Monday, January 14, 2013

MMA: Hematoma Fight Club Training Guide by Joe Silvia

Rules & Guidelines

Private Club
This is a private club. It's a place for a small family of people to improve their health and fitness and have fun in the process. It's to challenge themselves into personal growth. It's not a place for meatballs, bullies, or douchebags. To preserve this atmosphere, invitation will be by word of mouth and acceptance/admittance needs approval from everyone. Only people that reflect our views and have similar thought processes should be considered. Someone that will compliment the group and surely promote growth for everyone.

Personal Hygiene
For the love of all things holy, please have a few outfits for training. Using your kneepads or  t-shirt every day for weeks so you can utilize it as a weapon is just wrong (unless your the coach in which case it's wisdom). Proper hygiene is a must. If you couldn't shower before a workout, please wash your hands and face with soap. This will cut down on the spread of all sorts of things, from cold and flu to skin ailments. Remember that the nature of combat sports is close proximity to one another. No one wants to spend a whole workout with someone who smells of B.O., didn't wash, or change or brush their teeth.

Please do not leave equipment laying around. Please don't leave empty containers or gym clothes laying around either. Show respect for YOUR teammates and YOUR gym.  Let's work together to make sure fellow members, guests and potential gym-mates arrive and like what they see.

Training Gear
Wear clothing w/o zippers or anything else that could damage the mats. Wear what's comfortable for you. Shoes need to be a SEPARATE pair than the shoes you wear every day. Disinfect them and use them solely for the gym. Remember, it may be YOUR face kissing the mat. That's a bad time to find out someone stepped in dog shit and wore the shoes in the gym. A cup or jockstrap is optional. Some people don't like the chafing and feel them to be restrictive. Earguards are a must if you don't want caulitflower ear. Headgear is also optional. Some don't like it, because it restricts your vision and you have to constantly adjust it after getting hit. However, it's a good tool for training longevity and preventing cuts and concussions.

Warming up
Show up a good 5-10 minutes before the official start time of the workout. Priming the body before the workout will help prevent injuries and will definitely improve your performance during the workout. Time is valuable so we need to get straight to the partner workouts while we are together. 

Training Intensity
You are not obligated to go hard and intense. You go as hard or as light as you want as long as your partner is comfortable. Try to pair up with people looking for the same things as yourself and roughly in the same weight class.

Training Partners
Your partner and teammate is your single most important asset in training. Without him you will not improve. The better he is, the better you will be. Compete WITH him and NOT against him. If you are better, make sure he is challenged, but not overwhelmed. If you are worse, swallow your pride and ask him to go into a lesser gear.  If your partner is injured, you won't be able to train. Honor and respect him and you'll get the same in return.

A word on Leglocks
If you are caught in a leglock, tap. Tap even if you don't think he'll get it. Tap because you are the bigger person. Tap because if he put you in danger he deserves it. Tap because if you are waiting for a little pain before tapping, it will be too late. Leg submissions are not like other submissions. If you feel pain, it may be too late and something may tear and you may have a permanent injury. You want to be the guy that has to explain to people that you are limping because your IQ is low?

To keep track of where everyone is, give the fighters a sense of pride, and let people know the level of the person they are training with so they can monitor their intensity, we will use a grading system that many martial arts systems use. Since there are no gis, we will use a colored shirt system. White, Orange, Blue, Purple, Brown to Black. Each level will have a syllabus that will be posted and made available to all so they can set some goals and know where they stand.

Club Dues
This fee will be set in the coming days. You will not be paying me, but paying Kage Kontrol. I will set the dues to reflect the economy. It will probably average out to $15-20 per week. That's 2 packs of cigarettes, 3 beers or lattes for a WEEK. These dues are solely for Hematoma Fight Club and not for the other classes Kage Kontrol has. Of course, a discount can be worked out for those who pay for a few weeks or months in advance.

At the Hematoma Gym there are 3 gameplans every fighter will be working on. A general plan of the sport he is undertaking, a Hematoma "style" gameplan, and his own personal gameplan. A training journal is near impossible to do without. The amount of material, things to remember, recalling  where you left off (training continuity is PIVOTAL to progress), and having a refernence manual will dramatically and rapidly promote learning.

