Monday, 19 August 2019

Jake Shields and Masakazu Imanari seminars

We have two great seminars coming up soon at my gym Australian Combat Sports Academy

Firstly we have UFC legend Jake Shields on Thursday 12th September at 6pm. This seminar will focus on Shields unique style of  'American Jiu-jitsu' blending BJJ with Wrestling specifically for Nogi Grappling competition and MMA.

Follow this link to book:
https://www.panchomichael.com.au/products/jake-shields-no-gi-seminar-thursday-september-12-australian-combat-sports-academy-thornbury



Then on Sunday 22nd September, we have Japanese MMA and Grappling Legend Masakazu Imanari.
This seminar will focus on Imanaris unique style of Leglocks.

You can book in here:
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/masakazu-imanari-leglock-seminar-tickets-67336690855




Sunday, 11 August 2019

Title Fight Preparation


Our fighter Annie Thatcher recently won the Path to Hex amateur Bantamweight title under IMMAF Rules. Here is a log of Annies training over the last 5 weeks leading up to the fight.

Week 1 - 5 Weeks Out from Fight - Starting weight - 70kg.
Monday 17th June
Wrestling - Drilling Clinch Techniques against the Fence
MT - Drilling and Padwork
Tuesday 18th June
5 - 6 pm - Padwork & Technique Drills (4 x 3 Min Rds then Drilling Combos)
6pm - NOGI BJJ (NOGI class/ Rolling) - Side Control Techs
7.30pm - Technique Drilling (Drilling wall takedowns/technique plus defence then conditioning)
Wed 19th June
Wrestling - Drilling Clinch Techniques against the Fence
MT - Drilling and Padwork
Thurs 20th June
Lunch Time Session: 11-12 - Annie - Drilling low kick combos with one mit and kick shield with Feroz. - Three pad rounds with Phil,
5 - 6 pm - Padwork (4 Rds working on specific combos and movements) & Technique Drills (Clinch against the cage working on ‘Bump & Jump’)
6pm - NOGI BJJ (NOGI class/ Rolling) - Side Control Techs
7.15pm - S & C Class - Explosive Repeat Intervals
All main exercises performed with emphasis on explosive power
Main Exercise 1
  • Landline press 10 reps each arm
  • Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 5 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
  • Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 2
  • Slam ball throws against wall at chest height 10reps each arm
  • Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 5 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
  • Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 3
  • Slam ball throws to floor 10 reps
  • Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 5 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
  • Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 4
  • Standing squat jumps 10 reps
  • Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 5 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
  • Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Friday 21st June
6pm - MT Class (1 Hour)
Sat 22nd June
9am - MT Class - Tech and Padwork
10 am - MMA Class - Combo into Takedown Drills, Clinch drills & Wall Drills - Boxing w/ Takedowns Sparring.
11am - NOGI BJJ - Knee Tap Takedown & Side Control Submissions & 30 Min Rolling.
Sunday - Rest and Recovery;
Review of the Week
‘I think the week just gone was really great for technical work, laying ground work for game plans, striking technique and cage clinch.
I feel like I hardly did any sparring, I always get anxious about not sparring enough.
But it has been really good to work on things to implement into sparring.
I trained a lot last week but didn’t pull up too sore and didn’t feel too run down by Saturday which was good. Sometimes I get to Saturday and I’m like 😖😖😖

