Do you have questions? I know you do. I’ve checked my search engine logs and collected a list of things you were looking for.
I’m going to attempt to succinctly answer every question – no matter how ridiculous – I’ve received over the six months or so. Sometimes I’ve had to modify the grammar of the questions, because that’s one thing the internets doesn’t teach you.
Also, if you have any questions to submit to me, let me know in the comments section below.
And no, I don’t think I know it all – even though I think I do.
How do I develop/increase knockout power?
You can read what I’ve wrote about hitting harder, but I’ll summarize. Not everyone is genetically disposed to have that bomb-dropping explosiveness but all can get better. Do upper body plyometrics. Hit tires with sledge hammers, throw medicine balls/hay bales/shotputs/heavy bags, shovel snow/manure/dirt vigorously (throw not push). Do cable punching twists. Film yourself working the heavy bag and critique. Focus on getting the force from your hips and legs and turn over those punches. Practice ”siting down on your punches”.
You have to beat him on your own terms. In general, that means being able to dictate where the fight goes and stays – something wrestlers are very good at themselves. To do so, you either have to get good wrestling or counter wrestling or develop another strategy that allows you to control the fight. On top of the that, you’ll want to practice specific wrestling counters that will keep you from getting sucked into their game.
Here is the basic out line: Cut out all processed foods/refined sugars and flours. No soda or candy or fried food. Eat 6 times a day making sure you eat high quality protiens, carbs and veggies at nearly every meal; energy levels must be well maintained. Think of eating as fueling your body. Drink a lot of water; drink protein shakes before bedtime and post workouts. The most important meal of the day isn’t breakfast, its the post-workout meal (followed by the pre-workout meal). Supplements should be overseen by a nutrition specialist or be kept to a minimum. Creatine, multivitamins, protein powders, pre-workout energy boosters are common.
In general, you’ve got a couple of strategies. One is to fix the leaks, or weaknesses in your game – areas you know you aren’t good at. Another is to polish what you’re good at – aka play to your strengths. Another still is to become “more well rounded” overall, branch out and learn techniques from a variety of disciplines. Try videoing your training and analyzing it. You can even pay to get a coach to watch it and give his critique.
How do throw a sidestep uppercut?
You need to correctly anticipate your opponents strike – it typically has to a jab or straight cross to make this possible. Also, your relative stance is important. When you and your opponent share the same stance (left lead vs left lead) and you are countering the jab, push off the front leg, side stepping to the outside and lean and throw that uppercut underneath his guard; counter the cross by pushing off the back leg and finishing in similar manner. When you are a mirror image (left lead vs right lead) the process is basically the inverse. BTW, the uppercut will probably only be in range your opponent stepped in and planted (ie, is coming forward) other wise you’ll be on the edge of the pocket with the side step. Also see this video with Pat Miletich doing a slip jab counter with uppercut, which is an analog of what I’ve detailed here.
For punching power: Russian twist vs Full contact twist?
Do prehab exercises (some more prehab info here), avoid overtraining, and minimize risk wherever possible. You can only diminish the probability of getting one – accidents can always happen in training and competition. I’ll write a full article on this later.
Bench press and push ups for fighters?
Yes please. While these exercises don’t generally increase punching power, but they do increase strength and are great multi-joint exercises.
Would push ups make you a better fighter? How do I do MMA push ups?
A lot. Push ups are generally pretty easy (without added resistance) so you’ll need to increase the reps to get benefit. You should be able to crank off 15-20 without burning out.
How to grip for pull ups?
Lets assume you’re doing pull ups on a regular pullup bar. There are three basic areas of alteration. The orientation of your palms as you grip the bar (both palms facing towards or away from you- or one of each), how far away your hands are from each other (“wide grip”, etc) and the way the hand is actually contacting the bar (rock-climbers/finger hangers, towel pullups, tennis balls, etc).
One area of alteration not listed above is the one arm pullup, a beast in its own right. Due to the probability of elbow tendinitis, I’d pass on this one if you are training to fight.
What does pulling the head down in a triangle do?
It tightens the choke by pulling the neck down into the narrowing clamp of the triangle (tightens the noose). It also helps break down the posture of your opponent, making it harder for them to escape. See picture below.
What are the nutrition needs for a mma athlete?
All people (regardless of athletic endeavors) need the same nutrients. However, due to frequency, length and type of training, athletes (MMA included) will need more calories and fluids. Any quality book on sports nutrition will help you figure this out.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Because MMA training involves a lot of strength-based exercises, its probable that one would need slightly more protein than usual (depending on the type, duration, and frequency of training – ADA says about 10-12% of calories consumed should be protein 1.6-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight).
I need help curing a fungal skin infection from a grass seed caught in my sock.
Two things. That’s not really a question, and wow – thats pretty specific. As a poor man, I go to freinds who are also nurses, the internet, and my pharmacist to see if I can self diagnosis. However, a dermatologist would be the one to really help you out. Some fungal infections are on the skin, some are inside you. In the former case, some OTC anti-fungals could work.
Pedro Sauer a womanizer?
