Posts tagged: grappling

Mastering The Armbar

The development of a solid ground game in MMA competition relies heavily on a fighter’s ability to effectively execute, defend and counter the armbar technique, one of the most commonly used submissions in modern MMA.

The armbar is a basic submission commonly used in MMA, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, jujutsu, judo, catch wrestling, and various grappling martial arts. The technique uses leverage to hyper-extend the opponent’s elbow joint, causing submission.

The first step to execute an armbar is to secure the opponent’s arm. This is commonly achieved using a punch counter. Next, the attacker must secure the opponent’s wrist while turning his hips and opening his legs.

The attacker then quickly rotates his body, moving into position and closing his legs across the opponent’s chest, or chest and face. The opponent’s arm is trapped between the attacker’s thighs with his elbow facing the attacker’s hips and palm facing away from the attacker’s chest.

The attacker squeezes his knees and retains control of the opponents wrist using his hands and arms in order to secure arm control and prevent escape. With the opponents wrist at the chest and elbow at the hips the attacker extends or arches his hips toward the elbow. This extends the opponent’s arm and/or hyper-extends the elbow leading to submission or injury.

The armbar can be executed effectively from various positions, which makes the technique a threat in nearly any situation. The most basic form of the armbar is performed from the top mount position. However, the move can also be applied from bottom guard, top or bottom side control, and even from the stand-up, called a flying armbar. In MMA it is most commonly applied from the top mount or bottom guard.

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The armbar is a difficult technique to counter. However, there are numerous defenses to the move.

Armbar defense starts with the defender keeping his arms in tight and simply not leaving an arm out to get caught. An effective hand grip to avoid arm control involves the defender grabbing onto his own arms and bringing them close to the body, making it difficult for the attacker to gain control of a wrist.

Once the armbar effort is initiated the defender should attempt to keep his elbow bent by grabbing the arm being attacked with both hands and wrenching it free before the position is secured. However, this often merely delays the application.

A very common armbar escape in MMA is to simply lift up and slam the opponent to the mat in an attempt to free the arm before it is fully extended. This technique worked very effectively for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson during his time fighting in Pride FC.

The most common counter to a secured armbar is the shoulder-roll escape. The defender turns his thumb toward the attacker, rotating his elbow upward, away from the attackers body, and then rolls away from the attacker to escape. The defender rolls into the top guard of the opponent or back to his feet.

A failed armbar attempt by the attacker will not land him in a severely vulnerable position. Commonly, the most vulnerable position the attacker will end up in is bottom guard. Although the attacker ends up on his back, he is not in a very dangerous position: especially for a fighter well versed in submissions. However, the attacker can lose a huge advantage by risking an armbar attempt from full mount.

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The armbar is a very effective move in MMA and a failed attempt often effects the fight and attacker minimally, because the submission relies on timing, technique and leverage more than a fighter’s strength.

Inside The Guard, A Versatile Position

Usually the starting point of grappling action in MMA matches, the guard is often overlooked by fans and even fighters, but a fighter using proper technique can prove the position dangerous.

Ortiz inside the butterfly guard of Griffin

The goal of the top fighter in the guard is to utilize ground-and-pound striking while aiming to improve their position. The top fighter also has the option of opening the guard and going for submission attempts.

The goal of the bottom fighter in the guard is most commonly to attempt various submissions off of their back or to escape using sweep techniques to return the fight to their feet. However, there are a few effective strikes from the bottom as well.

There are two basic forms of the guard: the closed guard and the open guard. In the closed guard the bottom fighter has their legs wrapped around the top fighter’s back, as well as their arms in cases. The aim of the closed guard is for the bottom fighter to keep the top fighter’s body as close to theirs as possible, limiting range in order to prevent devastating strikes and set up submission attempts.

In the open guard the bottom fighter uses his legs to control the opponent with the goal being to keep the opponent further away rather than close, because the bottom fighter becomes more vulnerable to strikes. The open guard can be used by the bottom fighter to set up submissions, but is most commonly used to create a sweep in order to return the fight to the feet or transition to the top position.

Alan Belcher trapped in Jason Day's rubber guard at UFC 83. Day lands 10 elbow strikes and 17 unanswered punches

There are various forms of the open guard such as the butterfly guard, the rubber guard, the x-guard, the spider guard, De la Riva guard and 50-50 guard. Arguably the most common in MMA are the butterfly and rubber guard.

