Thursday, 31 July 2008

Fighting when Mounted

In MMA one the worst positions you can be in, is on your back while your opponent has mounted you. A variety of submissions can easily be obtained via this position but more importantly it is very easy for him/her to strike you to the face whilst keeping his/her own out of range for you to not strike back.

Also many people tend to start panicking from this position and tend to forget that although it is a bad position to be in and its best to escape as soon as possible it is not the worst, and there are a couple of things you can do.

When your opponent starts striking from the mount, obviously you need to defend by covering up or trying to hug tight your opponent so as to make striking harder, it must be remembered that while striking, his balance is not as strong as if he it would be when bracing himself using his arms. You may be able to turn your opponent around. Just remember that you must also keep your defence tight so as to not take too much punishment.

Although your opponent will be doing his best to strike you to finish the fight from this position and you are defending as best as possible, it must be remembered that you yourself can strike back. You probably will not be able to reach his face with your punches but body blows are effective, especially aimed towards the solar plexus as are dropping elbows to your opponents thighs. A few elbows to the thigh may cause discomfort to your opponent which may make him move his leg. This could give you the chance to escape the mount.

Practise other methods of fighting and escaping from being mounted with a sparring partner. Practise slowly, and thoughtfully trying to cover as many possibilities as you can. It is something that everybody needs to be familiar with.


Marks

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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Tapout Season 2 Premiere

VERSUS NEWS RELEASE

THE TAPOUT CREW CONTINUES THEIR SEARCH TO FIND THE NEXT MMA SUPERSTARS

Season Two of TapouT to Premiere July 24 on VERSUS on Demand; Network Debut Scheduled for July 30 at 10 P.M. ET

New York (July 9, 2008) – VERSUS, the network that celebrates real competition, will debut the second season of the hit reality series TapouT on Thursday, July 24, on VERSUS on Demand and on Wednesday, July 30, at 10 p.m. ET on VERSUS. The second season includes 10 one-hour episodes that follow Mask, Punkass and Skyskrape—the crew behind the premier mixed martial arts clothing and gear line TapouT—on their cross country travels in search of the next MMA superstar. TapouT is produced by Pilgrim Films, of American Chopper and Dirty Jobs fame.

Traveling around the country in a tricked out tour bus, the crew is on the hunt to discover a fighter who has what it takes to represent the TapouT label; but before these up-and-comers fight their way out of the cage, they have to fight their way in with the TapouT crew. The crew bonds with their fighter as they test out his personality and, in between the usual TapouT mayhem, makes sure their new protégé gets the proper training before the big fight. In each episode, it's all on the line as each fighter gets one shot to impress the crew and show off his skills in the cage.

“Since its debut a year ago, more than 40 million viewers have tuned in to see TapouT and we’re optimistic that the second season will have even greater success,” said Marc Fein, Executive Vice President of Programming, Production and Business Operations for the VERSUS. “This hugely popular original reality series, in conjunction with the monumental growth we’ve seen with our live World Extreme Cagefighting telecasts, solidifies VERSUS as one of the premier television destinations in the MMA category.”

In the season two premiere, the TapouT crew travels to San Luis Obispo, Calif. to ‘The PIT’ to see one of John Hackleman’s up-and-coming MMA fighters, Scott Lighty. Scott is accompanied by his best friend and training partner, Glover Teixeira and the crew quickly realizes the potential Glover has, and decides to sponsor both Scott and Glover who are fighting on the same card. UFC legend Chuck Liddell, who is both Scott and Glover’s trainer, makes a special guest appearance.

“MMA has exploded, and our Crew has been there since the beginning finding and supporting fighters,” said TapouT Founder Mask. “TapouT shows viewers what goes down on the road and lets fans be a part of the action. There are unbelievable fighters with incredible stories, as well as TapouT friends old and new, including MMA superstar Chuck Liddell and UFC President Dana White.”

New episodes of TapouT featuring the bad boys of MMA will premiere on VERSUS each Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET from July 30 through September 24. The full-length episodes will be available on VERSUS on Demand the Thursday prior to the network debut. For more information, including complete episode descriptions and complete schedule information, visit VERSUS.com.

