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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.

MMA Concepts: The Arm Triangle Ambush

One potential pitfall to an eclectic approach to Mixed Martial Arts is to ignore the culture, rule structure and native homes of the techniques we import into our systems.

For years we’ve attempted not only to bring you unique techniques but also perspectives that are respectful of the arts from which these techniques have come.

We’ve tried to share our insights into how understanding the parent arts can give you more clarity on the uses and dangers of using techniques such as Amateur Wrestling’s Shot or Leg Tackle style takedowns. The popularity and prevalence of such techniques could only have evolved in a world where Chokes, Neck Cranks and Neck Locks are prohibited.

And to be sure, Amateur Wrestling is not the only parent art that evolved techniques with inherent, potential dangers when applied in a Mixed Martial Arts setting.

Take for instance, Catch Wrestling’s Gotch Toe Hold. In it’s native home, the Gotch Toe Hold makes total sense, because the man on the bottom is fighting to stay on his knees, or even to stand up. Rolling over onto his back and effectively pinning himself (which would be a match ender in Catch) would be unthinkable. But import this technique into a new environment where a Brazilian, Jiu-jitsu influence is prevalent, and where pinning is removed as a legitimate way to win a contest, and at least 50 percent of the time the Gotch Toe Hold is going to be a non factor. The guy on bottom simply rolls to a guard and the technique is rendered nearly useless.

Does this mean that the Gotch Toe Hold won’t work in MMA? Absolutely not. It means that it won’t work when your opponent doesn’t give you the energy requisite for it. It only works when your opponent is trying to stay off of his back.

And how about our striking influences. Boxing has it’s own set of considerations. The basic stance with it’s bladed approach (protecting the liver by brining it rearward) exposes the lead leg for a Sweep Single or a Leg Kick. And the long combinations, offer ample opportunity for an opponent to change levels for a Shot. And again, this isn’t to say that these types of techniques or combinations are ineffective in the world of MMA but rather that you have to have an opponent in front of you that gives you the proper energy for these types of techniques.

For illustrative purposes I’ve included an excellent focus mitt demonstration below.

I think these gentlemen have done a fantastic job. But imagine trying this full combination (starting at the 4:18 mark) on an opponent with a Amateur Wrestling base.

So what does any of this have to do with the video at the beginning of this post?

Well, it has to do with understanding a technique or a method, as it is applied in it’s parent art with the cultural norms and rule structures relevant to it. Here Kiser is demonstrating a very interesting concept. The idea of a ride, or of patience, which comes from the original Gracie System of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, with no time limits and no weight classes.

I used to get caught under Coach Kiser and simply could not escape, no matter how hard I tried. Eventually I would exhaust myself and then find him tightening his coils on a submission. To tired to fight it off, I would eventually succumb and tap. But when the roles were reversed it would seem that I were trying to catch water with a sieve. The instant I would get a dominant position, I would lose it.

I asked Coach Kiser what his secret was, and without hesitation he related it me as follows:

“Well sir, when I catch you in a position, I concentrate 100% of my effort towards keeping you in position. At no time am I attempting to submit you. Eventually I feel you soften and relax. I hear you take a deep breath, and then I start my submission attack. But it feels like when you get a position, the second you get there, you are on the attack and that gives me openings to escape from. I think it’s just a matter of patience.”

I incorporated Coach Kiser’s advice and immediately I found myself maintaining position a lot longer and increasing my submission percentages.

So is this the end all and be all of improving your submission game? No, not necessarily. It all has to do with situations and rule structures. In MMA fight, you’ve got anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes to secure a takedown and then finish with a submission. In a Self Defense Scenario you might have to finish off your assailant as quickly as possible in order to avoid his group of friends running at you, or in order to get to the next room where your child is screaming for help. In these situations, you don’t have the luxury of being patient and allowing your opponent to tire himself out.

Nevertheless, understanding different strategies and approaches to fighting and finishing fights can greatly increase your overall game and allow you to do things, and think in ways that others who neglect this type of research are simply unequipped to do. Stay open minded, look beyond technique, learn to research and appreciate the mother arts and stay tuned for more Damage Control MMA!

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!

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.

MMA Solo Training

As of late, I’ve been a bit of a loafer when it comes to updating this blog, I admit. Coach Kiser and I have been inundated with a number of gym projects. We prepped and took a number of the kids to a Jiu-jitsu Tournament, we trained and took Kensei Sato into his 5th MMA fight last week and have been slaving away with 5 more fighters who go into the Cage in exactly 9 days.

On top of all that, our members have finally figured out, that we respond and welcome their requests and personal interaction. They’ve been PMing and requesting technique series in our forums left and right and we’ve been working over time to accommodate them.

