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Table of Contents

1. Introduction .................................................... 3

2. Striking ........................................................... 5

3. Grappling ...................................................... 24

4. Mental / Spiritual............................................ 38

5. Teaching ....................................................... 44

6. Self-Defense .................................................. 50

7. Motivation & Longevity .................................... 52

8. An Ending Note... ........................................... 56

9. Resources: .................................................... 57


After years of teaching and training, I've learned the majority of martial artists feel that their, or their instructors, is the right way.

Read This First!

his eBook is a sampling of the questions from a recent survey of MMA practitioners about their "biggest question regarding MMA training."

Most of the questions I received had answers that could simply be found on Google or by studying some MMA videos. Many people wanted the right (or best) way to... do whatever. If you've been around long enough, you'll realize there's no such thing as a universal right or wrong way. Rather, it can be only be right or wrong for YOU. If it works for you, it's right... if not, it's wrong. The idea of right & wrong is rampant in MMA. Just read the MMA forums and YouTube comments from people who rage against someone teaching something the wrong way. However, by definition, right or correct means conforming to an approved or conventional standard... in other words, the way everyone else does it. So, that means that to be the best, you should do things exactly the way everyone else does it... ...try telling that to Mohammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Helio Gracie, Eddie Bravo or anyone else who really made a name for themselves as an innovator. The common response I hear to that is Bob, surely there must at least be a right way to do a basic arm bar. Again, referring back to what I said above... does it work for you? Great... then it's right.

But if that right way to do an arm bar DOESN'T work for you... how can it possibly be right? There simply is no such thing as a universal right or wrong. Based on this, what I feel is needed is not a book of How To Do Technique X ... but rather, one that's closer to How To Approach Learning MMA My goal with this eBook is to tell you WHAT HAS WORKED FOR ME & THOSE I'VE TAUGHT... and to be honest, that's all anybody can really teach you of value. Everything else is speculation. Your job is to look at it... consider it... try it out LONG ENOUGH to determine whether you can make it work for you... and then either implement it, or forget about it for now. If it doesn't work for you, it's not right or wrong... it's just wrong for you. I've chosen to answer only the questions we received that I really have something unique to contribute... something you probably won't find with a simple search on the web. One more thing... If you're serious about grappling, you owe it to yourself to look at an online grappling learning tool called the iGrapple Online Grappling Trainer. We spent 1 years creating it, and hundreds of grapplers across the world are using it every day. Originally intended for my personal use and that of my students, I had so many people ask to get access to it that we eventually opened it up to the public. You will understand its effectiveness after using it for just a few minutes. Just try it. If you think it's wrong for you... get a refund. Less than 0.5% of the people who've tried it asked for a refund, so I think you'll find it helps your grappling training... a lot. 4

How can I simplify the process of learning striking? Keep in mind that learning striking' has many meanings because there isn't just one method of striking, and, like any art, there is no end to the process because your skills will always evolve as you discover or create new concepts. The way to simplify anything is to have organization and systems in place to learn it. Otherwise, you have a jumbled, hit-and-miss approach that will often leave you frustrated. One good general process to get your BASIC skills together is: Step 1: List all the basic strikes, combinations and other skills you want to master, for example: lead jab rear cross lead hook shovel hook lead uppercut rear uppercut lead front kick rear front kick lead round kick to the leg rear round kick to the leg footwork slipping and ducking etc...

Step 2: Work through the list, performing a set # of reps on each to build muscle memory of the tactic. In my experience, 50 reps of an action is a minimum to make decent inroads into building muscle memory. Over time, you will eventually have performed thousands of reps of each.

Step 3: Learn, then list, some timing applications for those basic skills you've developed (when it applies). For example, when are the best opportunities to use...? lead jab rear cross lead hook shovel hook etc...

Step 4: Using a training partner to simulate that timing, cycle through those timing applications (again, performing each a minimum # of times required to build the reaction and muscle memory.) For example: 1. Opponent throws a jab ---> you slip and counter with a lead to the body (50 times) 2. Opponent throws a hook ---> you duck and hook to the body (50 times) 3. Opponent throws a high round kick ---> you kickblock & follow with a round kick to thigh (50 times) 4. Etc. Step 5: Once you are applying the strikes in coordination with a training partner, have your partner slowly begin to mix the order of the above so you learn to SPOT the opportunity to use your strikes, with the goal of it becoming a reaction without thought. There's much more to being a great striker than this, but many fighters never get beyond Step #2 of simply practicing repetitions of their strikes for speed and power... never exploring the proper times for applying them, or training those applications to the point of reaction without thought.

How can I improve my timing when striking? Timing involves coordinating your strikes with your opponent's strikes or body movements to ensure that your attacks land into an unprotected area while maximizing the impact of your strike. An effective strike is often described as one that combines good form with proper timing. So timing is 50% of the equation of a good strike. You can always spot fighters in the ring that haven't developed timing at all. Theyre often the ones that keep chasing their opponent around the ring, trying to force their attacks on the opponent, and the opponent always seems to be just out of reach. Theyre expecting the opponent to be there to get hit when they want them to, like a heavy bag. Timing can be a complex subject, but there is a simple way to make sense out of timing. Here it is... First, recognize that the timing of a strike is always in relation to whatever action your opponent is doing. Timing has no meaning without the opponent. So, if timing is in relation to whatever your opponent is doing... there are only 3 times you can strike in relation to your opponent's actions, and those are BEFORE his action, DURING his action, or AFTER his action. Those are the only 3 times that exist before, during or after his action or attack. And the after and before times overlap because after one attack is before the next. Every strike you will ever throw at an opponent will be thrown during one of these three times. So, to develop your timing, you can first determine all the likely attacks an opponent would ever throw at you... 7

Those are the only 3 times that exist

before, during or after

his action or attack.

...then decide upon, and train with high repetitions against a training partner, the best attacks (or counters) to use BEFORE, DURING and AFTER each those times. For example: If an opponent's attack is the left jab... you want to determine what your best attack (or counter) is to use BEFORE, DURING or AFTER his jab. Sample attacks you could use: Before > simply use your own left jab. Obviously, before he's thrown his attack, you don't necessarily know what he is going to throw, so BEFORE often refers to: - catching an opponent flat footed or with his attention slightly faltering so you can hit him before he can react. - hitting the opponent as he's preparing to attack (stepping, shifting his weight, etc.) but before he's actually launched it. During > slip the opponents jab and simultaneously countering to his body with your own lead jab After > simply parrying his jab and returning with a right cross afterward There are specifics about, and benefits to, using each of those 3 timings. Some of those are: Immediately Before 1. You want to try to sense the moment that your opponent is about to throw... and beat him to the punch. 2. These attacks will usually be the ones you feel you can fire like a hair pin trigger on any little opportunity that he gives you. What youll probably find is that the one strike that fits this the best is your lead jab because it's closest to the target, is the most likely attack that can beat him to the 8

punch, doesn't commit your body very much and allows you to recover faster without being countered. Unless youre much faster than your opponent, theres a good chance you're not going to land attacks with your rear hand or leg during this timing that your opponent can't react to it. 3. It can often have the effect of shutting off many of your opponent's attacks. Just as hes thinking about or preparing to throw, you throw. That forces him to go momentarily defensive and takes away that beat or space in time that he was going to throw on. 4. After you've cultivated the ability to sense that your opponent's about to attack and can beat him to the punch, its going to make you seem faster to your opponent, like you know his intention before he's able to act on it. During This is timing your attack to hit during your opponent's attack, once he has physically committed to an attack. 1. Adds power to your attack. Your opponent has his weight moving toward you, causing a collision. It adds the momentum of the opponent to your strike. 2. Your opponent cant simply move away or evade your attack because hes committed to a movement. He cant redirect in the middle of it, so you know right where the target is going to be. 3. It can turn your opponent's attempts to hit you into opportunities for you to hit him... theres a guaranteed opening. Any time there is an attack, there must be some open target on the body. If you train your counter frequently enough in advance, it will come out easily when the opponent throws that attack. 9

4. Once developed, this timing can make your opponent more tentative about throwing at you because, at least on a subconscious level, hes learned that he may get punished for trying.