VERSUS celebrates real competition across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD). Now in more than 73 million homes, the network is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as best-in-class events such as The Tour de France, Davis Cup Tennis, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Boxing. The network also offers collegiate sports featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12 and Mountain West. VERSUS features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events that audiences can't find elsewhere. VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

TapouT Season Two

An independently operated and owned mixed martial arts lifestyle company, TapouT boasts a sought-after clothing line for MMA enthusiasts, sponsors the best MMA Fighters (Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva), and stars in a hit TV reality show on VERSUS. Their passion for the sport has turned into a full-on underground culture, as owners Mask, Punkass and Skyskrape extend the growing popularity of MMA through their presence at the most extreme events, supporting fighters and offering the hottest, edgiest apparel for men and women. TapouT most recently was named the first-ever exclusive apparel sponsor for season seven of “The Ultimate Fighter,” on Spike TV. Their distinctive logo graces everything from hats, tees and car windows, to their special limited edition 2007 Toyota Tundra TapouT truck. The TapouT logo has become so noteworthy that its most devoted fans are tattooing it on their bodies, demonstrating the ultimate in commitment.


MEDIA CONTACTS:
Meier Raivich VERSUS - 917-934-1994 - meier_raivich@versus.com
Katie Bradshaw VERSUS - 917-934-1997 - katie_bradshaw@versus.com
Adam Feigen PMK/HBH for TapouT - 212-373-6106 -Adam.Feigen@pmkhbh.com



For More Information go to versus.com

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Monday, 28 July 2008

Is this Martial Arts Fake?

A few months ago I wrote the Martial Arts Myth article which showed a so called chi master getting a beating in an actual fight.

I found the following clip with George Dillman associate Leon Jay trying to knock out a chemist who does not believe in the no touch knockout.



Dillman claims that if you raise your toes or place your tongue in certain places in your mouth then you can prevent being knocked out.

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH!

To me he seems to be giving excuses even whilst being interviewed, but I have no experience with this area of martial arts, so if anyone has any knowledge about it, please give use your comments below.
Marks

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Friday, 25 July 2008

Book of Five Rings Examination, Part 4

The Mountain-Sea Change
“The mountain-sea spirit means that it is bad to repeat the same thing several times when fighting the enemy. There may be no help but to do something twice, but do not try it a third time. If you once make an attack and fail, there is little chance of success if you use the same approach again. If you attempt a technique which you have previously tried unsuccessfully and fail yet again, then you must change your attacking method.
If the enemy thinks of the mountains, attack like the sea; and if he thinks of the sea, attack like the mountains. You must research this deeply.”

This writing comes from the Fire book and is something that must be clearly understood by all martial artists.

The obvious way of interpreting this and especially in MMA is if you are either a grappler of a striker. The early UFC’s proved that just knowing how to strike is not enough in real combat. If you have no experience of grappling you shall be easily dominated by all grapplers regardless of style. However fighters like Mirko Cro Cop, Chuck Liddel, and Anderson Silva have proved that striking is definitely something that is needed also. A blend of striking and grappling knowledge is necessary in MMA so as you can be a complete fighter. By constantly fighting one way, will easily show youre opponent your weaknesses and he/she can use this to there advantage.

“There may be no help but to do something twice, but do not try it a third time. If you once make an attack and fail, there is little chance of success if you use the same approach again”. Imagine you are trying to close the gap in a fight in order to take the fight to the floor. You decide to throw a low kick and quickly rush in to your opponent when his attention turns towards the kick. Anticipating your strategy, your opponent side steps the first and second time you try this. He then waits for you to try the same thing but instead of side stepping, lands a perfect hook punch just after you kick and move in. The punch knocks you out and you lose the fight.

By using the same strategy over and over you become obvious in your approach and your opponent can use this to his advantage. You must know that if you have tried something a couple of times and have failed with it, that you must try something different. Always keep your opponent guessing as to what you are going to try next. This is the best way to fight, and because there are many ways of attacking in MMA this is something that should be thought about and studied well.


Marks

Introduction
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Ude Garami, Kata Te Jime Combination

Ude Garami is one of the most widely used arm locks in all submission grappling arts. It was a great technique of Judo legend Masahiko Kimura and has many variations and can be performed from many different positions. The most used position when applying ude garami however is from the side control (yoko shiho gatame). One of the problems however is that it can sometimes be foreseen by an opponent and defended well by twisting out and straightening the arm. Also when no gi’s are used and there is a lot of sweat it can be difficult to bend the arm of an opponent who does not want his arm bent. The solution to this is simple and many don’t seem to realise it.