He does have a handsome face, so I get how you might think that. However, from my second hand-experience from I believe him to be monogamous, honest and loyal. If his devotion to the purity of Gracie Jujitsu says anything about him, he doesn’t mess around with messing around.
What is the best gracie school Utah?
The one that is closest and has the best atmosphere in line with your training goals. Some schools are more focused on sport, some on self-defense.
Triangle choke: shin or head?
First, “seal the circle” – don’t let the head get out, and that means grabbing the shin. After you “lock the gate”, ie get your shin/ankle in the back of the opposite legs knee, then pull down on the head. Of course, if the head/posture isn’t broken down to begin with, you’ll have a heck of a time locking the triangle up.
Why do i have a bluish discoloration of calf below sore knee?
That’s bruising, which is blood hanging out in the tissues (mild hematoma). Bruising doesn’t always have to be right on top of the injury site (ectopic bruising) and gravity kind of pulls that blood down through loose tissue. It theoretically could be bursitis from tendons that go over the knee and the bruising showing up down near the end of the tendon. But I’m no doctor and that’s only a theory.
Anyone know Anderson Silva’s diet?
His diet isn’t explicitly given, so only the insiders know. From interviews, we know he tries to eat legumes and salads at nearly every meal, consumes around 3000 calories a day, and doesn’t eat much sweets and junkfood (although he loves Big-Macs, when the mood hits him). He also digs sushi.
If you have ringworm does that mean you are dirty?
Yes – you have a gross fungus growing on your body. Does this mean you are a dirty person? Unless you like to train for hours and then not shower for days, no. Fungus happens to even clean people.
To fully load up your stance for a penetrating double leg attack, I have two words: Drop and Drive.
While there are probably hundreds of different styles of the double leg takedown, both of these elements really need to be in place to lunge in quickly for a tackle.
The first step is to change your level from a regular mma fighting stance to a lower, wrestling type position. This level change is “the drop”. When you drop, make sure to bend via the knees, not the hips. Above, Denis Kang shows good form with his hips are beneath his shoulders. He’s not bending over at the waist – which will nerf your explosiveness.
Above, you’ll see Tito Ortiz about to shoot into a double leg blast. Note how wide and low his stance is – his loaded stance allows him to push off the back leg and drive forward.
Denis Kang finishes his double leg takedown by driving off his back leg, and penetrating below his opponent’s center of gravity. In addition to bursting forward like a runner at the start of a race, DRIVE can also refer to your tenacity in finishing the takedown. You keep pushing and running through an opponent until they are on the mat or cage wall.
Why cant I do both at the same time?
I know its tempting to try to slide down the hypotenuse (that’s the long side) of the triangle drawn above. Do not do this.
The main problem is that by trying to drop as you drive, you don’t do either very well. It opens you up to getting kneed in the face, since your are leading the whole movement with your head. It also make it easier to defend your double leg attempt because your drive isn’t as fast, powerful, or well positioned (ie a good stance to back up your tackling motion).
Below, a small example of why leading with your head (sliding down the triangle) is a very bad idea.
For fighters looking for a little extra, here are the videos I took the screencaps from, plus a few more for the lavishing’s sake.
Just wanted to put the word out – Brandon Ruiz is having a seminar this Saturday at Fusion, 11:00 – 1:30. Fee is only $20. Brandon is an excellent teacher and really knows his stuff. His takedowns are amazing. If you don’t know who Brandon is, check his bio below. I’ve had the opportunity to roll with him a couple of times and I can tell you, he is an animal. After he beat the pulp out of me, he gave me a number of really good pointers to help my game – which I use all the time now.
Brandon is holding the seminar to raise funds to help him go to a FILA grappling world championship. It’s a true world-tournament, and invitation only. If you want some excellent training and help support Brandon, I’ll see you Saturday.
2008 Pancrase Submission Wrestling World Champion
“The King of Combat Grappling” & Outstanding Wrestler Award
2008 FILA Grappling World Silver Medalist
2008 IBJJF Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships Bronze Medalist
2004 Greco Roman Pan Am Championships Silver Medalist
3 x Pancrase Submission Wrestling National Champion
4 x Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/Grappling State Champion
8 x Greco Roman & Freestyle All-American
Judo State Champion
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt (Machado)
I have been teaching, training, and playing with the notion of pressures lately. Essentially, this had led me to conclude that achieving, maintaining and reversing positional dominance is the premier skill in MMA. That’s right. Positional dominance is the hierarchical king to all other concepts in MMA. Sure, I could be wrong. But I challenge you to outline a better one (please do! and then teach me). I dare say that positional dominance is at the root of success in MMA, indeed, it should be the prime directive of mixed martial artists.
Think of it this way – positional dominance is the ability to exert maximum pressure with minimal effort while simultaneously optimizing your mobility and decreasing your opponents.