A key point here this becomes easier if you keep enough distance from your opponent that he must actually step and commit himself to an attack. Why? Because it gives you more time to react, and it forces him to commit rather than fake or feint you. After 1. Once his full attack is completed, whether its a simple one-part attack or a combination, the opponent is not throwing at you. If youve survived his attack, then theres a brief point in time where hes not throwing at you and you are relatively safe to attack with less chance of being countered. If you condition yourself to throw during that time, youre more likely to land with less risk. 2. The opponent is less likely to have quite as tight of a defense after his attack as he is before. He has to be really well trained to pull his hands and legs back into a good defensive position instantly after his attack. Attacking after the opponent's attack implies that youve dealt with it either by evading it, blocking it, or redirecting it, so be sure to develop those defensive maneuvers as part of training this timing. How can I prevent my opponent from attacking at will and dictating the tempo of the fight? Heres a drill you can do to learn hitting your opponent before your opponent can get his attack off. It has the 10

effect of shutting off many of your opponent's attacks by causing him to go defensive just as he's preparing to attack. Have your training partner repeatedly circle around you, and then step in to hit you. Youll find that he will often set or prepare his body position slightly as he's about to throw (it's necessary for power). When you sense him EITHER preparing to hit you OR stepping in, fire a LEAD JAB (or 2 or 3) to upset his preparing to hit you and cause him to go defensive at the moment that he had intended to attack. (For selfdefense training, you might also do the same with your left lead side kick to his knee, if you are comfortable using it that way.) In time, you will find yourself sensing his intention to attack and denying him of it by attacking with your lead a split second before his attack

How can I improve my fakes & feints to create openings? There's 2 areas I suggest you consider... 1. Making your feints more convincing, and... 2. Varying the target of the feint attack from the target of the real attack. I'll explain both... Your feints have to look real enough that they draw the intended response from your opponent. Most of your feints are either going to be with your hand or your body. If your goal is to open up a lower target on your opponent (ex. mid-section), you will generally use a high lead hand feint to pull his guard upward, exposing the lower area. 11

For example, extending your lead jab high to pull his guard up, followed by a rear cross (or rear leg front kick) to his mid-section If your goal is to open a high target on your opponent (ex. chin), you will generally want to use a body feint low (not the same as a feint to the body). For example, with your left forward, you may do a short step forward and lean your upper body to the right side (without extending your punch) to create the illusion of throwing a lead to his midsection, drawing his guard down to open the chin. The key to making hand feints convincing is to extend it far enough that the opponent feels the need to react. This is generally about 50% of the distance to the opponent. Less may not be convincing enough, more will increase the time it takes for the real attack to reach the target, decreasing its chance of success. The key to making a body feint convincing is to make the bend deep enough, and the movement abrupt enough that the opponent feels the actual threat and instinctively brings his guard downward. One of the benefits of a body feint is that it's convincing enough on its own that you don't need to extend your arm... meaning you can throw the real attack with either arm. The second area of consideration in feinting, as I mentioned above, is varying the target of the feint attack from the target of the real attack. The reason is that you don't want to feint, and draw the opponent's guard, to the same area your real attack is going to land. If you do that, you're drawing your opponent's attention (and guard) to the area you intend to attack, rather than away from it. One way to ensure your attacks are OPENING an area rather than CLOSING it is to divide your opponent's body into 4 areas... high left, low left, high right & low right. 12

Basically, you're just putting an imaginary cross on his body, creating those areas. Then, ensure that when you initiate a feint, it is in a different area than the final real attack. There is one exception to this... ...when you notice that your opponent lifts his guard against a high hand feint, then drops it immediately. In this case, you may want follow the feint with the real attack to the SAME area as the feint, with the intention to land it as his guard lowers. Keep in mind... you aren't trying to put together these feint / real attack combinations on the spot during a fight. They are something you develop during your training, doing thousands of reps against a training partner to ensure that the feints are convincing, that they actually DO open the desired target area, that the real attack can hit with power... and that the only thinking involved is to spot where you want your final attack to land, letting your muscle memory do the rest. I can never hit my opponents. They always seem to be able to move slightly out of reach. Any advice? This can be due to several reasons... I'll discuss two of the most common one's here. #1 Many fighters inadvertently cause their opponent to move AWAY from them by constantly moving toward them. Then, when they throw an attack... the opponent just accelerates their momentum away, and the strike lands lightly or not at all. Two solutions here are to either A.) Stop moving forward, causing your opponent to stop moving away, or B.) Move backward with progressively shorter steps. This induces your opponent to move TOWARD you at a constant rate while your rate of moving away is decreasing. This can 13

make your opponent step inside your range briefly so you can land an attack. #2 This is the case where you AREN'T making the above mistake of chasing your opponent away by moving toward him. Rather, this is when he just has a superior sense of distance and can retreat just enough to make your attacks fall short. In this case, a good option is to ENCOURAGE your opponent to throw an attack, which you are fully prepared to counter WHILE his attack is coming at you. The reason this is effective is that... ...when your opponent attacks, he is committed to a forward movement. That forward movement ensures he can't retreat to evade your attack. (It also adds his momentum into your counter, causing a collision that adds more impact to your counter.) For the brief moment that your opponent's attack is coming at you, you know exactly where his body will be because he is committed to his forward momentum... you just have to be able to capitalize on that. One good way to ensure that you WILL be able to capitalize on your opponent's forward momentum is... ...rather than letting him choose what attack he wants to throw, ENCOURAGE him to throw a specific attack that you have prepared an effective counter to (i.e. have repped out thousands of times in your training.) For example, if you have an effective counter to a lead jab... leave an opening that encourages his lead jab. If you have an effective counter to a right cross... encourage his right cross. In doing this, you are essentially TELLING your opponent what to do... then punishing him for doing it.


