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Half Guard: The Erik Paulson Template

I’m not the sharpest pencil in the box. As a result, I need simple toggle switches, on – off decision making inputs to make my grappling computations easier. For my computer science friends, and deductive logic cronies, you will understand what I mean when I say, I try to build my grappling life around the conditional “If this, then that… If that, then this.”

Have I lost you yet? Probably, but I will continue anyway. You see, for me, I use simple conditionals to determine where I will move next while in the grappling world. For instance, on a Double Leg Takedown, “If I am able to lock my hands just beneath my opponent’s butt cheeks, I continue on to finish the Double.” “If I am unable to secure a locked hand grip, I switch to a single or simply abort, and reset.”

Others will argue that there are a myriad of placements for your hands during a double. But I like the locked grip version because it presents me with the simple decision making input I spoke of earlier. If grip is locked up, then proceed with takedown, if not, then don’t. Simple decision making for a slow, dumb oaf like myself.

What does this have to do with Erik Paulson’s Half Guard Template? Good question. For my game, I had a series of options for when on bottom, with the half guard and an underhook on the side where I had captured my opponent’s leg. For example if I had half guard on my opponent’s right leg, I had and underhook beneath my opponent’s right arm.

BUT, I didn’t have such a clear cut set of options for when my opponent had an underhook on his trapped leg side, forcing me to take an overhook. That is, if I had my opponent’s right leg trapped, but was forced to take an overhook on my opponent’s right arm I wasn’t sure what the best course of action was, so I asked Sensei Paulson what he liked to do in this case and he offered the above Template.

What I gleaned from the series was quite simple and effective and I have since implemented it into my game and my series of simple on – off, toggle switches. In my sling bladed internal dialog it sounds something like this. “If you have an overhook on the trapped leg side, bridge and turn, transition to a half butterfly guard, then transition to a full butterfly guard or switch to a half guard on the opposite leg where you should end up with an underhook on the trapped leg side.”

Do you have any simple guidelines and reference points which allow for quick, easy decision making while rolling? If so, we’d love to hear them in the comments area.

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for more DamageControlMMA.com!

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!

Catch Wrestling Neck Cranks

This last weekend, we were treated to another chance to rub elbows, or in this case, have our elbows, knees, ankles, shoulders and necks ground into fine powder by the Legendary Coach Billy Robinson.

It was our honor to host another Catch Wrestling Certification at the Mushin Self Defense Gym. And as expected, the training was one of a kind and absolutely fantastic.

Coach Robinson was kind enough to share a few more gems with our youtube followers. In lieu of this, we have released one of the clips we filmed earlier this year, a Neck Crank series by Level 2 Certified Catch Wrestler Assistant Coach, Sam Kressin.

Enjoy!

I’ve always been on the fence about the use of Neck Cranks. Especially, when working in a training environment. Recently, I’ve become more liberal in my use of them, but I still exercise restraint when it comes to who I use them on, how I use them and the amount of pressure I’m willing to apply to them.

Where do you weigh in on this “touchy” subject? Let us know in the comments below.

The Gi Choke Defense They’ll Never See Coming!

Tired of getting garroted every time you put on a Gi? I know the feeling. For me the Gi is like wrestling with a Tar Baby (does anybody but me even remember that story?) Yeah that’s me, Brer Rabbit hopping down the grappling trail when Wham! All of a sudden you can’t get away from your opponent’s clutches and the next thing you know, you’re being put to sleep with a piece of your own clothing.

I had heard about an interesting and unconventional way to give yourself an extra life if caught in the dreaded collar choke. Kiser had mentioned some strange defense he had encountered while trying to choke our mutual friend, Dan Berry. Being the technique collector that I am, I had to see this unusual move and learn more about it.

I figured I might as well bring you along and let you see it with me for the first time. Have I put it to the test? No, but Kiser said it stopped him from completing his choke and Dan says it’s saved his neck on more than one occasion. So I figure it’s worth a look.

I encourage you, my friends to join me in R&Ding this thing to see if it’s a worth while endeavor. Let us know how it works for you in the comments below.

Using this Limp Arm Counter just might get you Double Wrist Locked

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Yes you heard me right, using this Limp Arm Counter to Wrestling’s Whizzer just might get you Double Wrist Locked/caught in a Kimura. Why bother showing it then? Well because I still think it’s a very valid and useful technique.

