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Guard Pass Quick Kills

In the past, we’ve seen a number of “Quick Kills” from Sensei Erik Paulson. But these were in the context of a takedown sequence.

Now he applies the same concept to passing the guard and he shares his expertise with us at the 2013 Combat Submission Wrestling Camp.

An Arm Bar for Every Occasion

Typically, the arm bar from the guard requires that you first break your opponent’s posture. A feat that is sometimes, much easier said than done. It’s no surprise that this arm bar, one that flies in the face of convention comes from the man who in 2005 (I believe), released a 6 DVD Set focused solely on this one submission.

I’ve heard Sensei Paulson recount that in Judo, they often say, all roads lead to Arm Bar, and after seeing Ronda Rousey exemplify this maxim repeatedly in the octagon, and then seeing this gem of a technique, I have to admit, I’m becoming a believer.

Filmed at the 2013 CSW Instructor/Fighter Camp, this is really a great move to add to anyone’s arsenal. Be sure to drop Sensei Paulson a note on his Facebook Page and thank him for taking the time to share this with all of us.

Now… LOCK ON!

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!

Erik Paulson’s Baseball Grip Takedown Series

Anytime I get to film my favorite instructors teaching a technique that I request is a real thrill for me. I get to learn hands on, and then review with the video until I finally remember all the important details. On this occasion, at the 2012 Erik Paulson Seminar in Salt Lake City, Utah I had the privilege of asking for a series of takedowns that Sensei Paulson had shared the previous year.

I had most of the big details down but could only remember one of the many options that Sensei Paulson had shared. Now, with this excellent video, I was able to capture all of them. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I do and can make as much use of these takedowns as I have.

If you enjoy this series, please visit https://www.facebook.com/erik.paulson.3910 and drop a comment letting him know. It helps us to get him on camera with us and it’s really the least we can do to pay our respects to one of the very first true Mixed Martial Athletes in the world.

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 Training Camp CSW Style

(At about 5:19 in the video above you can see the fundamentals of the movement that we use to accomplish the Leg Lock Counter to the Arm Bar Flower Sweep Technique)

After the Paypal debacle (suckers screwed me over, refused to allow me to close my accounts and then had the nerve to send me a “customer service survey”), it was a welcomed and refreshing change of pace to head out to sunny California for my annual pilgrimage to Erik Paulson’s Fighter/Instructor CSW Camp.

As can be expected, the learning was non-stop. Everywhere you turned there was an opportunity for growth and the soaking up of Martial wisdom.

One of the aspects of camp I enjoy is being surrounded by people who are just about as crazy and fanatical about the Martial Arts as I am.

Sensei Paulson and Ajarn Greg Nelson converse with Khuen Khru Vic Spatola the guy responsible for testing me for my Thai Boxing Instructorship under Ajarn Chai.

When your life and mind are occupied by Martial Arts the same way that Rainman thinks about Kmart tighty whitites and Judge Wapner, you start to wonder about your own sanity. But having an opportunity to be in the environment that Sensei Paulson provides, gives lunatics like me a chance to kick back and simply feel like part of the gang.

For me there are really 3 seminars taking place simultaneously at a camp like this.

First is the main seminar. You learn from the likes of Erik Paulson, Greg Nelson, Rigan Machado, Marvin Cook, and Nick Saignac, and you drill the many techniques that they share during their segments. Second is what you pick up from the other high level instructors and fighters that you drill with, spar with, and interact with. You get to see how they’ve tweaked the material you both learned the year before, you get to see tricks that get developed in their relatively isolated neck of the woods and you get to see how the system you’ve developed in your locale fares versus those from around the world.

Lastly, there are the life lessons shared and discussed off camera, during a lunch break, in the hotel lobby. You realize that you’re not alone in your pursuit of Martial excellence, in your attempts to build up a school, and in the stresses and occasional heart breaks that accompany such a journey. You learn tactics for survival, and gain strength from the fact that others have endured and overcome. You see who your instructors look up to and who they glean wisdom from.

As Khuen Khru Nino Pilla said to me this year “It’s so tempting to be seduced into fixing your attentions to the young fighters, winning belts and making the highlight reel, but really your attention should be focused on the old masters (like Billy Robinson, Cacoy Cañete, Dan Inosanto, Buddy Tompson). They have had so much more time to perfect and understand the craft. And more importantly, they hold the wisdom for what is to come for all of us, as we will all get older (if we are lucky), but none of us will ever get younger like those fighters that everyone sees and idolizes on T.V.”

