Monthly Archives: December 2016

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 in action, check out Nogueira’s victory over Hirotaka Yokoi (on 4/25/04).

Arm Triangle Choke (from the side, often termed a side choke) – From the side of an opponent, the performer uses his or her forearm along with their opponent’s own outstretched arm/ shoulder to cut off the air/ blood to an opponent. The performer actually squeezes a forearm into their opponent’s neck to accomplish this.

Guillotine Choke (front) – A favorite for jiu-jitsu fighters taking on wrestlers with limited MMA experience as the guillotine choke punishes those who might try a takedown with their head down.

In short, a guillotine choke often happens after a sprawl that ends with an opponent’s head in the performer’s armpit. The performer then reaches around the opponent’s chin without going around their arm and grasps the hand of the first arm with the second. From there they lift up, cutting off their opponent’s air.

This move can be applied from a standing position (see Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic versus Kevin Randleman II). However, oftentimes performers choose to fall back into their guard for leverage. It is a popular MMA move.

Neck Crank – This submission can be applied when a person is in a dominant position (mount or side mount). It involves pulling or twisting the head farther than it should go with two arms. Not really a choke, but better suited here than anywhere else.

North-South Choke – The performer must be on top in the north- south position to apply this hold. From there the performer cuts off the flow of blood to the neck with his or her bicep. This hasn’t been extremely effective in mixed martial arts, primarily because few mixed martial artists end up in the north – south position and it’s a slow working submission.

Thus it gives fighters too much time to get out.

Rear Naked Choke – The performer must have access to their opponent’s back to pull this off. From there they curl one arm around the their neck, bicep against one side of the neck, forearm against the other. Then the performer tugs it close and place the hand of the choking arm on the bicep of their other arm as that arm comes up behind the opponent’s head and touches their hair. Last, the applier tucks their head, expands their chest, and squeezes.

Oftentimes MMA fighters use their legs as ‘hooks’ for leverage. To see a great example of this popular MMA move, check out Matt Hughes versus Frank Trigg I.

Triangle Choke – This move was made famous by Royce Gracie in an early MMA bout against Dan Severn. While in the guard, the performer traps an arm and extends their opposite side leg across their opponent’s neck so that it lands on the other side of the combatant’s body. Then their other leg crosses over that leg to tighten the hold.

In effect, this choke traps an opponent’s neck in a triangle utilizing the perfomer’s leg and their opponent’s own arm.

Arm Locks

Americana – A lateral keylock (see keylock below).

Arm Bar (from guard) – Perhaps the most utilized of all mixed martial arts submission holds. The performer traps an arm with one hand and uses their other hand to hold that opponent close (oftentimes by grabbing the shoulder or neck). Next they open their guard, pivot or crunch in the direction opposite of the arm they’ve isolated, and climb the leg opposite the trapped arm up their opponent’s back. At the same time, they make a small loop around their opponent’s neck with their other leg. With both hands on the isolated arm, the performer lifts their hips and pulls the caught arm in while pressing out with their legs.

To see an example of this, one need only look to Fedor Emelianenko’s recent victory over Mark Coleman in PRIDE’s first American contest.

Armbar (from the mount) – The performer isolates an arm with their own opposite side arm. As they do this, they may choose to put pressure on their opponent’s neck with their free arm. Then the performer grabs the isolated arm with both hands, comes up to a squat, and pivots around clockwise (if isolating their opponent’s right arm) or counterclockwise (left arm), eventually ending up perpendicular to their opponent.

Finally, the performer’s legs pinch the isolated arm and they fall back into an armbar.

Keylock – Generally, one needs side mount to pull this submission off. Once side mount is achieved, the performer grabs their opponent’s wrist with their near hand and reaches under that arm with their free hand, grabbing their own forearm. The performer then forces the elbow upwards.

Kimura (from the guard) – The performer grips their opponent’s hand, opens their guard, pushes off the hips of their opponent, and sits up. Then with their free hand they reach over and through the arm they’ve isolated to grab their own wrist. Finally, keeping that arm away from their opponent’s body, the performer attempts to touch the back of the trapped hand to their opponent’s head.