If you’ve ever clinched or as I mentioned in the video, worked your way up to your knees from bottom Half Guard, chances are, you’ve encountered the Whizzer. This little beauty gives you an option for dealing with it. “But what if you get Double Wrist Locked?” you ask. Well, just knowing that that is a possibility is going to keep you out of much of the danger, and should you still fall prey to the Double Wrist Lock/Kimura, well, you need look no further than last week’s post (Catch Wrestling Kimura Killer Recounter) to give you some options for getting out of that mess.

For those of you who never saw the throw that got Mr. Schultz disqualified, you might want to check out the video below:

And for those of you who want a little bit more detail on how to use the Kimura Throw, or Double Wrist Lock Takedown, fear not, we covered that years ago with Coach Billy Robinson and Jake Shannon.

Catch Wrestling Kimura Killer Recounter

Here is another gem from our good friend Sam Kressin. Sam is one of our favorite guys to work with and learn our Catch Wrestling from. He has his own Brazilian Jiu-jitsu background and as a result, I feel like I can relate to his way of breaking down the techniques a little better. I also feel like he understands me, understands that I don’t need to be sold on the painful nature of some of the moves. I get it, I don’t need to have my face cranked off 15 more times to believe in it.

Yeah I know, the purists out there are already turning their noses up at me right now and that’s their right. But you know what, I’m approaching 40 and I just don’t get a lot out of being broken down. Like I said, I already believe in the value of Catch Wrestling, and the incredible talent of Coach Billy Robinson. I just want to learn the basic concept of the move and to this end Coach Sam Kressin does a fantastic job of teaching you everything you need to know while not abusing you in the process. And hey, if you’re into getting twisted, he has no qualms about breaking your stuff either.

Here he shows an awesome way to re-counter the Double Wrist Lock, popularly known in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu circles as the Kimura. But to get the real skinny, you should check out his website at: www.embodiedstrength.com Where you can pick up all sorts of great tid bits like his most excellent article “5 Principals From Catch Wrestling That Will Benefit Any Grappler” where I learned few things that definitely benefitted my grappling game. And besides, he talks about something we learned in person from Coach Robinson, learning how to stand up, catch style. In addition, he’s got some great blog posts about his recent tour across Europe with Coach Robinson as they re-kindle the Catch Wrestling Fire across the pond.

If you liked this clip, go visit his site and tell him we sent you. That way, the next time we see him, it might be just a little easier to coax him into taking some valuable time out of his busy schedule to share more techniques with us.

Brazilian Two on One Sweep From Guard

This technique is one that I generally don’t like to share publicly. I usually keep it to the students with whom I work with in person, and for the members only area of DamageControlMMA.com but I wanted to share it today to give you guys a glimpse into the type of things we will be working on and sharing at the 2012 Damage Control MMA Clinic. This grip is a control position and back up plan for when your opponent attempts to escape the overhook while in your guard.

It falls into a category of techniques we refer to in our members area as a “Staging Site“. A place from which multiple attacks can be launched. This sweep is but one of a series that we will be covering at the seminar. We will also be evaluating and giving advice on how to improve your striking, footwork, takedowns and submissions. What is so exciting about this clinic is that many of the basics are already available to members of our website so you can reference and review them, work on them at the clinic, then after you return home revisit them at any time to refresh your memory and refine your technique to the very finest detail. Additional techniques will be filmed and posted in the members area as well.

The clinic takes place September 22nd and 23rd of 2012 and is open to all skill levels and styles. We welcome the opportunity to meet you all and look forward to working with you, learning together and having a great time. Don’t forget, if you’re a member there is a nice discount on the cost of the seminar which is available from the link here.

We hope you enjoyed this clip and found it useful to your game. If so, please leave a comment letting us know. Stay tuned we have some great things in store. Up next is Khuen Khru Chis Regodon and his Seepa Snap Down!

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu: Overhook Arm Bar and Sweep

If one video clip with Butterfly Guard Expert Mike Diaz is cool, two has got to be twice as nice! Here, coach demonstrates a Sweep as well as an Arm Bar from the same set up and position as the V-Lock he demonstrated last week.