Recently, we were asked to do a series on drills that could be done either solo or with a partner. CSW Coach Shane Taylor, the first student to graduate the CSW Coaching curriculum and earn his coaching certificate through us under Sensei Erik Paulson used to travel out of town frequently and during the first few years with us had made a similar request.

As a result, we had already put together a series of techniques that he could do in his hotel rooms on the road. It would seem that they weren’t too shabby as he used them to help build his foundation and eventually become one of our very best students.

The Solo and Wall Drill series is largely based on the program we put together for Coach Shane. We filmed it and put it up for DCMMA member Robin Jeff Davis and Edric Escalante. But I thought there are many of you who might also enjoy a few ideas for the next time you’re fresh out of training partners.

I hope you find these videos helpful. They are a small sampling of the full series available to our members.

Train hard, enjoy yourselves and Lock On!

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Escape Systems: Part 2

Some time ago, we posted the first half of this series in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Escape Systems: Part 1. Here we present the second half of the series which provides a solid foundation upon which to base your Side Cross Escape Game.

Not All Side Cross Hold Downs Are Created Equal

One thing I’ve learned while studying submission grappling is that terms like Mount, Side Cross, Guard, Etc. are used in a very general sense. Within each position lies a number of sub-positions which can be recognized or classified (if you want to get really technical) by relative arm placement, weight distribution and attack orientation.

Each sub-position is like a prison cell to which only a few specific methods will create opportunities for escape. There is no skeleton key which magically unlocks all prison cell doors. Paying heed to which escapes and methods work for each sub-position will give you a better insight into how to become a better escape artist in general.

If The Boat Is A Rockin, Don’t Come A Knockin


Another key to an over all better escape game is a continued stream of escape attempts. That is, everyone is better at handling a singular disruption of balance than they are at handling a boat that continues to rock. And a boat that continues to rock is not unlike a swing that with each successive pump, generates more swing, more momentum, and in this case, more potential for escape.

I know I’ve beaten this dead horse to the grave, then stomped on it, kicked more dirt on top, and hammered that gravesite with a shovel, but I simply can’t say it enough times. Chain your escapes, and tie all of these escapes together and you will increase your chances of getting out in one piece.

It’s quite simple really, if your opponent takes pressure off of you to prevent your sweep, he’s generally going to give you enough space to recapture guard, or some semblance of it. If he pressures you to prevent your re-guard attempt, he gives you the energy necessary to effect your sweep.

Timing Is Critical!

Give anyone enough time, and they will dig in, fortify their position and give you headaches for days. Never let your opponent gain a foothold, and again, you increase your ability to effect an exit strategy and leverage your knowledge of escape routes and techniques.

Above is an excellent drill for developing this mentality. Shown here, it demonstrates the second sweep shown to me by my friend and one of my coaches, Pedro Sauer Black Belt, Mike Diaz. However, any of the escapes or sweeps can be substituted for the one shown here and trained in the transition drill to sharpen your timing.

Let us know how these escapes are working out for you in the comments and post your favorite videos of Side Cross Escapes so we can all learn from this discussion.

How To Fight A Southpaw

“What’s a southpaw? It means you’re left-handed. A southpaw throws your timin’ off, see? Other guys, it makes ’em look awkward. Nobody wants to look awkward.

You know where southpaw came from? A long time ago, a couple of hundred years ago, this guy was fightin’. I think it was around Philadelphia. He was left-handed. His arm was facin’ towards New Jersey. And that’s south, so naturally, they called him Southpaw.

You see? Southpaw, South Jersey, South Camden, Southpaw… You know what I mean?”

– Sylvester Stallone, “Rocky” –

Rocky had it right when he said that nobody wants to look awkward.

And we’re going to give you a few tips to help you with that situation.

Fighting a left handed fighter or “Southpaw” can be a difficult proposition. Almost everything you do is backwards.

More times than not, you’re taught to lead with your Jab, but with a Southpaw, your more often encouraged to use your straight right.

The video below will explain some of the basics behind why this is the case.

As an Orthodox Fighter (Right handed with a Left Handed Lead) the cornerstone of counter Southpaw tactics is to move towards your left and keep your lead foot on the outside of your opponent’s lead foot. This same theory applies to a Southpaw fighting an Orthodox Fighter.

And although the emphasis of a lead straight right, shown in the video above has it’s origins in American Pugilism, the technique is so sound that it carries over to Muay Thai, Kickboxing and MMA. It works well in the realms of Mixed Martial Arts because of it’s simplicity, power and the fact that your lead hand can still be used to fend off takedown attempts should they occur during your attack.

That is not to say that there aren’t other weapons that are also effective, but if you watch the following video, you will see that many of the most devastating and prevalent strikes are the lead straight left (for Pacquiao) and lead straight right (for his Orthodox foes).

