, Martial Arts still have a very practical and important role to play in defensive tactics and street self defense. Whether you train in arts designed specifically for this purpose or those with more “sport” orientation, they will all contribute to better coordination, timing, distance, awareness, and fighting spirit. What I liked about Guru Sullivan’s training methods were how they used training tools like the focus mitts, something we use in Muay Thai, MMA and CSW on a daily basis to incorporate things like head butts and sweeps. I liked how the Panantukan used techniques we were already familiar with like “The Bob” as a head butt. Instead of having to learn something completely new, we simply applied something we were already used to in a slightly different way. Instead of simply dodging a punch, we were now, dodging a punch and “accidentally” clipping our opponent in the face with the top of our heads. It was a ton of fun and very empowering to think that we already had a solid foundation for self defense, we just needed to start thinking about it in a different way.

Don’t believe me? Check out this clip of some Submission Grappling being applied in a street altercation.

So if you’re looking to learn more about how to take your MMA Tool Set on to the mean streets, be sure to visit www.ErikPaulson.com and check out the Panantukan DVD’s by Guru Sullivan and let them know the guys from DamageControlMMA sent you.