Wednesday, 15 October 2008

MMA Training - Mixing the Arts

Every one knows that in order to be an MMA fighter you have to be proficient in striking and grappling. A few years ago if you where a striker, all you needed to know was basic grappling and you would have been ok and grapplers needed to know just basic striking. Today, knowing just the basics of one area is not enough. You have to be really good at striking and grappling.

So say someone attends a striking gym (Mauy Thai, Karate etc) and a grappling gym (Judo, Jiu Itsu etc) and they get really good at the two disciplines. There punches are great, kicks are spot on, take downs are crisp and there ground fighting flows like water. Surely they are ready for MMA competition, right? Wrong.

The above scenario is very common. Fighters attend grappling gyms and striking gyms, something which is a must for MMA competition, but the problem is right there. Most keep the two disciplines apart. Although they spar striking and spar grappling, rarely do they spar and incorporate both styles of fighting.

Although it may seem that they are fulfilling the criteria needed to compete successfully in MMA, they are not getting as much experience as needed in combining the two, striking with grappling.

"When was the last time someone started striking you when rolling in Jiu Jitsu or during Judo Ne Waza."

If you look at Kickboxers or Muay Thai fighters sparring for example, then MMA fighters sparring (in striking range) although they may look very similar, the differences are there. The MMA fighters must always be cautious about possible takedown attempts, ready to sprawl when necessary and even standing submission attempts from the clinch. Because Muay Thai fighters and Kickboxers do not, it makes them different. In the same way, Judo or Jiu Jitsu sparring is different to MMA grappling because strikes are not worried about. Leaving your guard down or resting while pinned is ok in the grappling arts but in MMA you have to worry about possible strikes even when grappling.

For these reasons, to be an MMA fighter you must train mixing the two disciplines together. You must mix the grappling and striking together during your workouts so as you gain experience in full MMA. Training grappling and striking separately is not enough and going into an MMA fight after doing this may be the completely wrong move and could land you seriously hurt.


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Lori O'Connell said...

It's very true. When I introduce striking into grappling to my students for the first time, it's like they're starting all over.

Elias said...

Hi Mark, I was just wondering what you think of Krav Maga.

I like your blog, it's really informative and useful :)

MARKS said...

Elias. Many thanks for your comments about my site.

My experineces of Krav Maga to be honest are minimal, but from what I have seen and read, it seems to be very practical for the street. Wheather its wise to study Krav Maga for the intention of winning in competition I dont know, but I dont think every art has its advantages.

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