Striking In Mixed Martial Arts

 The sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), popularized by the UFC, can be complicated and confusing for new fans. Unlike boxing where there is only one discipline to understand, MMA integrates striking, wrestling, and submissions into one sport.

In previous articles these three components of MMA have been discussed, as well as the various styles of wrestling found within MMA. The different striking backgrounds and skills a fighter may possess, however, have not been discussed.

In regards to MMA, the striking arts can be broken down in three general areas: boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai.


An established and lucrative sport of its own, boxing also has a place within the skill set of the MMA fighter.Boxing allows striking only with the knuckles of a closed fist and uses enclosed gloves larger than those in MMA. Boxers can strike to the head or torso, but not below the belt or to the back of the head, back, or kidneys.

Boxing encourages head movement, lightness on the feet, and is highly strategic, hence its nickname, the “sweet science.”

Wrestling In Mixed Martial Arts

 Each of these arts can be broken down further into many sub-categories. For example, there are three primary styles of wrestling: Folkstyle, Freestyle, and Greco-Roman. Each has different rules and scoring and different application in the sport of MMA.
Here in the United States, when most of us hear of wrestling, we think of people we knew in high school or college, or the occasional Olympic athlete. But, what are they really doing and what do you need to look for to increase your understanding when watching MMA?
To help me answer this question I enrolled the help of Darryl Christian, a two-time Greco-Roman Wrestling National Champion who also works with MMA fighters, to walk us through the styles of wrestling.


Folkstyle exists only in the United States and Canada and is practiced on the collegiate level. Unlike the international styles, Freestyle and Greco-Roman, Folkstyle is not as flashy. “No high amplitude throws exist within this style of wrestling,” said Christian. “Scoring is slow paced and less technical. Sometimes a strong wrestler with

The Arts Behind Mixed Martial Arts

 While some fans could get into an in-depth conversation about the origins of MMA, recalling Bruce Lee and Helio Gracie, the sport has evolved into something unique from its past and different from any other competitive combat sport. When broken down, however, any athlete aspiring to compete in MMA must study a few basic disciplines.


The biggest promoter of MMA over the years has been the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) which was originally created by Rorion Gracie. The Gracie family has done much over the years to spread the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Although in pure BJJ competition athletes wear a cotton gi, in MMA it is practiced without the gi. BJJ focuses on technique as opposed to strength and is the art of submissions –mainly chokes, arm locks, and leg locks. The strength of a BJJ player is on the ground as it is a grappling art.

Another branch of grappling is “submission” or “catch” wrestling. Born on the old carnival circuit and practiced by strong men and professional wrestlers, catch wrestling is a very real and dangerous submission art.


There are a variety

10 Devastating Karate Techniques Every MMA Fighter Should Know

#1: Ude Uchi

First up, we have ude uchi.

“Ude” is Japanese for “forearm”, and “uchi” is strike.

In other words, ude uchi means that you smash either the outside or inside bone of your forearm (ulna/radius bone) into your opponent.

Why it works: When you use ude uchi, the distance between you and your opponent is closer than “regular” ounching range, but longer than elbow strike range. Since most people use the fist or elbow for attacking, your opponent won’t expect an attack from this distance, using the forearm. It’s unexpected. It’s brutal. It’s sweet dreams!

#2: Ura Ken (Without Spinning)

Next up, we have ura ken.

“Ura ken” literally means “backfist” in Japanese.

Sure, a lot of MMA fighters use the backfist. However, they always use it horizontally, and they always spin before striking.

I suggest you try it from different angles, and without spinning.

Why it works: The ura ken is a perfect addition to your striking arsenal. It combines seamlessly with jabs, hooks and uppercuts, and it can be delivered from unorthodox angles with great accuracy. Besides, everyone knows circular attacks have the potential for generating

MMA Fighters of a Devastationg Loss

Not all losses are of the same breed in MMA. This is unique in the world of sports. Sure, landslide losers of tennis matches, football games, or skiing competitions suffer to a certain degree after a demoralizing loss. But in MMA, such a loss results in being rendered unconscious. It’s a setback of a different ilk than being on a football team that lost 48-7. Being completely removed from your senses while you’re half-naked with all eyes on you takes the word “lose” to a completely different level.

For many of us it’s unfathomable. We can think of a million other bad things we would rather have happen than being knocked out cold in an arena full of people. In some of the more devastating knockout losses you will see in MMA, the victims are not as far from actual death as you would imagine. Losing consciousness as a result of blunt head trauma is no joke.