The butterfly guard is a position in which the bottom fighter’s legs are hooked with their ankles inside the top fighter’s thighs. This allows for good control of the top fighter’s movements and distancing and allows for effective sweeps.

The rubber guard, created by Eddie Bravo, is gaining popularity and becoming more common in the MMA world. The bottom fighter uses a leg to trap the top opponent in their guard, opening up possibilities for submissions, sweeps and even effective striking from the bottom. Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki has developed one of the most effective rubber guards in MMA along with UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn.

The main goal of the top fighter in the guard is to advance his position. However, striking can be effective. Tito Ortiz is among one of the most effective strikers from the guard in MMA, in great part due to his devastating elbows. Elbows, hammer fists, closed fist strikes, and even Royce Gracie style palm strikes can cause damage from the guard.

Mousasi KO's Jacare via up-kick

Fighters inside an opponents open guard also have the option of standing in the guard to attempt various leg locks, such as knee bars, heel hooks and achilles locks. However, this can make them vulnerable to commonly the most devastating strike from the bottom guard.

Up-kicks have proven to be extremely effective in MMA and are a good tool for fighters on their back. Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi knocked out Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in dramatic fashion with a single upkick in the final round of the Dream middleweight grand prix at Dream 6 on September 23, 2008.

The bottom fighter has a clear advantage in the submission game from the guard. The most common submissions pulled off from guard are the guillotine, arm bar, triangle choke and kimura. Other popular submissions are the omoplata and gogoplata, but these techniques are most often used as a sweep to simply transition to the top or a standing position. However, they can be very effective when used from the rubber guard.

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The top fighter must aim to improve his position above all else while in the guard. A ground-and-pound fighter must move out of harms way against a submission specialist rather than being contempt to strike from the guard. Mark Coleman learned this lesson not once, but twice when he was submitted from within WAMMA and former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko‘s guard during Pride FC competition in 2004 and then again in 2006.

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Fighters Shine at Strikeforce, Team Continues to Gain Credibility

Strikeforce: Miami saw a nice reception in the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. The Showtime spectacular featured many up-and-coming fighters, but one team, and one particular fighter, is standing out.

Rated as the number one grappling competition team in Florida since 2000, and, according to UFC commentator Joe Rogan, “the best MMA camp in the country,” American Top Team (ATT) continues to grow.

American Top Team Facilities. Image Courtesy of ATTAltitude.com

American Top Team Facilities

With a headquarters in Coconut Creek, Fla., ATT has over 1,000 members, including names like Jorge Santiago, Hector Lombard, Kimbo Slice, Mike Brown and former professional wrestler, Bobby Lashley. To top it all off, the team is built around a core group of instructors with impressive resumes – a defining factor in the notoriety and credibility of ATT.

Founded by former Brazilian Top Team members Ricardo Liborio and Marcus Silveira, and financed/oversaw by Dan Lambert (a hotel executive), ATT built a 20,000-foot headquarters, and has expanded to 20 franchises and affiliate gyms. Liborio, a NAGA Grappling hall-of-famer, remains the Head Instructor. He is backed by 1976 Olympic Gold Medal boxer, Howard Davis Jr. (Head Boxing Coach), Strength and Conditioning coach Stefane Davis, who has a masters degree in Strength and Conditioning Preparation of Elite Athletes, and BJJ instructors Jonatas Gurgel and Marcos Da Matta.

Da Matta, along with Lashley and two other competitors were recently sent to Strikeforce: Miami to compete.

In the undercard, two welterweights from ATT competed, splitting 1-1. Sabah Homasi (2-1-0) was defeated for the first time by John Kelly via submission on a rear naked choke in the second round (2:48).

Also in welterweight action was Hayder Hassan (3-1-0), who handed Ryan Keenan his first professional loss with a technical knockout in the second round (2:42). All three of Hassan’s victories have come by technical knockout, showing his fine ability to pummel his opponents with his hands.

In featherweight action, Da Matta, who was undefeated prior to the event, fell to Pablo Alfonso, submitting to a straight armbar in the first round (1:47). Da Matta was able to bring the fight to the ground, but was quickly put in the defensive, where Alfonso moved from a guillotine choke to the armbar that decided Da Matta’s fate.