General Gameplanning
A general gameplan is simply being able to take all the tools and apply them in a live situation. Knowing the best times to strike, wrestle or grapple, when and how to pressure and pace, use rhythm and cadence, how to recover, using tactics and strategies, etc.  It's knowing how to mix and match all the techniques and tactics to efficiently and effectively finish an opponent. This is a fundamental and basic syllabus that every fighter on earth needs to know. It's what everyone is doing at the current time.

Hematoma Gameplanning
The Hematoma gym has it's trademark techniques, tactics and strategies. Things that the gym and it's fighters are best known for. The maxim that best sums the gym up is "First, next, and last." Meaning moving first, continuing saturating with pressure, and always working to a finish. It's an ideal. Stylistically, you need to be incredibly well-rounded, comfortable anywhere, in world class athletic shape, have epic endurance, and strong physical attributes. The idea is to attack before he gets started, and impose your will and finish. This idea is predicated on action, or pro-action being better than reaction. As an ideal, this is the way you best want to finish, however in the real world it hardly ever happens, so there are multiple plan. What's important is that one understands it's a pressure game utilizing conditioning and athleticism as a foundation. It also does not mean mindlessly charging in and going bananas. It means wisely, intelligently, and skillfully doing so, but on a heavyily athletic platform. Skills are useless if you do not have the endurance, strength, speed, balance, and other athletic attributes to launch them. It's the greatest weapon. Making a person an athlete is the foundation of training.

In addition, there are a number of trademark submissions, guard passes, striking combinations, sweeps, fibbs, and other techniques. New ones are always being added and cycled to keep fighters on their toes.

Personal Gameplanning
Lastly, a fighter will develop his own style or approach. Everyone brings to the table their body type, personal preferences, mental disposition, attitude, work ethic, quirks, handicaps, and other idiosyncracies. Some people are aggressive, others passive, some have very physical games, others focus on the mental chess aspect. Some prefer to wrestle, others to stay at a distance and box. Some like to take lots of risks and frequently under the idea that it's better to go out on your shield then be boring. Others prefer a safer route. All of these factors equate to a style or approach unique and specific to each individual.

At Hematoma we are not trying to cookie cutter and build fighters on an assembly line, but help each one to best use his individuality to develop into a fighter.

Workout Structure
Regardless of which program a person is working on the structure is the same for all. Meaning, whether you are doing Fightsport/MMA, All-In Wrestling, Tai Chi, Stickfighting, or Ballet you will follow the template for the workouts.

Here is the structure of all work-outs:

  1. Primer (10-15 minutes)
  2. Drilling (20-30 minutes)
  3. Scrimmaging/Playing (30+ minutes)
  4. Community Commentary (5+ minutes) 

Not mandatory, but suggested: arrive 5-10 minutes early to warm and loosen up. While there is a "warm-up" in the workout, it's best to loosen up a bit beforehand.

The Primer
The primer is the way to prepare each athlete for the work ahead. Loosening up the joints, getting the blood flowing, breaking a slight sweat, developing athleticism, and refining body mechanics. The start of every workout is as important as every other aspect, if not more important. However, it seems many people neglect it, or perform it haphazardly or half-heartedly. I believe understanding the benefits of a warm-up will motivate anyone enough to restore emphasis and energy to the warm-up.

Some excuses NOT to do have a primer: not enough time, too tired, don’t feel good, waaaah, and “I don’t need it/to.” These guys can say "Oh hai!" to injuries, aches, pains, stiffness, & lesser performance. Let’s start with some darn good reasons to have a warm-up and what it does:

  1. Primes the heart rate for the work ahead, causing less stress on the heart and improving your cardiovascular endurance. 
  2. Increases muscular elasticity, and thereby reduces frequency of injury. 
  3. Efficient cooling by breaking a sweat, you won’t overheat. 
  4. Reduces stiffness from increased body temperature. Less injury!
  5. Greases the groove, in other words primes the brain and neural pathways, makes your motor skills more fluid.
  6. Gets the mind ready and improves focus.
  7. Increased muscle metabolism improving explosiveness, applications of speed and strength.
  8. Makes oxygen more available to the muscles thereby raising your cardiovascular endurance.
  9. Reduces resistance to blood flow easing up stress on the heart. 
  10. Increases muscular ability to relax and contract, thereby improving overall performance.
  11. Improved range of motion giving you more options and less frequency and chance of injury. 
  12. Regulates energy production by making more carbs and fatty acids available for increased hormone production.
  13. Increased synovial fluid in the joints, promoting joint health and less injury. 
  14. Decreased viscosity of blood, improving cardiovascular performance. 