You get desensitized after seeing it happen so many times without much averse affect. No fighter has ever died on a major MMA card that immediately comes to mind. At the same time, the sport is perhaps not old

10 Tips for Strength

I mean really, a buddy recommends a great restaurant, or a cool beach to surf at. How cool is that friend? Well let me drop a few strength training tips that will keep you going. This coming from someone who notoriously ease drops on as many conversations from top trainers, athletes, bodybuilders and fitness experts. Knowledge is power and you need that power to perform at the gym!


  • As you age your muscles become less pliable. General rule if you are under 40 years old hold that stretch for 30 seconds if you are over 40, hang onto it for at least 60.


  • There are tons of ways to build your core. Anchoring your feet is one sure way to injure your lower back. Try using a swiss ball or doing putting a towel under your lower back for support. The more your core is built up the better you will find your range of motion.


  • Most people cringe at me when I say this. Try a short and lighter version of the previous days workout on the next

Golden Boys

Every sport has them. The guys who have juice. For whatever reason, they help put fannies in the seats. They generate revenue for the sport and there is always a large contingent of fans who hate the “pretty boys.” And that’s because at some point, they seem to get some preferential treatment. Maybe they get opportunities other more deserving fighters fail to receive, they win a decision or two they didn’t deserve, or the ref improperly rules in their favor a time or two.

In MMA, there is far less perceivable corruption than in most fight-sports. A PPV giant in boxing who puts half of Vegas to work every time he fights can be almost impossible to defeat on the cards. In MMA, the dark-horse gets a fairer shake. That doesn’t mean that network poster boys and anonymous fighters are treated the same, not necessarily champions–but flashy guys who get a lot of attention.

Often times, when you handicap a fight, it’s easy to identify who the “powers-that-be” want to win. A lot of times, there is no apparent choice. But when there is, it’s worth some consideration to the bettor. You might, for example, think

Things That Can Make a Fighter Perform Better

There are times in even a great fighter’s career where he hits a bumpy patch. It’s not hard to have that happen in a sport like MMA. A fine line separates the successful from the struggling and even those at the top have a tenuous grip. When we watch MMA, we can get carries away with the physical aspect of the game. It’s understandable–the sport is an explosion of physicality. The sport, however, is largely mental. How a fighter performs is often tied to his headspace.

We can see fighters perform with varying degrees of effectiveness from fight to fight. Fighters in a slump that has people suspecting they’re losing their edge can suddenly pop out of it and leave us wondering what in the world were we thinking. Here are some precursors that could signal a fighter is going to break out of a slump:

Rivalries or Personal History: The world of MMA is worldwide, but a lot of guys at the top of the sport (in fights we can wager on) have crossed paths with their opponents. They may have fought before, but beyond that–they might have worked in the same camp. A lot

Dealing With Referees and Judges

MMA, being a rather young sport, will probably continue to experience growing pains as it pertains to officials. Organizations like the UFC have done an excellent job building the sport, but this is one area out of their control. MMA depends on the commissions in the states where cards are held to provide officials and it doesn’t always go so smoothly.

Sports that rely so heavily on judges have had a long time to establish clear-cut criteria. But in MMA, judges can be all over the place. Standards are in place, but in a sport that has so much going on in the octagon, it seems that MMA judging still lacks concrete guidelines. It’s not a good sign when you see a lot of judges presiding over MMA bouts who are also known as boxing judges. It shows that the pool of capable and trusted MMA judges is quite shallow.

Even in boxing, where fighters are limited to only punches, the views can be very different for the same fight. In a form of fighting where every part of the body is a weapon and there are so many different combinations of moves–it can get messy


Although there’s plenty of evidence that 2016 has not been the literal worst year ever, it won’t exactly go down as humanity’s most beloved spin around the sun, either. Politics, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and a seemingly endless wave of prominent deaths—and the overwhelming reporting of all of the above,thrown at us much faster than our brains can process—have made the past 366 days feel like an endless slog through misery and heartbreak. And the MMA community has not been left untouched by this tragedy. Not only did we lose a hero in boxing and cultural legend and all-around GOAT Muhammad Ali on June 3, we also witnessed the deaths of a number of mixed martial artists.

Here’s a look back at some of the fighters who passed away in 2016:

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Kevin Randleman
August 10, 1971- February 11, 2016

PRIDE, Strikeforce and UFC legend and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman died of a heart attack on February 11 after being hospitalized with pneumonia. He was 44-years-old. “Those who saw him at his peak will always remember his feats of athleticism in the ring and those who

A Brief History of Outsiders Insulting MMA

Before our multinational art rock collectives and ennui-ridden pop stars took over the charts and our shiny-haired Prime Minister captured hearts and loins across the world, Canada’s self-esteem issues were painfully obvious and comical. Our red carpet reporters would ask whatever random celebrities they could grab “what do you think of Canada?” instead of “who are you wearing?” We’d get disproportionately excited if someone else said something nice about us in passing—or acknowledged us at all. But if someone sad something even remotely negative, we’d be overcome with flailing rage and compensatory posturing.

