Feb 212019
 
Victory for Lindsey at Bellator 215

It was an exciting night for the audience and the supporting crew of Precision at Bellator 215. They were immediately treated to an extraordinary performance in the preliminary portion put on by Precision’s student Lindsey ‘Damsel’ Vanzandt, that resulted in a beautiful finish; a second round knock out. Lindsey continues to prove that she is a dominating, unstoppable force at 105 pounds that will continue to climb the ranks until she becomes a champion. The second round knock out improved her professional record to 5-1.

After the big win, Lindsey poses with coaches and the supporting crew of Precision

At the beginning of round one, a fair share of punches and kicks were exchanged between Lindsey and her opponent, but Lindsey’s unmatched perfectly timed take down and carefully placed punches were competitive enough to keep her opponent challenged and hurt. In the second round, Lindsey dominated the striking exchanges, stalking her opponent into the fence. From there, Lindsey rocked and dropped her opponent with a beautiful left hook that ended the round with a KO.

The beginning of the end

Going into the fight, Lindsey lost her original opponent, but was fortunate enough to be matched up with another opponent to fight. Lucky for us, because it was truly an entertaining performance. Lindsey walked away from the cage that night with little to no injuries, a victory and a great attitude.

Lindsey is already back in the gym training, improving and looking forward to competing again in the near future. Lindsey isn’t just a great fighter, she also has a big heart and a great attitude, touching everyone she meets in a positive way. We’re proud to represent such a strong willed, competitive individual in the MMA community, and we’re looking forward to see her excel in her journey to become a champion.

Always big smiles from Lindsey

Live in the Hudson Valley and looking to train MMA? Visit us at PrecisionMixedMartialArts.com or call 845-392-8495 so we can get you started today!

Jan 302019
 

When most people think of martial arts, they think of self-defense or some sort of unarmed fighting.  Whether you’re training karate, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you’re most likely going to be learning a form of hand to hand combat. However, what most people don’t realize is that being a martial artist is about much more than punches, kicks and takedowns. One of the most important benefits that martial arts can provide is instilling a sense of martial character. This means living your life as a confident and compassionate individual who cares just as much about their neighbor’s well-being as they do about their own. It means having the physical skills to defend yourself and the mental wherewithal to be able to deescalate a potentially dangerous or violent situation.

 At Poughkeepsie’s premier martial arts academy Precision Boxing and MMA, we make it a priority that our members uphold our ideals of martial character on the mats and in their everyday life. We believe that the first step to developing a strong martial character is giving back to your community. This past week, we volunteered with Dutchess Outreach’s Lunch Box Program where we were given the opportunity to serve hot lunches to families in need throughout the Poughkeepsie area. We had an awesome response from our members, quickly filling up our volunteer list. It was a great time for our staff and members, we loved getting to know some of the people who share our beautiful neighborhood with us. If you’re interested in training martial arts, self-defense and becoming part of a community that gives back, come check out Precision Boxing and MMA; the Hudson Valley’s largest Mixed Martial Arts academy. Give us a call today at (845)392-8495.

Nov 012018
 

We’ve all made excuses to get out of doing things that we don’t particularly feel like doing or going somewhere we really didn’t want to go. While some of these excuses may seem harmless, often times we use these excuses to stay in our comfort zone or take the easy way out which can ultimately prove to be harmful to ourselves. Making excuses only sets us back from unlocking our full potential and takes us further away from reaching our goals. An excuse is just a preventable setback from achievement that we have full control over. Excuses keep you from growing and reaching opportunities. From time to time we use the excuse of being ‘too tired’ or ‘being too busy’ to train. While there isn’t a cure for physical or mental exhaustion except a good night’s sleep, all too often, this is just one of the many excuses used to justify skipping class to snack on pizza and nachos. For training MMA to be effective, we must develop a workout schedule and stick to it to expand knowledge and better our martial arts. Nothing was ever accomplished or achieved by not taking any action or making excuses. In our schedule we should incorporate specific days to rest that are consistent to allow our bodies to rejuvenate and adequate rest.