Every gym will have it’s own general workout, and it is up to each individual to tailor the primer to optimize his performance. The primer will also serve as a review of all the fundamental material. Revisiting those most important fundamentals every wokout while freshest is the the most effective way to instill them. The primer will consist of solo and partner exercises. As mentioned above, to prevent burn-out and stagnation one is free to change and alter the primer as he sees fit.

Here are some examples of solo exercises:

  1. Jumping rope, treadmill, or stationary cycle
  2. Bodyweight exercises or calisthenics.
  3. Shadowfighting
  4. Bagwork
  5. Dummies
  6. Biomechanical exercises (see Solo Exercises article for a list) 

There are 5 general types of partner exercises for warming up. Again, each person must tailor these to keep the workouts interesting and fun.

  1. Dry Runs
  2. Chains
  3. Flow
  4. Attribute
  5. Acclimatizing and Tempering
  6. Mitts and/or Pads

Dry runs are simply drilling a technique in a rote manner. Doing repetitions of a technique for a set number. Categories may include striking, fibbing, ground and pounding, canting and tilting, set-ups, dry technique, finishes, lifting, submissions, escapes, shooting, break ins and break outs, submission escapes/counters, counters, passes, sweeps, footwork, transitions, re-counters and more!

Chaining is when you execute a technique, your partner defends and you respond with a second planned technique or you simply execute a short or long series of techniques one after the other. Categories include positions, submissions, escapes, striking, fibbing, sweeps, passes, break ins and outs, platfom drills from a nucleus, etc.

Flowing is utilizing the motto: "No strength, no speed, no finish." It's typically done very slow and a way to diagnose your whole game, see where your need work, give and take instruction, develop focus and concentration, and refine technique. It's also a fantastic way to train during recovery or injury.

Attribute drills are ways to warm-up by utilizing traits such as balance, co-ordination, agility, speed, strength, explosiveness, power, etc. These are a bit more strenous in nature, so it's vital to SHARE THE GLORY and monitor the pace. Categories include gripfighting in the clinch, various guards, and fighting short. Jockeying footwork in the stand-up, base camp drills under pins, pummeling, etc.

Acclimatizing and tempering is a PSYCHOLOGICAL drill to get used to being struck, grounded, and submitted and yet staying relaxed. Technically speaking it's learning to "roll with the punches." The idea is to dissolve the fight or flight syndrome, remove squinting, flinching, holding one's breath, tone in the muscles, mental and physical tension, etc. When one is in a relaxed state of mind, he will be able to see the big picture and make better decisions. In addition, the person that is attacking can refine his body mechanics.

There are 3 ways to execute this: Give and Receive (1, 2, or3 for 1, 2, 3), Barrage (All "D"), or Phrasing (Combining 2 or more ranges). IMPORTANT: this is not a superman drill to practice taking damage.

Mitts and pads is not only a great way to get oneself ready, but entire workouts can and will be spent doing them. There are simply too many drills to list and proper mitt feeding so complex that nothing can really be written. It's best just too experience it.

This is the phase where an athlete focuses on one or more areas in isolation to better address them. Often handicaps are utilized. There are a number of methods utilized here, all of which are TOP SECRET. ;) For those of you already training that want a memory jog: Softfighting, Boiling the Frog, Loosening the Nail, A-B-X, Small Gaming, Phrase Gaming, Pocket Training, Theming, Diagnostics Rolling, Cue Drills, Integration Drills, Spin Drills, Wallwork, Last Ditching, Locked & Loaded, Scenario Training, etc.

Scrimmaging is the name given to when two people contest one another, yet are on the same team. Shirts and Skins in Basketball for example. This is the time to put it ALL together in one big "game." No one is obligated to go any more intense then they are comfortable with, unless they are planning to compete, in which case a competition environment needs to be mimicked. Ideally, the grappling aspect can be ratcheted to 100%, and the striking aspect modified. Ways to vary the training: Big Glove/Little Glove, Shark Tank, Handicapping, etc.

Community Commentary
Every workout should end in a community round table, where the athletes comment on their own performance as well as that of his mates. Given constructive criticism, sharing ideas, motivating, and helping one another out.


My sincerest gratitude to Joe Silvia for his kind permission in posting this primer.



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