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Introduction Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a sport that has influences originating in ancient Greece and has been making a revival since 1993 in the United States. The influences and history of this sport are far reaching across the globe; from Eastern Europe to South America, a variety of different martial arts have combined to form what we know today as MMA. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) propelled this lesser-known sport into the mainstream in 1993 when Royce Gracie won the first title. Since then, MMA has become an extremely popular sport; the intense skill involved appeals to anyone with a martial arts, wrestling, or boxing background—or even those who have no background whatsoever. MMA combines a plethora of techniques from almost all different martial arts disciplines in order to create an impressive set of skills for competition. Fighters usually come from a background of wrestling, boxing, or a variety of martial arts. They then train in other disciplines in order to develop their skill set to be competitive in an MMA match. Since MMA basically takes the best skills from a large number of martial arts, fighters pick and choose the techniques they use and can keep the sport entertaining because all fighters have different strengths and weaknesses. This sport allows anyone, even if he does not have a background in anything, to train and compete in a match. There are two basic techniques for fighting in an MMA competition; both will be explained thoroughly in this book. Grappling and striking are the two main components of an MMA competition—at any given time, both of the fighters are doing one of these actions. Grappling consists more of holding and controlling the opponent, and striking consists of the punches and kicks delivered. Knowledge of both of these techniques is required for becoming a competitive MMA fighter. Both grappling and striking techniques are borrowed from a variety of martial arts, so it really depends on the background of the fighter as to which one of these they are better at performing. The development of a fight strategy depends on the strength of the fighter’s grappling or striking skills. There are four basic strategies in MMA competition, and all of them highlight a certain skill. There are strategies for fighters who are better-versed in ground fighting, and there are some for fighters who have a better stand-up game. Again, the strategy usually depends on the fighter’s background—if a fighter has more of a wrestling background, then his strategy is going to be to get his opponent on the ground. For fighters with a boxing background, their strategy is going to avoid the ground and keep the match in a stand-up position.
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HyperStrike. and agility are crucial to achieving victory in the ring. but has developed quite a following world-wide. mastery of many skills is necessary. this sport is great for getting in shape and developing some great techniques for fighting. especially in the United States.com/MMA 3 . but the same areas need to be developed for each fighter. Training for MMA is intense and very demanding. Even for those who do not want to compete. flexibility. Inc. © 2008 HyperStrike. and thus the “Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts” was formed. This set of rules is the most prevalent in MMA competitions today. In order to be competitive. More training centers are forming on a continual basis due to the increased interest in this sport. but after several competitions. Training for competition includes both physical and mental preparation. and many of the same exercises will be used. stamina. the first UFC matches had minimal rules. power. There are many ways to go about training for an MMA competition. problems began arising. MMA is a complicated and intense sport. www. but there are some slight variations found depending on the organization and region of competition. The physical development of strength. speed.The rules for MMA matches have a history themselves.
www. Due to the popularity of MMA now. and Bartitsu was actually the first martial art to combine Asian and European fighting styles. and muay thai and combined techniques to modernize the sport of pankration.HyperStrike.Chapter One History and Influences The first influence of what is now today considered MMA was the Greek pankration. where the only two rules were no eye-gouging and no biting. by Christian Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I. The next wave came in 326 B.D. The word “pankration” stems from “pan.” The Greeks competed in this sport dating back as far as 648 B. There was a heavy influence from India on Asian martial arts. but there is still hope that it will be included in future Olympic Games. Fast-forward about 1500 years and you will find yourself in 1887. Inc. It was not approved for the 2004 Olympic Games for logistical reasons. Barton-Wright formed his own school where students could come and learn all of the techniques for fighting Bartitsu.C. The Sullivan/Muldoon fight also allowed fighters to see that in order to compete against someone from a different background.com/MMA 4 . The extreme violence of pankration led to its eventual abolishment in 393 A. they would be a stronger force against almost any opponent. some knowledge of the opponent’s background was necessary. Pankration did th not re-emerge until the late 20 century by Demetrios “Jim” Arvantis. Bartitsu was developed by Edward William Barton-Wright in London around the late 1800s after he authored a series of articles entitled “New Art of Self Defence [sic].” Barton-Wright used a combination of techniques from several different martial arts. Pankration was an unarmed combat sport with minimal rules and combined skill sets of wrestling and boxing.” which means “all” and “kratos. where the first major encounter between a boxer (John Sullivan) and a wrestler (William Muldoon) took place. which influenced the sport of MMA to develop like it has. He did not know it © 2008 HyperStrike.” which means “strength” or “power. Boxing and wrestling were blended together to make a more entertaining competition. pankration has begun resurfacing. combat judo. in the Olympic Games.C. this time period for the sport also included a variety of mixed style matches. Many of these types of fights were occurring in the late 1800s and definitely influenced MMA to be a competition of different styles and techniques. and most fights were won after one of the opponents submitted or died. This fight ended with Sullivan being defeated in two minutes by Muldoon. Arvantis took the sports of Western boxing and wrestling. Pankration was also used in ancient times as a form of combat training for Greek soldiers—if soldiers were well trained in pankration. when Asian marital arts were introduced. and there has been mention of adding it as a sport in the Olympic Games.
