Training yourself to become a better fighter doesn’t necessarily mean that every weekend you are encouraged to frequent sports pubs and engage in physical altercations. In fact, becoming involved with close combat training can effectively enhance your ability to defend yourself in those unexpected situations.
I think we all understand which situations I’m speaking; the one where you’re simply minding your own business on a street corner when somebody approaches you with demeaning words and unwarranted anger – this is where learning how to defend yourself physically can come in quite handy, because it’s almost certain that this person advanced with the intention to fight.
In short, MMA or mixed martial arts is defined as a full contact combat sport, and it permits a large variety of fighting methods, including those of tradition and non-tradition. This means that grappling, as well as striking, is allowed. Most fights actually end in a grapple, followed by a submission move (i.e. arm bar). Congruently, this is why learning mixed martial arts for self defense is so beneficial. It’s true that most physical altercations, whether they are during after hours at a town bar or in the parking lot outside of a gym, almost always end up on the ground in a furious jostle for position.
But if you truly want to subdue your attacker, you must learn the various styles and techniques of handling your opponent while you’re both on the ground. A take-down is typically followed by the most common hybrid of “ground and pound,” where you have your foe on his back while sitting on top of him throwing devastating punches. But MMA ground fighting isn’t always defined by clinching mixed with knees, elbows and punches to the face. In fact, it’s what’s known as “submission grappling” that gives note to a well rounded MMA fighter.
When I say submission grappling, I mean putting your adversary in a choke-hold and/or any of the following:
• Joint locks
• Clinch holds
• Compression locks
• Pain compliance
There are a few intricate others, including the “Grapevine”, but these are the top categories that define submission holds. These are a part of many different disciplines including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Catch Wrestling, Judo, Sambo, Shootwrestling, Pankration and more.
Let’s not forget one of the most important elements and differentiators to boxing; kickboxing/Muay Thai. Certain MMA fighters specialize in areas like kickboxing provided they’re strongest in that area. The same goes for clinching and ground and pound – fighters will determine their strong areas during practice and routine, effectively mastering their most powerful kick and/or submission move. This is evident while viewing any MMA fight. You’ll notice that some MMA fighters almost always strike at the hips, venturing into a takedown and eventually ending the fight in submission while others enjoy staying on their feet and throwing lots of punches.
Nevertheless, all of these traditional styles and disciplines mixed with a combination of modern or non-tradition styles envelope what we commonly refer to as Mixed Martial Arts today. The sport is growing in popularity. Congruently, more people are taking an interest into learning some of these self defense techniques. Not only does engaging in such activity come with the ability to defend, but it naturally enhances fitness.
By: Brent Jacobs of MMA Industries, distributor of extreme MMA Gear and MMA T-shirts.