Now that right there was worth the price of admission for me.

But there’s much more that I take away from the CSW Camp experience. It’s a chance for me to see old friends.

The true measure of a great instructor is his students. Eddie Abney, really pushed me and made me think during our sparring rounds. I would expect no less from a student of Khuen Khru Alvin Chan.

Seniors and mentors like Khuen Khru Alvin Chan, who never ceases to amaze me with his kindness and increasing enthusiasm for our chosen profession.

Or Khuen Khru Joe Cargado, who puts up with my joking around and humors my strange quirks.

As I was lining up my sparring partners (to ensure that I wasn’t going to get maimed or destroyed by the likes of the Ben Jones that were amongst the ranks), I was hollering out to my friends “James, you’re 1, Joe, you’re 2, Brandon, you’re 3,” etc. etc. Joe hollers out to each of them, “Yeah, take a number!”

It’s a wonderful place to be, and a real privilege to be able to go, and to be a young kid again, if only for a few days. I returned home, tired, sore, and bursting at the seams with new moves, new ideas and a deeper understanding of the Martial Life Style. And for those of you loyal followers who are wondering, I tapped out that evil wolf this time around. I hope I can do it again the next time I’m on the mats at the World CSW Headquarters, living my life to the fullest.

Mixed Martial Arts to the Rescue!

When I began my study of the Martial Arts, I had a belief that Martial Artists were good people. That the study of the arts improved lives and made for a gentler, more peaceful society.

12 years later, I still hold this belief and after experiencing many of the benefits of the Martial Arts and seeing first hand those benefits imparted on others, that belief is even stronger now.
I love Mixed Martial Arts. I enjoy the idea of breaking down barriers and finding common ground between differing schools of thought and bringing together like minded individuals in collaborative efforts to continually improve the art. But trying to explain this sentiment to friends, family, and the public in general has not been an easy task.

With the most visible ambassadors for our sport peeing on pillows, playing games with their poo poo and a promoter who throws the F-Bomb around like it’s a necessary grammatical part of speech, it’s no wonder the average person thinks of Mixed Martial Arts as simply a practice in barbarism.

Samurai Means to Serve


But those of us in the MMA Counter Culture can change that. I still believe in the power of the Martial Arts. I still believe that the Martial Arts are a way of living, not a way of fighting. I still believe that many of you out there are like me.

We are Martial Artists, not knuckle dragging, blood thirsty Neanderthals. We are protectors, and guardians, honorable, peaceful warriors who stand at the ready, like the Jeremy Glicks of this world, to impart whatever action is necessary, so that others may sleep peaceably in their beds at night.

I would like to start an initiative here, called the Mixed Martial Aid Fund. It is a fund from which 100% of the proceeds will go to help people of the world who are in need. At this moment, it would seem that Japan, Mother of so many wonderful Martial Arts, and Martial Artists is a place that we could be of some service to. The people of Japan have been blind side, cold cocked by a three punch combination, an Earthquake, followed by a Tsunami and now a Nuclear incident to top it all off.

DamageControlMMA.com will be donating $100.00 to help with the relief efforts in Japan. Our hope is that at the very least, 100 of our fellow Martial Artists out there can each donate $1.00 to match our donation. We will post the results of our efforts here on this page. I want the money to go directly to those in the evacuation centers or those directly assisting them. If necessary (due to an inability to find a reputable source), we may simply have to donate our efforts to the Red Cross, but if we’d also like the money to go to direct efforts like Enson Inoue’s. I’ve spoken with his people and have established a rapport. I am inspired by Mr. Inoue’s efforts and am optimistic that we can find others doing the type of work he is, to help with our own efforts.

If you are a Martial Artist and especially if you’ve watched our videos, and haven’t become a member, now is the time to make good. Donate $1.00 to help us in bettering the world. Now is the time to step up and show what we, as true Mixed Martial Artists are capable of. Contribute to the Mixed Martial Aid Fund. And the next time someone tries to say that we’re just a bunch of chest thumping, testosterone driven apes, you can point to our relief efforts and show them what we’ve done.