The early 1900s saw many mixed style contests (usually boxing v. The UFC propelled MMA into the mainstream. karate. The 2006 matchup between UFC fighters Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz broke all pay-per-view (PPV) sales records and still draws in an extremely large PPV crowd per fight. and wrestling. Greco-Roman wrestling. but he was actually cross-training his students across a variety of disciplines. jiu-jitsu. Inoki was definitely an important part of the development of MMA.HyperStrike. These matches were held vale tudo style. The martial art that the Gracies developed is known as Brazilian jiu-jitsu or Gracie jiu-jitsu.com/MMA 5 . Lee took the best techniques from the sports of boxing. and formed them into a mixed martial art. www. fencing. One of the brothers. began the “Gracie challenge. © 2008 HyperStrike. Carlos Gracie. Bruce Lee is called the father of mixed martial arts because of his ability to adapt to many different styles. Istaz taught catch wrestling to quite a few students. Europe. The last major influence on both the popularity of MMA and the development of the sport is Bruce Lee. Royce Gracie actually won the first UFC title and sparked interest in a very little-known sport. The Gracie family rose to a popular status in Brazil due to these vale tudo matches and the Gracie challenge.000 to anyone who could beat him or one of his brothers in a vale tudo match. His matches then led to the first mixed martial arts organizations formed in the 1980s. and was reborn into two streams: “shoot” wrestling and “show” wrestling. Inoki hosted a series of MMA matches in Japan that used shootstyle wrestling. beginning with Karl Istaz in the 1970s and ending in modern times. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is another discipline that heavily influenced MMA. and judo. His emergence in the 1960s and 1970s increased awareness of this developing sport. Lee made popular the sport that we know today through his status as an actor and a master of martial arts. jujutsu) throughout Japan.at the time. Professional wrestling died out after World War I. the Gracie family opened up a jiu-jitsu studio and trained hard for matches. Modern-day cross-training is extremely difficult. The UFC has done wonders for both the sport of MMA and the interest surrounding it. muay thai. and the Pacific Rim. and ended with karate. Rorion Gracie came to the United States in the early 1980s to teach Brazilian jiu-jistu in California. but competitors who can achieve this are often unmatched. Inc. one of whom was Antonio Inoki. Shoot wrestling has a long history itself. which is basically a fight in which there are absolutely no rules. and made the sport extremely popular.” which was nothing more than an ad in a newspaper encouraging anyone to try and beat him in a fight. He issued his own “Gracie challenge” in which he offered $100. In 1925. The Gracie family story brings along the re-emergence of mixed martial arts in Brazil. and catch wresting. This led to the development of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the emergence of the sport of MMA as we know it today. Shoot wrestling was influenced in the beginning by freestyle wrestling.
and throws. causing his opponent to fall to the ground. there are two basic techniques used in MMA. and joint locks. or wrestling tend to succeed with this technique. judo. takedowns. handling. because they are much better at escaping the holds than executing them. www. holds. and controlling of an opponent. Grappling is the gripping. throws. but that has since been banned. Some fighters who are experienced in grappling prefer the bottom position.Chapter Two Techniques As stated in the introduction. and striking is the punching. and the fighter’s strength in either of these positions depends on his martial arts background. Ground grappling is similar to stand-up grappling. • Single leg takedown A single leg takedown is a technique when the fighter grabs one of the legs of his © 2008 HyperStrike. The dominant position on the ground definitely gives a fighter a huge advantage. or kneeing of an opponent. It depends on the fighter. head butting was also considered a strike. unless the opponent is well-trained in escaping grappling holds. but these are all items that come into play when developing a fight strategy. A dominant (top) position is desired. but all techniques are performed on the ground. Fighters with a strong background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. kicking. Grappling can be used in an offensive or defensive manner. Grappling Grappling is essentially a variety of takedowns. Defensive stand-up grappling includes techniques that allow for the escape of offensive grappling holds.com/MMA 6 .HyperStrike. which can win the match for the fighter. Grappling can be applied either in the stand-up position or the ground position. and grappling techniques are used by each competitor to achieve the dominant position. A dominant position on the ground can leave the bottom opponent open for strikes or a submission hold. Before major rules were established. Offensive stand-up grappling includes submission holds. Stand-up grappling is also known as clinching. which will be explained later. depending on what maneuvers an opponent is using. All of these techniques can be used to move the fight to the ground or cause damage to the opponent. Takedowns • Leg trip The leg trip is a technique where a fighter uses his legs to off-balance his opponent. Inc.