Omoplata – From the guard, the performer places one leg under the opponent’s armpit and turns toward that leg, thereby catching their opponent’s arm. By pushing the arm away from the back, terrible pressure is put on the shoulder. Sometimes, depending on the emphasis put on the leg, an elbow can also be harmed.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters love this submission.

Wristlock – A joint lock that affects the wrist. It can be applied in a variety of ways, although it is rarely used in MMA. Still, a wristlock did end a fight for Royce Gracie relatively recently (against Chad Rowan).


Ankle Lock (standard) – Often occurs straight out of an opponent’s guard. Once the guard is broken, the fighter on top secures the foot inside an armpit. Then the performer falls back with the leg held by both arms (and trapped within their own two legs). The lock works by using the forearm opposite the one that caught the leg as a fulcrum for leverage, thereby pushing the toes down and placing pressure on the joint where the foot meets the leg (on top) and the Achilles (the back portion of the ankle).

Flying Scissor Heel Hook – See below for a heel hook. As for the flying part, best way to see that is to check out UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva’s last real loss to Ryo Chonan. It was one of the most impressive submissions ever!

Heel Hook – The performer places both legs around the leg of an opponent while holding the foot attached to that leg in their armpit. Then the applier twists the ankle while holding the heel with the forearm. The twist is what separates it from a standard ankle lock.

Inside Heel Hoo – The performer holds their opponent’s leg in the opposite armpit noted with a standard heel hook. Then they twist the heel laterally.

Knee Bar – Often occurs straight out of an opponent’s guard. Once the guard is broken, the fighter on top steps through the guard (turning his or her back to the opponent), and grabs a leg. Then, using leverage, the performer falls back with the leg in both hands and secures it like an arm bar by pulling the toes in (the performer must also wrap their legs around the isolated leg to add leverage).

Toe Hold (figure four) – Appliers simply use their hands (in figure four fashion) to hyperextend the ankle. This move can only be applied when the opponent’s leg is controlled.

Though this submission hasn’t been terribly effective in mixed martial arts, an example of it can be found in Frank Mir’s submission victory over Tank Abbott.

In sum, always remember that to read about something isn’t to know it. This article only offers a general summary of the aforementioned. The best way to truly understand the various submissions out there is to find a mixed martial arts establishment and practice them yourself!

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 of the sport since no one had really done it.”

Randy only signed up for boxing to avoid regular physical fitness drills; that’s a good thing, because boxing is a skill this wrestler would need eventually…

After six years in the Army, Couture’s abilities soon landed him a place on the top-notch Oklahoma State University wrestling program. During his tenure as OSU’s 190-pounder, Couture was a three-time All-American and in 1990, a USA Senior Greco-Roman Champion. He was named outstanding wrestler in 1990 and won a gold medal at the Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba in 1991.

Couture would go on to win two more national Greco-Roman championships in 1993 and 1997 and qualify for the world team numerous times. His only wrestling disappointments? Just failing to make the U.S. Olympic Team in 1996 and 2000.

But Mixed Martial Arts was just around the corner, and perfectly suited to someone of Couture’s aptitude and broad knowledge of various fighting forms.

So what’s his secret? How does he win again and again? What’s his workout regimen? How does a man over 40 remain not only in fine shape, but retain the strength and abilities of men around half his age?

First, it should be remembered that strength is the last thing to fade as a fighter ages. This is why boxers who rely primarily on speed, like Ali or Sugar Ray Leonard, find things so tough as they begin to age, while punchers like George Foreman can sometimes remain serious contenders, if not champions, on into their 40s.

Also, a consistently well-kept body will simply age less quickly than a neglected one. Somewhat like an older car or motorcycle, if it is kept in fine working condition the human body is a mechanism that will run exceptionally well long after others of similar age have begun to fade.

Said Couture a few years ago, “Some of it has to do with the fact that I’ve led a pretty clean life and taken care of my body for the most part and some of that is just good genetics.”

More than anything, Couture utilizes treadmill workouts and treadmill sprints. He sometimes works out at the Washington Institute of Sport Health in Washington State, which has a fine acceleration program. He goes through workouts designed by professional trainers to improve foot speed and strength.

But as Randy has said about his workouts, “I’ve learned over the years that it’s not just about training hard or extra hard, you’ve gotta train smart. So, you know, I train very hard, but [my] time of rest is just as important as the time I spend training and trying to be smarter about it and specific with what I’m trying to accomplish.”

Like all smart fighters, Couture tailors his fight to the opposing fighter. Say he’s fighting a real puncher; Randy would ignore any feelings of flight — when faced with such matches he’s as much as stated that allowing oneself to be completely intimidated by an opponent is one of the surest ways of getting seriously hurt.

Besides, “there are other ways to be aggressive and take the fight to him without getting in there and exchanging blows with a puncher,” Couture said in a 2003 interview.

Randy likes to exploit his opponent’s weaknesses, and keeps the other man on the ground as much as possible; being a wrestler, ground-fighting is Couture’s natural strength. Purposely exploiting the opponent’s weaknesses and forcing the opponent to play to his strength is perhaps the major element of Couture’s amazing success in the fighting arts.

Just as integral to Couture’s success has been his training partners and former wrestling comrades Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland and two-time Olympian Dan Henderson.

“You’re only as good as your workout partners so it’s important to have good guys in there pushing you every day,” says Couture. ‘The Natural’ knows what he’s talking about. Couture, Lindland and Henderson have united to form the Team Quest Martial Arts and Fitness Club located in Gresham, Oregon — one of the MMA gyms consistently creating the Ultimate Fighting Champs of today.

Team Quest’s website ( has all the basics you’d wish to know about Couture’s club…but especially interesting to us UFC fans is Randy’s personal training tips, found there on the site free of charge. Perhaps we’ll follow these tips and make it to the octagon after all…

Randy’s Top 10 Training Hints

1. Use a calendar to periodize your training, include your peaking phases for competitions or goal deadlines.

2. “The human body is amazing.” It will adapt to a workload in 8 to 10 weeks. Use that as a guide to adjust training and keep your training moving forward.

3. Keep a training log: include workouts, diet, sleep, and anything else pertinent to your training.

4. Set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Write them down and share them with someone close to you.

5. After a competition (win or lose), or at a goal deadline (accomplished or not) evaluate your program and routine. Keep what works, eliminate what didn’t, and move forward.

6. Establish a warm up “ritual”. Think of your best performance, what did you do to warm up? Repeat that! It’s a living, evolving thing. Make changes accordingly until you can put yourself in the “zone” every time.

7. “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Find workout and drilling partners that challenge you or you’ll never improve your game!

8. Proper rest is just as important as time spent training hard. Listen to your body and let it recover.

9. Over-training is more a state of mind rather than [of] body. Altering your routine to keep it fresh helps avoid plateaus and stagnation.

10. Strive to get 1% better each day. It doesn’t sound like much, but adds up in a hurry!

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 Wanderlai Silva battled to the end with both men giving it all they had. It seemed as if either could land a knockout at any second but the fight went the distance, Lidell won a unanimous decision, giving him two of three in the rivalry between the two. The two had star power. Even if you don’t follow MMA, you’ve heard of these two. Every sport needs a rivalry and in MMA this was one of the best.

3. Diego Sanchez vs. Karo Parisyan. Many consider this the “Fight of the Year”for 2006. Another fight that went the distance, the two battled each other for three action packed rounds before Sanchez won a unanimous decision. Parisyan ended this fight bloodied and battered and with fewer teeth than he started with, but he still went all the way, inflicting some damage of his own.

2. Matt Hughes vs, Frank Trigg. You have to love a great come from behind win right? Well this was one of the best. This fight never made it out of the first round but in that round Hughes, the champ, survived a low blow and a no call from the referee and a near defeat to thunder back and get Trigg to finally tap out. Trigg would never win the welterweight championship, this being the closest he would ever get. Hughes did not hang on to it for much longer after the fight, but for this night they were on top of the welterweight world and put on a great show.

1. Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen. Another comeback win in this one, Sonnen was laying a pretty good beating on Silva only to lose it by submission in the fifth round of this epic battle. There will be a rematch of these two later this year so do not miss it. Many consider Silva the greatest fighter ever in MMA. He is the longest title holder in the sports history in terms of time and number of title defenses. He had to go five grueling rounds in this fight however, and many believe he was behind on the judges’ score cards. But he is not pound for pound the world’s greatest fighter for nothing.

I’m sure those of you reading this will ask what about Georges St. Pierre? Rampage Jackson? Leban? etc, etc. And you would not be wrong. That’s what makes these debates fun. There really is no way to determine who the best really is, especially when you are comparing different eras and weight classes. But here are my five. Let the debate begin.

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 Russia and more recently in the US, kettlebell training is actually a sport in which athletes focus on three kettlebell exercises: The Jerk, The Clean and Jerk, and The Snatch for time.

These are full body exercises that teach your body how to work as one unit. While novices can get away with muscling the kettlebell for these exercises, kettlebell athletes on the professional level have to be efficient and use as many muscle groups as possible to get the job done. The sport involves doing the designated exercises for ten minutes! If you put the bells down at any point it is over similar. Just lasting ten minutes alone with a light kettlebells takes a great deal of mental toughness and conditioning. Imagine using two 70lb kettlebells for the clean and jerk (an exercise in which you take the bells from the floor to the upper body and then overhead) for ten minutes and you get an idea of the incredible strength and conditioning that these athletes have and how such training will carry over very well to the needs of MMA athletes.

While simply working on the kettlebell competition lifts will go a long way for developing incredible levels of strength and conditioning for MMA athletes, it requires professional instruction and a lot of dedication to get really good at (working up to ten minute sets). While I do think that this is worth your time, in this article we are going

To work on some other kettlebell exercises that have a very direct application to MMA. In addition we are going to go over a sample program on how to put the exercises into play for serious explosive power, strength, and conditioning. Lets get started.

The Exercises

The Double Kettlebell Clean and Push Press

If you ignore the rest of this article and only focus on this exercise you will go a long way to getting a lot out of kettlebell training. This is a full body exercise that teaches your body how to work as one unit. It is not as technical as the clean and jerk and is relatively easy to learn. If you have ever done a military press than you have probably done a push press. 99% of the clips I see for the military press on are in fact push presses in which you use the legs to help drive the weight overhead.

The Double Clean and Push Press is a combination of two kettlebell exercises. The Double Clean and the Double Push Press. Lets cover the clean first.

Double Kettlebell Clean

Place two kettlebell between your feet aligned with your toes. Sit back as if you are trying to sit in a chair behind you and grab the kettlebells. Looking at the floor slighting in front, swing the kettlebells between your legs as if you are trying to pass a football behind you. Quickly reverse the direction and drive through with your hips, pop your pelvis up and drive the kettlebells to the rack position (Nope, the rack position is not referring to the ring girl’s chest). The rack position is where the bells are resting against your upper body below chin level.

Performance Tips

· Focus on getting your hands around the kettlebells rather then letting the kettlebells flip over your hands and bang your wrists.

· Breathe into your stomach as you drive the kettlbells to the rack

· Stand up straight at the end of the move. Your legs should be locked out.

· Hold the bells in tight and close to the body at the top.

  • Breathe out as you swing the bells between your legs

Now lets cover the push press portion of the lift

Double Kettlebell Push Press

Clean two kettlebells to your shoulders. Squat down a few inches and reverse the motion rapidly. Use the momentum from the legs to drive the kettlebells overhead. Once the kettlebells are locked out, lower the kettlebells to your shoulders and the back to the starting position. Stay loose upon cleaning the kettlebells and when you squat down a few inches to power up the leg drive.

Performance Tips

· Push the kettlebells off of your upper body.

· Do not squat down too far.

· Breathe in as your lower the weights and breathe out forcefully as you push press the kettlebells overhead.

· Look straight ahead or slightly up when driving the bells off of the rack position.

