Since no one in the pro class at Integrated MMA has anything come up Coach Dan told us to take the opportunity to ‘take it easy‘ this week and focus more on technique and refinement.
After my tough as fight last month (which was less than a month after the fight before it) I’m welcoming the opportunity to have a lighter week of training… not that I trained really hard last week. But I’m sure the rest from cardio/MMA circuits and hard sparring/rolling would be much appreciated by my body. I’ll still take the opportunity to get some weight training in to keep up the strength though.
Underground MMA is coming up on July 22nd and in addition to Michael Mortimer on the card there might be a few other potential match ups including myself. I’m hoping we’ll get a lot of guys on the card like last time. Always good to have a big team there not only for support during the event but for the camaraderie and support while training up for it all.
Yesterday we had a nice grappling session. Coach showed one sweep from deep half guard using the leg as a pendulum to help create momentum to sweep them over. Then he picked people randomly to have a grappling question in mind that he would answer.
This proved educational because each person is always looking to improve a different part of their game from the next guy. We got to cover many aspects and a variety of techniques from: foot locks to back escapes and takedown combinations; in between some light rolling with our partners. It was a really good session on the educational side and a nice change of pace from the usual “beat-each-other-up” sessions of rolling we have.
I’m always wanting to work on a few areas of my grappling game and try to apply them when rolling (when my brain is good and remembers there’s things I want to focus on besides surviving). Mostly just little things like being more aggressive attacking, using a wider variety of submissions and hitting combos, flowing and transitioning more smoothly and becoming more proficient at escapes, counters and fighting from different positions.
Front headlock escape
One thing that I’ve found to be working quiet well though is some of my front headlock escapes/counters. Sit outs are usually one of my go-to moves, but a lot of times I found it hard depending on the persons arm positioning.
A while back we were shown a counter to the front headlock when they got one arm over and one under. It’s a bit hard to explain the move so I found a video on the internet that demonstrates it. The first part they go over a finish from the front headlock (the same one Matt Hughes used to submit Ricardo Almeida in UFC 117). I don’t have sound on this computer so not sure what they are saying, but the 2nd half they show the counter front headlock from the feet – it also works really well from the knees too, from a failed takedown attempt.
Some key points to remember are:
– Grab their tricep
– Post on your outside leg (the same side that you’re grabbing their tricep with)
– Use your free arm to throw over their back as you turn the corner (it helps create momentum)
– Be explosive! It can work at normal speed but if your opponent is strong its a struggle – it works best as an explosive movement
I’ve been pulling this off quite frequently now and really like it because you get their back from the turtle position and can work to get the back fully or roll them over into side mount. Plus it always feels good to turn the tables on your partner and go from a bad position into a good one