What is the best way to overcome a disadvantage of height & reach when striking? In this case, you are usually going to want to get in close to your opponent. That takes away the superior reach & leverage advantage he has at a distance and puts you (with shorter limbs) at an advantage. So, that begs the question of How do I get in close? ...keep in mind that there is only one optimal distance for your opponent, and that is the distance where he CAN reach you, but you CAN'T reach him I believe many trainers would tell you to slip & duck your way inside (ala Mike Tyson). I'd like to add an additional insight for you to consider... ...keep in mind that there is only one optimal distance for your opponent, and that is the distance where he CAN reach you, but you CAN'T reach him. Anything FURTHER than that range offers no real advantage to him (he can't reach you), and anything CLOSER gives you the advantage. That means there's 3 possible distances... and only one of them gives him the advantage. Consider doing whatever it takes to spend ALL your time in the other 2 ranges (very far or very close), negating his advantage as much as possible. How can I have a harder jab? First... a short story. Several years ago (too many!), a boxer / sparring partner with several amateur fights once told me I had hit him with the hardest punch he'd ever received, causing him to go down momentarily. Of course it sounds like I'm bragging here, but the point I want to make is... it was my lead left jab not a rear cross. 15

Training partners at that time also commented on the power of my jab and, as far as I could tell, it was hitting just about as hard as my rear cross. Pretty unusual, considering that the rear cross USUALLY has much more power to it. The reality is, I had been working hard for months SPECIFICALLY to develop power in that jab. This was validation that it was working. The reality is, I had been working hard for months SPECIFICALLY to develop power in that jab. This method of developing a power left was taught to me by another fighter who had serious power in his left, so I know it's worked for at least 2 of us. I don't know if other trainers will agree with this approach, but as with anything, I can only say that this has worked well for me, so take it for what it's worth. Here's what I did... It's loosely based on Jack Dempsey's concept of the drop-step punch (at least, the way I interpret it.) I never met Dempsey, so I don't know if this is even close to how he meant it to be used, but it works for me. The goal here is to throw a stepping jab and have your jab hit the target BEFORE your foot hits the ground. Here's why... ...if your foot hits the ground first, then all your weight is going INTO THE GROUND... not into the target. Conversely, if your fist hits the target BEFORE your foot hits the ground... ...all your weight goes into the target. So, if you weigh 160 lbs., you're putting all that 160 lbs. into your opponent, rather than into the ground. Hitting the ground first is wasting all that mass... sort of like putting the brakes on before the impact. Get it?


The drill I did to learn this was to: 1.) Stand a short distance from the heavy bag, lift my lead foot so I'm falling toward the bag, and throw my jab so it hits the bag BEFORE my foot hits the ground. Really exaggerate it to begin with. 2.) After getting that down, add in a sharp twist of the upper body so you feel your triceps bounce off your lat, pushing it into the punch 3.) Once the first 2 are natural, focus on driving hard with your rear foot to add additional power into the punch. Keep in mind, this is a VERY committed type of jab, almost like a kick that commits your entire body weight to the motion. Boxing coaches may say this overextends your body & reach, putting you at risk of being countered, and I agree. However your opponent's going to know he got hit hard, and, even if you only hit his guard, he's going to be a lot more hesitant to attack or expose himself once he feels that type of power coming from your jab. It's just one of the jabs to have in your arsenal. It's not a feeler or fly swatter type. However, you can mix it in with those types, especially when you see some daylight between your opponent's arms and a straight line from your fist to his chin. If you develop that serious full-body-weight power, you've got a shot at a possible knockout or knockdown with the jab.


How can I improve my reaction time in striking? The first thing I can recommend is to make sure you have defined EXACTLY what reaction you want to have to whatever action your opponent is likely to make. For example: - Opponent throws a left jab your reaction is... - Opponent throws a right cross your reaction is... - Opponent throws a leg kick your reaction is... If you haven't already defined these, then you're having to make it up on the spot... that's much too slow. After you've defined WHAT you want to do for each, you have to rep them out with a training partner 1000's of times so it comes out without thought. Anything less, and it won't be a reaction... but rather something that you have to think about... again, too slow. And, when repping with a partner, I suggest you pad him up as much as possible so you can make contact with decent force (if you're striking to the chin, have the opponent either lift his shoulder so you make contact there, or hold a focus mitt with his other hand tucked close to where his chin SHOULD be). If you DON'T do that last step, you may be building muscle memory for PULLING your strikes (i.e. not hitting with power)... and that's a very real concern. I've personally made this mistake in training. I had done thousands of reps of a counter to a right cross on a training partner, pulling my counter so as to not hurt my training partner. I ended up in a self-defense situation where the opponent threw a right cross. I targeted that exact counter perfectly on my opponent... but was so conditioned to throw it light & with control (not wanting to hurt my training partner) that that's EXACTLY how it came out as a reflexive reaction. 18

And, it took months to re-condition my muscle memory so it hit with power and follow-through as a reflexive action. The 2nd thing I can recommend to improve reaction time is to try to find ONE tactic that can be used (with little variation) against SEVERAL of your opponent's different attacks, rather than having a unique tactic to defend against each. Having a unique counter for each of your opponent's attacks means you have decisions to make... your brain has to process more information (even if on a subconscious level). The more you can LIMIT the decisions you need to make, the faster you can react. For example: If you have one counter to an opponent's lead jab... another for his lead hook... another for his rear cross... and another for a rear (haymaker) hook... then here's the process you have to go through: Perceive WHICH hand attack he's throwing ---> Choose one of many possible responses ---> Respond But, if you have ONE counter that works against all 4 of those, then here's the process: Perceive THAT he's throwing a hand attack (easy) ---> Respond (with that ONE counter - no decision to be made) It's much faster. Basically, the more you limit choices your brain has to make... the faster your reaction time. Even if you can't find ONE tactic to use against (for example) ALL hand strikes... you may find one that works against anything thrown with his left... and another that works against anything thrown with his right.


That still limits what you need to perceive (simply, is it left... or right?) and the processing your brain needs to do. You will have to discover your own 1 size fits all counters based upon what skills or training you have. (It's also difficult for me to explain them in written form). However, a self-defense example of this could be a simple side kick to the knee as your opponent steps toward you... it potentially could be used against all 4 of the hand attacks mentioned above. There's also some good boxing tactics that can be used almost REGARDLESS of which hand attack your opponent is throwing, just by angling the tactic slightly. How can I land more punches while standing? In my experience, the key to landing punches is to improve your counter-punching... particularly counters timed to hit AS your opponent's throwing, rather than after. Here's why... When YOU initiate an attack on an opponent who is standing back looking at you, he has the ability to move LEFT, RIGHT, BACK, FORWARD or even DUCK, and evade your attack. However, when your OPPONENT initiates the attack, he is physically committed to moving FORWARD... he can no longer simply move left, right or back to evade your counter. That means, if you have a good simultaneous counter... he WILL be there to be hit. Even if you can't counter AS your opponent's throwing, countering immediately after his attack increases your odds of landing, as well, for either of the following reasons: 1. He's less likely have as tight of a defense after his attack as before (often the hands drop, balance is off slightly, or he's over-extended) 20

2. If his attack is TRULY completed... then he's momentarily done throwing. That means there's a brief moment of time that you can attack with less chance of being countered yourself. Of course, being a good counter puncher (or kicker) implies you've spent many hours developing the reactions & muscle memory required to respond rapidly enough with those counters. How can I improve my accuracy with spinning back (side) kicks? This is one that SO many fighters have a problem with. You'll see them train it on a heavy bag, but when they try it on a live opponent, it always just seems to glance off the opponent's arms or body, never making solid contact. They know that it can hit with power and has potential... but they just can't make it work in a fight. If available, I'd recommend you take a look at old PKA clips of a fighter named Tommy The Tornado Williams. Not much with his hands, but his spinning back kick was deadly... accounting for 19 knockouts. I don't believe there's anyone currently in MMA using it that effectively. I can see two reasons he was so effective with the kick. One was the angle, the other was the timing. Regarding the angle - unlike the way many people throw it, he did NOT simply jump straight up in the air and spin. Rather (with left side forward), he jumped simultaneously FORWARD and TO HIS RIGHT as he spun. First, going to the RIGHT put him out of his opponent's center line (away from their punch)... a safer position for him. It also caused his leg to hit at the same angle as a hooking punch, rather than a straight side-thrust. That keeps the power and momentum of the hips rotation in the kick. 21