If you can, please visit his facebook page and send him a shout out to let him know how much we appreciate him taking the time out of his busy schedule to share these incredibly useful tools.

Tune in next week for some awesome takedown action with Sensei Erik Paulson!

No Gi Shoulder Lock From The Guard

Inspiration and progress can sometimes come from the most unlikely of places. This was the case when I met Pedro Sauer Black Belt, Mike Diaz. What? How could I say such a thing about such an accomplished and respected expert in the field?

Well, to be honest, the way he plays his game and the way I play mine are so vastly different, I just wasn’t sure of how, what he did would make sense in the environment I generally work in. You see, Professor Diaz, is an absolute expert in playing the Open or Butterfly Guard in Gi based Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. I by contrast, only wear a Gi during my Brazilian Jiu-jitsu lessons. My home, is without the Gi, in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. A world where, standing up out of someone’s Open Guard and raining down, stomps, kicks, and punches or backing out entirely is a very real possibility.

And yet, despite this complete contrast in perspectives, the lessons Professor Diaz taught me were some of the most influential and profound ones that I would ever learn. I remember a night in particular when we were rolling and coach Diaz must have swept me at least 15 or so times in under 3 minutes. I was beside myself. I couldn’t understand how he was doing it. I even knew it was coming, how it was coming and yet, I would inevitably find myself belly up.

I asked Professor what I needed to do differently, if there was some sort of counter technique that I was supposed to use but didn’t know. Coach Diaz, thought for a moment, reading the grief and torment written in the wrinkles of my brow. Then he smiled. “All it is, is that you’re letting me get a hold of your arms. Once I do that, I’m going to sweep you. It’s that simple.”

And it was. The moment, I started preventing Coach from gaining wrist or arm control, the moment I began clearing his control over my arms the instant he obtained it, his sweep and submission percentages were cut to a third of their previous numbers.

But that’s not where his lesson ended. His advice followed me into the clinch, into my wrestling into every aspect of my MMA Game. Now, not only was I not allowing someone to control my limbs while in their Butterfly Guard, I was not allowing anyone to control my limbs at any time, at any range under any circumstances and almost over night, my game saw noticeable improvement across the board.

Professor also taught me another incredibly valuable lesson. Once he told me that “Sometimes all you can do is play defense… And sometimes all you should do is play defense, and that’s totally o.k.” This seemingly simple lesson has helped me out of more bad situations that I can possibly remember. It was the inspiration and beginning of my formulations of the Defensive Grappling Ladder, one of my favorite series we’ve shared with the members of this site.

These principals may not hit you with the same weight and meaning that they’ve had for me. But perhaps, I can leave you with one more parting lesson I’ve learned from my experiences with Professor Diaz. Never judge an instructor at face value. Never assume that just because an instructor comes from a different background than your own that they don’t have anything of value to teach you. Because you just never know. To this day, I still very, rarely use my Butterfly Guard. But the principals I learned from Coach Diaz, through his Butterfly Guard, are ones I use almost daily.

In short, keep your mouth shut, your heart, your ears and your eyes open and the world is your Oyster. Now go train! And if you liked what Coach Diaz had to offer in this post, tune in next week for the second half of our shoot at his academy. In the mean time check out his Side Cross Escape Series we posted a few years back.

Part 1 and Part 2

MMA Training: Guard Pass to Leg Lock

There are a few reoccurring themes here at Damage Control MMA. One of which is the always controversial naming/renaming of techniques. So when Dave Johnson paired the naming of a technique with the assertion that he had invented invented it, we knew we were playing with fire.

This comes through as Kiser and I give our friend Dave a little ribbing as I had seen the technique long before in the Catch As Catch Can circles. But as I edited the footage and had a chance to see the move a few more times, I thought to myself, perhaps it is, ever so subtly a little different than what I had seen before. Then again, maybe not.

Either way, it’s always fun to give your friends a hard time, all in good fun. So weigh in, share your thoughts, have you seen this move before? Did Dave Johnson in fact give birth to a brand new technique. I’m hoping our Catch Wrestling friends out there will give us their thoughts on the subject.

Just remember, Dave is our friend. He took time out of his day to share something that he though was pretty special, and whether he invented it or not, it is nevertheless, an effective and very useful technique. So keep your comments respectful, but feel free to give him an ear full if you think he needs to be kept honest.