Sometimes excuses are made to disguise the feelings of shortcomings. It’s important to develop a positive mentally when training martial arts. We should try to learn to view our shortcomings as improvements instead of  failures. It can be difficult to not dwell on past mistakes, but in order to better ourselves and master that technique we’ve been drilling for ages, we must view the mistakes as something to learn from and move on. It’s not an overnight process, but with discipline this mindset can be achieved. As a result of this, you’ll eventually learn to recognize your mistakes, accept them, and learn how to fix them instead of making excuses for them.

Before you make an excuse to use as a reason not to train or for your poor performance, you should ask yourself whether or not the excuse is valid.

Live in the Hudson Valley and interested in training MMA? Call 845-392-8495 or visit www.precisonmixedmartialarts.com today so we can help you get started!

MMA in Poughkeepsie, NY

MMA in Poughkeepsie, NY

Oct 192018
 

Anybody who’s been following MMA for the past couple of weeks will likely be discussing the aftermath of the long awaited bout between “The Notorious” Conor McGregor and Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov. This bitter rivalry hit a new boiling point after Khabib, a UFC world champion,  hurled himself over the cage and lunged at McGregor’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach Dillon Dannis. Dannis, a grappling phenom and Bellator MMA star answered with a quick flurry of punches towards Khabib before the two were separated by security.dillon and brian

Dillon Dannis and Precision Head Coach Brian McLaughlin

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Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and Dillon Dannis

A fact that most people are unaware of, is that at one point Dillon, Khabib and Precision head coach Brian McLaughlin all trained together under the same roof at AMA Fight Club in Whippany, NJ. At the time, Khabib was preparing for his UFC debut and Dillon was an up and coming prospect; a teen just getting started at Pro Practices. Coach Brian was instructing at AMA as well as sparring with pros himself. Back then, Dillon was quiet and kept a low profile but would show flashes of the brashness that has become his calling card. Khabib was all business from day one. He would come in with his small army of Russians and each of his training partners would pray that they’d make it out of practice with all of the limbs they came in with.

In the days of AMA Fight Club, Dillon and Khabib were always cordial, but life took them in different directions. Khabib relocated to San Jose, California and Dillon became a prodigy under Marcelo Garcia and eventually caught the eye of Conor McGregor; the biggest star that the sport has ever seen. Although the world sees them as bitter rivals at each other’s throat, the memory remains of them being two hard working martial artists sharing the mat in the quest toward greatness.

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Head Coach of Precision Boxing and MMA Brian McLaughlin poses with Dillon for a group photo after training.

If you live in the Hudson Valley area and want to make your MMA dream a reality, learn how to defend yourself and get into the best shape of your life, give us a call at: 845-392-8495. Come check out Precision Boxing and MMA, the Hudson Valley’s premier mixed martial arts academy precisionmixedmartialarts.com

Aug 252018
 

Approaching older age may bring many senior health problems and challenges that can have a negative impact on an individual’s daily activities. Being aware of these issues and how you can take the necessary steps to prevent them will result in a long well-balanced, healthy lifestyle. Being both physically active and eating a healthy diet is key to staying in shape and managing risks that present themselves in senior years. Developing osteoporosis and diabetes are two of the most common risks in older age caused by inactivity that can lead to severe pain and a lower quality of life. Regular exercise can prevent these health issues by encouraging movement and improving stiff joints. Strength and flexibility training are vital to maintaining the proper functionality of joints to reduce or prevent pain. Picking a new sport at an older age may seem intimating, especially if health issues are already present. It’s important to understand that most health issues can be prevented or managed with exercise. Older individuals usually express concerns that they’re too old to partake in a new sport or fitness gym. However, this is not true. Joining a fitness gym or new sport is not limited to a specific age group. In fact, it promotes a healthy life by exercise, expands social circles and acts as a stress reliever. Training boxing or MMA increases flexibility, endurance, strength and most importantly the quality of one’s health. At Precision Boxing & MMA in Poughkeepsie, New York we offer training in various disciplines for all age groups in a fun, friendly controlled environment. Our students come from all walks of life and range from many different age groups. Our older students have found success in many different aspects of their lives, from improving their health by losing weight to developing a new skill that enables them to effectively defend themselves. Check out what our older Hudson Valley student Frank Soto says about why he trains in older age and why he chose to train at Precision Boxing & MMA.