Second, the FORWARD motion meant all of his weight was going into his opponent... rather than straight up in the air and back into the ground. He'd connect before landing, transferring all that weight into the impact. Regarding the timing he rarely ATTACKED with the kick, unless the opponent was up against the ropes and couldn't retreat. Rather, he nearly always timed it as a SIMULTANEOUS counter to his opponent's jab or cross. When you attack with it... your opponent can see it coming and either cover with his forearms or evade just enough to dissipate the force. (I believe that's what most fighters who try to use it and fail are doing differently than Williams.) However, by timing it as a simultaneous counter to a punch... First the opponent's body is open, as is always the case when an arm is extended. Second the opponent's body weight is committed to coming forward toward you... he can't simply evade right, left or back to avoid it. AND, his momentum adds impact to the kick. If you want to develop that type of timing with the kick, I'd suggest two drills: 1.) Train it on a swinging heavy bag, timing the kick to hit as the bag is moving toward you. 2.) Put VERY thick padding on your training partner, then perform high reps of the kick, making contact AS your opponent steps toward you with either his left jab or right cross. Teach yourself to AVOID using it as an attack, but rather, saving it to be used as a simultaneous counter to his attack.


It's important you train yourself to throw the kick WITHOUT taking a step to prepare. Taking a step significantly increases how long it's going to take for your kick to land, and the opening that occurs when your opponent steps and throws a punch at you will be gone.


How can I simplify the process of learning grappling? Bearing in mind that learning grappling can mean different things depending on your ultimate goal, I can recommend a couple approaches for you to try. It's up to you to decide which of these fits your personality (if it doesn't... you'll never use it) and what level of learning grappling you want to accomplish. The first approach I recommend applies when you have a goal that is NOT specifically grappling better. These could be something like: getting a belt ranking, or knowing more techniques If you're totally honest with yourself, you'll recognize that these could possibly be accomplished WITHOUT necessarily being a much better grappler than you are right now, right? Those are generally about KNOWING more... but knowing more doesn't always guarantee you'll grapple better... although, it often happens. So, IF those are your goal, then you'll see that the core of these all come down to ORGANIZATION of what you want to learn. To that end, try a simple 2 step process... Step 1: Define specifically your goal (is it one of the above?) If you don't know where you want to go... you'll NEVER have a feeling of having arrived. Step 2: Organize the material you need to learn to get there. 24

Here's some simple examples of how to use organization to attain the above goals: Examples: To get a belt ranking... Step 1: Define your goal = Get my purple belt. Step 2: Organize the material = you must politely INSIST that your instructor define EXACTLY what he is expecting you to learn. If your teacher isn't following a structured curriculum, there's no organization to your learning & you won't know where to put your effort and you are going to feel confused. Try to get a list of techniques, concepts and anything else he expects you to master. If he can't give it to you, he is disorganized in his own thinking, and that's going to make learning grappling more difficult. Many BJJ schools are notorious for not having a set curriculum. Know more techniques... Step 1: Define your goal = I want to commit 30 new moves to memory in the next 60 days Step 2: Organize the material = Simply create a list of techniques you want to learn, and rep them out to build muscle memory (As mentioned about... no guarantee you'll grapple better simply from learning more techniques). Now, if your goal is SPECIFICALLY to become a better grappler, here's an approach that should work for you. And, back to your original question, yes, it should simplify the process as well.


The goal of this approach is, rather than searching for new techniques to learn, instead, find your WEAKNESSES, then eliminate them. Here's the reasoning behind this approach... ...we all have at least SOME natural ability to grapple, right? After all, you wouldn't just lay on the floor and do nothing if you had to fight. Within that natural ability, you're going to have some strengths, and some weaknesses. With that in mind, is it better to focus on adding new techniques... or getting rid of weaknesses? Well, think about this. Theoretically, you could know 1000 moves, but if you have a glaring weak area, for example an inability to prevent your opponent from mounting you, you're going to get beat... A LOT. On the other hand... if you only know 5 submissions, but you have absolutely NO weak areas for your opponent to capitalize on, you can still be pretty tough to beat, right? It's just a subtle perspective shift, but just by changing your emphasis to getting rid of weak areas, rather than thinking I want more techniques, you immediately start down a better path in your training. O.K., so let's look at a step-by-step approach to eliminating your weakness, so you make significant improvement every single time you get on the mat. Step 1. The next time you grapple: Keep a pencil and paper right next to the mat. Then, the second you find yourself in a position and you don't know, or can't quickly recall EXACTLY what you should do in that situation... stop. Write the exact position down. It's just like going to the gym to lift and writing down how much you lifted, so you'll 26

know what to do next time. Then continue grappling until the next position where you don't know what to do and repeat. Step 2. Before practice (every session): Set your goal for the session. If you don't have any goal, you're totally wandering and can't realistically expect to achieve much. Just take a minute to decide what you'd like to accomplish BEFORE you practice. And, one of the main goals you set for that session has to be to learn what to do in the weak area positions you wrote down last session, and then rep out those techniques. Doing this shouldn't take more than a minute, and your practice is going to be much more productive than if you just ask your training partner Well, what would you like to work on today? or just working on whatever comes to the top of your head. Step 3. During Practice: a. Drilling this is where you are trying to achieve your goals, mostly through repetition and evaluation of the techniques you need to learn for your weak areas... the positions where you didn't know what techniques to use last time. b. Grappling just grapple, letting your new techniques come out when the opportunities occur. Using this method, when you train, you will use your strengths and only stop once you reach a point of uncertainty... a weakness. That weakness defines EXACTLY what technique, move, etc. you can learn AT THAT MOMENT that will improve on your natural ability the most. That one specific move that gets rid of the weakness you just uncovered is guaranteed to improve your grappling. 27

You will pretty much HAVE to be a better grappler than you were before you fixed that weakness, and certainly more so than if you merely learn random new techniques. Take that protocol, apply it and watch how much forward progress you make. And, watch your confidence get better because there's less and less situations where you're ending up feeling helpless because you don't know what to do. How do you raise your ability to ''see'' an opportunity for a technique faster than your opponent can defend? I like this question because it points out something that I believe is very overlooked by many grapplers... having fast reactions. That's often considered the domain of striking, but not considered so much in grappling. The process here is similar to the training that a boxer goes through to be able to see (and counter) an opponent's attack with nearly instant reaction time. It will help if I explain the process that boxers go through... you'll then see its equivalent in grappling. In boxing, you first define everything that you want to be able to see. That would include your opponent's jab, right cross, left hook, right hook, etc. Then you decide what technique / counter you want to have for that action... Examples: Jab counter with Technique A Right cross counter with Technique B Left hook counter with Technique C Right hook counter with Technique D Then you do 1000's of reps of each counter in response to your training partner's respective attack to develop the reaction without thought. 28

Finally, your training partner mixes different attacks, throwing them at you while you learn to see the opportunities and simultaneously respond with the correct technique without thought. So, in grappling, you go through the same process. However, there's a LOT more things your opponent could do that you need to be able to see. First, you break each position by all the likely moves your opponent could do from that position. For example: You have Guard position Opponent puts his hands to your throat to choke Opponent puts hands on your biceps, pins your arms Opponent puts his forearm to your throat to choke Opponent posts his hands on your chest to pass guard Etc. Next, you find an appropriate technique to each of those positions. Then, you do large #'s of reps of each technique in response to your training partner putting that position on you (to build the reaction without thought). Finally, your training partner mixes up the various positions while you learn to see the opportunity, letting the reaction come out without thought. If you've never trained like this before, you'll be very surprised at how quickly you see results, and your training partners will notice a significant difference in how fast you're hitting your moves.


***BTW, I originally developed the iGrapple specifically to be used for this process by myself and my students, not intending it for the public. We broke each position down into its sub-positions, then filmed clips of the grappling techniques that could be used from each... nearly 1200 of them, and created a software program that made the connections between the positions, sub-positions and techniques fast and seamless. The whole process took 1 years. Its effectiveness caused several people to ask to purchase it, and I eventually made it a commercial product accessible to everyone.

Am I wasting my time by trying to make up new grappling moves? There's a pretty good chance that you won't create something totally unique that's never been thought of before, particularly if you're not advanced. However, there are good reasons to keep trying to create them anyway. First, when you try to create something new, it's usually a variation of something you already do. Rather than creating, it could be described as exploring... going deeper into the original technique or concept. You very likely will develop that area more than your opponents who haven't explored it, giving you a much better command of all its possibilities than your opponent has. And, because of that, if you get your opponent into that area... there's a good chance you'll dominate because you've explored options and subtleties he's never considered. Secondly... anything you create has a good chance of being very effective for you... even if it doesn't work for anyone 30

else. Here's why... Recognize that your brain is a goal seeking mechanism... its job is to accomplish goals you set for it (read anything on Psycho-cybernetics). With that in mind, when you attempt to create something, you've given your subconscious a goal. Your brain is going to be working to find a way to attain that goal... using bits and pieces of material you've already learned, reorganizing and modifying it into something that's tailor made for you... even though its composite parts aren't really new. The outcome will often be, although you appear to be doing nothing special... you'll put your moves together in a way that's more effective than someone else is likely to be able to teach you. And that was YOUR creation. Finally... creating or discovering something that gives a good bump to your skills is probably one of the most exciting moments you can experience in training. That alone can provide the motivation to keep you training, looking for that next Aha! moment of discovery. What is more important... good cardio & strength or knowing an extensive amount of grappling techniques (large repertoire)? I feel this question deserves a response since it's debated so often. First of all, having a large repertoire can be fun, but just because thousands of techniques exist, it doesn't mean you need to know them all. It doesn't guarantee great grappling skills. And, there's an argument to be made that the more techniques you try to keep in your bag of tricks, the less time you'll have to perfect each one. You're likely to have slower recall of each one, as well. As an excellent instructor once told me... The less pebbles 31

in your basket, the lighter your journey. I'd recommend focusing on having a good command of ENOUGH techniques that you are able to alter slightly to use in multiple situations, developing your ability to spot opportunities to use them quickly, and then working to eliminate any weakness that your opponents can capitalize on. Regarding the conditioning vs. technique issue... We all have anecdotal stories about great technicians who've dominated far more powerful fighters. And, I personally know of very powerful fighters with minimal technique who dominated far better technicians... what's that tell you? The real question here should be Why the debate? Develop both. However, there's a little more to consider. It's a continual balancing act. Depending on your current level of fitness OR technique, you'll find that improving one NOW will help you more than the other. That's the one to put the most emphasis on. For example, you may be a technical wizard, but not very powerful. Improving your technique even more right now may not give you as much bang for your buck as adding strength. Decide which one will give you greater gains in your overall fighting ability NOW... then focus on that until you reach a point of diminishing returns... then focus on something that will provide bigger gains for your time invested. What's a good strategy against an opponent who has stronger grappling skills than you do? If an opponent has better skills in every department INCLUDING strategy, then of course you can't reasonably expect to dominate and the only realistic approach is simply to continue improving your skills. 32

Otherwise, your goal should be to find your opponent's defensive weakness and put all your energy into attacking that area, never giving up until you are successful (or beaten). It forces your opponent to fight away from his strengths, puts him on the defensive rather than looking to finish you, and at least gives you a shot at catching him. Anything else is probably just delaying the inevitable. To help you do this, here's a mental trick to use on yourself that I learned from a high level grappler, and have found to very profound in its power. It is... ...when you feel you are CLOSE to getting the upper hand (a submission, dominant position, etc.), absolutely insist to yourself that you succeed. Literally say the word insist repeatedly inside your head. Here's why it works... In situations where you are close to success, but your opponent's resisting, it often comes down to who mentally breaks and gives up first. If your opponent isn't INSISTING to himself as much as you are at that time he'll probably give in first. Mentally INSISTING to yourself that you're going to go after that weakness until you've successfully exploited it significantly increases your chances of doing just that.

How can I improve my flexibility for grappling? It's out of the scope of this eBook to try to show you stretches. However, you don't need for me to tell you HOW to stretch... there's hundreds of books, DVD's and other resources available. What's needed is a way to make sure you actually DO the stretching. I've developed pretty decent flexibility (better than most), and I've trained some people who've done the same, so I can tell you what's worked for us. 33

Here's some of the things that I've done and taught over the years that have been effective for getting, and staying, flexible: 1. To ensure consistent progress, schedule a time to stretch. I'd recommend hour minimum to hit all the areas, and not feel rushed. Rushing is counter to relaxing, which is required for stretching. 2. My favorite never sit directly on the couch to watch TV... if you're going to watch TV, first sit on the floor and stretch for at least a half hour. Make this a rule for yourself and you'll increase your time stretching significantly. 3. Stretch at night before going to bed. You'll find your muscles are more relaxed than earlier, and you'll make more progress. If you combine it with #2 above, you'll actually look forward to stretching while catching the evening news before bed. 4. Always arrive hour before everyone else to training, & spend the time stretching. (Making a habit of doing more than everyone else usually leads to success.) 5. If you stretch at training, always do an additional pre-stretch before you leave home to go to training. You'll find the 2nd stretching session becomes even more effective. 6. Wear double layers of clothes for hour before and during your stretch to warm your muscles. Simply put on an extra pair of sweat pants and sweater over your training clothes. 7. Always focus on deep breathing as you stretch. There's clearly a relaxation mechanism involved in deep breathing. 8. Get a full stretch twice a day, or more, for noticeable progress. Once a day is a minimum. 34

9. I can't guarantee the accuracy of this, but I've been told by a physiologist that a muscle maintains its looseness for about 4 hours after you've stretched. So, theoretically you could stretch once every 4 hours for maximum gains. I've done it, and have seen very fast progress. 10. Watch yourself stretch in the mirror. If you see grimacing or a strained look on your face, you are tensing up rather than relaxing. 11. Add some PNF stretching for additional fast gains (look it up.) 12. Don't be shy about stretching in public, or around friends in your home... they'll get used to it, and may eventually start to join you. When it's time to stretch, just do it. I once saw a musician strip down to his briefs and stretch during a sound check at a bar... in front of waitresses and bartenders! Sounds extreme, but he's now the most flexible person I know. 13. Learn to do barre stretches similar to what dancers to. You'll find your flexibility develops in ways that it doesn't when you do floor stretching alone. For what it's worth, I learned my stretching methods from professional dancers. Dancers are all about flexibility, and it's of utmost importance to them that they don't injure themselves in the process, so you can learn a lot from them. You may be able to find a local dance school that will let you participate in the stretch / warm-up portion of their classes until you know their stretching routine well enough you can do it on your own.