Take side control for example. The top cross-body position is unquestionable dominant. Gravity allows you to crush your opponent pretty hard, especially when you learn the finer points of posturing for top pressure. You can switch position into scarf hold/kesa gatame, mount, north south, knee on belly, or even stand back up. Your elbows and knee strikes have “umph” and you can force openings to proper strike points. The guy on the bottom has weak control over your posture and mobility, and his pressure (hugging pressures, upa escapes, arm/knee frames) pales in comparison to yours. His hips are often blocked by your knee or arm, his shoulders are pinned to the mat – his mobility is severely restricted. The strikes from the guy on the bottom? Laughable.
Now consider the clinch game, two fighters both having an overhook and an underhook. They both exert pressure that controls movement and limits mobility. However, unless a fighter is skilled at the position, neither fighter has a positional advantage. Many times, over/under control becomes a battle of strength and explosiveness.
One last example – striking. Squaring off against your opponent puts you on an equal position. Cutting an angle behind him opens him up: striking his vitals becomes easier and his counter-strikes are hard to pull off. Often, he has to adjust his position before making any kind of offensive effort or block. Anderson Silva is great at controlling angles and space; see his book Striking for MMA, for more on that.
Positionally Dominant Game Planning
The overall frame work of your technical training can be broken up into two parts. Taking a dominant position and exploiting it. The delivery system differs on your body type, style presence, and martial art. The question is no longer “why is mount better than guard?” but rather, “Am I training in a realistic way that will emphasize my ability to gain positional dominance and exploit it along the way?”.
More and more, when I’m training or teaching, I’m trying to think, “How does this move help the application of positional dominance?” In my personal game, I’m trying to avoid just collecting a bunch of moves and instead try to build cohesive skills to gain dominant position.
Jujitsu escapes aren’t about blocking my opponents submissions – they are about advancing my position. The mantra of “Step every time you strike, strike every time you step” is becoming a way to not only increase punching power, but advance my body position by striking.
I think the overall shift in focus from details-orientation to “big picture” thinking will help my game. Its not that details aren’t important – they are. However, I want my game driven by fundamental principles from a top down approach, not a collection of moves from a bottom up approach. (I see the bottom up approach taught quite a bit)
Get and maintain positional dominance. When you do:
Strikes do more damage. Counter strikes do less.
You have increased control over your opponents movements, strategy and technical options.
You have increased freedom of body movement, more technical options and an more strategy selection.
Your pressure wears down an opponent physically and mentally, without overtaxing your energy.
Submissions become more viable and easier to pull off.
Almost every form of advantage is boosted when in a dominant position.
I was pondering something James Irvin said prior to his fight with Anderson “The Spider” Silva, talking about a wrestling clinch and a Muay Thai clinch:
Against Franklin and Henderson, it’s not that his clinch was so good. The clinch definitely favors the taller, stronger guy with more leverage. But in the Thai clinch, aggressiveness goes a long way. He just seemed so much bigger against Dan and Rich. I’m not taking anything away from him. He really bullied those guys around and was able to just reach out and grab them …There’s a big difference between the wrestling clinch and the Muay Thai clinch, and it looked like Dan and Rich didn’t know how to Muay Thai clinch. I know we didn’t see the best of Rich.
I’ve seen several flavors of clinching, and I usually just lump them into two camps – the Greco Wrestling style clinch and the south-east Asia “plum” clinch. (If someone can definitively say more than Irvin did, please enlighten me!). Since I’ve posted a more Thai-Style clinch article (link above), I wanted to show a couple of videos from more wrestling based fighters showing off striking from the clinch.
Here’s Chuck Liddell’s take on the Thai clinch and he shows off how one might sneak in a few elbows while pummeling for hooks – among other things. It’s pretty cool, and it’s about 3 minutes long.
Something that’s interesting to me is that at about 2:30 in the above vid, Chuck shows how he’d escape the clinch by controlling one arm down and then lifting the other elbow and “throw it by”. The “throw-by”, or to “throw them by” is common wrestling nomenclature; so it’s nice to see Liddell bring his wrestling background into a Muay Thai style move.
Now, for the video below, Tito Ortiz, who also has a crazy-deep wrestling background, shows off some striking from the double under hooks, single under hook. At one brief moment, Tito also shows how to fire off a head butt, assuming you’re in a NHB fight that allows it. He mentions that ” I wanna use the top of the crown of my head, … it’s the strongest part of my body probably.” With the gargantuan dome that Tito sports, no doubt its true. Anyway…
One place where I know you can get GREAT training on striking from the Greco – style clinch is the train to fight and win, with Randy Couture. It’s a cheap download. Randy goes over a lot of stuff – one of my favorites is how he angles off and strikes with a single collar tie. Here’s a clip from Randy’s DVD download, linked above.
BTW, Randy’s Book, Wrestling for fighting, is great BUT if you’re looking for striking mixed with your wrestling, I might look else where. It’s a great book and focuses a lot on the stand up game in terms of locks and take downs (not submissions though).
One last fighter who has a strong background in wrestling is Jens Pulver. He shows off how to use strikes to set up the under hooks, punching a guy up cage, etc. Little Evil calls his instructions dirty boxing, and you can see how his wrestling comes through. Notice how he engages into the clinch, fires off some shots, and then squeezes up into a body lock, maybe to continue with a Heimlich drop takedown.