If you’re an older individual living in the Hudson Valley and looking to improve or maintain good health by learning a new skill or picking up a sport such as boxing or MMA, visit or call 845-392-8495 so we can help you get started today!

Aug 202018
 

Lack of physical and mental exercise can result in weight gain, fatigue, and poor motivation. An inactive lifestyle will diminish your ability to succeed in even the smallest of tasks and is detrimental to your overall health. Physical inactivity is the leading factor in weight gain and can contribute to depression and anxiety. The less daily exercise performed by individuals puts them at high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, two of the leading causes of preventable deaths in America. Adapting an active lifestyle by picking up a sport is one of the easiest methods to kick bad habits, promote weight loss, cure depression and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Training martial arts and boxing is a great way to combat a sedentary lifestyle, as it provides all of the necessary tools to reinforce a happy way of life while whipping you into shape! At Precision Boxing and MMA, we offer a variety of disciplines so that we can accommodate everyone comfortably and help them achieve their fitness and health goals whiling having fun. From looking to lose weight to wanting to train to compete in competitions, we offer it all. Training martial arts acts as a stress reliever and promotes weight lost in practitioners. Martial arts delivers an exciting experience in a ‘no-ego’ environment while shredding the pounds. Check out what Hudson Valley student Rick Leonardi has to share about training MMA to promote weight loss and why he loves training at Precision Boxing & MMA!

Live in Poughkeepsie, New York and looking to lose weight while having fun and learning a new sport? Visit or call 845-392-8495 so we can help you get started today!

Aug 172018
 

It’s not uncommon to experience anxiety before joining a sport. Feeling uneasy about partaking in any new activity rattles many nerves, as one is usually unsure of what to expect. A common fear of a newcomer is that they will feel unwelcome and think they aren’t good enough. These irrational fears are unfortunately what hinder many potential practitioners of ever stepping foot on the mat to train MMA or Boxing. Our students at Precision Boxing & MMA have shared their stories of being nervous about participating in class for the first time, but after walking through our doors and stepping on the mat, everything else fell in line and they keep coming back for more practice. We offer a welcoming atmosphere here and our instructors are very attentive to all of our students. Anxiety is an innate response to new experiences that can be overcome or controlled. Many of the advanced practitioners of the sport still have pre-fight nerves before fighting their opponents. However, their anxiety is controlled or eliminated by self-confidence. They cannot predict the initial result of the fight, but they are confident in themselves to accept whatever may happen and therefore have the ability to calm their nerves. Setting aside personal reservations and irrational anxieties is the key to being open to new experiences and start training. Check out what long time Precision student Jason Harley has to say about initially overcoming his anxiety to train and how joining has improved his life tremendously!

Live in Poughkeepsie, New York and interested in training Martial Arts and Boxing  in the Hudson valley, but nervous about getting started? Visit http://precisionmixedmartialarts.com/ or call 845-392-8495 so we can get you started today!

 

Aug 132018
 

Martial arts acts as a weapon to tackle our fears in controlled environments and serves as an effective method to gain confidence and comfort in any event. Training martial arts allows a practitioner to experience and combat the fear, anxiety and nerves that cripple the average person. Although this skill is essential for all individuals, the group that can undoubtedly benefit the most are children.