One-Arm Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is a great exercise for developing explosive hamstrings and when done in high reps incredible cardio and muscular endurance. Best of all it is pretty easy to learn and apply safely. It has many of the benefits of the kettlebell snatch without the technical demands of the snatch. No doubt the snatch is worth your time to learn, but the swing is the best exercise to put into play immediately while you work on snatches for down the road.


Place one kettlebell between your feet. Push your butt back and bend your knees slightly to get into the starting position. Make sure that your back is flat and look down or at the floor slightly ahead. Swing the kettlebell between your legs forcefully as if you are passing a football to someone behind you. Quickly reverse the direction and drive though with your hips explosively taking the kettlebell straight out. Let the kettlebell swing back between your legs and repeat. Switch arms with each set. Remember that the swing is primarily a hamstring exercise and that is where all of the power is generated from. It is not a front raise so do not use a crush grip on the kettlebell and keep the arm loose.

Double Swing

The Double Swing is one of the most powerful ballistic drills that you can use with kettlebells. There is no way to muscle up two heavy kettlebells. You have to have powerful hamstrings to make double swings happen. On the Double Swing you are going to focus on driving through with the hips as fast and as powerful as possible. Do not worry how high the bells get. In fact, they should not get higher then chest level. Keep the tension and focus on the hamstrings. A large percentage of the lower body explosive power comes from the hamstrings. Keep that in mind when doing Double Swings. If your lower back gets sore then you are not doing the exercise correctly.

Performance Tips

Place two kettlebells between your feet. While you will most likely have to take a wider stance than you would when doing a regular one-arm swing, do not stand too wide. The wider you stand the less hip drive you will have. Only stand as wide as you need to in order to comfortably place two kettlebells between your feet. Push back with your butt and bend your knees to get into the starting position. Make sure that your back is flat and look down or slightly in front. Swing the kettlebells between your legs forcefully. Quickly reverse the direction and drive though with your hips taking the kettlebells forward. Let the kettlebells swing back between your legs and repeat.

Double Kettlebell Squat Shrug

This is a great exercise for developing full body explosive power. You start the power with the lower body and transfer it into the upper body in each repetition. The best part about this exercise is that it is not technically demanding and fairly easy to learn. It does not require the technique of the clean or snatch, yet has many of the benefits. It is also a tremendous trap developer and strengthener.


Place a kettlebell on the outside of each foot. Squat down and pick then up as if they are two suitcases. Keep your eyes forward and arch your back in the starting position. Stand up quickly and drive through with the hips and get airborne on each rep. As you get off the floor, push your chest out and pull your shoulders up and try to pinch your shoulder blades together. Let your shoulders go back in the socket as you land back on the ground.

Full Body Attack

This is an incredible exercise that will teach you how to use your body as one unit and build explosive power from the ground up. It is particularly beneficial for combat athletes. Often in a fight you have to get from the floor to your feet explosively against the resistance of an opponent. That is exactly what you are doing with the “Full Body Attack.”


Place two kettlebells shoulder width apart on the ground. Get into the top position of the pushup with both hands on the kettlebells. Jump forward explosively while holding onto the kettlebells. Now you are in the starting position of the clean. Clean both kettlebells and drive through with the hip flexors rapidly.

Your elbows should be tucked in and in line with your stomach at the top of the movement. Bend you knees slightly, reverse the motion quickly and drive the kettlebells overhead. Now reverse the motion and do another rep. For the purpose of building speed and explosive strength, keep the rep range to no more than three. Focus on moving as quickly and as explosively as possible while maintaining solid form.

Full Body Defense

In addition to learning how to go from the ground to your feet explosively, a combat athlete needs to be able to go from the feet to the ground rapidly as well to avoid takedowns. That is precisely what the “Full Body Defense” will assist you with.


Start the exercise by cleaning two kettlebells to your shoulders. Push your pelvis up at the top of the clean so that that you can press your elbows against your stomach and keep the kettlebells tucked in. Take the kettlebells to the floor so that you are in the starting position of a double clean.

