Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Grapplers Fighting in MMA

Grapplers, regardless of style at some point feel that it is right to test there skills in an MMA environment where strikes are allowed. There is always the curiosity going through there heads weather there grappling skills can get them through an encounter where strikes are also thrown. Although strikers also feel the same about grappling, we shall concentrate on what grapplers need to be aware of for this article.

The below gives a quick outline of things to bear in mind for grapplers who are thinking of transitioning into MMA.

From stand up - Stand up fighting in grappling situations normally sees the two fighters with there legs wide, both knees bent, there hands level with the torsos or chests and there body weight low, ready to defend shoots and other takedowns. In a situation where striking is allowed, you must worry about incoming punches and kicks, so having your body more upright with your hands held slightly higher should be considered. Obviously you will be looking to take the fight to the ground but you must “bait” your opponent with good striking skills first in order to get a chance to move in and take them down.

From the clinch – In the clinch during grappling contests, it is nearly always best to achieve underhooks on your opponent holding underneath there arm pits. By gripping this way, you can get your hips under there’s and throw them with ease. In an MMA environment however, you must be extra careful in the clinch. This is so important. Good clinch fighters will be looking to gain control of you head by gripping behind it with both hands and deliver punishing knee strikes and if allowed elbow strikes. You must learn how to not only gain this dominant hold behind your opponents head, but how to also break it if caught in it yourself. (It is a lot harder to do than it looks). As a grappler, some good Judo style throws can be carried out from the clinch position when cupping your opponents head so it best to study this area wisely in your MMA training.

On the ground – When ground fighting under grappling rules, sometimes fighters can leave themselves open, control there opponents legs with there arms and even relax when caught in hold downs. In an MMA environment, it is during these times when hard strikes with fists, elbows and knees are thrown. Grapplers must keep in mind that most knockouts in MMA are during ground and pound. The guard may be a good place to be in during grappling contests but a lot of strikes can be thrown from the guard in MMA so it is best to be on top of your opponent either by mounting or side control. Many grapplers who compete in MMA choose now, to rather ground and pound there opponents, even if chances for submissions are available. This is because, strikes are easier to carry out, they do not use up as much energy (usually and when done correctly), and can do more damage.

Grapplers must understand when transitioning to MMA that strikes are in most cases more important to use then throws and submissions. They are more devastating and can usually end fights much quicker than submissions holds. Having said that, grappling is a major part of MMA, it is needed in order to take your opponent to the floor, to stop your opponent taking you to the floor and to transition, scramble and submit when on the floor so for this reason, it must still be practised regularly and used if the situation is called for it to be used.


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