Week 2 - 4 Weeks Out from Fight - Weight - 68kg
Monday 24th June
Wrestling - Drilling & Sparring - Double Leg TD drilling plus 15 mins Wrestling Sparring
MT - Class - 6pm to 7.30pm
Tuesday 25th June
LunchTime - On Tuesday Phil had me and feroz working a hook as you step back and switch stance against an opponent coming forward and that has worked well in sparring.
5 - 6 pm - Padwork & Boxing with Takedown Sparring in Cage
6pm - NOGI BJJ - Mount Techs
7.30pm - Comp Team Class - Takedown Drills on Crash Mat then shark tank Grappling rounds.
Wed 26th June
Wrestling - Drilling & Sparring
MT Classes - 6pm - 8.15pm
Thurs 27th June
5 - 6 pm - 4 rds Padwork & Combo into Takedown Drill with Resistance on Takedowns.
6pm - NOGI BJJ - Mount Techs
7.15pm - S & C Class.
All main exercises performed with emphasis on explosive power
Main Exercise 1
  • Landline press 10 reps each arm
  • Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 5 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
  • Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 2
  • Slam ball throws against wall at chest height 10reps each arm
  • Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 5 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
  • Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 3
  • Slam ball throws to floor 10 reps
  • Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 5 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
  • Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 4
  • Standing squat jumps 10 reps
  • Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 5 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
  • Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Friday 28th June
No training
Sat 29th June
9am - MT Class - Tech and Padwork
10 am - MMA Class - Drilling Combos into Takedowns plus Low Kick/Heel kick techniques. 2 Rounds Shootbox sparring.
11am - NOGI BJJ - Drilling Mount techs and rolling.
Sunday - Rest and Recovery;
Review of the Week
‘This week, my fitness felt pretty unreal. Wasn’t gassing at all in sparring or pad rounds. Even Quan’s S&C class I felt way better than last week. We will see how I go cutting back food this week.
Overall, I’m feeling super excited right now, just need to keep my diet in order to make weight. Other than that all of my skills are feeling sharp and I think the combos we are practicing work well with my style and abilities.’

Week 3 - 3 Weeks Out from Fight - Weight - 67kg
Monday 1st July
Wrestling - Drilling (Single Leg Takedown - 4 Finishes) & Wall Wrestling Sparring
MT - Boxing Drilling, Padwork & Sparring with Boxing Team.
Tuesday 2nd July
5 - 6 pm - Padwork (3 x 3min Rds) & Sparring ( 4 x 4 Min Rds 1 min rest. Fresh opponents each minute)
6pm - NOGI BJJ (with MMA Gloves) - Back Control Techs and Back Control Sparring.
7.30pm - Comp Team Class: Takedown Drilling, Wall Wrestling and Winner stays on Grappling Sparring.
Wed 3rd July
Wrestling - 30 mins Cage Wrestling.
MT - Drilling and Padwork
Thurs 4th July
5 - 6 pm - Padwork (3 x 3 min Rds): Sparring (4 x 3 min rds vs Bobby) : Resistance Band DL Td (3 sets x 10), 30 seconds of power G & P on Bag after each set.
6pm - NOGI BJJ - Drilling Back Control Techs & 45 Mins rolling.
7.15pm - S & C Class:
Explosive Repeat Intervals:All main exercises performed with emphasis on explosive power aiming to maintain output with each set
Main Exercise 1
Landline press 10 reps each arm
Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 8 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 2
Vertical medicine ball throw laying on physio ball 10 reps
Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 8 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 3
Battle rope bilateral whips 10 reps
Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 8 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 4
Standing squat jumps 10 reps
Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 8 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Friday 5th July
5pm - Gi Sparring in BJJ Class
6pm - MT Class
Sat 6th July
10 am - MMA Class 5 x 5 min Rds x Sparring against 5 sparring partners. 1 min each and each partner working on a different objective. Then mma drilling.
11am - Muay thai training with fight team.
Sunday - Rest and Recovery;
Review of the Week:
This week, went a bit too hard with S&C at the start of the week, felt like I struggled during Tuesday sparring because my legs were sore. But surprisingly still felt fit by the end of Tuesday night fight team sesh. Striking sparring felt really good all week, practicing my posting and cross hook cross combo.Wednesday night on the pads I was WRECKED but technique still looked pretty good in video.
Felt even better again this in Quans S&C class, tried to make the active rest rounds a little more intense to push myself. Saturday sparring felt unreal, was picking up on people game plans and implementing my own. A few times I worked the jab, right knee, cross, left kick combo that we do on pads and it landed well. Even after the big mma sparring session I felt good, joined in on Muay Thai sparring too with Phil and the guys. Stuck to a good diet this weekend at mum and dads but we don’t have a scale here so I can’t weigh myself. But weight should be on track I’d say.