causing him to fall over. however. The fighter will grab the arms of the opponent behind him and throw him forward over his shoulder. where pressure is delivered to one or both of the carotid arteries. both legs are grabbed and the fighter forces his opponent to the ground. a blood choke will result in unconsciousness in an opponent. or the jugular vein. but is possible. The other type of hold is the blood choke.HyperStrike. www. The double leg takedown can be considered a pick-up if the fighter picks up his opponent’s legs before taking him down. This subsequently leads to difficulty breathing. Several different hold techniques are outlined below. © 2008 HyperStrike. • Pick-ups Pick-ups are self-explanatory. Once the leg is grabbed. The air choke is delivered by compressing the upper airway. the fighter uses the momentum of his falling body to propel his opponent forward and over the fighter’s head. Throws • Shoulder throws The shoulder throw results in the opponent bring thrown over the shoulder of the fighter. Executed correctly.opponents and uses this position to force him on the ground. • Sacrifice throws This throw is perhaps the most risky in any competition. Death rarely occurs. When executed. • Double leg takedown This maneuver is similar to the single leg takedown. • Hip throws Hip throws involve the use of the fighter’s hip as a pivot point. then the opponent can be easily thrown. Inc. the fighter can use the rest of his body to force his opponent down. in that they involve the fighter picking up his opponent before he is taken down. because it involves the fighter putting himself on the ground in order to execute. and a fighter usually submit if an air hold is used because of the pain is causes. If a fighter can get his hip into a position that is lower than his opponent’s center of gravity. the fighter uses his leg in his opponent’s stomach to facilitate the throwing motion. • Leg throws Leg throws include reaps and trips (see takedowns).com/MMA 7 . Holds There are two main types of holds that can be executed. A leg reap is where the fighter will use one of his legs to sweep his opponents legs off the ground.
com/MMA 8 . © 2008 HyperStrike. This can be executed by using a leg or and an arm. with the use of the fighter’s arms instead of his legs. First. The other hand is then placed on the back of the opponent’s head and pushes the head forward into the crook of the flexed arm. and Wrist) • Armbar The armbar is a joint lock that hyperextends the elbow. It is executed by putting the opponent’s extended arm over a fulcrum. Joint Locks (Arm. • • Arm triangle choke Same as the leg triangle choke. This hold is applied from below. This is applied from behind the opponent. arm. or hip and extending the elbow. www.• Leg triangle choke Opponent’s neck is trapped by using his own arm and the fighter’s thigh and calf. Guillotine choke Fighter holds the opponent’s neck in the crook of his elbow. and often creates an ankle lock of that joint (see joint locks below). Leg. • Leg slicer This is similar to the biceps slicer and can be delivered on the calf or the thigh of the opponent using a leg or an arm. This will cause a great deal of pain to the opponent. but commonly used in practice. • Juji-gatame Juji-gatame is very similar to the arm bar. or humerus. Inc. This is executed in front of and above the opponent. but the wrist is secured and the opponent’s arm is brought between the fighter’s thighs.HyperStrike. Spinal. the fighter loops his arm around his opponent’s head so that the crook of the elbow is under the opponent’s chin. Compression Locks (Pain Compliance Holds) • Achilles lock This lock involves pressing the Achilles tendon into the back of the ankle or lower leg using a forearm. such as a leg. • Biceps slicer This maneuver involves pressing the biceps into the upper arm. The fighter then has control and can apply more pressure to the elbow joint by arching his hips. • Rear naked choke This choke hold is complicated in nature.