I bring this up now because, in some ways, being a person who cares about MMA today feels an awful lot like being a Canadian in the ‘90s. Every random celebrity who shows up at a UFC event is flung in front of the cameras for proof of the how beloved the world’s fastest growing sport really is. Each mention in pop culture is received and analyzed with the same intense passion with which Angela Chase used to treat her every interaction with Jordan Catalano. And any misunderstanding, misrepresentation, or criticism of mixed martial arts from the outside world is met with an exponential



Dave’s point was this: Strength in the weight room, conditioning on the track and never the twain shall meet. I disagree a bit. And in a bid to keep Dave pissed (since A. he’s a lot more fun, and B. I am now thousands of miles away instead of within throttling distance) I am about to present the fact that we can use the weight room for another purpose besides strength work.

What Dave does not understand is that there are some people out there who have goals outside of squatting 1,000 pounds and bench pressing 700. This is the world he lives in. He does not live in the world we all live in.

Some of us came into strength training for different backgrounds; sports – health – personal training etc. We use the weight room for a myriad of different purposes.

I came from a competitive martial arts background – Taekwondo and kickboxing. In our world we were more interested in how to hit harder, faster and for longer. We used the weight room solely as a means to improve our end goal – never

Good Role Models in MMA and Boxing

On a lesser note – as there really are no instances of poor sportsmanship worse than the one noted above- the UFC’s Tito Ortiz got his rematch with Guy Mezger at UFC 19: Ultimate Young Guns on March 5, 1999 ( after losing to the same fighter back on May 30, 1997 ). He took advantage of this, winning the fight via TKO. Unfortunately for sportsmen everywhere, Tito Ortiz put on a t-shirt that read “Gay Mezger Is My Bitch,” after the fight and promptly flipped off Mezger’s Lion’s Den teammates. This, of course, started his well known rivalry with Ken Shamrock.

You almost hate to use Ortiz as an example since it appears he has done a lot of growing up since that time. In fact, a strong argument can be made that he has become a considerate athlete in recent years, as his stint as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 3 would seem to indicate.

That said, there was a time when he was a pretty terrible sportsman and role model.

Couple these incidents with the constant issues regarding Terrell Owens of the NFL, and the sports landscape begins to seem kind

The Top Wrestling Styles of MMA Fighters

According to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles there are four types of wrestling internationally, all of which have influenced the sport of mixed martial arts. In addition, there are two lesser known styles of grappling that have found their way into MMA that must be mentioned.

To learn more about these styles of wrestling, read on.

The four varieties of grappling recognized by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles are:

Greco-Roman Wrestling

One of the three styles of amateur wrestling that is still utilized in the Olympic Games. Greco-Roman wrestling is derived from the Ancient Greeks and was practiced by Roman soldiers during ancient times. This style of wrestling sets itself apart from others in that attacks below the waist are forbidden.

Therefore, high throws are witnessed regularly in Greco-Roman competitions.

Two of the most famous MMA practitioners with a Greco-Roman background are UFC Hall of Famers, Randy Couture and Dan Severn.

Further, though he never entered into MMA competition, Russia’s Alexander Karelin should be mentioned simply because he’s the best Greco-Roman heavyweight practitioner in the history of the sport (a three time gold medalist).


the Best Supplements for MMA

It’s been said that Kevin Randleman submitted a urine sample that wasn’t his to drug testers, and that Pawel Nastula and Vitor Belfort both failed their respective drug tests.

In this case, that means that Nastula and Belfort were both found to have taken steroids.

Sure, it’s possible that it was done by accident ( as Belfort has been quoted as saying ). Regardless, it doesn’t matter. If you’re found with the stuff in your system, then you broke the rules.

So in a day and age where MMA fighters are constantly trying to improve performance with the use of natural products, what kinds of supplements are they taking? Far too many to count in one article, for sure.

For three of them, though, keep reading.

AST Multi Pro 32X

From early on, we’re all taught the importance of multi-vitamins. After all, the great thing about vitamins is that they give you what most or all of what your body needs without eating the contents of the entire refrigerator.

