Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sprawl and Brawl Guide for Mixed Martial Arts

Sprawl and Brawl is the hottest thing in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) right now. Just ask fighters like former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell.

A kickboxer who prefers to stand and pick his opponents apart with strikes rather than grapple either standing or on the floor, the 'Iceman' is one of the best no holds barred fighters in the world, and you can bet it's because he knows how to stop the takedown.

Liddell may be known as a kickboxer, but not many people know that before he started training as a striker he competed for many years in both high school and college as a freestyle wrestler. Not all of us have the luxury to be able to spend that long learning the intricacies of the grappling arts.

If you're a boxer or kickboxer who trains in mixed martial arts, you'll know how difficult it is to stop a determined grappler from putting you on your back. Once a submission artist has you on the canvas, it can feel like you're drowning in quicksand, with a choke or joint lock only seconds away.

For a striker, getting drawn into a grappling match is the last thing you want. Even if you're on top of your opponent, a skilled jiu-jitsu exponent can still submit you from his guard, ending the fight and taking away the victory you wanted.

Learning how to wrestle is one answer, but it is only one answer to the anti-grappling conundrum; 'Keep it Standing' is another.

'Keep it Standing' is a revolutionary sprawl and brawl strategy, a cutting edge style of fighting that has found it's way into cages and rings across the world. Everyone from aspiring fighters to seasoned professionals are now using this highly effective and easy-to-learn system.

The keys to staying on your feet and off the mat are simple: good footwork, clean and controlled punches and a knowledge of how grapplers think. Even though it sounds simple, learning how to resist and combat a grappler's game plan is a subtle and complicated endeavour.

You'll need to learn that distance is the key to preventing the takedown, and that footwork is what controls distance. Punching from a solid and stable, yet mobile base is paramount. One of the biggest errors made by strikers is over-commital, putting everything into shots that miss and allow a grappler the opportunity to take them down. If you fight with flat feet, you're asking to be taken down.

If a grappler does get in range, then the last thing you want to do is grapple with him. Even sprawling on your opponent gives him what he wants - you've entered his world now, a place where your strengths are negated and his will prevail. By entering into the grappling phase you're deviating from your strategy, and taking away your ability to knock him out.

Resisting the temptation to clinch with your opponent is another mistake made by strikers. Even if you remain on your feet, clinching with a grappler allows them the opportunity to not only take you down but to tie you up on the fence or ropes and work for position. You can't punch somebody in the face with knockout power when you're chest to chest.

Simply put, if you want to defend the takedown then you need to learn how to Keep it Standing. Leading mixed martial arts coach and trainer of champions Karl Tanswell understands exactly what you need to do to keep it on the feet, and his DVD breaks down exactly what you need to know.

Keeping it on the feet is what all strikers want to do. If you're a boxer or a kickboxer who fights in mixed martial arts, or even a martial artist concerned with realistic self defence applications, then you'll want to discover the secrets to keeping it standing.

Glyn Powditch
BJJ Purple Belt
MMA Instructor

Copyright 2007 Glyn Powditch



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