From side control, an applied ude garami should look like this.
However as mentioned it can be defended well by preventing the attacked arm from being bended as in the picture. The easiest and best way to counter this is to go for another technique. Why waste your time trying to perform one when your opponent is defending well. Move on and try something else.

As you can see in the picture above the ideal attack next should be a choke of some kind as your opponent’s throat area is well unprotected. The simplest way to choke from this position is by simply bringing your forearm over your opponent’s throat and pressing it downwards using the Kata Te Jime technique as shown.

When you go for this choke your opponent will then do a few of things to defend it.
Firstly, he may bring his chin down stopping you from applying the technique, but from this position it should be easy for you to work around this.
Secondly, he may try to pull or push your arm away with his back hand (not one you where trying to apply the arm lock on.) However with all your weight pressing down with the choke, this would be difficult.
Thirdly, he could try rolling you over. This is possible so brace yourself and be ready to prevent this from happening.
Lastly, when he has tried all else and to prevent the choke from being applied, he will probably bend the arm you where working on in the first place, and try and push your choking forearm off.

By doing this he automatically bends his arm in the position needed for you to apply the ude garami, so as soon as you see the arm bend, quickly grab it, press it down to the mat and apply the lock. It should be much easier to apply the lock this way no matter how sweaty or limber your opponent is.

The beauty about this combination is that once you try for the choke, the most common method of defending it is for your opponent to try and push your choking arm off which provides your with a great opportunity to apply the arm lock, so if you don’t succeed with one technique you will with the other.

As mentioned it is a very simple combination and definitely one that should be practised constantly so that you can instinctively apply it when needed.


Photos courtesy of www.gestelsejudoclub.nl and www.poleij.com
Marks

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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Mike Tyson Training Video

To me, Mike Tyson was the greatest boxer to step into the ring. The abilities which he possessed up until the 1990’s where unbelievable. His slipping, bob and weave has become legendary, his punching power has never been questionable and he moved around the ring as fast as a light weight.

Ive added a video of Tyson training below. Ive seen many of his training videos but have not come across this one before. It shows some great skipping variations, bag work, slip training, sparring and shadow boxing.

What it also shows is him practising combination drills against an opponent. Not a bag, not pads but against an opponent. Obviously he is not using contact but practising this way against an opponent gives many advantages such as, the feel of moving around your opponent paying specific attention to avoid his/her feet so as to not trip up, practise of precise placement of your strikes and practise of distancing yourself from your opponent adequately whilst still being in range to land successful blows.

By practising this way, combining it with shadow fighting, pad work and bag work, it can help improve your sparring and fighting a great deal. Enjoy the video.




Marks

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Monday, 21 July 2008

Inch Perfect Striking

I came across I great article today from grapplearts.com entitled Jiu-jitsu, a Game of Inches. The opening introduction of the article states, ”Sometimes a whole match can be decided by the battle to move your hand one inch forward”.

I could not agree more with this. When grappling you will struggle hard to achieve submissions if your hands, body, legs etc are not positioned in the correct way. Even if they are out by just a couple of inches it could mean you applying the submission or not.

I would like to take this further by also saying how this applies to striking. Over the weekend we saw Anderson Silva and Fedor Emilianenko destroy there opponents, Tim Sylvia and James Irvin. Fedor won by choke and Anderson Silva won by ground and pound. What brought there opponents to the ground in the first place however where perfectly timed and targeted strikes. Had these shots not hit there targets spot on, maybe they would not have been enough to bring there opponents down.

You would also find that strikes delivered inch perfect to there targets require much less force to do damage. Many fighters have well conditioned stomach muscles and are able to take hard punches and kicks there all day, however strikes directly at the solar plexus with little force can make many fighters cringe. An inch off and they would not be as effective.

When sparring it is important to keep this in mind and try and pick your targets carefully. They could decide the outcome of many competitions or fights you may have.


