Code MMA: All warmed up from my Taekwondo lesson I went straight in to Monday night’s MMA class. With a good turn out we rolled in to some 5 minute rounds of light submission grappling. With consideration of my prior realisation that I have recently been too comfortable in my guard, I decided that tonight I would focus primarily on obtaining submission from mount. In particular I was looking to improve my arm bar; even now as I’m reflecting and writing I can think of other little subtleties that I could have incorporated to improve the submission. I will work on this. The ‘flow rolling’ did its job, after a few 5 minute rounds I was feeling loosened up and ready for some technical.

The main focus of tonight’s technical was looking at obtaining the Kimura from the attackers guard and the opponents postured low on their body. With the opponents head low, and placing their hands/arms either tight on the attackers centre mass, or down by the side on the tatami, the attacker obtains an under-hook, scoots out their hip, and secures control by using their opposite hand to grip the elbow of the under-hooked arm. The arm/hand with the under-hook then grips the arm controlling the elbow to create the ‘figure of four lock’, the hand controlling the elbow then slides down towards the wrist, securing the submission behind the opponents back. We drilled this submission on both sides, before looking at alternative finishes; where an opponent defends the Kimura by straightening the arm, we altered the position of the lock to create a straight arm bar. We also looked at transitioning the lock in to a bicep slicer, but I don’t think I quite got my head around it!

Having finished with the main technical part of the lesson, Adam moved the class on to some 5 minute rounds of grappling, this time with a more competitive focus than the warm up at the start. That said, although I continued to apply focus on being more aggressive, I also tried working on being efficient with my movements, looking to conserve my energy levels. I feel as though this worked well, it helped in being cerebral in my sparring, and feel reasonably fresh when going from one round to another. In addition to continuing to focus on obtaining mount, and looking for an arm bar position, I also looked to apply some of the principles learned in today’s technical. Going in to my grappling with a specific goal made my successful submissions feel all the sweeter. I will continue to set goals for my sparring. A particular area for improvement realised from tonight’s session was defending from, and obtaining foot/leg locks. When sparring with a particularly athletic and skilled training partner, Sammy, I tapped out a few times to these submissions; additionally, I was ineffective at finishing these locks when they presented themselves. This clearly indicates an area of improvement that I will pay closer attention to in later sessions.

In all, despite being the start of a long work week, Monday yielded a thoroughly enjoyable evening of Taekwondo and MMA, where I was able to come away feeling pleased with some notable improvements, and an understanding of what is required for my next steps of improvement.

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