In addition to the hands, there are other weapons that we as Mixed Martial Artists can bring to bear vs the Southpaw, so long as you adhere to the fundamental of staying outside that lead foot of his, and thus further away from his power tools.

Another such technique has been recently popularized by Anderson Silva as a result of his KO victory over Vitor Belfort. In this case we had 2 Southpaws squaring off and thus the outside lead foot rule was not in effect. Nevertheless, the fight proved the effectiveness of the Front Snap Kick for MMA, although the kick has been around for centuries.

There are going to be times when your opponent is much more experienced at playing the outside lead foot and Southpaw game than you are. After all, a Southpaw gets to go up against Orthodox fighters all the time, while Orthodox fighters only see Southpaws every once in a while. Below is one way you can take that advantage away from your opponent.

Fighting for the clinch or a takedown aren’t the only way to handle and opponent who simply owns the outside lead game. We’ve addressed this as well as shown some ideas outside the conventional Counter Southpaw box in our members only area where we have a total of 15 + videos dedicated to the Southpaw series, in addition to the 230 videos which cover all aspects of the MMA game.

If you’ve enjoyed the articles and videos brought to you by www.DamageControlMMA.com please show your support by picking up a membership, telling a friend about our site, friending us on facebook, or joining the discussions on our free forum at www.DamageControlMMA.com/forum/

Doing so helps us to continue on our journey and bring you top quality instruction.

Until next time, keep your lead foot on the outside of your opponents foot, keep your hands up and your chin down.

How to Join An MMA Gym: A Beginners Guide

5 Tips To Help You Get Started In MMA Training

Joining an MMA gym can be an intimidating experience for beginners.  But it can also be an exhilarating rush to finally start training and learning.  Here are five tips to help you make the most of the experience and not look like a total noob.

Old Jock Strap

Tip 1: Your Gear.

You don’t have to go out and buy all this stuff right away, but the Basic Start Up Kit is a must.

Basic Start Up Kit:

  • Jock Strap And Cup, don’t leave home without it.
  • Mouth Piece

  • Mouth Piece. You don’t need a fancy one, just some rubber between your teeth so that you don’t loose them or get them chipped by an errant shoulder bump or spinning elbow to the forehead when your fellow white belt spazzes out of a position and accidentally clips you.
I took a spinning elbow just yesterday from a white belt.  If you look closely, you can see the imprint of his double weave gi in my forehead.  I wasn't wearing my mouth piece... I should have.  It felt like my teeth were about to crack.

I took a spinning elbow just yesterday from a white belt during Brazilian Jiu-jitsu class (he was trying to escape the back). If you look closely, you can see the imprint of his double weave gi in my forehead. I wasn't wearing my mouth piece... I should have. It felt like my teeth were about to crack.

Intermediate Kit:

    MMA Gloves 

  • 16 oz. Boxing Gloves for training is what I’d recommend.
  • Shin Guards. My favorite are the cloth shin and instep protectors that cost all of $15.00 and you can throw them in the wash when they get stinky. Some people argue that they don’t offer enough protection. I say, if you need that much protection, you and your partners are going way too hard.
  • MMA Gloves. Nowadays they offer both the training variety and fighting gloves. The trainers are a nice way to show your training partners you care.
Advanced Kit:

Rash Guard

  • Rash Guard and Leggings. These are to protect against microbes. They put an extra barrier between you and whatever worm, rash or creepy crawlie that might be wiggling it’s way into your training partner’s skin. They also help protect your knees and elbows from mat burns which create openings in your skin for said creepies to get a foothold and start setting up shop on your body.
  • Knee Pad

  • Kneepads. My favorites are the bubble knee pads for volleyball. They take off that extra wear and tear from working from your knees all the time or from dropping hard, repeatedly on a knee for your shots. I’ve experimented with applying Shoe Gu to the Asics Brand of bubble knee pads that I like best. They increase the life span and aren’t too abraisive to your partners if you take the time to make sure you smooth the surface before the Gu dries.

Some MMA gyms have equipment for sale. The basic equipment can be found at most sports stores.

You can find all kinds MMA equipment online at MMA Warehouse.

Recon

Tip 2: Research Your Potential Instructor(s).

Look them up on the internet. Take the time to learn about their background and what organization, if any they are a part of.

While organizational affiliation doesn’t always mean that you’re dealing with an upright, credible and helpful instructor, the lack of affiliation can sometimes be an indicator that something is amiss.

Often times it is not, but it’s something to take note of and place in the databank for future reference should other indicators arise down the line.

How do you know if an instructor is a good one?

Take a lesson or two and ask questions. There are about as many different ways to do a said technique as there are instructors. The how to isn’t as important, in my opinion, as the why.

If the instructor on test drive is able to explain to you, in a way that makes sense, why you should do what he’s instructing you to do, that’s a pretty good indicator that he/she knows what they are talking about.

If they start looking around, or give you the, “because I told you to”. That’s another one of those, things to put into your databank and tally up with the organizational affiliation thing at the end of the day.

Most importantly, did the potential instructor provide you with a safe and enjoyable learning environment?

If not, then despite what the findings were in the first set of suggestions, I’d be in a mad dash to get out of that gym. It doesn’t matter if the instructor in question is God’s gift to MMA, if you didn’t have a good time, or if you got the feeling that you might not last more than a week before suffering some catastrophic injury in the environment you were in, you should get out of there.

Don’t be a sissy and drop out just because you don’t like doing a push up or two, but if you fear for your life because you’re seeing other newbies getting tossed like cookies at cruise ship case of food poisoning, having their heads snapped back like crash test dummies from the punches being thrown, I’d suggest a different gym.

You’re looking to learn, have fun and increase your level of physical fitness and overall health. No jah rah budkus about training like “Real Fighters” is going to justify the potential for injury that you will find at a place like this.

Skill will come from hours trained, and this means injury management. The fewer the injuries, and the lower the severity of those injuries, the more mat time you’re going to get. The more mat time you get, the better you’re going to get period.

Blessed is he who in the name of good will and charity, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness.

Tip 3: Know you’re potential training partners.

During your test drive of the MMA Gym you are looking into, try to get a read on the current members. There is always going to be some level of snootieness going on. It’s the pecking order and birth right of any gym.

You have to EARN the attention and respect of the seniors there… to a degree. Not being coddled by the upper level students isn’t anything that should be raising alarms but it’s nice to find a place where you at least get friendly vibes from these guys.

And perhaps more importantly, if the seniors are simply using you as a piece of fresh meat to be beat on (and you wouldn’t believe how many people have come into my gym with horror stories about this actually happening at a few different gyms in my area), that should be sending up red flags.

Don’t try to lose 10 pounds before you go on a Diet

Tip 4: Get started now!

Don’t wait. So many people feel the need to get in shape before they get into an MMA gym. That’s total nonsense. The MMA Gym should be the means by which you get into shape. Just be smart about it and do it the right way. Communicate your fitness level and your limitations and don’t be ashamed to say, “I’m reaching my breaking point.” Training, fitness and Martial Skill are an exercise in long term dedication.

If you are so sore after your first day of training that you can’t get off the toilet, you’re probably not going to want to subject yourself to that torment again.

Kudos to you if you are that kind of person. But otherwise, take your time and ease into your training sessions and gradually increase the intensity level of your workouts until you get up to speed. It’s usually only a matter of a few weeks.

It's alright to be a white belt if that's what you are.  It's alright to be a white belt even when you may be something more.

It's alright to be a white belt if that's what you are. It's alright to be a white belt even when you may be something more.

If you knew it all, you’d be teaching the class not the other way around.

Tip 5: Don’t be afraid to be a beginner.

No one likes to be a noob. But the reality of it is, you are. And that’s totally o.k.

Don’t try to impress your partners or instructors by trying to tap or knock out anything that has arms and legs in the gym.

If you want to impress your partners and coaches, impress them by your egolessness, your humility, your respect and your willingness to be tapped, to learn and to listen.

Even if you’re transplanting from a previous gym and have some prior experience, don’t go in and try head hunting. Taking scalps and going after the seniors is only going to hurt you in the long run.

Here you see our student Dane H. using the Anaconda Gator Roll Takedown (Bonus Video 1 found on our member sign-up page) on his senior, professional fighter Johnny Miller and then against me during a training session a week ago. Yeah, that'll teach us.

These guys are your biggest assets. They are going to show you the ropes, give you the inside scoop, take you under their wings so to speak. Even if you can tap them out, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have something to teach you or can’t give you something that you may have never seen before. And how likely do you think it will be for them to go out of their way to help you after you’ve destroyed them on their own home turf.

Relax and learn. Once you’ve proven to your fellow training partners that you’re a friend, not a foe, that you’re there to learn and grow vs. to satisfy your ego, they’re going to help you out big time. But if you force them into a Kill or Be Killed type of situation, they’re going to do what they need to do to survive. And that might mean anything from simply shutting you down during your roll, to with holding some critical piece of information that might really take your game to the next level, because let’s face it, does anybody really want to go out of their way to make their own life more miserable?

MMA can be a great way to get in shape, meet wonderful, driven and goal oriented people with a common passion for the arts. It can be a great basis for self defense, and for learning life skills. There are so many stress relieving and rejuvenating qualities that can be had by training in MMA. If you are interested, don’t wait to start up. Find a good gym, or check out our members online mma training area and get started today!