It is not often executed because of the risk of losing the dominant position when the fighter and the opponent falls to the ground. This applies pressure to the shoulder joint. • Cattle catch The cattle catch involves gaining control of the opponent’s hands and forcing the head towards his chest. The opponent’s arm is bent against his back and his hand is forced upward towards the neck. • Straight ankle lock In order to perform this maneuver. © 2008 HyperStrike. • Hammerlock The hammer lock is a shoulder lock pain compliance hold. with the legs controlling (pinning) one of the arms. much like a key does in a lock. This puts considerable pressure on the Achilles tendon. This move is performed when the opponent is on his back and the fighter is face-down on his knees perpendicularly. and the fighter’s arms pinning the other. This lock leads to a high number of injuries because of the torque inflicted on the ankle and the knee. the fighter must isolate one of the opponent’s legs. The hands are used to grab the opponent’s head and push it down towards his chest. www. Inc.HyperStrike. The most common heel hook is executed by placing the legs around the leg of an opponent and holding the opponent’s foot in the armpit of the same side. with the knee and leg being placed between the fighter’s thighs. which is held in place by the fighter’s forearm. • Heel hook A heel hook locks up a number of joints in the leg. • Kneebar The knee bar is executed in the same manner as the juji-gatame. The opponent’s foot is twisted to the side by using the heel.• Flying armbar This maneuver is simply the juji-gatame applied from a stand-up position. • Keylock The keylock move is where the fighter will take his opponent’s forearm and use it to twist the arm from side to side. • Can opener This is a neck crank move designed to force the opponent’s head forward to his chest. and for this reason is sometimes referred to as an Achilles lock. The opponent’s head should end up in the fighter’s armpit. This can also be considered a shoulder lock because pressure can be applied to the shoulder. This move is often referred to as the crucifix. The foot on the isolated leg is then put in the fighter’s armpit. but the elbow can also be locked using this maneuver.com/MMA 9 . and the leg is held by placing a forearm at the opponent’s calf.
reaching ulnar deviation and creating a wristlock. Moves from all three of these categories will be described. www. • Spine crank Spine cranks are difficult to apply. • Rotational wristlock This wristlock is delivered by grabbing and rotating the hand. elbow (except downward motion. knee. this lock can be used to force an opponent on his back. Hand strikes • Knife hand (karate chop) This maneuver is used both for blocking and striking. Allowed striking includes strikes that use the fist. or hyper flexion of the spine. Instead of the hand being rotated outward. • Hyperflexing wristlock This wristlock is performed by taking the opponent’s hand and forcing it towards his forearm. The hyperflexing wristlock is usually used in conjunction with another wristlock.HyperStrike.com/MMA 10 . This is also a pain-compliance hold because of the amount of pressure applied at the wrist. Targets for this strike include the © 2008 HyperStrike. hyper rotation. • Supinating wristlock The supinating wristlock involves the hand being grabbed and turned away from the opponent so the thumb points away from the opponent. palm. as they require twisting or bending the opponent’s body to result in hyperextension. Performed in a stand-up position. so the pressure is applied at the radioulnar joint. Striking Striking includes all punches. It is one of the most commonly used joint locks in competition. Inc. • Adductive wristlock This wristlock is delivered by forcing an ulnar deviation of the hand. the hand is forced downward. • Pronating wristlock The pronating wristlock is the reverse of the supinating wristlock.• Twister The twister is a move that forces the head towards the shoulder while the rest of the body is controlled. Then. see chapter three). since the hyperflexion facilitates easy twisting. The wrist does not rotate. The opponent’s arm is twisted so the palm is pointing laterally and the elbow is slightly bent. kicks. and knees. and foot. it is rotated inward causing a lock on the wrist and the radioulnar joint.
Targets include floating (lower) ribs. This move works best when the opponent is off-balance. and knee cap. It is executed © 2008 HyperStrike. hips. Targets include neck. using the fingertips to deliver the blow. jugular. upper arm. www. Knee Strikes • Straight knee strike This move uses the front of the knee to deliver the blow to the head or body of the opponent. This move uses the outer edge of the hand to deliver a blow. stomach. ribs. • Curved knee strike The curved knee strike is similar to the front knee strike. except for the fact that it is rotated from the outside instead of the front. jumping. Targets include the head. which will be explained in chapter four. • Hammer fist The hammer fist is delivered with the bottom of a clenched fist. and the outer edge of the foot can be used to deliver a strike to the knee or neck. and thighs. and jaw. hips.com/MMA 11 . or by holding the leg out straight and pivoting the body. wrist. and is executed by rushing the opponent. This maneuver is not used very often because of the high potential for broken fingers. • Ridge hand (reverse knife hand) The ridge hand is similar to the karate chop. The heel can be used to deliver a blow to the ribs. Inc. and side of abdomen. Kicks (Leg/foot strikes) • Side kick This is a kick that is delivered sideways one of two ways. or chest. collar bones. It can be delivered by bending the knee and kicking outward. • Spear hand This is executed by essentially punching with an open hand. stomach.HyperStrike. The hammer fist is often used in the ground-and-pound fight strategy. jugular.neck. wrist. nose. elbow. • Flying knee strike This maneuver is also called the jumping knee. nose. jaw. and sternum. and has been used to deliver knockouts in UFC fighting. but the thumb is tucked into the palm and the inside edge of the hand is used instead of the outside. This can cause a lot of damage when executed correctly. and delivering a knee to a part of the body. jaw. • Back kick This kick uses the heel to strike just about any part of the opponent’s body. Targets include temples.