Finally, and most notably, Bobby Lashley competed in the heavyweight main card event, squaring off against Wes Sims, who was most recently featured on the television series The Ultimate Fighter. Lashley (5-0) remains undefeated after taking Sims out with a technical knockout in the first round (2:06). The fight was stopped after Lashley put Sims in the defensive and delivered a round of blows.YouTube Preview Image

U of Combat will surely be following ATT competitors very closely in the coming months, as they are proving to be among some of the elite in the nation. You can visit their website by clicking here.

10/10 Hayastan Grappling East Coast Championships

Attention, Charlotte, North Carolina: Hayastan Grappling East Coast Championships is coming October 10th! The Naomi Drena Recreation Center will host what will be the proving grounds for many MMA amateurs and hopefuls.

The divisions will be Gi and No-Gi, with all championship belts being awarded in the No-Gi division.

There will be 10 championship belts for winners, and a $500 cash prize up for grabs. Want a custom medal? Then place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in any of the regular divisons! Competitors can compete in up to 3 divisions (Gi, No-Gi and Championship), so start training, improve your odds and go for the gold!

Need another reason to come out and show what you’re made of? How about World Champion Gokor Chivichyan’s two-day seminar the 10th and the 11th! Don’t miss a chance to learn from the world class grappler who came out of retirement to take home the gold at the 2008 USJA/USJF Winter Nationals!

Fri 9th
Early Weigh ins 6 pm -7 pm

Sat. 10th
Gokor Seminar 8 am – 10 am
Weigh Ins 8 am – 10 am
Rules Meeting 10:30 am
Tournament 11:30 am
All competitors must be present by 10:30am for bracketing and rules meeting.

Sun 11th
Gokor Seminar 10 am – 2 pm

For more information, visit the event site or contact Paul Booe at 704-575-9688.YouTube Preview Image

MMA Legend, Erik Paulson, Is Coming To State College/Penn State To Conduct A MMA Seminar In October 2009

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MMA pioneer, Erik Paulson, will be making his annual Combat Submission Wrestling(CSW) Seminar visit to Titan Fitness, State College, PA on October 24th and 25th, 2009To reserve your spot please contact Paul Zelinka or Bruce Lombard @ 814-235-1015 or info@titanfitness.com.  You can also visit www.titanfitness.com or www.lombardmma.comfor more information.  Do not miss this opportunity to learn from one of the top MMA Coaches and former fighter’s in the world.

 

Erik Paulson is the former 2-time light heavyweight Shooto World Champion.  He is the only American ever to achieve this title.  Coach Paulson travels around the world to share his MMA knowledge and fighting system.  His seminars are known for the abundance of information, interaction, and charisma.

Erik Paulson is the founder of Combat Submission Wrestling(CSW).  CSW is regarded as the most dominant MMA system in the world.  This fighting system encompasses three areas: kickboxing, clinching, and grappling.  Combat Submission Wrestling is a blend of many systems which includes: Muay Thai, French Savate, Western Boxing, Greco-Roman, Freestyle Wrestling, Shooto, Judo, Brazilian Jui Jitsu.

Erik currently trains some of the top MMA fighters in the world, including: Josh Barnett(UFC veteran, Pride Veteran, Affliction #1 heavyweight contender); Bobalu Sobral(UFC veteran, Affliction light heavyweight); and coach/cornerman for Brock Lesner(current UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Please visit Erik @ www.erikpaulson.com

NAGA BATTLE AT THE BEACH 10

The North American Grappling Association (NAGA) is holding their 10th annual grappling tournament this weekend; Saturday August 1st & Sunday August 2nd at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Doors open at 8 AM both days. Tickets will be available at the door and can be purchased at nagafighter.com. $60 front row seat tickets are sold out. However, $30 & $40 general admission and floor seats are still available.

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Adult Divisions Schedule Saturday August 1st:

10:30 AM – No-GI Women, Master, Director, Executive & No-GI Absolute

11 AM – No-GI Novice Grappling Divisions

11:30 AM – No-GI Beginner Grappling Divisions

12 PM – No-GI intermediate Grappling Divisions

12:30 PM – No-GI Expert Grappling Divisions

2 PM – GI Divisions – White through Black Belt

8 PM – MMA Fights

Kid & Teens Divisions Schedule Sunday August 2nd:

10 AM – Rules Meeting

10:30 AM – No-GI Grappling Divisions

* GI Grappling Divisions Will Begin When No-GI Divisions Are Complete

3rd Annual Buckeye Border Grappling Championship

The Ohio Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation will be hosting the 3rd Annual Buckeye Border Grappling Championship on July 25, 2009, at St. Francis de Sales High School in Toledo.  This is Ohio’s only televised grappling event and will feature grapplers from South America and various U.S. states, including Illinois, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.

