Code MMA: It felt good to get back on to the Saturday morning session, having missed last week in favour of family obligations, and a beer festival. I have been acutely aware that my training intensity has slipped slightly in the past two weeks; however, there has been some benefit to having some rest, some aches and pains I had become accustomed to have seemingly buggered off! This session, Instructor Adam Gold had the class focusing on transitioning from a closed guard, utilising ‘ground-and-pound’, and then setting up a submission. We went through the various sequences step-by-step, until we put together a flow drill with our training partner; for me, the main focus of the drill was ensuring I was keeping suitable posture and weight distribution so that my opponent was restricted in their ability to counter-sweep/transition. After this drill, Adam moved the class on to 5 minute rounds of sparring, starting in a ‘combat base’, and taking a specific focus on ground-and-pound. During the sparring we fought with a handicap, in that we wore boxing gloves as opposed to our usual MMA gloves and we also had a couple of ‘no-submission’ rounds, where the focus was on striking and transitions. I found this type of sparring particularly entertaining, because it definitely highlights one of my ‘areas for improvement’, in that I am too often complacent and find myself in a position where I’m especially susceptible to being punched in the face and swept. That said, I felt like I was able to hold on to some decent grips despite having pillows strapped to my hands, and was able to find some decent defensive positions, throwing off a couple of good punches. I think there were three occasions where my sparring partner was able to put an arm-bar on me, in the traditional sense where his legs were across my body, with my arm secured between his legs; however, apparently due to my ‘baby hips’, I was able to defend the arm-bar each time by placing my own leg across my opponents, turning my body, and loosening the submission.

In all, I came away from the session feeling very positive. My body felt good, I recognised some areas that I have improved on, but also can see where I need to focus my efforts – namely what Adam calls ‘owning the position’. At the end of the class Adam made a few announcements regarding the new training unit he is hoping to secure, and a few upcoming training seminars and competitions. Interesting times!

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