This is a great article from Joel Jamieson from www.8weeksout.com. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai are combat sports and even if you never compete the training is taxing on your body. Don't let the title of the article fool you, everything he brings up applies to anyone that does the training we do, regardless of whether or not you even have any interest in MMA. We want you guys around for the long haul so take a second to read over his advice.
In a grueling sport like MMA, where most combat athletes train five to six days a week for hours on end, having the right training partners can make all the difference in the world. Good training partners can help you hone your skills, prepare you ready for an upcoming fight, and help you become a more complete fighter, but the wrong ones can just as easily hurt your career and leave you injured.
This is because without question, the vast majority of injuries in MMA occur not in an actual fight, but in the gym training. Far too often, contact injuries happen during high intensity drills or sparring because of poor technique and/or a lack of control.
When those with bad technique or control are the ones you’re sparring or drilling with, this can be a recipe for disaster.
Every gym has at least one guy that always throws everything harder than necessary and treats every training session like it’s a world championship fight. If you value your health and want a long career in the sport, these are the training partners that should generally be avoided.
Instead, look for the athletes that are focused on getting better, have good control and technique and understand that you get better by training smart, not just by throwing every punch, kick and knee as hard as you can.
#2 Improve Your Conditioning
Even though most fighters tend to only consider the importance of conditioning when getting ready for a fight, conditioning is an important component of injury prevention. When you consider just how many more injuries happen when you’re fatigued than when you’re fresh, it’s pretty obvious why being in good shape matters.
Not only does having a good level of conditioning mean that you can train more because being in better shape will allow you to recover from your training faster, but it will also help you avoid the injuries that can often accompany fatigue.
While you don’t need to be in fight shape year round, it pays to maintain a solid level of conditioning even when you might not have a fight coming up.
When working to improve conditioning when you’re not getting ready for a fight, the best way to do it while staying injury free is to use general conditioning exercises that are low impact.
Exercises like riding the bike, swimming, jumping rope, rowing, etc., are all great ways to get in some extra conditioning work without putting too much additional stress on your body.
When you start getting ready for a fight, then you’ll need to switch into more fight specific conditioning exercises, but outside of that, keep your conditioning general and low impact to help avoid injuries.
Also, be sure to not confuse fatigue with conditioning. Just because doing something makes you tired does not mean that it’s improving your conditioning. If all conditioning came down to was hard work, you’d never see any top level fighters gas out because they all generally train hard.
“Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the Earth with it” – Archimedes
If you have done any of the basic classes where we look at the armbar from knee on belly, you may recall the detail of squeezing your knees together as you lean back to finish the submission. But why? Ronda Rousey don’t do that shit, and she breaks arms like nobody’s business.
Ronda doing damage, note the knees are far apart
Is Ronda Rousey doing it wrong? I would say no judging by her track record. Nonetheless, the reason you should squeeze your knees has its base in science and one of the six simple machines; the lever.
So imagine the simple diagram above as an armbar. The long plank is their arm, the effort is you leaning back or raising your hips, the “load” side is where the arm is connected to the shoulder and is this case is fixed, and the fulcrum is the point over which you break the elbow. In Ronda’s case, or your case if you don’t squeeze your knees, the fulcrum is your crotch.
When the fulcrum of the armbar is your crotch, that fulcrum point is lower to the ground. In order to get the plank or arm to go past straight, to break it over the fulcrum; you need to raise your hips up off the ground, lifting your own weight and overcoming the resistance applied by the opponent. Take a look at another Ronda shot below. Note how high her hips are off the ground, this is physically difficult (and that arm is seriously ouch).
So back to the fulcrum. If you can raise the height of the fulcrum off the ground, you can get the arm straight, or past straight (broken) with less extension of your upper body.
In the example above, just lying flat on your back with the arm tied up would not break the arm. See Figure 1. The arm is trapped, but with Ronda flat on her back, the arm is still straight because the whole arm, upper and lower can continue to move down until it hits the fulcrum point, the crotch.
The arm can’t be brought any further towards the floor because it is trapped on the chest, basically at the same height at the fulcrum point. So in order to break it, the fulcrum itself (the crotch) must be raised, and this requires strength. See Figure 2.
