Wednesday, September 12, 2012

MMA: Some Stand-Up Fundamentals by Joe Silvia

My friend Joe Silvia is a MMA coach who wrote a series of articles. Joe is better known by his screenname of  "Ausgepicht" on a few Martial Arts forums. With his kind permission I will be putting his articles up on my site.

Without further ado, here is the first of his articles:  Some Stand-up Fundamentals.

I hope you find it useful in your training!

MMA is a game of inches and mistakes and never more so in the stand-up range. Because of this you MUST abide by your fundamentals. So what are some of the fundamentals when you are punching, kicking, elbowing and kneeing?

  • Stance (Posture) & Motion.
  • Base camp: centering with posture, alignment, movement, spacing, facing, etc.
  • Using a defensive motion (footwork, parry, cover, or head movement) after you are done punching.
  • ALWAYS stepping....when on offense and defense and with each strike.
  • ALWAYS moving your head and covers. Don't wait and try to time them with your opponents attack - it'll be too late.
  • Use your measure: know when to steal, leave, or gain it.
  • ALWAYS set-up your leg kicks with hands.
  • Always strike from where the tool is (Don't telegraph)
  • Power rises from the feet and waves to the hip. The hip acts like a tank turret and explosively twists. This COMPOUNDED power is then delivered to your strike and THROUGH the target. It doesn't start from the shoulders or you'll be an arm puncher. To make your strikes even more powerful, use your footwork to add your forward momentum. Also add the drop step. Time your opponent so he ADDS his momentum to the power. Lastly, strike INTO or THROUGH the triangle point. Don't let anyone tell you power is from the hips or arm muscles. Power isn't important. DAMAGE is. Use these principles to compound damage.
  • For someone who has excellent footwork or a lot of head movement, strike to where he is going or where he will be not where he is AT.
  • Throw punches in bunches.
  • Hierarchy of strikes: retroactive is when he strikes and you get hit or you successfully cover, parry or move your head THEN attack. Counteractive is when you parry or move your head AND attack at the same time. Pro-active is when you attack his preparation to attack you. As you gain more experience, awareness and skill you'll be able to use the last one more and more.
  • Fake shoots often. Keep him worried about throwing his hands.
  • Observe his ignorance of fundamentals and what he does wrong. People establish these in patterns and habits. Bringing a punch back slow and/or not back to guard. Throwing a right hand over your jab EVERY time. Kicking without setting it up. Standing still. Throwing "ones." When he establishes a pattern, make him pay for it.
  • One of the best times to strike is during transitions. After a failed shoot, after you break out of a clinch, or when he is in between beats in a combination. Use the Duck & Chuck or Bendo & Hendo for those guys who are avoiding your shoot or clinch.
  • If you throw a combo on someone they will attack right after. So one of the best times to shoot or get to the clinch is when you throw you last punch. You know he is going to throw a combo right after. To do that he has to plant his feet. Just what you want. This is called "Sticking the 'Possum."
  • ALWAYS step laterally after one step backward. You can't move backward faster than he can move forward so don't move backwards more than one step.
  • In mismatched leads, you want your foot outside your opponents and you want to jab with your back hand.
  • If he is reluctant to strike, or is a potshotter, or is super aggressive attack his limbs, nerve bundles and muscle bellies.
  • If he is a counter puncher, draw his counter with fakes and feints.
  • A tank or slow, powerful fighter can be beat by using speedy footwork and strikes. A faster opponent can be beat using timing.
  • ALWAYS break the rhythm and pattern of your footwork, combinations, and vary your attack. Establishing a pattern gives him the information he needs to successfully hurt you.
  • The jab is one of the best tools in boxing. However, in MMA you must be careful. The range or measure is different. Make sure you are NOT in long range when you use it, but in middle to close range. Closer the better.
  • Off-balance your opponent that is walking you down by hitting into his triangle point.
  • Be deceptive. Always hide your intentions.
These are SOME of the fundamental tactics. Don't worry about the information getting "out there" since it's the training method that makes these fundamentals autonomous that matters. Besides this is the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Notice everything is mentioned in a positive manner. The worst thing a coach can do is tell you a bunch of "nevers" and "don'ts." That puts you into a state "OK, I shouldn't do what am I supposed to do." It adds an EXTRA step in the thought process and if it's in a match or sparring, while you are thinking you will be looking up at the ceiling. A good coach will remind you what to do, not what not to do.



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