MMA Gospel’s Technique of the Week is dedicated to focusing on the area’s of grappling that are extremely important in mixed martial arts but are overlooked in most online training resources. As always, MMA Gospel has called upon Hapkido master Ed Perdomo for his insight into the world of MMA ground work. This time, we have chosen to focus on defensive grappling. Every fighter and fan has heard the infamous “submissions are great in practice but their a lot harder to pull off when you’re getting punched in the face” line and it is a very true statement. Often in MMA world class submission fighters get thrashed in their own guard, unable to muster even an attempt at a submission, when faced with an aggressive ground-and-pound attack. This week, MMA Gospel focuses on just that, defending G-n-P. Ed will display how to defend against an opponent’s punches and use the defense to move into a classic Elevator Sweep to the mount position.
- Defend your opponent’s attacks properly. Instead of constantly searching to neutralize his offense with over hooks, use short, inside blocks to stop his punches and regain control of the situation.
- Roll your hand over your opponent’s tricep and use your opposite hand to counter with a short, straight punch to the chin or nose.
- Simultaneously pull your opponent down by his tricep, hip scoot away from the controlled arm, and follow through with your punch to gain head control. Clasp your hands in a palm-to-palm grip, controlling your opponents head and shoulder.
- Hook your top foot under your opponents top thigh and place your bottom leg against the outside of your opponent’s bottom leg.
- Scissor your bottom leg under your opponent as you elevate his top leg by extending your controlling foot.
- Use the momentum of the sweep to roll on top of your opponent into the mount position, making sure to keep your top knee ahead of your opponent’s top knee to avoid him catching you in half-guard.
- Secure mount and work to finish your opponent.
Here we see an effective defense against a ground-and-pound minded opponent, perhaps even a lay-and-pray wrestler who seeks only to “stay busy” in the guard. The Gracie family created a myth that guard is a superior position when even in competitions where strikes are not legal it is considered neutral. This has led to many schools teaching fighters to simply defend the strikes of their opponents and look for submissions. Instead, guard should be considered an inferior position and should be escaped at all costs just as back mount, side control, or top mount would be. Next week, Ed Perdomo will show the basics of back mount escape and a very simple technique to frustrate any aggressive opponent who has the upper hand.
*Ed Perdomo is a 4th degree black belt in the Korean grappling art of Hapkido and is head instructor of the Hapkido Institute in Morris, IL.