Figure 1. – Flat on back, but no pressure is applied because the fulcrum point is too low to the ground.
Figure 2. – The fulcrum itself (crotch) must be raised by lifting the hips in order to break the arm.
If instead of using the crotch as the fulcrum point we use the inner thighs, we raise the fulcrum point; and things for that arm just got a lot worse. Let’s say that you squeeze hard and early with your knees and can create the fulcrum point between your thighs, somewhere half way down the length of your thighs. It would look something like Figure 3.
Figure 3. – Squeezing the knees creates a fulcrum point between the thighs, higher off the ground
Now as long as you have hugged their arm to your body; when you lean back, the arm will be extended past straight before your back is even on the floor! Gravity is doing all the work. No lying all the way back and then having to lift your hips. See Figure 4.
Figure 4. – With fulcrum point at mid-thigh, arm will break before your back is even on the ground. Note the upper arm cannot continue to rotate toward the ground.
Make a concerted effort to squeeze your knees when attacking the armbar and you will soon feel the difference, with better control over the arm, and submissions that come on faster and with less effort. And if all else fails, do like Fedor.
If you weren't able to go to the fights on Saturday night you're in luck because we now have video of Abrams fight. Abram's fight starts around the 24 minute mark. Sorry the video doesn't quite fit but Abrams was the only one in the larger format.
Though most of us may not welcome the cold weather one good thing that always rolls around this time of year is the annual Holiday Special. We have been running this special for years and we only run it once a year so now is the time get it or better yet get one for you and grab a gift certificate and give a life changing gift this year.
Abram did a great job last night coming home with a decision win in his first mma fight. Below is a play by play we found posted that gives a pretty good picture of the fight:
Marr came out with a body lock and looked to contest the fight in the clinch, pushing Ward to the cage where he snatched a high crotch takedown to side control. Marr rolled into north south and tried to snatch a fast armlock, but Ward locked up his own limb and rolled out, looking for respite from the rapid-fire grappling work of his foe. Like lightning, Marr zipped to his back and started working an RNC, yet Ward wasn’t there to exit the bout this soon, defending the choke by increments as the crowd roared. Slipping the near fight-ending hold, Ward exploded into a roll within his foes guard and slammed punches home. Marr framed up an armlock from his back that Ward again defended, losing position as Marr swept and worked ground and pound of his own. The two came to standing second before the end of the round, with Ward spiking his adversary to the mat with a single leg at the bell.
A jab and short uppercut from Ward landed as Marr pressed for the takedown again, jockeying for position standing before gaining control of Ward’s hips to bring him to the mat. Marr worked a crossface from a loose back control and tried to get under his foe’s neck; pulling his opponent flat and prying for the choke. Ward again gutted out the submission and looked for a toe hold, pulling on his opponent’s hooks, but Marr was sticky as he kept working for the choke. Ward broke out of the hooks and rolled into guard, avoiding the armbar that Marr looked to set up. Ward moved to drop punches while holding top position, but had no success; Marr too wily on the mat as he came to standing and worked clinch wrestling to the bell.
The final round started with Ward looking for long uppercuts but Marr crashed into a body lock again, keeping the pressure on against the cage. Ward reversed and landed a knee to the leg while trying to break his foe’s grip, Marr shooting for a double and taking Ward’s back when he sprawled. Marr again missed the choke and Ward avoided his opponent’s snares as he rolled into guard and passed into side control, pounding away with right hands as he unloaded on his pinned foe. Marr looked spent as he took the blows, but found the energy to buck hard and turned over, grabbing the leg and coming up with a single. Ward tried for a guillotine but Marr slipped out and took his foes back with a vicious knee strike on entry. Marr grabbed the RNC as seconds ticked away but Ward survived to see the hard-fought decision.
Abram Marr wins via Unanimous Decision
Meanwhile in WV Shaun Durfee was competing in the ADCC trails. He had a tough match, getting caught with a kneebar. Hopefully we'll have some photos coming soon.
On Saturday night Abram Marr will be making his amateur MMA debut in the Toe2Toe event at the Portland Expot. There will be tickets at the gym until tomorrow so please grab one and go out to support this young Academy fighter. If you miss the chance to get them at the gym you can get them online here.