Now jump back while still holding onto the kettlebells and arch your back. When executed properly, you will look like you are doing a yoga stretch or end position of a Hindu Pushup. Immediately jump back into the clean position, clean the kettlebells, and then proceed with another rep.

Alternating Kettlebell Renegade Row

This is an outstanding drill that I picked up from my friend Coach John Davies, author of “Mastery On The Gridiron.” In addition to being an excellent exercise for your upper back and lats, the Renegade Row is a killer core exercise and a great chest exercise. Yes, even the chest is worked with the Renegade row. How is this possible? The chest is activated tremendously to stabilize the body for rowing with the Renegade Row. Don’t be surprised if you notice that your pecs are sorer than your lats the next day after doing Renegade Rows. Because you are off balance with the Renegade Row, the abdominal muscles are also worked tremendously to maintain balance. There are not too many upper body muscles that the Renegade Row does not work.


Get into the top position of the pushup holding on to two kettlebells that are less than shoulder width apart. Take a shoulder width stance and push one kettlebell into the floor forcefully while you pull the other kettlebell in the working arm. Hold the kettlebell in the working arm in the top position for a second and then lower the kettlebell under control back to the floor. Switch arms after each repetition.

Performance Tips

· Push the kettlebell of the non-working arm into the floor with as much force as possible.

· Breathe in as you pull one kettlebell and out as you lower the kettlebell.

· Flex your butt and stomach for added stability

· Flex the lat of the working arm before pulling each kettlebell off of the floor.

Take a wider stance to make the exercise easier and a closer stance to make the exercise harder.

The Kettlebell Guard Attack

This is an exercise that suits perfectly the needs of MMA fighters and grapplers. Sports in which you often end up on you’re back called the guard and have to fight off an opponent in the mount position. Learning how to be strong and powerful out of the guard position is a valuable skill. The Guard Attack will help build explosive strength from the guard position. It is also great for building strong and a powerful chest, strong triceps, strong shoulders, and impressive core strength.


Lie on the floor and position two kettlebells on the floor next to your shoulders. Use two arms to get the bell on the weaker side into place on your chest. While holding on to the bell on your chest, pull the other bell towards your other pec and get it into the starting position on your chest. Lets use the right arm to illustrate the performance of the Guard Attack. Press with your right hand and use your right foot to shift your weight to the left. As you lower the bell, press with the left hand and use your left foot to shift your weight to the right. Use maximum speed when doing this drill. You want to be fast and explosive in the guard position.

Sample Kettlebell Training Program For MMA

Monday And Thursday (Circuit Training for strength endurance)

Double Kettlebell Clean and Push Press 10 reps

Double Kettlebell Squat Shrug 10 reps

Guard Attack 10 reps each side

Alternating Renegade Row 10 reps each side

Full Body Attack or Full Body Defense 10 reps

Double Swing 10 reps

Take 30-second breaks between each exercise and 60-second breaks at the end of each round. Do five rounds per workout I recommend that beginners do five reps per exercise and take one-minute breaks between each exercise and round. Add a rep to each exercise each week until you are up to 10 reps per exercise. Work on getting the breaks down to zero in between each exercise and in between each round. Do this by shaving ten seconds off each break per week until there are no breaks at all. If you get to this point with a relatively heavy set of kettlebells you will be a machine to say the least.

Tuesday and Friday (High Octane Cardio for muscular endurance and cardio)

Ten rounds of

Squat Thrust 30 reps

One-arm Kettlebell Swing 15 reps each side

A round is one set of squat thrusts and one-arm kettlebell swings down back to back. In case you do not know what a squat thrust is it is a bodyweight exercise in which you squat down, get into the top position of a pushup, and then get back to the standing position.

Beginners can take on-minute breaks in between each round. Shave ten seconds off each successive workout until you can do ten rounds with no breaks. Once you are there you will never have to blame lack of cardio for losing a fight.


There you have it an array of killer kettlebell exercises to get you in shape and a sample program to get into action right away. Depending on what else you have going on with regards to training, life, and individual restoration you will most likely have to modify the program to fit your situation. If four workouts is too much, start with two workouts per week or reduce the rounds and go from there.