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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

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.

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 Technique: An Expression of Self

The Artistry of Sweet Science

Recently I tried to explain to my students that ultimately, our goal is to learn the techniques so that we can express ourselves through them.

I saw a lot of glazed over looks and nodding heads with empty eyes.

Then come sparring time, I saw a lot of mechanical movements, like notes to a melody being pounded out, without a single shred of feeling.

What does this mean? Expressing oneself through technique. I tried to explain that a fight is like a conversation without words.

Techniques communicate something immutable, intangible. In Thai Boxing, a Teep to the face, like Western Boxing’s Lead Straight Right is a way of insulting your opponent.

You are taking one of the dirtiest parts of your body and wiping it all over someone’s face. In essence using it as a door mat. Or in the case of the Straight Right, you’re taking your most powerful tool, from the furthest point away from your opponent and putting it right on his snot box without need of a set up or diversion. That expresses something.

The Rhythm of Expression

There is a rhythm to fighting, a cadence and timing.

The best fighters, the ones we love to watch always have an intimate understanding of this, a way of phrasing with their combinations, the tactful use of a dramatic pause.

Take for instance the difference in how these Instructors from the Thai Boxing Association express the same types of technique.

Take for instance, Ajarn Greg Nelson’s relentless and physical style.

And contrast that to the paced approach of Ajarn Bryan Popejoy shown here in the red.

And then look at how the techniques and their judicious placement and timing during the fight communicate something that cannot be said in Khuen Khru Brian Dobler’s highlight.

All are decorated, and very deeply respected icons in the Thai Boxing Association Muay Thai Camp. But each expresses the same types of movement in their own unique and beautiful way. There is an artistry to their approach.

The slight lowering of the gloves after delivering a telling blow. Giving the fans, the judges and the opponent ample time to absorb the message.

There is much more at play here than simply flailing limbs. There is a conversation being played out. A wonderful debate that those of us lucky enough to witness can learn from and enjoy.

Beyond the Science of 8 Limbs

This goes beyond Muay Thai and extends in to all combat sport. Boxing, Kick Boxing, Jiu-jitsu, Catch Wrestling, MMA, et al. So the next time you lace up those gloves and slicker up that mouth piece. Take a moment and remember, that that greats, not only deliver a heaping dose of punishment, but a sound and undeniable message…

an expression of the self.

The Devastating Muay Thai Four Count

[leadplayer_vid id=”505A0C7B18437″]

The Thai Boxing Association’s Muay Thai 4 Count is a very versatile and multifaceted combination. It can be used in flow as a fighting combination, or in class as a teaching tool.

The Muay Thai 4 Count develops your ability to flow seamlessly from kicking range to straight arm punching range to bent arm punching range and back out into kicking range.

Like many Boxing and Muay Thai Combinations, it’s simplicity lends itself to near limitless permutations. These are expressed in various targets, timings, degrees of angulation, accounts for various opponent reactions and weight distribution, and so on.

For the simple Left Kick + Straight Right + Left Hook + Right Kick version alone, you can put together 56 different combinations based on targeting alone.

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the HeadLeft Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the HeadLeft Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Head

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Body
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Body
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Body
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Body

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Head
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Head

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Body
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Body
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Body
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Body

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Outer Thigh

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Body + Left Hook to the Head + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle

Left Kick to the Head + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Body + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Inner Thigh + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle
Left Kick to the Ankle + Straight Right to the Head + Left Hook to the Body + Right Kick To the Calve/Ankle

I may have even missed some but I think you get the point. And if you start to add timings, angulations, etc. the variations possible for the simple Left Kick + Straight Right + Left Hook + Right Kick are exponential.

I have learned much from my study of the Muay Thai 4 Count over the years. Not only has it helped me to learn how to employ an appropriate tool for a given range, it has helped me to learn how to manipulate my opponent’s body, weight distribution and angle by means of my striking.

For instance, the Left Kick to the Inner Thigh can be used to open your opponent’s stance and create a wider path for your Straight Right to land. Your Left Hook can be used to plant your opponent’s weight onto his lead leg, setting up a Right Kick to the outer thigh with diminished capacity for your opponent to raise his knee and spike your shin. The same Left Hook can be used to disguise your movement to the far or near side angle. And sometimes it can even move the opponent into the angle for you.

Wether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, the Thai Boxing Association’s Muay Thai 4 Count is a rich and multi-layered combination, worthy of in depth study. Those who “Put themselves into it”, will reap the benefits on those various levels and enjoy the impact they will have on their Striking Game.

In our online MMA Academy, our members have access to:

  • Four Basic Instances of the Muay Thai 4 Count:
  • West Coast and East Coast Drifts
  • Moving The Head Offline Considerations
  • Pad Holder Tips.