• Flying kick This kick can be any kick that is delivered with a running head start and a jump. Inc. while the outward crescent kick uses the outside edge of the leg to deliver the strike. All of the above kicks can be developed into flying kicks for more damage infliction. the leg is held in the position of a front kick. This can be effective as a sweep technique when trying to knock the opponent on the ground. the leg is whipped into an arc and hits the intended target from the side. The heel or the outer edge of the foot can be used to deliver the strike. and high heights. but the kick is aimed off target. • Twist kick The twist kick begins like the front kick. and all use the speed and the power of the leg to deliver quite a blow. but the knee is pointed to the left or right of the target. The foot moves in an arc. • Axe kick The axe kick is also called the hammer kick because the leg comes down on the opponent. • Reverse side kick This kick is similar to the back kick. bending the knee. There are many different variations of this kick. but the heel moves towards the center of the body and is directed outward to a target on the side. This kick can be varied and delivered at low.com/MMA 12 . the kicking leg comes from around the kicker’s back. middle. © 2008 HyperStrike. with the leg remaining straight. • Butterfly kick This kick is considered a signature martial arts kick. much like an axe or hammer would on its target.by keeping the kicking leg close to the standing leg. • Roundhouse This strike is delivered with the top of the foot. but is delivered with more spin in the hips. • Reverse roundhouse This kick uses the heel for striking. making the blow much more powerful. Its execution is similar to the side kick. and delivers the strike on the opponent’s body. • Hook kick The hook kick uses the heel from the side to deliver the strike.HyperStrike. either clockwise or counterclockwise. To execute. The inward crescent kick uses the instep to deliver the strike. and pushing the leg outward. www. It is usually delivered with a spin. • Crescent kick In this kick. The butterfly kick uses both feet in a large circular motion to deliver the strike. • Calf kick This is a simple kick that uses the backside of the calf to deliver the strike. not directly ahead. The fighter swings his leg sideways in a circular motion to strike.
• Multiple kick This kick is simply the execution of several kicks performed in succession. The knee is brought forward and across the chest—the strike is delivered by swinging the hips while extending the kicking leg outward. More often than not. • Vertical kick The vertical kick uses the outside edge of the foot for the strike. Both grappling and striking are complicated techniques to learn and master for MMA competition. and not often achieved. Crosstraining across several disciplines is very difficult. so for MMA. www. © 2008 HyperStrike. The majority of martial arts disciplines use a combination of grappling and striking in competition.HyperStrike. However. the fighter simply has to work on fine-tuning his skill set. some fighters prefer to excel in their discipline and use that skill set entirely to compete. These two techniques cannot be learned halfway—complete mastery is required to be a competitive fighter. but often not achieved due to the large amount of learning required.• Scissor kick The scissor kick got its name because of the use of both legs in a scissor-like manner to grab the opponent’s head or body for a takedown.com/MMA 13 . a fighter will stick to his discipline when it comes to mastering techniques. It could be the same kick performed several times. or several different kicks performed in succession. The mastery of both of these skills is preferred. Most fighters will master several grappling techniques and several striking techniques in order to have a combination of skills to use in the ring. Inc.
because it could take any amount of time to complete the fight. fighters are routinely tested for steroids and other illegal substances. so live televised events were a question mark. the ways to win a match. and not just their endurance. no shoes or foot padding. Inc. Before these rules were established. If it is an even round. The 10-point system (similar to boxing) is used for all fights. and still continues to. and approved light. weight became an issue. including the UFC. This chapter will outline the general rules.” These rules have been adopted by many organizations and gaming commissions.HyperStrike. The time limits also prevent long fights and promote the skill of the fighters. Much like any sport. but after several fights resulted in bloody messes due to a head strike. Title matches last for a maximum of five rounds. • • Elbow strikes are allowed. UFC set many pay-per-view records. as more and more matches were fought. while non-title matches last for a maximum of three rounds. General Rules • • • • Every round is 5 minutes long. © 2008 HyperStrike. openfingered gloves. where there are a minimal number of rules. then each fighter is awarded 10 points. head butts were prohibited. into a more structured way of fighting to protect the health of the fighters as well as the integrity of the sport.Chapter Three Rules An understanding of the rules is necessary to understand the fighting strategies outlined in the next chapter. except those which hit downwards with the point of the elbow. The rules evolved over time. A 400-pound man fighting a 200pound man was not an even match with the knowledge of submission holds. In the early days of UFC. with a 1 minute rest in between. Head butts were not initially excluded. Three judges score each round. Rules for MMA fighting evolved over several years and became the “Unified Rules of Mixed Marital Arts. Ways to Win 1) Knockout (KO) A KO is awarded when a fighter becomes unconscious due to strikes. The winner of the round gets 10 points. Fighters must wear approved shorts. Organizations wanted to get away from the vale tudo way of fighting. there were no time limits on the matches. and his opponent will receive a score between 7-9 points. weight classes emerged because as knowledge of submission spread.com/MMA 14 . MMA fighting was viewed as extremely violent and barbaric. and a list of common fouls. For instance. www.
