Mixed Martial Arts employ several techniques from various martial art styles, but the most common element that a practitioner needs to master in order to be successful in this combative sport is the grappling techniques. MMA grappling is a physical engagement between two persons where the goal of each is to take control of the opponent by executing various physical moves such as clinching, holding, locking and pinning. The most common grappling techniques are derived from wrestling, Judo, Sambo and of course Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Knowing how to maneuver yourself strategically in a fighting match will put you a step ahead of your opponent and conquering him regardless of his position.Grappling is not really practiced in all martial arts and combat sports and the degree to which it is utilized in different combat systems also vary. Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Sumo are examples of “grappling arts” where the focus is to throw the opponent off balance and subdued the person by a lock or a choke. While other martial arts style like Boxing, Tae Kwon Do and Kkickboxing focuses on strikes, blows and kicks and does not allow grappling during a competitive match. However, if you want to succeed in Mixed Martial Arts, you need to learn the element of grappling to stand a chance in the arena. With continuous training for MMA grappling methods, you will learn the different tactics to pin down your opponent as well as escape from his grasp.Here are some of the common grappling techniques that are useful in Mixed Martial Arts:Clinching – this is an important stand-up technique that aims to throw down an opponent with the use of various body movements such as hip and body control, head control, pushing and pulling in order to force him into submission. Common clinch hold methods in MMA include bear hug, collar tie, over hook, pinch grip tie and under hook.Takedowns – this is a technique used to put down an opponent from initially being in a standing position and taking control over him in the ground. The most commonly used style is the double-leg takedown where you control your opponent’s legs and hips to quickly and efficiently take him down.Pinning hold – this is a grappling technique commonly used in ground fighting which is to pin down an opponent to the ground. Usually, in some combat sports like wrestling and Judo, once both the opponents’ shoulders are pinned to the ground it will already result to a winning condition. In Mixed Martial Arts, pinning can be used to prevent the opponent from escaping or to control him while striking, a strategy known as “ground and pound”.Submission hold – This is a powerful grappling technique that is used to force an opponent to submit from either extreme pain or fear of injury. This fighting move is popular in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is used primarily in ground fighting by executing choke holds, compression locks and joint locks.Escapes – This is one of the most essential techniques that an MMA fighter has to learn in order to successfully maneuver himself from his inferior position and get away from being submitted by the opponent. Common escape defenses during a mount position are the elbow and upa escapes.There are several other grappling techniques and strategies that you can successfully use for both combat sports and Self Defense. If you want to emphasize “grappling” as the meat of your martial arts training, you can study Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Judo as they are known to be effective in the fighting arena for Mixed Martial Arts.
When you have your own martial arts club, you also need to have an online martial arts club. If you don’t have a presence online with martial arts, then you are already falling behind with your competition. Every serious business these days needs an online presence and that is one of the most powerful and effective ways to promote your martial arts club. This article describes some online resources you can use to promote your dojo.Local online directories – Today the Internet Service Providers have become much more efficient at returning searches that matter to your customers. For example, when your local customers search for ‘martial arts schools,’ the first results are going to be local. If you advertise with local online directories, then you will more first page rankings and that is one of the keys to success.People are no longer looking through the Yellow Pages to find local businesses. They are going online and using Google or Bing or Yahoo or any of the other search engines. That means that if you are not an online martial arts school, then you are not getting the exposure that you need.Online fighting arts directories – Just as there are online directories for any local business, there are also online directories specifically for self-defense and fighting arts. When you list with these, you are going to increase your exposure even more. These operate much the same way that other local directories do, but you will likely be compared to some of your competition. Depending on the directory, you may have options that can get you listed above the others and display positive reviews to elevate your club above the others.Google AdWords – Also know as Pay-Per-Click marketing, Google AdWords allows you to advertise through the major search engine. Your business and website will be posted at the top of the search page based on keywords that you want, and whenever someone clicks on the link to your website you will have to pay Google an agreed fee. When you combine this with other marketing efforts and you fine-tune your search criteria, you will see a lot of traffic start coming to your site.Use competitions and giveaways to promote your school – These don’t have to be strictly online for martial arts, but it helps when you focus on the online status of your business. Offering a free iPad to the person who brings in the most referrals to your martial arts school in a month is just one idea. You could also offer to enter new students to your school into a drawing for a free giveaway. Offering a free class to new students is one risk-free way for them to test whether they like your club, and allows for good word-of-mouth referrals.Social media – Of course, Facebook and Twitter are the two largest social media franchises and they are also a great way to promote online. Dojos interest many different people from around the world and when you get the exposure that your business deserves, then you will find more people seeking you out and your enrollment skyrocket. Using blog posts and video to dig into interesting topics around your club’s style, tournament results or training ideas highlight that you are an expert in your field and get a discussion going.These sorts of ideas can help you turn a trickle of interest into a large stream of new revenue for your business.