You can find the techniques here if you have a membership.

Until next time.

Happy Hunting!

Muay Thai Technique: Cut Kick Counter To The Teep

This is a great technique that I picked up at the 2009 Pacific Northwest Muay Thai Camp. There is so much information there and the instructors are simply the best. I got a bunch of incredible techniques even outside of the wealth of information given to us druing the regular sessions… and this was one of them.

I’ve been working on this dump for some time now, but I’ve never seen the the Partner Preservation aspect I picked up which was really cool! A special thanks to Khuen Khru Ian Alexander out of Virginia Beach Virginia for sharing this with us. If you’re ever in that neck of the woods, you’d be doing yourself a favor to checking out their world class facility.

Now, happy dumping!

The Anatomy of the Muay Thai MMA Leg Kick and Beyond

The Muay Thai Leg Kick has always held a special place in my heart.

One’s ultimate goal when fighting should always be to break the spirit of your opponent. When you knock someone out they have no choice in the matter. Their spirit is momentarily turned off. When you tap someone out, they realize that the smart move is to live to fight another day. But when you take someone out with a Leg Kick, they are perfectly conscious and aware. They can continue to fight if they want to.

Most times, they choose not to because of the excruciating pain and this is the moment that their spirit breaks.

How do I know this you ask? I’ve been there, on the receiving end, a couple of times.

The following is an in depth look at the anatomical structure of the nerves and muscles in the leg and the most efficient ways to render them inoperable. In addition we have included several set ups, combinations and techniques for using the information provided by the anatomical study.

As a side note, we learned from Dr. Cacciamani that there are two ways to cripple and immobilize the leg. 1 is an attack to the primary nerve structures (e.g. the Sciatic Nerve) and 2 is an attack on the muscle tissue. From our research, the difference is generally that nerve attacks immediately cause the temporary loss of control for the limb. Whereas muscle tissue attacks cause swelling, cramping/knotting, and gradual deterioration of muscle function.

This makes sense if you think about it. You can take out the structures that send messages to and from a muscle/group of muscles or you can pulverize the muscle itself. Bottom line is, if your opponent can’t or doesn’t want to move his/her leg anymore, you’ve pretty much done the job.

Included are some diagrams for reference. And below that are a series of videos showing how we like to apply the information we’ve learned from Dr. Cacciamani and from our independent research.

Anterior Neuromuscular Anatomy of Human Leg

Anterior Neuromuscular Anatomy of Human Leg

Posterior Neuromuscular Anatomy of Human Leg

Posterior Neuromuscular Anatomy of Human Leg

You can watch them in any order you wish, but

I have tried to assemble them in a loosely organized fashion in hopes that our readers will see how the various techniques can be used to compliment each other

and to form a catch all for reactions, energies, and defenses to any one particular attack.

Top View of Fascia and Nerves in Human Leg

Top View of Fascia and Nerves in Human Leg

Due to time constraints, I have initially included only 5 additional clips in this article. I will be updating it often over the following weeks until all the following clips are published:

  • Jab + Cross + Right Kick (unloaded leg theory)
  • Right Kick Counter to the Jab + Cross (loaded leg theory)
  • Jab + Cross + Hook + Right Kick (loaded leg theory)
  • Overhand Right + Left Kick (loaded leg theory)
  • Left Kick Retaliation to Right Kick (loaded leg theory)
  • Draw Step Set Up for the Right Kick (loaded leg theory)
  • Swing Kick Counter to the Right Kick (neutral leg theory)
  • Outside Angle Kick Counter to the Jab + Cross (neutral leg theory)
  • Jab Set Up for the Outside Angle Kick (neutral leg theory)
  • Left Inside Leg Kick Set Up for the Right Kick or Outside Angle Kick (neutral leg Theory)
  • Calve Punt(neutral leg theory)
  • Over-Riding The System, Forearm Chop, Knee, Heel Kick from the Clinch
  • Forearm Smash Attack vs Guard Pass Prevention
  • Elbow Spike Guard Opener

Loaded vs Unloaded Leg Theory (Weight Bearing vs Non-Weight Bearing – Contracted Muscle vs Relaxed Muscle)

Jab, Cross, Right Leg Kick Combination

Leg Kick By Draw

Jab, Cross, Hook, Leg Kick Combination

Kicking the Rear Leg and Inside Leg Kicks

Right Kick Counter to the Jab, Cross Combination

Swing Kick Counter to the Thai Kick

Outside Leg Kick Counter to the Jab, Cross

Jab, Outside Leg Kick Combination

Inside to Outside Leg Kick Combination

Overriding The System for MMA

MMA Karate Chop Guard Retention Counter

Yamasaki MMA Elbow Spike Guard Opener

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: