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#433398 - 07/22/11 01:36 PM Will it ever click?
GreenStang511 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 5
I've been doing MMA for about 2 1/2 years now. I'm not a natural by any means and in my early 40s. I'm finally starting to feel my way around both in defense and offense on the ground, but have a hard time sparring. All the work I do with focus mitts or on the bag seem to go out the window when sparring. I do have a few go to moves, but its just not enough. I need to figure out with whatever senses it takes how to get the shots in and as combos. Any suggestions?

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#433404 - 07/22/11 03:20 PM Re: Will it ever click? [Re: GreenStang511]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Hi and welcome.

I don't do MMA but I have some ground fighting experience (Judo and some BJJ).

I've said this before, people tend to have a "natural" range. For some people it is punching, some kicking/striking with legs, for some people it's stand up grappling, for some folks it is ground work. For some people it is a combination of the above. The question for me is: Is it best to work on ranges you have trouble with, or is it best to maximize your potential by working on the range you feel most comfortable in and learn more quickly in? It depends on what you are looking for really!

To me your choices are either: Speak to your coach about how to improve your striking overall in MMA
OR
Think about whether or not for the moment you'd be happier working on a range you enjoy more and feel more comfortable in. For instance you may enjoy ground grappling more. You might want to focus just on ground grappling for a time and nothing else. When you spar you might want to just do ground work sparring.

Someone once said that modern MMA is about 2 people with various skillsets. The victor will be the person who can implement their strategy best against another person. Their strategy will be determined in a major way by the range of combat the person excels at while also factoring in ways to negate the strengths of their opponent.

In other words, develop your strengths. If you find yourself lacking in striking but being a demon on the ground, figure out to get the fight to the ground as soon as you can. If you suck on the ground but love stand up, find ways of keeping the fight standing up.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433406 - 07/22/11 03:46 PM Re: Will it ever click? [Re: Prizewriter]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:
In other words, develop your strengths. If you find yourself lacking in striking but being a demon on the ground, figure out to get the fight to the ground as soon as you can. If you suck on the ground but love stand up, find ways of keeping the fight standing up.


I think this is very sound advice. Lots of other fighters do the same thing - work their weaknesses up to a point that they can apply their strengths without hesitation. I am a 42 year old with a striking background. I know I will probably never get a black belt in BJJ, but if I can learn enough ground skills and take-down defense to take the fear out of the ground game, then that will make me better prepared to apply my stand-up.

It will get better with practice in any case. smile
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#433407 - 07/22/11 03:46 PM Re: Will it ever click? [Re: Prizewriter]
GreenStang511 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 5
Hey thanks for that great response. Problem is, another week area is take downs. Anyway, I do want to be well rounded. I like stand up as well esp kicking. I'm definitely going to stick with it. Its fun, keeps me interested and moving. At my age, I'm not going to crawl into a cage, but going a bit on the hard side with some of these 20 somethings is just fine with me. I definitely don't make it easy for them.

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#433603 - 08/13/11 04:30 AM Re: Will it ever click? [Re: GreenStang511]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
I've been involved in striking arts for 4 or 5 years, mma for about a year solid and off and on for a few months before that. And currently I'm getting ready for my first fight. So I'm no expert but I know a few things.
First off, if you're doing really well on the mitts, decrease how much of that you do and spar more.
Another thing is isolation sparring. For example limit yourself to just your hands, and your opponent to lead hand/lead foot or vice versa, or hands only for both, or whatever, but limit yourself and your opponent so you can work specific tools in a live environment. That has done amazing things for my striking. Another big thing is intensity. All too often guys spend all their sparring time treating it like a fight, going 100%, beating each other with one guy usually dominating. You get jack out of that. You need to spar a lot with guys who can go 50%, just hitting hard enough that you get the message but not so hard that you cover and back away or turn away. And not so hard you get injured, or can't think. 85% of the time it should be calm enough that you can think about what you're doing and guys will back off once they've gotten you totally on the defense for a moment. I'm not talking about pulling things like in point fighting, or not being aggressive but just tapping with light force instead of really thumping each other, unless you're in camp for a fight there's no reason to do that much. When you're going "hard" in sparring it becomes a brawl usually and you get worse or you just can't work your game because the other guy is trying to beat you down. 50% most of the time is the way to go. You'll get better real fast. Hope that all helps.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#433604 - 08/13/11 04:36 AM Re: Will it ever click? [Re: Stormdragon]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
Oh and learn to feint a lot. Feinting instead of trying to actually land everything hard is hugely important for scoring with combos, it takes forever to get good at, and you don't see it much in mma. When I started really focusing on feinting that's when I started finding myself actually making combos work.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#433607 - 08/13/11 12:03 PM Re: Will it ever click? [Re: Stormdragon]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
Good advice from everyone. I might add that a big part of striking is learning to read your opponent. Learn from exchanges. What do they do when I leg kick, how do they defend my jab, or other offensive moves.

You have to know what your opponent is going to do (as best you can) before you move. Then you can apply your combos.

For instance if I see my opponent is covering on every jab, my next jab I'll drop down to the body. Change levels, see how they react. Do they drop the guard, do they counter? What are their reactions so you can predict them, and then come up with a strategy with that info included.

Point is unlike mitts, live sparring involves a thinking moving person, you have to read and adapt to that person (this applies to any type of fighting not just striking).

I can say I see a lot of fighter who go in and just throw the combos they know, with no attention being paid to who they are throwing them against.
_________________________
Undefeated in all of Asia!

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