Marks

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Friday, 18 July 2008

Book of Five Rings Examination, Part 3

“Upset happens in all sorts of things. One way it happens is through a feeling of being under acute pressure. Another is through a feeling of unreasonable strain. A third is through a feeling of surprise at the unexpected.
In large scale military science, it is essential to cause upset. It is critical to attack resolutely where enemies are not expecting it, then, while their minds are unsettled, use this to your advantage to take the initiative and win.
In individual martial arts also, you appear relaxed at first, then suddenly change powerfully, as the opponents mind changes pitch, it is essential that you follow what he does, not letting him relax for a moment, perceiving the advantage of the moment and discerning right then and there how to win. This must be investigated diligently.”

A fighter must seize his/her opportunities when they are presented in order to win. In order to create these opportunities for success there are many strategies. The one talked about above by Musashi is the strategy of upsetting.

Imagine you are fighting and the bell for the first round has just rung. You square off with your opponent, each curious and cautious about what type of fight will be presented to them. After a couple of rounds of steady fighting you decide to completely change your game around and come out full force with a flurry of punches and kicks. After hitting your opponent hard with the first punch he/she becomes shocked with total disbelief at the sudden change in your approach to the fight. Seizing this moment of shock and upset you have gained, you attack harder and stronger, until your opponent is unable to defend himself and the ref stops the fight awarding you the win.

Musashi states “It is critical to attack resolutely where enemies are not expecting it” and “you appear relaxed at first, then suddenly change powerfully, as the opponents mind changes pitch, it is essential that you follow what he does, not letting him relax for a moment, perceiving the advantage of the moment”. The above example does exactly this. You make your opponent think that you are in a relaxed state, allowing him also to relax and within a moments notice you change your way of fighting, exploding in with a flurry off attacks which may fluster and take your opponent off guard.

The reason this strategy works is because for a split second your opponent is shocked and upset how you have suddenly changed your way of fighting. If your fast and explosive, this split second is all you need to press your opponent hard and gain the advantage while he is in disbelief. The perfect example of this is Frank Shamrock vs Tito Ortiz. For the whole fight Tito was on top of Frank, pressing him, trying to wear him down. Frank then suddenly exploded at the end with a flurry of attacks. Tito was completely flustered by this and it cost him the fight.

As Musashi states "this must be investigated diligently".



Marks
Introduction
Part 1
Part 2
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Eric Paulson MMA Videos

Im always on the look out for great instruction videos on the Internet to share with you guys and yesterday I came across some videos by Eric Paulson on Youtube. Eric Paulson is a great martial artist who gained most of his experience from the late great Larry Hartsell, (RIP) an original student of Bruce Lee.

I have uploaded two short clips which give escapes and counter submissions to the most commonly used techniques in grappling, the leg choke (sangaku jime) and the arm bar (juji gatame)

Sangaku Jime Escape



Its important to remember when caught in a triangle that you dont allow your opponent to cross your trapped arm under your chin. This prevents the choke from working and also leaves you a better chance of escaping.

Juji Gatame Escape



Notice that Eric starts his escape from the arm bar position with his arms bent and hands held together rather than letting his opponent straighten his arm. This is very important in obtaining the leverage used to raise yourself up. You will have maybe only a second or two at the most before your opponent straightens your arm so it is important to learn to do this movement quick.

There are more videos by Eric Paulson on the Internet and I strongly suggest you check them out as the beauty of them are that Eric shows very simple techniques which don’t need much time to learn and with adequate “drilling” of the technique they can quickly become part of your fighting arsenal.


Marks

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Monday, 14 July 2008

Sparring Without Gloves or Pads

In today’s society, with the need to work and earn money to support not just yourself but also your family, people who train in martial arts don’t want to look bruised, blooded and broken each day. This is one of the reasons why gloves, shin guards, mouth pieces, cups and other protective equipment are used during sparring.

The problem about wearing protection all the time when sparring however is that you can get to used to it. Sloppiness can set in sometimes with technique, the thought of avoiding strikes can sometimes be ignored as getting hit by a soft 14 oz glove or shin padding sometimes does not inflict enough damage to hurt and awareness, timing and rhythm when fighting does not get trained as much.