What is the best way to transition your sport jiu-jitsu into MMA (and avoid the striking from positions that work when you are doing sport jiu-jitsu?) First, you may want to find an instructor that deals ONLY with MMA grappling, rather than sport jiu-jitsu. That can be hard to do if you feel intense loyalty to your sport jiu-jitsu instructor, but here's why you should consider it... ...it's impossible to be the BEST at everything. There's only so many hours in a day. So, if your current instructor is great at sport jiu-jitsu, it's because he has put most of his focus on that. However, that means he HASN'T put most of his focus on MMA... and it's likely that you may find another instructor who HAS put his focus on it. That other instructor will have already eliminated or modified those positions and submissions that aren't effective in MMA, and discovered others that are more appropriate. You might as well benefit from his experience, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. Otherwise, I'd recommend modifying your grappling to include many of the following: 1. Starting with just one position (ex. Side control), explore all the available strikes you can do from that position (hands and elbows, knees & head for street). 2. Practice them on training partners while they try to escape the position, reverse you or strike back to ensure you maintain control and position during striking. 3. Learn to spot the new opportunities for submissions that occur BECAUSE your opponent is defending from your strikes.


4. Learn also to spot the new opportunities for submissions and position reversals that occur because your opponent is throwing strikes. 5. Practice these same positions & strikes on a ground and pound bag to develop power and endurance. 6. Instruct your grappling partners to do their best to find opportunities to strike you during grappling while you learn to defend against them. This will cause you to naturally modify your grappling to defend against strikes and force you to stop using any sport tactics that may get you in trouble in MMA. 7. Spend a LOT of time defending against ground and pound style striking from your guard 8. Conversely, spend a lot of time learning ground and pound style striking in your opponent's guard while avoiding submissions & reversals. 9. In particular, many sport jiu jitsu guard passing techniques aren't viable in MMA. Explore alternatives, including striking to open and pass the guard. 10. Spend time learning to use and defend wrestling takedowns that may not be part of your sport jiujitsu training. 11. Grapple with wrestlers, and consider training with them for their excellent conditioning. 12. If you don't have standing striking & kicking skills you're going to need them. They will take a while to develop, so in the meantime practice using distance to avoid strikes & kicks while shooting takedowns.


Mental / Spiritual
What are ways to avoid freezing in a fight if you have never fought before? This is also called the Stress Reaction, or the Fight, Flight or Freeze response. You are right for thinking that this is something you probably need to address. For many people, this reaction is so powerful that it just decimates their ability and renders their training useless. There's several approaches to dealing with this. You need to train them just like you train your skills if you want to be successful with this. Here's some of them... 1.) Practice experiencing stress reactions.

This means actually putting yourself through it. The goal is to learn what an adrenaline dump feels like. And then once you know what it feels like, you can manage it so it works for you rather than against you. To do this effectively, you have to train using scenarios that will induce your adrenaline response. Doing this will help you learn to deal with that rush of adrenaline that you are going to feel. This gets it into your head that you can survive the stress reaction you are experiencing in an actual fight like you do in training. Because you are going to practice feeling the stress reaction, you will realize that, although it feels terrible, you are going to know at a deeper level that you can survive it. So, using this method, you want to build the experience of the occasional stress reaction into your training so you feel yourself continuing to perform while you are actually 38

feeling the stress reaction. The more aware you become of these effects, the more accustomed you become to them, the more you are able to continue to perform while you are experiencing it, because you begin to expect it. You start seeing this as normal rather than having the stress reaction become an additional stressor on its own, just because you werent mentally prepared for it. 2.) Mental Imagery The principle here is similar to #1, except that you are IMAGINING yourself to be in a fighting situation, experiencing the stress reaction and getting accustomed to it. To be effective, you need to generate an emotionally powerful image in your mind and actually FEEL the emotion. Don't try to feel yourself staying calm initially. Ultimately you do want to practice feeling yourself remaining calm, but initially you have to have a really powerful image that is going to tend to scare you or to cause you a lot of stress. For example, you picture yourself in a confrontation with your biggest nightmare, maybe it is a biker type, maybe its somebody who has bullied you in the past. Choose somebody who you would just be terrified to fight now. Then, picture yourself keeping cool (regardless of the emotion) right up to the moment where you make your move with the opponent, or that he backs down. Just do it through the entire scenario. 3.) Getting In The Ring Another technique that you can use for helping you to get in control of the stress reaction is what I call simply getting in the ring.


Literally just get in a boxing ring and do some sparring, or if you want to do cage fighting, you can do that as well. What it does is desensitize you to the threat. You get a feeling of No big deal Ive been hit plenty of times before because if youve been in the ring fighting, you have been hit. So, in a confrontational situation, you've already developed this deep gut level feeling that you have been through battles many times before, and this probably isnt going to be too much worse. How does spirituality and mental discipline apply in today's MMA world? Even though many martial arts styles have a strong root in philosophy and spirituality, if you're seeking spirituality, recognize that MMA is primarily a sport. Similar to football or boxing, mental discipline is required to truly excel. However, spirituality is generally not going to be emphasized by the instructors, many of whom have never trained in any traditional martial arts and have no background in the spirituality often associated with them. MMA bears the competitive traits of any other modern sport, both good and bad. If you're seeking the spirituality associated with traditional martial arts, you'll most likely either need to find an MMA instructor with that in his background (who has maintained it in his teaching) or seek it out on your own and incorporate it into your MMA training. If you choose to seek it out on your own, there are books & courses on the different eastern philosophies, meditation and other practices in general, as well as some excellent resources that have been written on eastern philosophy specifically as it relates to the martial arts.


Does MMA training build a better person as well as a better fighter? Again, MMA bears both good and bad traits of any other sport, and there's so many variables that we can't generalize that it will always be a good or bad experience. It's unrealistic to expect the act of simply throwing a kick or doing an arm bar to build a better person on its own. However, the act of repeatedly going through rigorous physical training, without giving up, often develops a stronger personality, discipline and will power all on its own. You will find similar personality traits developed even outside MMA when people endure difficult tasks repeatedly. Some of the biggest factors determining whether it's going to build a better person often come down to: - Influence of the instructor as a role model for you - Influence of the other students on you - Your own desire to develop yourself into a better person I've personally trained with instructors who were astonishingly powerful life-long influences for the better. I've also trained with ones who went drinking and got into bar fights with students after class. Both taught me how to fight, but their impacts on my life were otherwise very different. The Karate Kid story of the dojo with the bad teacher creating bullies and Mr. Miyagi creating a better person really isn't that uncommon. We're all influenced by those around us, so it's wise to choose those influences carefully.

The first thing to consider is that our bodies and our minds are two ends of the same thing. When you condition your body, you are conditioning your mind as well.