© 2008 HyperStrike. such as the above example of a broken bone. such as a broken bone. Three warnings result in a disqualification. or there is a visible injury. Eye gouging. then a decision is issued by the judges. tapping three times on the mat or floor. • • Head butting. • 4) Decision If the fight goes through all the rounds without a KO. • Referee stoppage. depending on the severity. The doctor is then called over to make a decision as to whether or not the fighter can continue competing. Common Fouls If any of these fouls occur. or submission. 3) Technical knockout (TKO) The technical knockout can be awarded for a variety of reasons. Inc. 5) Forfeit Either side can forfeit a match before it begins. or a disqualification or a no contest could be issued. one warning is issued by the referee if a foul or illegal action takes place. or verbally announcing it. a fighter appears unconscious due to a grappling hold. or if a fighter is injured as a result of an accidental illegal action by his opponent.com/MMA 15 . Corner stoppage. A match can be forfeited by the fighter or one of the fighter’s representatives. A referee will call a time out if a fighter has large visible injuries. or a cut that will not stop bleeding. 7) No contest A no contest can be issued if both fighters violate the rules. 6) Disqualification During the fight. TKO. A disqualification or no contest will be issued if the injury was a result of an illegal action. The fighter’s representatives can forfeit the fight on behalf of their fighter by throwing in the towel. The winner of the fight is the competitor with the highest score after all rounds are completed. The referee will stop the match if a fighter becomes so dominant that his opponent cannot intelligently defend himself. a warning may be issued to the offender.2) Submission A fighter can admit defeat in a submission hold by tapping three times on the opponent’s body.HyperStrike. A disqualification is also issued in the case that a fighter is injured as a result of a deliberate illegal action by his opponent. www. This can happen for a number of reasons. • Doctor stoppage.
Using the point of elbow in a downward strike. www. Avoiding contact with opponent. Fish hooking. Disregarding the instructions of referee. Grabbing the clavicle. or faking an injury. Attacking an opponent during break. Unsportsmanlike conduct that results in an injury to opponent. Biting. Throwing in the towel (forfeiting) during competition. Purposely holding the ring ropes or the cage fence. Strikes to the back of the head. Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the round. The rules for MMA competition regulate the matches in order to give the fighter and the viewer a good experience. Using abusive language in ring or cage.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Hair pulling. Without rules. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent. Interference by the corner. © 2008 HyperStrike. pinching. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck. Stomping a grounded opponent. spinal area. Attacking the groin. Putting a finger into any orifice or any cut of an opponent.HyperStrike. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent. Inc.com/MMA 16 . Fighting techniques are used within the limits of the rules in order to develop a fighting strategy. Spitting at an opponent. the sport may not have become as popular as it has because of the extreme violence and the laissez-faire way of fighting. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent. and kidneys. Clawing. Strikes to the trachea or grabs to the trachea. or twisting the flesh of the opponent. Attacking an opponent that is under the care of the referee. Intentionally throwing opponent out of the ring or cage. Small joint manipulation (control of 3+ fingers or toes). intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece. Running out of the ring or cage.
