Getting Better Faster- MMA Skill Training

November 10, 2009

We have a little bit of a break from the norm today. One of the ways I intend to use this blog site is to improve my ability to coach others. I am fortunate to have stumbled upon this game at the right time and have had the opportunity to train with some really good people.

As a result of this and a bit of hard work I get hang out with my mates and train all day. Coaching has given me a lot so I should probably get really good at it and give something back.

For this brain fart on game development I am going to use jiu jitsu as an example but the principles can be applied to wrestling, mma and Muay Thai.

The Role of the Coach for the Novice

Initially your coach in combat sports is there as a guide. He will help you identify the important positions and what postures to adopt when you are there. You need to know how to react when you find yourself in

  • Mount (Top and Bottom)
  • Side Control (top and bottom)
  • Back mount  (top and bottom)
  • Knee Ride (top and bottom)
  • Guard (top and bottom, standing and on the knees)
  • Half Guard (top and bottom)
  • Open Guard (top and bottom)
  • Turtle position (top and bottom)

The importance of knowing how to posture in all these positions is stated so often that it can sometimes falls on deaf ears but its importance cannot be emphasised enough.

Once you know how to posture you will want to develop techniques to apply from the major positions. Your coach will guide you through the mechanics of individual techniques. A good rule is to develop 2 offensive moves (submissions) and 2 transitions (sweeps, escapes) from each position within reason. Obviously there are not a lot of submission opportunities from under side control.

When you have this down and are effective against resisting opponents you are on your way to having a decent all round game. Additional techniques are added according to your schools syllabus and your own development via seminars videos etc.

Taking Ownership

At the Griphouse Gym we have been encouraging our athletes to take ownership of their skills training. We encourage them to see what other techniques are out there, we are constantly posing and answering questions and tell them to be constantly thinking about techniques and strategies.

Ultimately you are responsible for your development as an athlete, by taking ownership of your skill training you can develop the game you want to have. Do you want an Inverted de la riva guard like Cobrinha?

  • In that case buy his tapes,
  • watch his fights,
  • drill the shit out of his moves,
  • work sparring drills starting in the inverted de la riva and work to position,
  • Work sparring drills focusing on entries to the inverted delariva
  • Spar with guys who like to use standing passes.

It is all too fun to start working on advanced techniques before mastering the basics. For most of us a 4 week period of working of a closed guard with a collar grip would have more carryover into sparring performance than the above outline.

Writing Shit down

This is a big deal and was for a long time It was one of those things I thought I should do but never actually did. It was only when working on writing a syllabus of required techniques for the Griphouse Jits class that I realised I was outlining my own jiu jitsu game to a certain degree.

There are numerous benefits to this. First of all you get to see where you holes are and what needs addressed first.

  • For me I realised i didnt have a sound sytem from Turtle bottom other than being mad scrambbley.
  • It will also highlight left to right skill discrepencies, I found out that I only had one decent pass that to the right, severely limiting my offense.
  • Your game is reinforced. You may know millions of techniques from guard but when you spar with a high level guy your game becomes very basic. Build around the stuff you do really well and develop combinations of attacks and what if scenarios.

I like to list my game plan by the grips I use. From the basic position Closed guard (Bottom) I can move to many different Guards categorized by different grips heres a quick example.

Closed Guard to Sit up Guard (hand on Lat, up on elbow, elbow on back, knee pressure)

  • Kimura– Back Sweep—-Kimura or Triangle
  • Back sweep —- guillotine
  • Back Sweep—– stand up and sprawl—– back take
  • Switch when opponent hides arm
  • Transition to Lat hook if opponent drives head inside

Lat Hook Guard/Overhook Guard (lat hook or overhook grip knee pressure slight hip escape)

  • Triangle series
  • Omoplata series
  • Transition to sit up guard
  • transition to williams guard.

Flow Rolling

This has been a new addition to the gym training. I picked this up from JT Torres video series “how to be a brown belt no gi world champion”. The idea behind this concept is that for a specified amount of time you tell your opponent what to do and what you are doing.

If you are working on passing you might go into a knee slide, then ask you partner to defend with a knee shield, you could then push the knee down and smash with your hip and pass to side.

This is a great way to reinforce your game and put into practice what you have written down.

The easiest way to explain it is with a video and i will get one up as soon as i can.

On Another note

I realise i havent posted anything hurtful, upsetting, scantily clad or funny in about 800 words now so what you think of this.

Going through a vikki Blows phase or Im just lazy

and finally heres an account of a resourceful Inuit ole boy.

One of the cultures you celebrate in Light at the Edge of the World is the Inuit. What do you most admire about them?

Davis: The Inuit didn’t fear the cold; they took advantage of it. During the 1950s the Canadian government forced the Inuit into settlements. A family from Arctic Bay told me this fantastic story of their grandfather who refused to go. The family, fearful for his life, took away all of his tools and all of his implements, thinking that would force him into the settlement. But instead, he just slipped out of an igloo on a cold Arctic night, pulled down his caribou and sealskin trousers, and defecated into his hand. As the feces began to freeze, he shaped it into the form of an implement. And when the blade started to take shape, he put a spray of saliva along the leading edge to sharpen it. That’s when what they call the “shit knife” took form. He used it to butcher a dog. Skinned the dog with it. Improvised a sled with the dog’s rib cage, and then, using the skin, he harnessed up an adjacent living dog. He put the shit knife in his belt and disappeared into the night.








2 Responses to “Getting Better Faster- MMA Skill Training”

  1. DiscoStu said

    Glad your back Paul makes work bearable!

    Just like to add how important it is to get a one to ones with your instructor. My game was stagnating and you helped me out with some basics that had completely passed me bye!

    “Writing shit down”, have been thinking about this a lot recently (probably because my memory is fading) I actually feel as if I have forgotten more than I have learned! Hence will be trying to write down moves and plans in the future. Always want to have a couple of moves for every position.


  2. M.Childs said

    Nice article man. Hope all is well. I knew the Inuit were tough, but that tough? Whoa.

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