What approaches to training my mind will improve my MMA training? The first thing to consider is that our bodies and our minds are two ends of the same thing. When you condition your body, you are conditioning your mind as well. If you have incredible physical stamina, of course your willpower is going to hold out longer in training, and in an actual battle. And conversely, if you quickly have extreme fatigue, every fiber of your being is going to be screaming for you to stop... making the job of your mind much more difficult. So, start by improving your physical conditioning, and you'll see improved mental capabilities as well. Secondly, add exercises into your physical training that directly condition your will-power by pushing you past the point that your will-power would ordinarily give out. Initially, this is probably best done by having a trainer or training partner standing by, forcing you to keep going when you reach that point where your mind is saying to stop... that will teach you that your mind can push further than you previously believed it could. Similarly, I'd recommend using a timer in your training, and conditioning yourself to END your rounds (for example, the last 10 seconds) by increasing the intensity of your output This will teach you how to draw on that will-power, mentally & physically turning it on when you (and your opponent) would ordinarily be winding down.


Having that ability to turn it on when you'd otherwise want to stop is very valuable when you spot signs that your opponent is fatiguing. It will certainly demoralize your opponent further (he'll think you're in MUCH better condition than him), and possibly even allow you to end the fight. Also, from a purely self-defense perspective, keeping your mind clear and aware at all times is invaluable, so recognize that alcohol, weed, lack of sleep, stress and overwork all dull your mind and slow your reflexes and affect your judgment Weed in particular is a double edged sword... it has the potential to temporarily help your creativity and get your mind out of the way in training, which could be useful when used for that purpose. However, it also slows signals to the brain, which significantly decreases your reaction time... not a good thing if your fighting method relies on having fast reactions. Besides the above recommendations, I'd suggest learning about, and practicing, meditation. Its purpose is to silence the inner talk that goes on in your head, keeping you in the moment. That's helpful for preventing the self-doubt that can come either from yourself , or from your opponent's words, appearances or reputation... and keeps your mind on the real task at hand, which is handling the person in front of you.


I've trained for quite a while. Should I become a teacher, and if so, why? There are pro's & con's to being a teacher. Heres the pro's: First, teaching something you know reinforces it for you. When a student asks a question, you really have to think through exactly what the best solution to his problem is before responding... and if you don't have an answer, you have to find one. That helps to expose any weaknesses in your own knowledge, allowing you the opportunity to fix those weaknesses. Secondly, it does (or should) cause you to organize your knowledge in order to pass it on in an effective manner. That gives you more clarity, really defining exactly what it is that you DO know. Although your knowledge will always expand and evolve, defining exactly what your current set of skills are allows you to practice those skill in an organized way, which will always produce better results than a haphazard approach. Third, teaching is a strong motivator to keep your skills up. As a student, you will most likely eventually part ways with your instructor for various reasons (job, relocation, the school closes, etc.). If you are advanced, you may not want to join another school as a student. That's usually a defining moment for your future in MMA... What do I do NOW? It's somewhat rare for a person to have a level of selfmotivation that causes them to seek out training partners 44

and keep progressing on their own for years to come... when they had previously relied on the school for that motivation. However, having a group of students relying on YOU to teach them for years to come can provide exactly the motivation you need to keep going. Personally, one of my goals in teaching has always been to groom students to become quality training partners for myself in the future. Now, some of the cons: First, to be an effective teacher, you've got to focus on your students while you're teaching... meaning that you aren't training. So, you have to spend plenty of extra time outside of class to train, increasing your time requirements. And, unless you're willing to allow your students to be your training partners, you have to find training partners outside of your school to help keep your skills up. Secondly, when you're a student, you have an instructor pushing you to train harder and achieve more. As an instructor, you don't necessarily have anyone pushing you to achieve. Third, your reputation and ego becomes more of a factor. As a student, there's no shame to being defeated in training, competition or an actual fight. However, as the instructor, your students often see you as unbeatable... and that can be a pretty tough reputation to live up to. When you lose, any embarrassment or damage to the ego you feel as a student may be multiplied when you are the teacher. Not to mention, if this is how you make a living, your livelihood can be affected by your reputation. Additionally, if you open an MMA school, your hobby and passion now becomes a business. If you end up not enjoying the business side of things, you may associate the stress you feel with MMA, and lose some of your love for that as well. 45

Having a passion for training (or anything else, for that matter) is valuable, so it's important that you protect it. How can I be a better instructor? Being a good instructor can mean a lot of different things, and most people will tell you their instructor is great. Keeping that in mind, here's some things to consider based on quite a few experiences I've had as both a student and instructor. Generally, you could break teaching into: 1. The INFORMATION you want to convey to your students 2. MOTIVATING your students to learn that information If either one is weak, it will negatively impact the other. Here's some things to consider... The Information you teach: 1.) Organize what you'll teach. If you're unclear about what to teach, your students will be even more unclear about what they need to learn. 2.) Set goals for your students. Just like any college course, define a minimum you expect your students to learn. Then, test your students to make sure they've accomplished that goal. Cause them to go home and STUDY... just like they would for any other course. 3.) Have as broad of knowledge as possible, even learning things that may not suit you personally.


Students have different physical & mental attributes. The more you know, the more different types of students you can help. Motivating your students to learn: 1. If your students don't show up or quit, they won't learn. Create an environment and vibe that makes them HATE to miss training. This is partly the physical environment, and partly the interpersonal relationships between them, their fellow students and you. 2. When you walk into the training room, consider yourself to be on stage. If someone's learning from you, it's partly because they want to be like you... at least as far as your skills are concerned. They watch you closely for clues as to how to do that. They don't know what you've gone through to develop your skill... they only know what they see you do in the training hall. From the moment you walk into the training area, give off an aura of focus, discipline and hard work ethic. Set that as the standard, and the students will tend to live up to it. 3. Be their teacher, not their friend. Your job is to be their MENTOR, sharing the knowledge, skills and perspective you've learned over the years. They aren't coming to you to as a friend. In my experience, many students who become best friends with the instructor end up not going as far as those who maintain a bit more of a studentteacher relationship. The idea behind Familiarity breeds contempt and A prophet is without honor in 47

his hometown often rings true here. Although there's exceptions, many people have more respect for someone if they don't know their faults. You'll inspire people much more by setting a shining example of discipline and hard work for them during training... rather than going out for a beer with them after class. I've been training grappling for years and I'd like to teach. However, I don't feel confident as a teacher. What can I do? If you don't feel confident as an instructor, it's likely because you have holes in your knowledge that you feel may be exposed in the course of your teaching. Here's an approach to use that should remedy that situation. Step 1: Create a list of all the different main positions: Mount Mount Guard Guard Etc. (top) (bottom) (top) (bottom)

Step 2: Then, create a list of all the sub-positions that are likely to occur in EACH of those positions: Mount (top) Opponent has your waist wrapped Opp's protecting his neck against the choke Opp's attempting to bridge you off Etc. Step 3: Finally, find & list one or more techniques that can be used in each of those sub-positions. Learn them.