I grew up with movies like The Karate Kid. I remember offering to wax my brother’s car to practice my “moves”. I’m sure he loved it. And the rest of my family liked the fact that I was interested in something that wasn’t just about fighting. Karate, according to Mr. Miyagi, had much more to teach than just how to beat someone up.Contrast that with today’s MMA craze. Now the pinnacle of martial arts mastery is the ability to stand up against any opponent, with any set of rules, and overcome any obstacle to beat him. And often the more viciously, the better. Tenacity and grit are looked upon as the highest of virtues.Now, I have a deep regard for both the Classical Arts and MMA. I believe that they have a lot to teach us about life as well as fighting. I also believe that they each have potential potholes to watch out for.As for the Classical Arts, I hold a black belt in Shotokan Karate so I have some room to speak. Classical Martial Arts were designed for real life battles to the death. There were no rules to consider. It was just kill or be killed. So there are techniques that would make anybody wince if they were applied to a real person. The Classical Arts also took into account multitudes of opponents and even changing environments in some cases. And they weren’t always about self-defense. One of the things I’ve admired about the ancient arts are that they were often used to protect others. There are even some “sacrificial” moves, moves that were designed to put you in the heart of danger long enough to give someone else a chance to escape–even though it meant almost certain suicide on your part. There’s also a strong philosophical side to most martial arts (though often it’s been lost through westernization). They enriched the soul of the individual, teaching principles that would strengthen every aspect of your life. This made sense, since these arts were often passed down from father to son or through other close teacher-student relationships. There was often a Code of Honor or Virtues to live by as a disciple of a particular martial art.As for weaknesses, many of these Classical Arts have no way of testing their arts except through live combat, which isn’t too much of a concern for most martial arts schools these days. So many schools have opted for the flashier, fancier techniques over the more effective ones. And some of the most effective techniques have been lost from these styles. Also, since deadlier moves are hard to practice (you can’t keep killing your training partners or you run out fast) it’s hard to know if you would be able to effectively use them in an actual fight. Another pothole is the lack of adaptation to our modern world environment. Originally, these ancient arts were designed to deal with the actual conditions of their times. Nowadays many of the techniques are impractical and can actually put you in a world of trouble if used out on the street.MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) comes out and says, “How do we know what techniques work and what ones don’t? Let’s get in the cage and test them.” So many of the superfluous, flashy techniques have fallen out of use and only what can be proven most effective has stayed. Also, the importance of athletic training has been put in a high place in MMA. Physical conditioning is considered as much a part of martial arts training as the learning of techniques. Then there’s the holistic approach that MMA takes to fighting. No more training isolated ranges of fighting. No more “A boxer can beat a wrestler” or “Kicking is better than punching”. It has been well proven in the cage that, though it is good to specialize in one specific realm of fighting, the most effective fighters are comfortable and skilled in all ranges of a fight–from kicking range to punching range to the clinch to going to the ground. And finally, the techniques the MMA fighter trains he KNOWS how to use. He applies them full speed against fully resisting opponents, so there’s no question about if he could use it or not.On the downside, being a sport, MMA has had to cut out the most effective techniques for a street fight. Why? For the very reason that they’re so effective. In a street fight eye gouging, groin shots, biting, small joint manipulation, pressure point strikes, etc. all work VERY nicely and can reek serious havoc on an adversary. So obviously they have to be outlawed in sport fighting. Also, the imposition of weight classes changes some of the emphasis on training. Out on the street chances are the guy who attacks you will assume he has the advantage.This may be due to his size, having buddies around to help gang up on you, or he may have a weapon. None of these are accounted for in the cage. Against a much larger opponent there must be a greater emphasis on techniques based highly on leverage. Also, what happens if you take someone to the ground and get him in a submission (assuming that you didn’t crack your head on the curb as you took him down, since there’s no padded mat to fall on) and 10 other buddies decide to put their steel toe boots into your head? Or what if you lock him up in your guard and instead of trying to escape the guard and get the mount he reaches for his belt and pulls out a knife? Or he just punches you in the groin? So there are some realities of combat that go unaddressed in MMA fighting.What I love about Jeet Kune Do is that there’s a strong emphasis on training the most effective, deadly techniques, preparing for various situations, AND sparring in controlled but full contact conditions. It’s sort of “the best of both worlds”. The only pothole I really see is that JKD can easily go the way of many Classical Arts. That on paper JKD is about reality training and evolving to fit today’s environment. But in actual practice there can be a neglect of actually evolving. For instance, like it or not, nowadays ground fighting has become popular enough that even people who’ve never trained in any martial art understand the basics of guard, mount, and a submission or two. So being able to at least defend yourself against these when taken to the ground must be a natural evolution of JKD training.