A few days ago I foolishly did a strength and conditioning workout late at night. I ALWAYS find it impossible to get to sleep right after strenuous training, so to relax I sat down on a treadmill and talked to a video camera.
I wanted to share something I’ve noticed that many of the top MMA fighters, coaches and schools have in common (and also how it applies to submission grappling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training).
Here’s an overview of the main points I discuss in the video.
Mixed martial art (MMA) training has three main areas:
- Striking (typically boxing or kickboxing).
- Takedowns and clinching (typically freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman or judo).
- Groundfighting (typically Brazilian jiu-jitsu).
To improve in MMA you have to train each of these areas individually AND blend them together.
Some people training in MMA just want to do full MMA sparring every time – but I think that’s a big mistake.
It’s my observation that most good MMA fighters, coaches and gyms combine everything all together (i.e. full MMA sparring) only a couple of times a week. Most of the time they SEPARATE the sparring into the different component areas.
By training the disciplines separately you:
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- Work on each discipline separately and find your weaknesses.
- Improve the quality of your sparring partners.
- Lessen the chance of injury.
This is also true for high level athletes training in other sports (in the video I talk specifically about baseball and the decathlon).
Grappling and BJJ are the same, in the sense that they require you to get good at different techniques, positions and strategies (e.g. guard passes, submission, pin escapes, submission defense, sidemount control, etc.).
Following the examples of mixed martial artists and other athletes, you should train each of these areas with targeted sparring, AND also mix everything together into free-form sparring sessions.
P.S. If you want to know the Youtube url for this video it’s www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XBI6SnLwH8