So if you’re a mixed martial artist with all the advanced things out there to take, wouldn’t it seem ridiculous not to

Top 20 Submission Moves In MMA

Along with this, the sport of mixed martial arts has come a long way since Royce Gracie first started causing everyone under the sun to tap; back then, hardly anyone knew what the heck was going on. Nowadays, hardcore MMA fans crave submissions nearly as much as knockouts.

Even so, many newer fans really don’t understand how the submissions they see on television work. Therefore, for a rudimentary explanation of twenty submissions you could see on any given day in MMA, read on.


Anaconda Choke (from the gator roll position) – This is a submission that has been gaining in popularity. It tends to begin with a sprawl.

The sprawling person then catches their opponent in a headlock. Next, they dip their other arm below the neck and behind their opponent’s arm, eventually locking it up with their other arm (the old “fung gu” sign). Then the performer dips their right shoulder and rolls both combatants over.

In the end, the performer turns toward his opponent and squeezes the back of their head into his or her own body.

The Anaconda choke isn’t used very often in MMA. To see it

Learning From UFC Champion, Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture

Standing 6′ 1″, The Natural’s trademark Ground-and-Pound style has earned him the UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship as well as its Heavyweight Championship twice over, making Couture the first fighter to hold championship titles in two different UFC weight divisions. He is often considered “the UFC’s most ingenious fighter.”

“Captain America’s” quest for competition and exceptional drive can be traced back to his first days on the wrestling mat when he was just 10 years old, growing up in the state of Washington.

Couture would continue to wrestle throughout high school, earning a state championship in his senior year and falling deeper in love with both the technical and competitive aspects of the sport that would someday carry him to prominence. In 1982, Couture enlisted in the United States Army, where he first became involved with both Greco-Roman wrestling and boxing.

“(There was) more emphasis on Greco when I was in the service,” declares Couture, who served as the 180 lb. wrestler for the Army team. “At that time there’d been only one world champ from United States in Greco and being the person that I was, I set goals to make a mark in that style

The Top 5 MMA Fights of All Time

First, this is an impossible task. Second, it is only an opinion (and one that changed about twelve times while writing this article).

As with any “Top –” list, there is no way to really narrow it down to a definitive number. There will always be a difference of opinion on any list. UFC’s Top Five All Time Fights is no exception. However, here is a list of the Top Five all Time fights and it may not be your Top Five but I guarantee you some people will have all five of these somewhere on his/her list. Here they are:

5. Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonner. This was the championship bout on a reality TV show where the winner would become part of the Pro MMA ranks. It just so happened that this show produced one whale of a fight, which really boosted the entire sport’s popularity. Griffin won in a unanimous decision and was awarded a six-figure contract to fight in UFC. Many consider this to be not only the most important bout in MMA history but also the greatest.

4. Chuck Lidell vs Wanderlei Silva. In UFC 79 Chuck Lidell and

The Kettlebell Solution for MMA Strength And Conditioning

The top MMA athletes are far and away the best-conditioned athletes in the world. Second place is so far behind that it is not even worth mentioning. These men and women work hard and need a great strength and conditioning program to enhance their efforts. While no strength and conditioning program can make up for tireless hours sparring and working hard on the mat, a properly executed program will help hard working MMA athletes increase explosive power, ramp up cardio and muscular endurance, and make the body more durable.

There are many effective training tools to choose from for a killer strength and conditioning training. However, the tool that we are going to focus on in this article is the kettlebell. Before we get into why the kettlebell is a great training tool for MMA athletes and how to use it, lets go over what the hell a kettlebell actually is!

A kettlebell looks like a cannon ball with a suitcase handle and is a relative of the dumbbell. Many of the old-time strongman in the US and overseas used kettlebells as part of their overall regimen for building incredible levels of strength and power. In

Effective Training for BJJ and MMA

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “What kind of workout should I be doing for MMA or BJJ?” This same question, of course, could apply to any sport.

Sometimes you’ll see magazine articles by strength coaches outlining workout programs for various sports and martial arts but I have a problem with this cookie-cutter approach: these programs end up being one-size-fits-all…but-me!

Creating workout programs is as much an art as it is science. Before slapping numbers into arbitrary sets and reps on paper you have to know something about the athletes with whom you’re working because, in many cases, the wrong exercise prescription can do more harm than good. Martial arts and grappling are especially strenuous activities and the people who participate in them tend to be extremists already prone to falling into the dreaded overtraining. Participation in these arts provide, for the most part, the specific conditioning needed for same, i.e., if you want to be a good grappler, you’ve got to grapple; if you want to be a good boxer, you’ve got to box, etc. The smart strength coach analyzes his athlete to find the chinks in his armor. For example, if I have a