If you are a school owner, I ask you to take up a collection, contribute it to the MMAid Fund and send us a video of you and your students exclaiming “We Are All One!” We will feature it, and show the growing unity and power of our intentions.

We are the strong who protect those in need. From all walks of life, all parts of the world, and all styles, we are Mixed Martial Artists, and we do much, much more good than we do damage. Please pass this page on, link to it from your blogs and favorite sites, embed the video in as many places as possible and join us in being the guardians of our people. WE ARE ALL ONE.

Suggested Donations to MMAid Fund

Donate $1.00

Please consider an extra .33 cent charge. This goes to Paypal for their transaction fee so that $1.00 gets to the people who need it.

Donate $5.00

Please consider donating an extra $.45 to cover transaction fees so that $5.00 gets to the people who need it.

Donate $10.00

Please consider donating an extra $.60 to cover transaction fees so that $10.00 gets to the people who need it.

Donate $25.00

Please consider donating an extra $1.05 to cover transaction fees so that $25.00 gets to the people who need it.




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As of April 27th 2011, we’ve taken this initiative offline. Paypal has suspended my account as well as those of others who have tried to help the people of Japan.

We have issued refunds to everyone who took the time to give. Paypal claims that our actions and collection of funds is suspect, but that didn’t stop them from taking their cut.

I remain determined to help the people of Japan, and to do it directly and not through some giant organization. I believe in the goodness of most human beings, and in direct action. The big corporations, governments, “charities” etc. can sit on their thumbs and follow their proceedures. I know that they will eventually do some good. But I am about warriors, people like Enson, on the front lines, doing! Now! Without hesitation or cowardace. It is the warriors way.

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. ”

Death Before Dishonor!

Damage Control MMA: Cutting Room Floor Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the Damage Control Blog, so I’ll dispense with all the worthless excuses. I mean, the Southpaw series with it’s 16 videos wasn’t that time consuming to produce. Tax season has been a cinch this year as we’ve got double the paperwork do to a recent gym move, company restructuring and building purchase. Erik Paulson didn’t roll through town, oh wait a second, he did, and I had a wonderful time training, hanging out and messing around that whole weekend.

Jeff Monson is on the docket for next weekend, but really that was supposed to happen this past weekend. Plans were made, schedules were cleared, but we had to reschedule due to a marathon 5 rounder he went through the Friday night prior to the preposed Seminar date.

Meanwhile I’ve been trying to organize a relief effort called M.M.Aid Fund for people of the world who may find themselves in hard times. Saying this about the situation in Japan is perhaps the understatement of the year, nevertheless, you’d never know how difficult it is to set up a charitable effort until you’ve tried. There’s more red tape in relief efforts than in trying to open up a fast food road kill restaurant at the cafeteria in USDA’s headquarters.

So what did I scrounge up for this Blog Post? Well, it’s a couple of videos we filmed about two years ago that never made it onto our T.V. show, never got published on Youtube, and have been sitting on the cutting room floor until now. I’ve been saving them because I really like the material but we never released them because there was a problem with the audio that could not be resolved. But I liked them so much I kept them around, perhaps for a rainy day like today.

First up is a series of Ankle Pick Takedowns by one of my all time favorite instructors, Coach (Collegiate Wrestler and Pedro Sauer BJJ Black Belt) Chris Wells.

Next is a Swing Kick I filmed with my good friend Khuen Khru Johnny Miller. Johnny has been a training partner and friend of mine for years. I watched him come up through the ranks at my Instructor’s Gym and eventually earn his Apprentice Instructorship under Ajarn Chai. He’s recently relocated to Hawaii and I posted this to reminisce a little about the good old days.

Finally, is a perfectly good clip we filmed at the 2011 CACC Certification with Coach Billy Robinson and Jake Shannon. I didn’t want to put up a post with only damaged goods, so I included this sneak peak at a video that eventually make it onto our Youtube profile. Assistant Coach Sam Kressin, one of the highest ranking students of the Scientific Wrestling (Billy Robinson’s) Program, was kind enough to share these gems and Coach Robinson sneaks in for a cameo.

Stay tuned, we’re still alive and kicking. We’ll be clearing off our plates in the next few weeks and be back to regular blog updates in no time.

Until then, keep your hands up, your chin down, your mouth closed and your eyes and ears open.

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: