“Ground and pound”. To the lay person this phrase means little, but to the initiated fan of modern day Mixed Martial Arts this is a term which has become quite well known in recent years, much to the credit of color commentators for the Ultimate Fighting Championship like Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg amongst others. But what exactly is “ground and pound”? Most MMA fans who have never trained with actual fighters or who only watch the sport casually will give answers that are not really satisfactory. The most common is that “ground and pound” is a style of striking an opponent on the ground in MMA, with the emphasis usually being on the methods used by the fighter in top position to strike the bottom fighter. While this statement is generally correct it does not truly do justice to the skill which many top fighters call their number one method for attaining victory. As anyone who has trained with a skilled Pro MMA fighter knows, “ground and pound” has every bit as many nuances as submission grappling, takedowns or stand up striking. Many people with limited training believe that there is little technique to striking on the ground and that once a fighter achieves a takedown he need only reign down punches or elbows until the referee steps in. However, “ground and pound” is a skill in itself and simply “swinging away” on a downed opponent with little regard to technique is a good way to get submitted or swept by an opponent with a good Jiu-Jitsu game. In this article I will outline four different “ground and pound” techniques which have been used by different fighters in high level MMA fights and explain what makes these techniques so effective.
There is no more fitting way to begin an article on the skill of ground-striking in MMA than to start with the man often quoted as “the godfather of Ground and Pound”, Mark “the Hammer” Coleman. Coleman began his MMA career back in 1996 at UFC 10, the early days of Mixed Martial Arts when the sport had yet to be regulated under the “Unified Rules”. Coming from a wrestling background and having been a former NCAA champion, the 6’1, 255lbs bruiser took to fighting like a fish to water. In those days Royce Gracie had already established the value of ground grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA, and this is what truly paved the way for wrestlers, cluing them in to the fact that taking the opponent down and finishing them on the ground was a legitimate method for winning a contest. However, Royce had usually won his fights by using submission holds such as chokes and armlocks, rather than bludgeoning the opponent into defeat with punches, hammerfists, knees and elbows. Lacking the submission techniques available to BJJ artists but having every bit as much knowledge of ground positioning, Coleman was perhaps the first Mixed Martial Artist to routinely win fights simply by taking his opponents down and striking them until a referee either stepped in or they were rendered unconscious. Coleman had many methods for doing this, but one that I am going to look at in particular is what I will refer to as the “head in face” technique. This is one of the primary techniques which “The Hammer” used to win the most important fight in his career, his victory over Igor Vovchanchin in the “Pride Grand Prix 2000 finals” which led to his becoming the first ever Pride HW tournament champion. In essence this technique is quite simple, and yet devastatingly effective, and it is based on a few important principles that anyone must understand in order to recognize what makes for an effective “ground and pound” tactic. In this fight, Coleman made used of the “head in face technique” by standing in Igor’s full guard, then driving his forehead into his face and from there, punching in succession to the body, followed by single shots to the head.
Now, there are four important principles to ground and pound which one must understand if they are to separate a truly superior “gn’p” technique from simply striking a grounded opponent with reckless abandon. These principles are 1) controlling the arms 2) controlling the hips 3) controlling the head and 4) mixing up one’s strikes. Anyone who studies the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu knows that controlling the hips and the head make a grounded opponent nearly helpless, and this same principle applies to wrestling and “ground and pound”. If an opponent does not have free range of motion with his head then his hip movement is going to be very limited and likewise if he does not have full movement of his hips then his head movement will probably not amount to much. Let me explain more clearly. All bodily motion is dependent upon movement of the spine, which goes as far up as the back of the neck and base of the head, and as far down as the tailbone, which is parallel to the hips at the front of the body. The two points of the body where the spine provides its greatest function are at its top and bottom, in other words, the neck/head area, and the hip/lower back area. If a grappler controls one of these two points he has a good deal of control over his opponent. If he controls both his opponent’s mobility is practically null as he has isolated his spine at both of its key points and this will make strikes very difficult to defend against. This is essentially how control of hip and head movement makes for an effective “gnp” technique.
On the other hand, controlling an opponent’s arms is important because you take away his main tools of offense and most importantly, his greatest method of defense. Controlling one of your opponent’s arms is often enough to prevent him from escaping or countering most forms of “ground and pound”, while controlling both of them makes his ability to counter or escape even more difficult, granted of course that the aggressor has some sort of head or hip control.
Finally, mixing up strikes makes for an effective “ground and pound” tactic because the opponent never really knows what to expect. This means directing blows to different parts of the body, head and even limbs, as well as using different types of strikes such as hammerfists, downward elbows, diagonal elbows and straight and looping punches.
With Mark Coleman’s “head in face” attack on Igor Vovchanchin, he made good use of the first two and the fourth principles. He controlled Igor’s head very well, which in turn allowed him to control his hips, and he mixed up his strikes to the body and head. What Coleman did in this fight was to essentially stand up in Igor’s full guard and drive his head directly into Igor’s face, making his own head and neck a fifth point of contact with the ground so that he could base off of it and throw his punches with full power without sacrificing his balance. With his feet planted and his hips above his opponents’, the bottom man’s hips were also limited in their mobility. In this particular situation, since Igor could not free his head his spine and body as a whole were isolated and his guard rendered quite ineffective. The placement of Coleman’s forehead in Igor’s face provided two other special advantages, in that it limited Igor’s view of the strikes coming at him and also caused him quite a bit of discomfort. Coleman also directed his strikes to different areas, generally throwing several times to the body and once or twice to the head in succession. As such, Igor was less capable of guessing where the strikes would land next, and thus had a more difficult time defending. This is a technique which Coleman’s protégé Kevin Randleman would also later use with great success in his fighting career.
However, an even more effective “ground and pound” tactic than Coleman’s “head in face technique” is the mounted “gift wrap” which the great Rickson Gracie used to defeat Masakatsu Funaki back in 2000. The Gracie family is well known for introducing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the world, but their style of ground fighting is not only effective for submissions, it is also effective for striking as Rickson proved in this fight. Now it is important to note that the most significant aspect of Rickson’s “gift wrap” on Funaki is not the trapping of his arm, but rather, the mount position itself. When a grappler passes his opponents’ guard and is able to mount him he has complete control over his opponents’ hips because his entire body is positioned above them. As such, the opponent’s legs have been taken out of the equation and his upper body has been isolated. He does, however, still have movement of his head and the top portion of his spine, but as we will see Rickson’s technique later prevents this. In this fight, after weakening Funaki with some shots from mount, he grips Funaki’s right wrist with his right hand, while reaching under Funaki’s head with left arm. Following this, Rickson feeds Funaki’s right wrist to his own left hand which is underneath Masakatsu’s head. This results in Rickson being mounted on Funaki while the latter’s right arm is completely wrapped around his own head, leaving him with only one arm to defend against Rickson’s strikes. Not only is Funaki’s right arm now trapped, but his head is also held firmly in place by his own arm and his hips are being completely controlled by Rickson’s mount. Goals 1, 2 and 3 of our “gnp” outline have now been met, and Funaki has no way to defend himself since almost his entire body is being controlled. This is another outstanding “ground and pound” technique which works well for MMA.
The third “ground and pound” position we will discuss has become quite popular in Mixed Martial Arts today and is generally referred to as “the side mounted crucifix”. This move has a number of variations and has been used very successfully by a number of fighters, most notably Jon Jones in his UFC Live 2 win over Vladimir Matyushenko and Roy Nelson in his win over Kimbo Slice on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10. Much like Rickson’s mounted “gift wrap”, the most important component of this technique is first having a dominant position, in this case side mount. Once sidemounted, the top opponent is past the bottom man’s hips much like a mounted opponent would be, except that in this case he has his weight distributed sidewise across his opponent’s chest and abdomen rather than being directly on top of him as he would be when mounted. From this position, both of the opponent’s arms are tied up with the top man having one arm free to punch or elbow his opponent’s head. This technique covers points 1, 2 and 3 of our “ground and pound” index. First, not only one but both of the opponent’s arms are trapped. Second, the hips are isolated in the sense that the guard has been passed and the legs cannot be used for much and the weight distribution of the top opponent makes hip movement difficult for the bottom man. Finally, with both shoulders and hips pinned to the mat and a large body across the bottom man’s chest, the defender’s head has fairly little mobility as well. The position can be made more effective by mixing up one’s strikes and Jones proved in his fight that it is possible to finish an opponent from here with elbows while Nelson proved in his that it is equally possible to dominate by punching with the free hand.
The final “ground and pound” position that I would like to discuss in this article is not usually recognized as such because it is done from a bottom position, but I would personally consider it every bit as valid as many done from top control and this is the “triangle position” from bottom guard. Most people see the triangle as a submission only due to its ability to cut off the blood to the brain, causing the opponent to either tap out or pass out. However, as Anderson Silva proved in his victory over Travis Lutter at UFC 67, this can also be a dominant position from which to land multiple short elbow strikes which in this case resulted in a submission not from the choke, but from the strikes being delivered. Generally, the term “ground and pound” seems to be reserved for striking techniques delivered by the top fighter to the bottom fighter, and the reason for this is most likely because strikes delivered from on top tend to have more weight and force behind them. Usually ending a fight with strikes from the bottom is difficult to do, unless, of course, it abides by enough of the 4 rules of our “ground and pound” index, like the triangle does. First, it is important to note that the guard position is the only bottom position capable of being considered dominant because the bottom man’s legs do partially shut off full movement of the top man’s hips. Because the bottom guard player has his ankles positioned above the hips of the top man, the top fighter cannot advance further to fully isolate the bottom man’s hips. This is the first key to why the triangle can be considered a dominant position despite being done from on bottom. The second reason is that one of the top opponent’s arms is taken out of the equation by the unique positioning of the bottom man, and the other arm is trapped across the bottom man’s chest, making it difficult for him to defend against strikes which was another key to successful “gn’p” that we mentioned. Finally, the most important aspect of why the “triangle position” is a dominant angle for “gnp” is because it exercises maximum head control. The top opponent’s head is being completely controlled by the legs and arms of the bottom man. As such, the top point of his spine is isolated and his mobility is greatly lessened. In the case of the Anderson/Lutter fight, Anderson had such a good triangle sunk in that he was able to deliver downward elbow strikes until the ref stepped in. As can be seen, if one thinks outside of the box and utilizes enough of the principles of the “ground and pound” index, it is possible to stop a fight with strikes even from a bottom position.
Clearly “ground and pound” techniques are not effective because of top position alone, they are dependent upon a number of principles being used effectively. The Mark Coleman/Igor Vovchanchin fight is an excellent example of how unique head control can be used to create enough pressure from top guard to threaten an opponent. The Rickson Gracie/Funaki fight is an example of how head and arm control can be obtained simultaneously from top mount leaving the opponent with no method of defense from strikes. Jones’ and Nelson’s “sidemounted crucifixes” are examples of how both arms of the bottom man can be trapped simultaneously leaving him vulnerable. Finally, the example of Anderson Silva’s triangle on Travis Lutter shows that if proper head control is utilized even a bottom position can give a fighter enough power to stop a fight with successive blows. Next time you watch MMA and you see strikes being thrown on the ground I suggest that you pay attention to which of the four points from our “ground and pound index” are being applied, and take note of what the aggressor could be doing to make his ground striking more effective. Knowledge of “ground and pound” techniques and the principles behind them will enhance your enjoyment as a Mixed Martial Arts’ viewer just as much as it can increase a fighter’s effectiveness in the ring.
Jamey Bazes is a Hudson Valley martial arts practitioner holding a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt with over 15 years of competition experience earning over 100 tournament victories. He also holds a Masters of Arts Degree in English from SUNY New Paltz with a focus on the English Romantic poets.
Finding success in the Hudson Valley martial arts world is not always easy. It is certainly true that people might define “success” differently. Many dojos are content to hand out black belts as if they were representative of nothing more than the fabric which they are made out of, but there is one marker of success which never lies, and that is competition. Whether a martial artist chooses to test himself in Amateur or Professional Mixed Martial Arts, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or some other competitive format, in all cases one’s opponent is not going to be interested in placating one’s ego and is going to do his utmost to prevent his adversary from being successful against him. It is for this reason that Hudson Valley martial arts practitioners at Precision MMA are so proud of our ability to turn novices into successful competitors and fighters. Many people have come through the doors of Precision with no martial arts’ training whatsoever, only to find themselves having success in the ring in record time. The results speak for themselves and show that we know what we are doing when it comes to teaching effective Hudson Valley martial arts.
When a dedicated but entirely inexperienced student first enters Precision Mixed Martial Arts in the Hudson Valley area of New York, we might liken them to a piece of clay, and our instructors to master sculptors. As long as the student is willing to learn and do whatever is necessary to be successful our instructors can turn them into a living, breathing work of art. People are transformed by the practice of martial arts every day. Their physiques are molded from plain or overweight to toned and conditioned. Their self-image often improves with this. But most of all, the practice of martial arts can make a formidable opponent with a wide range of combat skills out of just about anyone. Precision MMA has taken Hudson Valley martial arts students with no prior experience and turned them into successful fighters of different kinds and this is always very exciting to see for the instructors and also for the fellow students who are just starting off themselves and looking to these fighters as an example to follow. And not only do we at Precision sculpt novices into fighters, but we can also teach them to become effective martial arts’ instructors as well.
One example of a Hudson Valley martial arts success story at Precision MMA where a novice quickly became a veteran is that of John Joy. Only a few years ago Joy began his training at Precision having never done any sort of martial art in his life. The arts which Joy chose to focus on were mainly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Boxing, particularly the latter. Within a short time Joy gained his blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu and became a tough roll for anyone in the studio, but his most pronounced progress was in Boxing. Within just a couple years, Joy became a serious threat to all competitors on the Hudson Valley circuit and has had numerous victories in local AKBF fights. He is himself now a boxing instructor at Precision and teaches others how to do exactly what he did. In this way, the student becomes the teacher and so on until everyone at Precision is learning from each other and thriving. Iron sharpens iron as they say.
Joe Carbone is another example of someone who recently had no martial arts’ training and became a quite successful Amateur Muay Thai fighter. When Joe first came to Precision he had never had a competitive fight, yet he took to Muay Thai like a fish to water and has now had several AKBF victories. Much like Joy, he is now also an instructor at Precision and helps beginners as well as advanced Hudson Valley martial arts students to learn the subtleties of Muay Thai in both our regular Kickboxing and circuit Kickboxing classes.
One of Precision MMA’s biggest success stories is that of Mike Piekarski. “Pantene”, as we affectionately call him, had never trained in the martial arts before he came to Precision about eight or nine years back, and in fact had stated early on that he had never been very interested in sports in general. However, over time Mike became extremely skilled in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and Mixed Martial Arts. Eventually Mike earned his Purple Belt in BJJ and went on to win several expert BJJ competitions. He then began to focus on MMA and Muay Thai and began competing on the Amateur MMA circuits in the Northeastern United States. Before going Pro in 2011, Mike recorded an impressive 3-2 record in Amateur MMA, with wins by way of guillotine choke, brabo choke and unanimous decision, while none of his opponents were able to finish him within the time limit. He also won an AKBF Muay Thai bout, proving his skill in striking and showing those in the Hudson Valley that Precision’ martial artists are not to be reckoned with in the Muay Thai ring either. Eventually Mike had his first Professional Mixed Martial Arts fight in 2011, which he won by decision. We at Precision MMA were all very proud to see one of our own do so well under so many different competition formats.
One student who we at Precision Mixed Martial Arts are particularly proud of is Karl Nemeth. At about 6’0 and around 150lbs, Karl might not strike your average person as looking particularly intimidating, and yet he is one of the finest Hudson Valley martial artists that Precision has, and quite possibly our most feared competitor. When Karl first came to us several years back he had no martial arts’ training and would probably not have considered himself a natural athlete. However, he took his training extremely seriously from day one, especially in the arts of Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and today is one of only three BJJ brown belts training at Precision. Karl has won a few Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, however, his most impressive accomplishments have been in the Kickboxing ring. Karl is himself an undefeated AKBF Muay Thai champion, with seven wins in total, three of them which he has won by spectacular head kick knockouts. In fact, Karl has acquired quite a name for himself in the Hudson Valley and has begun to have a bit of trouble getting opponents to agree to fight him because of his reputation as a dangerous opponent. Like Joy and Carbone, he also teaches at Precision and is our head Muay Thai instructor and has coached many of our other students in their fights as well. He is an excellent example of the kind of competitor that the instructors at Precision MMA are capable of producing.
For our instructors, producing capable martial artists from scratch is much like a science experiment: if positive results can be repeated successfully under different competition formats and different environments then we at Precision in the Hudson Valley know we have an effective formula. Students with no prior experience have been able to walk into Precision one day and walk out a couple years later with wins in boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Amateur and Professional Mixed Martial Arts, as well as championship belts in Muay Thai Kickboxing. This has given us the confidence to stand by our product at all times when under scrutiny.
We at Precision MMA know we can make you a successful Hudson Valley martial arts competitor as well. Just leave your ego at the door and come train with us for a free 30-day trial, and tomorrow you could be sharing your success story with your friends and family. To get started call 845-392-8495 or visit http://www.bjjfighter.com
Jamey Bazes is a lifelong martial artist holding a brown belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kenpo Karate. He also holds a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz. Originally a Tampa Gracie member, he is a student of Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY (in the Dutchess County) and a decorated competitor including a Delaware Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu State Championship and a NAGA World Title. To train kickboxing with Jamey in Dutchess County NY check out Precision MMA http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com
MMA in the Hudson Valley has been exploding over the past few years. Unfortunately, many of the Hudson Valley MMA Gyms are simply single style martial art schools re-branding themselves in order to profit from the UFC boom.
Here’s a few things to look out for when selecting an MMA gym in the Hudson Valley.
#1 – The school only competes in 1 discipline
A true mixed martial arts gym will have golden gloves boxers, muay thai kickboxers, grapplers and mixed martial artists all stepping onto the mat, ring or cage to compete. If you are at a school which only produces kickboxing competitors or grapplers then that is a big red flag.
#2 – All the same coaches for each discipline
MMA encompasses so many unique styles that its nearly impossible for one coach to be a true expert in each discipline. A well rounded Hudson Valley MMA gym will have a variety of instructors for wrestling, Judo, boxing, muay thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If there is only a single instructor then they are likely severely lacking in one or more areas.
#3 – An uneven schedule
If 75% of the classes are devoted to one style then you probably are NOT at a true Hudson Valley MMA gym. Many Jiu-jitsu gyms will have a “boxing night”. While that may be a nice change of pace, it certainly does not do enough to qualify the school as a Mixed Martial Arts Gym. Authentic MMA gyms teach in depth in all ranges of combat, not topical highlights.
#4 – Limited Facility
An MMA gym will have a striking area as well as a grappling space. If your gym only has a boxing ring and heavy bags with no grappling mats or crash pads then you can bet they aren’t devoting enough time to ground fighting. Conversely many BJJ gyms posing as MMA schools have nice mats and wall padding but no striking bags or boxing ring. The facility is a reflection of the training. If you want mixed martial arts then you need variety in the facility.
So if you’re looking for an authentic Hudson Valley MMA gym, check out Precision MMA in LaGrange, NY. With classes 7 days a week in boxing, muay thai, BJJ, Judo, Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts Precision has the best schedule in the Hudson Valley with experts teaching each discipline. We also are the largest MMA school in all of Dutchess County at 5,000 square feet.
Check out our 30 Day FREE Trial – call 845-392-8495 or visit http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com
Since the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has gone through numerous changes in terms of both rules and mainstream acceptance. Originally, what is now known as MMA was actually a different sport in its structure. In the early days it was known as “Vale Tudo”, which translated from Portuguese means “anything goes”, or otherwise referred to simply as “No Holds Barred fights”. In 2001 however, the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board was the first to adopt a new rule set called the “Unified Rules”. The majority of the United States, including the Hudson Valley region of New York, and the rest of the world quickly adopted these rules. As such, they are now generally accepted as the main set of regulations for the sport and the move that defined the birth of MMA and the death of Vale Tudo. With the transition from Vale Tudo to Mixed Martial Arts more changed than just the rules. The general audience for the sport grew and changed along with the styles of the fighters, extending to the Hudson Valley and well beyond. Once less of a sport and more of a spectacle, with no weight classes, few rules and very little rhyme or reason behind who was permitted to fight in the events, after the inception of the Unified Rules MMA became a very organized athletic competition. Specific weight classes were created to avoid mismatches, and very clear boundaries were set between what was and wasn’t legal. As the rules became clearer, likewise, the strategies for the fighters competing became more honed and Mixed Martial Arts coaches seeking to prepare their fighters for competition discarded what was useless, and zeroed in on what was effective. Competition teams that focused too much on one aspect of MMA and not enough on the others began to fall out of favor as their members were less successful, and the successful teams provided a formula for others to follow. While the strategies for the camps differed, one factor was consistent amongst most: in general, most successful teams, such as Precision MMA in Hudson Valley, New York, had one or more coaches who had at one point fought in Professional Mixed Martial Arts fights themselves. This remains to be the case these days, as MMA fighters need coaches who have also set foot in the ring to clarify details that might be overlooked by instructors lacking this experience.
Despite the massive differences in the rule set at the time, when Royce Gracie fought in the first UFCs in the early 90s, he didn’t go out there knowing what to expect based only on his own past experiences. Royce fought with his father Helio and his brothers Rickson and Rorion in his corner, all of whom had fought professionally themselves. Though Royce outmatched most of his opponents, he found his first real challenge when faced with 265lbs wrestler Dan Severn in the main event of UFC 4. If you look back at that old footage you can clearly see moments when Royce is looking to his corner for advice. Royce went on to win the fight, but without his corner this may not have been the case. A good corner man, like those provided by Precision in the Hudson Valley, is essential in MMA and experience in the ring is the most important credential any corner man or instructor can have. There are many reasons for this that we will look at in detail.
First and foremost, Mixed Martial Arts is a very chaotic sport. Even with the modern Unified Rules, the possibilities for what can occur in the ring are nearly endless and fighters risk very real bodily injury every time they compete. Anything that can make the sport less chaotic is a plus, and the antidote to chaos is experience. Even if someone cannot relate to an experience themselves, they should at the very least have an advisor who can. At Precision Mixed Martial Arts in Hudson Valley, New York, students are extremely lucky to have an instructor who has been in the ring himself in Brian McLaughlin. Boasting a record of 6-2 and having fought on the Ultimate Fighter Season Eight, Brian is able to coach his students from a unique vantage point. The Hudson Valley’s McLaughlin has faced just about every adversity in the ring and can explain details that a coach who has not fought would overlook. Sure, any MMA coach can tell his student that as a modern day fighter he will need to be proficient in the standup, wrestling and ground portions of the game. However, only former fighters like Brian can tell you what it is like to fight with an injured hand or with bronchitis. Only a former fighter will be able to tell his students to avoid shooting on the logos of the mat surface in the cage, because these surfaces are much more abrasive than the rest of the mat and will tear the skin of one’s knees. These are just a few details that Precision in the Hudson Valley’s MMA coach can impart to his aspiring fighters.
Many Hudson Valley MMA camps are organized mainly around one discipline as their base. For some schools the instructor has a striking background and has competitively taken part in boxing and kickboxing fights. Others come from a wrestling background and others from a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu base. However, even coaches who have fought or competed under these rules are incapable of fully preparing a student for a mixed fight where the combat can take place both standing and on the ground. An MMA coach who is a former Jiu-Jitsu competitor, for example, may be able to instruct his students to try to keep the fight on the ground, but they will not be able to explain first hand the frustration experienced when the opponent refuses to fight your fight and simply wants to back away to the standing position. A coach with actual MMA experience like the Hudson Valley’s Brian McLaughlin can explain to his students how they may need to be patient in such a situation, because it has in fact happened to him. Likewise, an MMA coach with experience will know that closing the distance against an experienced striker may be difficult or likewise, that keeping the fight standing against a good grappler may not always be possible, and that should the fight hit the ground they will need to have other options.
Beyond the strategic factors however, there are also the psychological ones that are even more difficult to grasp for someone who has never themselves fought. Prior to competing, any MMA fighter is bound to be nervous. Not only are they about to fight someone intent upon doing them bodily harm, but an audience is watching. There is going to be a great deal of noise in the arena that may be distracting. The lights may be bright to an abrasive extent and members of the audience may be inebriated or out right insulting to the fighters. A coach or corner man experienced in fighting himself will have specific coping strategies for his fighters when it comes to dealing with these aspects that a coach who has not fought will lack. For example, if the sight of the crowd becomes overwhelming, an MMA coach like the Hudson Valley’s own Brian McLaughlin may recommend that the student look for one individual in the audience who they are familiar with to make the image appear less threatening. This isn’t the sort of tactic any coach could recommend, its one only a former Hudson Valley MMA fighter would think of because he himself had to deal with it. Likewise, a former fighter will be able to explain to his students how to have a poker face while fighting, and how to hold oneself so that one’s own exhaustion or physical pain is less apparent to the opponent. He will also be able to explain how controlling one’s breathing while fighting is important so that they do not become too tense, how to drown out the sound of the audience by listening to one’s corner, or how to keep one’s eyes on the opponent to avoid other distractions.
Finally, former MMA competitors like Precision’s coach in the Hudson Valley can explain to their students first hand how to deal with different types of opponents and environments. For instance, if their student is about to fight a skilled wrestler who lacks a varied striking game, the MMA coach may be able to reference a particular fighter he faced with that resemblance and suggest his student try to land a standing blow before initiating an aggressive guard game. If his student is facing a pro boxer, the coach may be able to describe from personal reference how such a fighter might panic once being taken down and the sort of reaction they might be likely to have. MMA coaches like Brian McLaughlin from the Hudson Valley will also be able to explain to their students how fighting in a cage differs from fighting in a ring and how to prepare for each, because they have fought in both environments. They may also have strategic advice for fighting with rounds of different lengths, for example, they may suggest that a student competing with shorter rounds initiate aggressively early in the round, or they may suggest a student fighting with longer rounds play a more conservative game to prepare for the exhaustion of the later rounds. All these aspects and others too numerous to count can only be explained by an MMA coach with actual in-the-ring experience.
In the ever-growing sport of MMA new strategies are being developed each day and every school has its own strengths and weaknesses. As every member of a fight camp comes together they combine to form an overall body of knowledge, of which the strongest link is the head instructor. When the MMA instructor himself has fought professionally, like Precision’s coach in the Hudson Valley, there is less guesswork involved in fighter preparation and so the fighters will know more of what to expect when they step into the ring themselves.
Train at the #1 Hudson Valley MMA Gym Check out Precision MMA FREE for 30 Days visit http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com
Jamey Bazes is a lifelong martial artist holding a brown belt in both Tampa BJJ and Kenpo Karate. He also holds a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz. He is a student of Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY (near Poughkeepsie) and a decorated competitor including a Delaware Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu State Championship and a NAGA World Title. to train with Jamey in Poughkeepsie NY check out Precision MMA http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com
Mixed Martial Arts has become a buzz word in the Hudson Valley. Now that the UFC is one of the most popular sporting events Hudson Valley schools that specialize in a single martial arts discipline are now calling themselves “Mixed Martial Arts Gyms“
A sign that you may be stuck in a phony MMA gym in the Hudson Valley is the frequency that the different arts are trained. A true Hudson Valley Mixed Martial Arts School will have a combination of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, muay thai and boxing each and every day. Many fake mixed martial arts gyms will have grappling everyday and “striking” one or two days at most (or vice versa).
Precision Mixed Martial Arts prides itself on being the most diverse mixed martial arts school in the Hudson Valley. Boxing, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are taught every single day of the week. In addition, the gym is properly equipped for each individual art. Thai pads, jump ropes and kick shields for muay thai training, a full size boxing ring, heavy bag, upper cut bag and double end bag for boxing, crash pads and zebra mats for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – all in a 5,000 square foot facility.
Here’s a look inside a typical Monday at Precision Mixed Martial Arts – students begin with boxing and muay thai training before getting on the ground for grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. At this Hudson Valley Mixed Martial Arts school no stone is left unturned.
Check out Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY call 845-392-8495 or visit http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com to get started