This 3-step approach can improve your teaching because you not only have techniques to TEACH from the main positions, but you also have quick SOLUTIONS to offer your students for the specific problems they'll face in all the variations (sub-positions) that can occur inside those positions. This will boost your confidence and impress your students with your knowledge and the ability to quickly troubleshoot their grappling problems and questions. This is also likely to improve your own skills significantly, as you'll spot these sub-positions more readily in your own grappling, and know exactly what to do when they occur. If you feel the above is the approach you want to take, I encourage you to purchase the iGrapple which I developed specifically for that purpose. It has already done the job of defining the positions and their subpositions and categorizing nearly 1200 techniques into those sub-positions with short video clips of each. Besides being tailor made for this approach, it also allows you to quickly call up a position or sub-position and review it in just a couple minutes right before class to make sure you're confident regarding the material you're about to teach.


How can I adjust my MMA training to make it appropriate for self-defense, not just the cage? MMA training is certainly a good part of self-defense, but there's some modifications and additions you can make to improve its self-defense application. Here's some things to consider: 1.) You don't have protective wraps on your hands in self-defense situations, giving you a much higher chance of breaking your hand on your opponent's skull. Look for ways around this, possibly including training to target only the body with your closed fists (you can still feint to the head to open up the body) or relying on kicks or grappling more. 2.) Self-defense training generally involves being aware of your surroundings much more than is typically trained in MMA. Consider using drills to help wake up your senses and become more aware. 3.) Train against opponents who have a weapon (grappling and striking). 4.) Learn to use those weapons yourself in ways that mesh with your current MMA skills (rather than learning an entirely new fighting style with the weapon). For example, if you pick up a stick... rather than suddenly becoming a stick fighter, learn to become an MMA fighter using a stick in a way that supplements your MMA skills. You may be holding 50

a stick... but you still have your kicks, takedowns, chokes, slipping & ducking skills, etc. 5.) Realize that the outcome of a confrontation is often determined by the first strike. The person I know who has won the most street fights had absolutely ZERO training. He simply hit his opponents first... before they were quite ready to fight, allowing no time for preparation or defense on their part. Yes, of course this brings up the fine line between self-defense and aggression and requires judgment. As bad as this sounds, a sucker punch doesn't have to be limited to use only by the person provoking the confrontation... it can be a selfdefense tactic, as well. Either way, it isn't something you're likely to have learned to utilize, or be prepared for, in your MMA training. 6.) Haymakers... trained MMA fighters rarely throw them. Untrained fighters throw them all the time. For self-defense purposes, train your reactions to them. 7.) Keeping it to yourself. In the world of MMA, fighters often want to get known and develop a reputation. However, I've seen this lead to challenges from others who want to boost their reputation and ego at your expense... especially in public places where the liquor is flowing freely. For self-defense purposes, you may be better served to stay under the radar as far as your MMA skills are concerned.


Motivation & Longevity

I keep going in and out of MMA training. What can I do to stay consistent AND have longevity in my training? Everyone has different motivations for training, so I can't say what will motivate YOU to stay consistent. However I've managed to keep learning and training regularly for 40 years with very few breaks, so I can offer you some things to try. Maybe some of it will strike a chord and help you keep consistent, as well. 1.) A realistic training schedule... too much, and you'll burn out or tire of it. Too little, and you'll lose interest or not progress. I know a group of guys who've trained together consistently for the last 35 years... impressive by anybody's standards. I believe the reason they've been so consistent is that they only train as a group 1 TIME PER WEEK. Before you say that's not enough... realize that they also train at home, ON THEIR OWN during the week, on whatever schedule their lives permit. Very few people would be able to commit to 3 to 5 nights a week at a school for the next 35 years! However, the 1 x week group meeting is a do-able schedule they can handle, working the rest of their training around work, dinner and family life. 2.) Use the principle of commitment & consistency on yourself. Research shows that when you PUBLICLY COMMIT to something about yourself... ...you'll feel subconsciously compelled to be CONSISTENT 52

with whatever you've declared about yourself. In other words, say things to people close to you like I train every day... I'll never stop training... I'm a lifelong martial artist... etc., and you'll feel compelled to live up to what you've said. 3.) Look at training as an INVESTMENT. You've spent a huge amount of time (and money) getting your skills to this point. Why would you ever want to lose what you've worked so hard to get? 4.) Consider teaching... even if it's just a few people in an informal setting. When you have people showing up at the training area expecting you to teach them... you'll be there. You'll notice that students (of anything, not just MMA) tend to come and go quickly. However, teachers tend to continue teaching. It creates an identity. It's what they do and who they are. 5.) Recognize that there is NO GOOD REASON TO STOP. A great motto to pin up on your wall is: We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces, while regret weighs tons. I've either taught, or trained with, hundreds of people over the last 40 years. I've heard a lot of people say they wish they kept up their training. But, I've NEVER heard anyone say they were glad they stopped. 6.) Don't just train at the MMA school... train regularly at home as a daily routine. You want to make training a part of your daily life, just like brushing your teeth. If you only associate training with 53

your school, you're likely to quit when the school becomes inconvenient, unaffordable or unenjoyable for whatever reason. 7.) Refuse to miss training sessions for any reason. Habits are hard to build... and easy to break. Once you've developed the habit of training, you need to protect it like your life depends on it. I'd suggest going to training sessions EVEN if you can't train. In that case, just sit it out and watch or help teach. Just the act of showing up will help keep the habit of training.

How can I have longevity in my MMA training? First, longevity means you haven't stopped training, so consider what I said in the previous question and answer about motivation. Probably one of the main things to give you longevity is to AVOID taking long periods off from training. It is SO much easier (physically AND mentally) to keep your strength, skill and health...than it is to try to get it back. The saying A swinging gate doesn't rust is very applicable here. If you want to be able to keep training... keep training. You won't understand how true this is until you've lost your ability to be athletic, then try to get it back. Each time you stop, you have to climb that mountain to get it back... and the next time you stop may be the time when that mountain feels just too high to climb.


Secondly, choose your training partners carefully. Find ones who: 1.) Are extremely conscientious about injury prevention. 2.) Motivate and inspire YOU to keep training 3.) Make you enjoy and feel good about training Be very protective about your training. If someone makes you feel bad about it, risks your body, or does anything else that's not good for your training and motivation, avoid them like the plague. Most people with longevity already do this. If you have difficulty finding the right training partners... create them. Offer to teach people who you feel will ultimately make great long-term training partners for you, then groom them to be exactly what you're looking for.


An Ending Note...
I hope you found some ideas that are right for you If you were to look at everything I've studied over that last 40 years, you'd laugh. On top of closets full of fighting books and videos, I've got boxes of notebooks filled with my hand-written notes dating back to 1973... including notes I took literally in the very first selfdefense lesson I had as a child. Would you believe that after ALL that study, I only use a small, core group of concepts in my training? However, without all that study, I would never have come around to refining it all into those core concepts that I use daily. And, that's where the excitement is... ...searching, studying and experimenting until you have that big Aha! moment that takes your skill to the next level. And then using it successfully, or sharing it with someone who says How the hell did you ever come up with THAT?!! I don't know about you, but I live for those moments. Anyway, as I said at the beginning... Your job is to look at it... consider it... try it out long enough to determine whether you can make it work for you... and then either implement it, or forget about it for now. If it doesn't work for you, it's not right or wrong... it's just wrong for you. I hope you found some ideas that are right for you. I don't expect that you'll use, like, or maybe even understand, much of what you read here. However, that's just the nature of learning... some things will resonate with you, some won't. Hopefully, a few ideas here have done that. 56


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