Clinch Fighting Clinch fighting is a strategy that keeps the fighters very close for striking. but for the most part. Fighters will use takedowns or throws to get their opponents on the ground. Ground-and-pound The ground-and-pound strategy is true to its name. and most fighters fit into one of these categories. and “pound” the opponent. and the techniques that the fighter is strongest at are fine-tuned before the match. A clinch hold is used against the opponent to prevent them from moving away into distant striking range. and knees than kicks because of the close nature of the fight. because they have a weaker ground game. If the fighters get some distance between them. kicks may be used. This strategy relies heavily on a fighter’s ability to strike. or Thai boxing. Inc. clinch fighters rely heavily on their punching. then obtain a dominant position and apply a submission hold. Most sprawl-and-brawl fighters will train in wrestling as well so if the fight goes to the ground. Clinch fighting uses Greco-Roman clinching techniques to hold onto an opponent. Most ground-and-pound fighters have strong wrestling backgrounds and are extremely skilled at takedowns. kickboxing. The goal of this strategy is simply to get the game on the floor. Some submission © 2008 HyperStrike. A fighting strategy has everything to do with the strengths of a fighter. Their aim is to keep the fight off the ground as much as possible. Sprawl-andbrawl fighters generally have a background of boxing.Chapter Four Fighting Strategies There are four main strategies in MMA fighting.com/MMA 17 . www. achieve a dominant fighting position. Each of them play to a certain strength. The fighter aims to get the fight on the ground. Clinch fighters will attempt takedowns of their opponent. Submission Grappling Submission grappling is another ground fighting strategy. elbows.HyperStrike. These fighters will also use grappling holds to strike their opponent until he submits. Clinch fighters rely more on punches. they are not immediately defeated. Sprawl-and-brawl The sprawl-and-brawl way of fighting is predominately a stand-up fighting strategy. Training in wrestling also teaches them how to avoid takedowns.
HyperStrike. Inc. sambo. so this strategy may have to be abandoned if they find themselves in the bottom position. © 2008 HyperStrike.grapplers are comfortable working from the bottom position because they are able to escape submission holds and achieve the dominant position. judo. www. This strategy is used by fighters with a background in catch wrestling. pankration. Other submission grapplers are not as well-trained in escaping the holds.com/MMA 18 . or Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Clinching skills come from backgrounds in Greco-Roman wrestling. extremely important. takedowns. judo. and stamina. and throws. which are two large movements in MMA.com/MMA 19 . Developmental training for this skill set would involve improving holds and working on quicker takedowns and throws. Most of these come from the martial arts discipline of the fighter. power. shoot wrestling. catch wrestling. Solid Skills There are three basic solid skill sets that can come from any martial arts discipline. boxing. This skill set includes footwork.Chapter Five Training Training for MMA competition is intense and long. After the physical preparation is complete. Solid skills have to be achieved before the training can really start. power. Inc. Having the skills is only half of the battle—the other half is getting your skills mastered and up to a competitive level. These skill sets also coincide with the fighting strategies outlined in the last chapter. Without a strong core. This means working long and hard on training to gain strength.HyperStrike. Development Development of skills in MMA is. and waist to facilitate movements such as twisting and bending. like most other sports. The core uses the hips. and sambo. There are several areas that have to be developed in order to be a competitive fighter. force. judo. and endurance will come after the skill set is established. Developmental training would involve working on the submission holds and working on ground positioning in order to gain advantage. kicking. www. The development of strength. These skills come from a background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. lower back. Perhaps the most important one is the core muscles. The foundation is already there. so most muscle groups need to be strengthened. The “clinch” skill set involves close-range fighting. elbowing. The “stand-up” skill set deals mostly with striking skills that are found in kickboxing. Developmental training would work on getting some power and force behind the strikes and training for endurance. This chapter will explain all of these phases of training and how to prepare for a match. or sambo. The “ground” skill set mainly consists of submission holds and ground control. it just needs to built upon. kneeing. and muay thai. and punching. there is mental preparation and nutritional preparation to be done before a fighter is absolutely ready for a match. injuries are much more likely and the power © 2008 HyperStrike. MMA competition forces the body to use a wide variety of muscles.