For this reason, maybe sometimes it is best to spar without any protection, nothing at all. The idea of covering up without boxing gloves when your opponent is throwing hooks and straight punches becomes a more difficult task. Firstly you would be taking some of the blows on the back of your hand and if you try just tapping the back of you hand with your knuckles you shall see that it is quite painful, so you can imagine how a hard punch would feel. Secondly, without big gloves, you would not be covering up much at all. Your opponent would find it much easier to strike around and through your “covering up” as your hands do not defend as much as your face as you would have hoped for. This way of defending may now be substituted by parries, body movement and stop hitting, which all work your timing reflexes and awareness much more.

A lot of people also get into the habit of taking shin kicks to the thighs when wearing shin pads without the thought of defending them. If anyone does not know the pain of getting hit hard on the thigh with an unpadded shin let me just say it hurts and you don’t want to get into the habit of taking them when fighting. When shin protection is out of the equation you shall find yourself relying on correct technique when shin blocking, again you shall learn to move out of the path of the shin kick and hopefully you may start to learn to move whilst staying within a striking range, ready to counter.

Sparring without protection keeps you on your toes. It helps you to think better, move better and reminds you that without good technique you could easily find yourself in an awkward position. As mentioned above, most of us have jobs and families and cant afford to get hurt so keep the sparring controlled and sensible. Contact to the body and thighs may be a little harder. The level of contact can be agreed with your sparring partner before you begin.


Marks

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Friday, 11 July 2008

Book of Five Rings Examination Part 2

This week we look at Crossing at a Ford taken from the Fire Book. This is an important part of the book as it is something that Musashi states, happens to must of us from one time to another in our lives.

“Crossing at a ford means, for example, crossing the sea at a strait, or crossing over a hundred miles of broad sea at a crossing place. I believe this "crossing at a ford" occurs often in man's lifetime. It means setting sail even though your friends stay in harbor, knowing the route, knowing the soundness of your ship and the favor of the day. When all the conditions are met, and there is perhaps a favorable wind, or a tailwind, then set sail. If the wind changes within a few miles of your destination, you must row across the remaining distance without sail.
If you attain this spirit, it applies to everyday life. You must always think of crossing at a ford.
In strategy also it is important to "cross at a ford". Discern the enemy's capability and, knowing your own strong points, "cross the ford" at the advantageous place, as a good captain crosses a sea route. If you succeed in crossing at the best place, you may take your ease. To cross at a ford means to attack the enemy's weak point, and to put yourself in an advantageous position. This is how to win large-scale strategy. The spirit of crossing at a ford is necessary in both large- and small-scale strategy. You must research this well.”

“To cross at a ford means to attack the enemy's weak point, and to put yourself in an advantageous position”. When it comes to sparring, or fighting you must always be on the look out for your opponent’s weak points. There are things that you may notice about your opponent that maybe can work to your advantage. For example, he/she may always have there front leg in a position that is perfect for a low shin kick, or they may not pull there punching hand back to a ready position quick enough after striking, leaving you a great opportunity to counter attack. Musashi clearly knew that the best way to defeat an enemy is to attack his weak points which everybody has.

I especially think that this text is something of great importance because it is something that happens to all of us. In the martial arts especially, unfortunately there are some who “put others down” in some sort of way. Comments like “don’t take that fight you will never win” or “your crazy to even think you will get your black belt one day” are given always. Without a strong sense of faith in your own abilities it is very easy to believe such people when they provide negativity and to not give challenges a go. Musashi states about Crossing at the Ford, “It means setting sail even though your friends stay in harbor, knowing the route, knowing the soundness of your ship and the favor of the day”. I take this to mean that sometimes you must forget about other people's opinions, but keep in mind what you are capable of, have a picture of the goal you want to achieve and the work required to achieve it. Work hard for it trying to block out thoughts of failure and you will achieve what you set out to do, be it becoming a pro fighter, winning an upcoming event or reaching a new level of fitness.


Marks

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Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The Best Time for a Knockout Punch

To achieve the knockout is something that is always desired. Weather it be boxing, mauy thai or MMA, everyone wants to be in the ring/cage as quick as possible. Nobody likes fighting the distance as it’s tiring and if it’s a close fight it’s a shame to lose on points. If you can get the knockout it’s always better. The unfortunate thing is, there are plenty of times when the knockout opportunity is presented to most of us but we don’t take it.

A good fighter always sees the value of conditioning his/her shoulders to keep his hands held high in order to protect his chin. The muscles of the trunk can be conditioned to take body shots without even flinching but unfortunately the chin does not have muscle and a strong shot there can end in you dropping down and waking up in the dressing room with a loss under your belt.

This is the reason why many punches and kicks are aimed towards the head area. However there is no point throwing strike after strike towards the head if all your opponent is doing is covering up and defending successfully. Sure, one of the blows may eventually find its target. But it may not and you may find yourself out of breath soon enough. For this reason it’s always important to lower your opponents guard.

Many times fighters successfully lower there opponent’s guard via body punches or leg kicks but fail to follow through with a strike towards the chin. This is the prime time to go for that strong cross or hook punch and must not be allowed to pass. Although to a lot of people reading this article, it may seem like common sense and something they already know, it is still something we all miss out on constantly.

The best way to practise this and to get into the habit of striking straight away when your opponent lowers his hands is to spar, spar and spar some more. Throw low jabs, leg kicks, low hooks etc in an effort for your opponent to react by dropping his arms. Eventually this will happen and when it does without even thinking go for that head shot. Aim directly for the chin. Obviously in sparring use control and if you want to use a bit of contact make sure your wearing the relevant protection, but try not to miss the opportunity if its presented to you as its one of the best times to strike. (image taken from www.rockymarciano.com)


Marks

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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

MMA Fighters Endurance

There are some fighters who can run for miles and miles without getting tired. They are very fit with great muscular endurance. During the course of a fight however, some don’t seem to be able to last more than two minutes without losing stamina or “gassing” as it is now commonly referred to in the MMA world.

This is mainly due to the fact that when fighting or sparring, you are constantly using different muscles throughout the body to perform different types of strain. Strikes, throws, grappling, defending etc. All of these require different muscles to be used aerobically and anaerobicly. To perform combination after combination of punches and kicks requires great muscular and heart endurance, while an explosive throw or a takedown requires a quick boost of strength of the muscles as when performing a heavy bench press for example.

When performing a cardiovascular exercise such as running or cycling, the same muscles are used aerobically. Your body adapts to this exercise after a short period of time and this is what gives you the ability to continue the exercise for a while.

For this reason it is always a good idea for a mixed martial artist to train like a mixed martial artist. When trying to improve your stamina and strength for fighting, don’t rely on just running and weights. Constantly mix up your training. Perform heavy bag training consisting of 2 minute rounds where you strike as fast and hard as you can, run long distance jogs with sprints occasionally thrown in. Perform weight training with heavy weights one day, and lighter weights via a circuit the next. Combine shadow fighting and bodyweight exercises to create a stamina building workout, spar for five rounds rotating grappling only for one round and striking only the next

Always vary your training. Keep your muscles and endurance levels surprised each workout as this is the best way to improve there abilities and the only way to get them used to the ever constant changing pace involved during an MMA fight.


Marks

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Friday, 4 July 2008

Book of Five Rings Examination, Part 1

In this weeks examination of Musashi’s writings we reveal from the Fire Book an extract about reading your opponents intentions and strengths, revealing there weaknesses and timing of attack.

“To know the times means to know the enemy's disposition in battle. Is it flourishing or waning? By observing the spirit of the enemy's men and getting the best position, you can work out the enemy's disposition and move your men accordingly. You can win through this principle of strategy, fighting from a position of advantage.

When in a duel, you must forestall the enemy and attack when you have first recognised his school of strategy, perceived his quality and his strong and weak points. Attack in an unsuspected manner, knowing his metre and modulation and the appropriate timing.

Knowing the times means, if your ability is high, seeing right into things. If you are thoroughly conversant with strategy, you will recognise the enemy's intentions and thus have many opportunities to win. You must sufficiently study this. “

What this basically means is that it is best to have a strategy when you compete. Imagine your in the cage with an opponent and without waiting or knowing anything about him, you charge in with a flurry or punches towards the head. Not knowing that your opponent is a master grappler, he ducks, grabs both your legs, takes you down, quickly mounts and starts some ground and pound until the ref stops the fight as you are unable to defend yourself. Although this is an example it happens a lot.

Two great sentences from this article are “You can win through this principle of strategy, fighting from a position of advantage “ and “you must forestall the enemy and attack when you have first recognised his school of strategy, perceived his quality and his strong and weak points”. They basically mean that you should do your research. Find out about your opponent before you start an offence. Does he like kicking, if so get in close. If his grappling is poor, then you know its best to try and take him to the ground. Work from a position of advantage to you.

The age we live in gives us the opportunity to study our opponents via videos of there past fights, however this is not always possible which means you must study them during the start of your own fight with them. When the opening bell goes, instead of rushing with an attack, build it up. Feel out your opponent. Throw a few jabs, maybe a couple of kicks, feint attacks or shoot in on your opponent to see his reactions etc. The best example of this I can think of was Muhammad Ali VS George Foreman. Knowing that Foreman was a strong guy, rather than meet strength with strength, Ali waited for Foreman to get tired, in which then he unloaded his offence which gained him the victory. He knew this was Foremans weakness and his best time to attack.

By taking this same principle which can be applied to heavy military battle or small duels between just two men, you are able to find out your opponents strengths and weaknesses and are able to determine the best method of attack and the best time to attack.

This is great advice given by Musashi and it should be something that everyone tries there best to improve.


Marks
Introduction
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

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Thursday, 3 July 2008

Randy Couture's Duck Unders

When it comes to wrestling techniques in MMA, there are probably not many people as good as Randy Couture in applying them. He has proven time and time again, that wrestling can be more than useful even in an environment where strikes are thrown.

There are lots of Randy Couture training videos on the Internet. All of which are useful and I advise you to check them out when you have the chance.

I have added the following in this article because I feel it is a technique that can be used many times during MMA fights. When clinched up many people tend to try and strike nowadays, before/instead of going for a takedown. Knees are always a common favourite but so are short sharp hook punches. By using Randys duck under method shown below, you can easily counter this and end up on top of your opponent.




As Randy states, in real time, there must be no pausing through the execution of this pick up (Te Guruma in the Judo world). Also, always remember to keep your chin up which will prevent your opponent from going for a guillotine when under his arm. Control his punching arm and bend well at the knees when performing the far side duck under so as to miss possible punches thrown.


Marks

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Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Home Workout Part 2

Yesterday I performed a workout I had never done before. I made it up as I went along without giving it any prior thought. By the end of it I was completely drained and was ready for a banana for a quick energy boost!

Its very basic and consists of,

Running (2 mins)
Skipping (2 mins)
Shadow fighting (2 mins). (click here on shadow fighting information)

I must tell you that I used a treadmill for the running in the workout. Although you can use the road to run you would have to carry a skipping rope with you so I advise you to also use a treadmill.

This routine is performed for as many sets as possible. I completed it five times and felt that was enough. I rested for half a minute between sets. If you need more, take it, trying not to rest for more than a minute. The catch is that each exercise is performed slightly different each time. How I performed them are as follows.

1.
Running (Steady jogging for warm up)
Skipping (Steady skipping for warm up, feet together, jumping simultaneously)
Shadow kickboxing (Medium paced punches with kicks, not kicking higher than waist height)

2.
Running (Faster paced jogging)
Skipping (Slightly faster than before alternating skips on each foot)
Shadow kickboxing (Same as before except after each combination, a bob and weave is performed concentrating on bending with the knees. Kicks to any height)

3.
Running (Same speed as before whilst keeping your hands held behind your back)
Skipping (30 seconds hopping on one leg than 30 seconds the other. The last minute bringing knees up to chest alternately)
Shadow Thai Boxing (Same as above apart from slightly faster whilst incorporating knees and elbows)

4.
Running (Sprinting for 30 seconds then jogging for 30 seconds. This is done twice)
Skipping (Fast skipping, crossing the arms on every forth skips. If you cant cross your arms just carry on skipping fast for the whole two minutes)
Shadow Thai Boxing (Fast combinations, waiting no more than 3 seconds between each one)

Note: You should have pushed yourself so you’re quite out of breath by now. Try your best to push yourself for one more round.

5.
Running (Sprint for 40 seconds than 20 seconds of jogging. This is done twice)
Skipping (Same as 4)
Shadow MMA (Same as 4 except you add 2 sprawls after each combination)

I found this workout to be very taxing but enjoyable and plan to keep doing it for a month or so to test its benefits. Its up to you on how hard you would like to make it. If by the end of it, you don’t feel drained enough, then you know that next time you can either take a shorter break between sets of push yourself on each exercise.


Marks

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