 

Want to compete at this year’s Buckeye Border Grappling Championship?  Cilck here to register.  Registration closes on July 23rd and costs $55 for males and $45 for females.  The event kicks off at 9 AM.

 

Still have questions?  Contact Deon Thompson at 419-410-5483 or dthompso@co.lucas.oh.us for more information.

 

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From UFC 1 to 100: Evolution of the UFC

To see athletes of different or similar fighting practices challenge each other – that has always been the goal behind the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

That goal has come a long way since the UFC’s conceptual development in 1991. The original concept was a single event tournament to discover the world’s best fighting style. The tournament aired in 1993, and was a mini-success, with nearly 90,000 Pay Per View buys. At the time the tournament aired, the entire concept of “mixed martial arts,” as we know it today, did not really exist. The tournament placed athletes of only one fighting art against each another, pitting boxers against Karate, and wrestlers against jiu jitsu and everything in between. Most times, fighters did not know what to do to handle the other opponent as they had never faced someone of that particular art, and the matches were often lacking in entertainment value. Another problem also existed. There were no weight classes, usually setting opponents together with huge size differentials. While this proved to be entertaining at times, this was not practical, especially if the UFC had any desire to be a legitimate organization.

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Due to its success, the UFC became a recurring tournament, but many aspects of the tournament needed to be addressed. With a tag-line that read “there are no rules!” and “fighting techniques” such as hair pulling, groin strikes and head butting allowed; the UFC had to revamp it’s entire concept if there was any hope in becoming a permanent fixture in the sporting community.

The tournament had aired five times but in 1995, it started to gain negative popularity, attracting wide press coverage from all over the nation, most of it very unfavorable. Political action was quickly taken against the UFC, and Senator John McCain led the campaign, calling the UFC “human cock fighting.” It was dropped shortly after by major cable and pay per view providers, and in 1997, 36 states had banned no-holds-barred fighting. The UFC was launched into the abyss of sports, thought by many to never be seen again.

However, in response to all the criticism, and much to the surprise of many, the UFC began to cooperate with state athletic commissions. The transformation of the UFC into a legitimate sporting event began to take place. The rules were revamped, eliminating the “dirty” aspects of the tournament like hair pulling, groin shots, and head butting, as well as putting an emphasis on the core elements of the UFC as we know it today; striking, grappling, and punching. With UFC 12 came the introduction of weight classes, UFC 14 mandatory gloves, UFC 15 the banning of strikes to the back of the head and neck, and UFC 21 the introduction of 5 minute rounds. By 1999, the UFC had evolved into a full-fledged sport, almost ready to be accepted by both politicians, and the sporting community. With UFC 28 in 2000, the final step was taken in legitimizing the UFC as an athletic organization, and the New Jersey State Athletic Commission sanctioned the event.

In 2001 the UFC was sold to Zuffa LLC and Dana White. With UFC 33 in September of that year, came it’s returned to main stream cable television and PPV. With effective advertisement and a partnership with the Spike TV network in 2005 for the development of the currently running show, The Ultimate Fighter, now in season 9, the UFC quickly gained mainstream popularity.

On July 11th, UFC 100 is scheduled to take place, and will mark a very important milestone for the UFC. Sixteen years and 100 events since its creation in 1993; from a no-holds-barred tournament with sumo wrestlers and kick boxers to what it is known as today. The card will be headlined by Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar. Ten other fights are on both combined main, and undercard, for an event that is sure to out do the last; something the UFC seems to accomplish with all their recent events.

Despite much adversity, the UFC is the quickest growing sport in American and a far cry from its early no-holds-barred days. It is no longer just a tournament but a multimillion dollar organization and mainstream sporting event. The fighters that participate in the UFC are no longer athletes of two very different fighting arts. This current generation of fighters has a very mixed array of skills, and study everything from wrestling to Jiu Jitsu. The UFC is beginning to reach global audiences, and recently held its first event, UFC 99 early this month, in mainland Europe. With good fights, smart advertising, and entertaining television, the UFC’s future is very bright.

Styles Make Fights – TUF 9 Finale: Diaz vs. Stevenson (BJJ vs. Submission Wrestling)

In a matchup of former TUF lightweight winners and submission specialists, season two winner Joe Stevenson neutralized the submission threat of season five winner Nate Diaz to take a UD victory at the TUF 9 Finale.

Diaz almost clamped on a guillotine choke without guard right out of the gate, but Stevenson survived and turns the first round into a grappling clinic with Diaz. Stevenson had a tight guillotine of his own in the middle of the round, but Diaz rolled over and survived the choke.

Joe Stevenson avoided a third straight loss by UDing Nate Diaz

Joe Stevenson avoided a third straight loss by UD'ing Nate Diaz

Stevenson shot out of his corner in the second round and started to dominate on the ground, pressing Diaz against the fence and looking to ground-and-pound Diaz. Diaz was left to look for half-opportunities at submissions while Steveson continued to smother Diaz with superior wrestling.

Needing a stoppage of some sort to win the fight, Diaz still could not stop Stevenson’s takedowns in the final round, with Steveson using a rolling fireman’s carry to take Diaz down. Diaz scored a takedown of his own, but Stevenson scrambled quickly and put himself in dominant position again. With a minute left Diaz finally broke free of Stevenson and threw wild punches, but Stevenson latched onto Diaz’s leg and hung on to take the decision victory.

It was the perfect gameplan by Stevenson, who used his strength advantage to bully Diaz around the cage. Diaz, lacking the stand-up game of his older brother Nick, was unable to catch Stevenson in anything dangerous after the first round; like in his previous loss to Clay Guida, Diaz once again found the power advantage of his opponent too much to overcome.

No-Gi-Grappling: Broken down to build you up

Summer is always a good time to get out of your air-conditioned house and try something new and different from your usual workout routine.  For many, summer also gives more freedom in a relaxed atmosphere and time to step out of comfort zones; power-walking and tennis at the country club get old after awhile.  If you’re really feeling adventurous, try one of the fast-growing popular new sports in America, Mixed Martial Arts.

With the many various forms of MMA fighting, one may get overwhelmed with deciding which route to try out.  (And, if you’re in the middle of nowhere in Central Pennsylvania, believe that you have no shot of finding classes near you.)

No-Gi Grappling:  Unless you’re familiar with the MMA world, you may have never heard of this type of submission technique.  However, it is quickly becoming popular and is used frequently in MMA fights- there are even nutritional supplements intended for performing No-Gi Grappling.  With odd-sounding names of techniques from Rear Naked Arm Crush to Japanese Necktie, one is sure to find a technique that is best for their style of fighting.

According to No-Gi-Grappling.com, fighters have described the Japanese Necktie as “the quickest tap I ever got.”  What makes this technique so hard to get out of are several things.  It’s an extremely tight hold, made by trapping the leg of the opponent and then pushing his chest on the back of the opponent’s neck and squeezing, leaving fighters no other choice but to “tap out.” 

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No-Gi Grappling is a program based off of Combat Submission Wrestling, which was founded by Erik Paulson.  Back in the 1990s, the Gracie family was the first to show the effectiveness of grappling in UFC events and it evolved from there.

No-Gi Grappling is similar to grappling, which involves controlling and handling an opponent through various types of holds, instead of striking.  It includes choke holds and ground fighting, as well as standing.  These holds involve throwing, locking and pinning one’s opponent.  In ground fighting, escapes are also used.  Grappling sports include jiu-jitsu, judo, mixed martial arts and wrestling.

Both types focus on taking down the opponent, but the ways they aim to accomplish this are different.  To learn more about these differences, click here.

If you’re located in Central Pennsylvania, Titan Fitness in downtown State College offers classes teaching No-Gi Grappling.  Click HERE for more information.

According to their website at titanfitness.com, No-Gi Grappling classes generally teach an athlete “to compete in submission grappling tournaments. It also has a strong influence on the importance of striking on the ground for both self-defense purposes and MMA competitive fighting.”

Even if you’re not training seven days a week to win an MMA Championship, practicing No-Gi Grappling, or any type of MMA training for that matter, is good both for fitness and self-defense purposes.  Don’t worry, those sore muscles are to be expected!

Thanks to No-Gi-Grappling.com

 

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