Fighters would be disappointed with themselves if they spent their training program working on strength and power but could not last until the second round because they had not conditioned their bodies. The hips and legs are also very important because they provide stability for the core. Training your body to develop muscular endurance will allow the fighter to be able to deal out more powerful blows because the muscles have been conditioned to perform consistently at that level over time. Muscular endurance is also something that needs to be developed. Once a solid foundation of strength is accomplished. Isometric exercises and training will © 2008 HyperStrike. The core is also a stabilizer between the upper body and lower body—it is essentially the foundation for all movement. Developing technique will also help develop power. Most MMA moves require one powerful muscular movement at a time. or from upper to lower body will increase your power and strength in the ring. Training for fight-specific conditions is very important as well. leg raises. Once again. core strength is essential for striking power because most strikes will originate from the core. because it will allow the fighter to work specifically on those movements instead of just working on arm strength. circuit training. Squats. Once the core is strengthened.HyperStrike.behind strikes or holds will not be maximally achieved. MMA is a very intense and trying competition on the body. www. Interval sprints. The anaerobic lactate system is one that leads to tiring because of lactate build-up. Core training should be done about twice a week in order to give the body plenty of time to recover between sessions. because rarely is a fighter ever standing with his feet together. so working on technique will increase and improve power. One legged exercises will work the legs individually instead of together. and dead lifts are all good exercises for developing power. Arm strength for a hammer fist and arm strength for a karate chop are two different things. Weight transference from upper to lower body also utilizes the core. then the training should be molded around putting the fighter in a situation where there is lactate build-up so the fighter gets used to it. Stamina is an aspect of MMA competition that cannot be overlooked. Performing walking lunges will familiarize the fighter with working in a split stance. Striking power is necessary in fights to do as much damage in one strike as possible. walking lunges. the next step is developing power. Inc.com/MMA 20 . such as the arms and legs. specific muscle groups can be worked on. Figuring out which energy system the fighter is weakest with will give time to condition the body to get used to working in that situation. If this system is the fighter’s weakness. Weight transference is a large factor in MMA. and Swiss ball exercises. Exercises that strengthen the core are crunches. Offset lifting is used most often to train the body for a fight. and practicing those conditions where weight is transferred from one leg to the other. and the speed ladder are great exercises for building overall endurance and stamina. side bends.
Part of the training period should be dedicated to developing and fine-tuning fight techniques and strategies. Experts recommend cutting back on cardio exercises two weeks before the fight and work more on mastering technique. so not only the fighter’s body. Inc. Mental Preparation The last phase of training is the mental preparation. such as protein shakes. but also his muscles. but also realizes that changes may © 2008 HyperStrike. a fighter has to make sure that he is consuming the right amount of everything since a lot is being burned off through exercise. Seeing footage of the opponent will reduce anxiety and uncertainty in the fighter’s mind. Sparring should include stand-up and ground work to get the fighter used to both. and caffeine. Being cocky can also spell disaster because then a fighter’s mind is clouded by the fact that he is the best. A fighter has to find the middle ground where he is confident in his ability to fight. Since MMA is such an intense sport. Essential vitamins and nutrients are important during this period. Going into the ring anxious or uncertain is a recipe for disaster. creatine.com/MMA 21 . These can keep a fighter going through longer workout sessions and help keep the body fueled for the duration of the workout. Aggression is key in MMA fights. Sparring is the closest a fighter can get to the real thing. but not too confident.improve muscular endurance. and this will help immensely as far as developing technique and strategy are concerned. One way for a fighter to become more confident with his game is to watch footage of his opponent. because they keep a fighter’s body functioning as it should and healthy. The key is to be confident. but not too high because a fighter will still have to make weight before the match. This phase of training is the most beneficial to the fighter in the sense that it gets him used to a fight situation and gives him the opportunity to see how his techniques and strategies work in the ring. Some supplements can help with training. The goal for MMA nutrition is to keep the calories high enough to train on.HyperStrike. and a fighter has to be able to prepare himself to be the most aggressive and the most confident fighter that he can be. because not getting enough nutrients can do more harm than good. Nutrition Nutrition is an important part of training. This will allow the fighter to see what techniques his opponent uses often and where his strengths and weaknesses are. will last until the fight is over. www. This phase of training should include lots of sparring sessions with as many different competitors as possible.
need to be made in his strategy during the fight.com/MMA 22 . www. © 2008 HyperStrike. Inc.HyperStrike. Achieving this middle ground will lead to a fighter becoming totally prepared. both mentally and physically for competition.
further training is required to develop more skills. while making the sport extremely entertaining to the viewing audience. MMA has developed into a mixture of borrowed techniques and strategies.Conclusion MMA is an intricate sport that has many different influences and has developed over the last 2000 years. The UFC is the most popular version of MMA in America today. Most fighters who compete already have a strong background in a discipline of martial arts. MMA is a sport of skill. With influences from sports like pankration. © 2008 HyperStrike. and there are many popular versions around the world. and boxing. Those who do are able to use an arsenal of techniques against their opponent. Inc.HyperStrike. These techniques are then used to develop a fight strategy. The mental and physical discipline required for this sport make it valuable to the fighters and highly respected by the people who watch it. www. which boils down into developing a stand-up game or a ground game for competition. technique. however. MMA dates back to ancient Greece. and has developed over thousands of years to become the sport that it has. Fighters who train for this sport have to be in peak shape for the match—any lack of preparation will result in a loss in the ring. wrestling.com/MMA 23 . making it one of the most difficult sports to train for and master. Bartitsu. judo. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. There are not many sports that have as rich of a history or as much of a sticking power as MMA does. and mental prowess.
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