Last week at Precision Boxing and MMA, it was Jada’s first day training in the kid’s BJJ program. It was her first time learning a discipline in Mixed Martial Arts, so naturally she was experiencing some anxiety. Jada had some concerns regarding getting comfortable in the lesson and had some of the other concerns that are typically experienced when participating in a new activity. Being made to feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations is top priority at Precision Boxing & MMA to ensure all of our student’s experiences are great and memorable.

Jada was visibly upset when she came up to front desk to grab her attendance card, there she was approached by the supporting staff of Precision who immediately began trying to calm her with words of comfort. “We promise you’ll love it”, they encouraged. Jada was still feeling uneasy about starting her first class before she changed into her Gi. Coach Brian McLaughlin gently put the rest of her concerns to ease by sharing his story of experiencing anxiety before attending his first Brazilian Ju-Jitsu class. Jada’s mood began to lighten up as Coach Brian shared his experience and explained that he would ease into her training by allowing her to help co-teach the other students that day.

Brain introduced her to the other students in the class and explained that she would be assisting him teach. During the class, Brian paid particularly close attention to her throughout the lesson to ensure that she was comfortable and properly engaged. By the end of the class, Jada had participated, despite expressing that she was too nervous to join in the class, and enjoyed herself a great deal. Jada wasn’t the same intimated girl who was too afraid to step onto the mat to start her training anymore. Instead, she was now smiling and ready to take on any challenge or new experience that was thrown her way! Jada was confident and happy with the end result of the class.  When questioned if she was excited to attend the next program, her response was “yes!”.

Jada’s story isn’t uncommon. Many students are nervous about attending their first mixed martial arts class and share some of the same concerns. The age group that mostly suffers from a series of doubts in confidence or new experiences are children. Mixed Martial Arts at Precision Boxing and MMA offers the recipe to overcome these concerns with consistent training.

Unfortunately, these anxieties act as hindrances for individuals, of all age groups, and prevents them from fulfilling their dreams of taking up MMA. If you live in the Hudson Valley and have a child that’s interested in learning Mixed Martial Arts, but has some anxiety about getting started, visit Precision Boxing and MMA in Poughkeepsie, NY or call 845-392-8495 so we can help them feel comfortable and start training today!

 

MMA in Poughkeepsie, NY

MMA in Poughkeepsie, NY

Continue reading »

Mar 102016
 

It has been a busy couple of weeks for the Mixed Martial Arts fighters out of Precision MMA.

First we had Alec Hooben returning to action against tough veteran Jordan Mitchell.  Hooben jumped up a weight class to take on his heavyweight opponent after a string of other fighters backed out.  Despite battling a nasty head cold and a 40 pound weight disadvantage Hooben was able to secure the unanimous decision victory after scoring numerous takedowns and ground and pound.

Hooben with head coach Brian McLaughlin

Hooben with head coach Brian McLaughlin

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Next up was Sean “Shorty-Rock” Santella.  Sean is coach Brian’s protege and has his sights set on the UFC.  At CFFC ion Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Sean earned his 15th professional victory and extended his winning streak.  Sean was dominant throughout the bout landing spinning back fists, high kicks, and dominated his BJJ Black Belt opponent on the ground securing numerous close submissions.

 

 

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Next up is Precision Muay Thai coach Karl “Mr. Fantastic” Nemeth as he defends his 145 Kaged Kombat MMA Title in Saratoga, NY.  His opponent TJ George is curently the #2 ranked fighter in the state and riding a 7 fight winning streak.  With a victory, coach Karl will cement his place as the top fighter in the region.

 

Poughkeepsie MMA

Poughkeepsie MMA

 

If you live in Poughkeepsie, LaGrange or anywhere within the Hudson Valley and would like to train like a fighter call Precision MMA at 845-392-84954 or visit http://www.bjjfighter.com and get started on your 30 day free trial

Aug 052013
 

Hudson Valley MMA Ground n Pound

Hudson Valley MMA Ground n Pound

“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.

Rickson Gracie doing the gift wrap

Rickson Gracie doing the gift wrap

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.

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The Mounted Crucifix

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.