Week 4 - 2 Weeks Out from Fight
Monday 8th July
No Training
Tuesday 9th July
5 - 6 pm - 4 x 5 Min Rounds of MMA sparring. New partner each minute.
6pm - NOGI BJJ - Turtle position techniques and sparring.
7.30pm - Comp Team Class: Guillotine Escape sparring, Turtle Position Sparring, Side Control sparring, Wall TD Sparring.
Wed 10th July
Wrestling - Wall TD Sparring
MT - Drilling and Padwork
6 RDs of Hard Padwork focusing on specific combos and power.
Thurs 11th July
5 - 6 pm - 5 x 3 min Rds Sparring vs different opponent each min.
6pm - NOGI BJJ - Turtle Position techniques and sparring.
7.15pm - S & C Class Explosive Repeat Intervals
All main exercises performed with emphasis on explosive power aiming to maintain output with each set.
Main Exercise 1
Landline press 10 reps each arm
Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 8 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 2
Vertical medicine ball throw laying on physio ball 10 reps
Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 8 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 3
Ball slams to floor 10 reps
Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 8 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Main Exercise 4
Standing squat jumps 10 reps
Followed by 1 minute of steady state rope skipping level 8 rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*
Repeat 5 times with no break in between.
1 minute rest (focusing on recovery breathing technique)
Friday 12th July
Morning Weight = 65kg
5 pm - BJJ Class - Gi - Turtle Position Techniques & Sparring
Sat 13th July
9am - MT Class - Tech drilling and 4 rds Padwork
10 am - MMA Class - 5 x 6 Min Rds Sparring - New opponents each minute.
Sunday - Rest and Recovery;
Review of the Week
This week was great, lots of sparring which was great. (Exhausting) but great. I feel my rounds got better every time.
My fitness it constantly getting better, I’m not worried about 5x 3 minute rounds at all.
My weight is very much on track and I’m 100% injury and illness free (touch wood)
My Saturday rounds were full on, but I made it through and finished strong and that will definitely be harder than what the fight will be.

Week 5 - Fight Week:
Monday 15th July
MT - Drilling and Padwork
Tuesday 16th July
6pm - NOGI BJJ - Technique drilling
7pm - Final Fight simulation Sparring - Warm up in changing room, padwork etc, Walk to cage with entrance music, 3 rounds sparring vs Bryan.
Wednesday 17th July
Padwork and drilling.
Thurs 18th July
Padwork and drilling.
Friday 19th July
Weight Cutting.
Sat 20th July - Weigh In and Fight Day
Weighed in at 10am at 61.1kg


Result -Win by decision / Path to Hex Bantamweight Champion.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

How to be a good training partner

Pay attention when the instructor is teaching techniques or explaining drills. If you're training partner has to reteach what the instructor has shown it is a waste of time.

If you don't understand the technique or need to see it again ask the instructor. This is much more efficient than going off to practice a technique you don't understand and there will probably be other students who also need to see it again.

When you go back with your partner to practice the technique try to do as many repetitions as possible while maintaining good form. Even if you know the technique do as many reps as possible rather than just doing it halfheartedly while having a chat.

Stick to the techniques being taught. Your instructor has chosen to teach these specific techniques in this particular way as he feels this is what will benefit your long term development in Jiujitsu. His choice of what to teach is based on extensive experience. Save your own variations of techniques for open mat and sparring.

Don't 'over-coach' your training partner when drilling. This is usually counterproductive as it will get the student in the habit of not paying attention when the instructor is teaching. Also quite often students teaching other students results in being taught poor or badly understood technique.

Don't try to win in sparring. Work at a controlled pace rather than trying to overpower your training partner. Focus on trying to use the techniques that you have learnt in class rather than seeing it as a strength contest.

If you're paired up with a lower level student don't try to smash them but also don't spend the entire round re-explaining all the concepts and techniques of Jiujitsu. The best and most productive use of the round is to just spar at an acceptable pace allowing them to attempt techniques and letting them get a feel for what Jiujitsu sparring is all about.

Try to roll with a variety of sparring partners in each class. Don't just stick to the same four or five people. A greater variety of sparring partners will give you a better variety of techniques and styles to work against.

Avoid short cuts. There are techniques in Jiujitsu that will allow you to get quick wins in sparring against fellow beginners students however these techniques will not work against anyone who's been training for more than a few months. Think long term and focus on the high percentage techniques that are difficult to pull off now but with consistent practice will be your A game when you're a blue belt or purple belt.

Treat all your training partners with respect. Your training partners are one of the most important elements in how much you will improve. If you treat them well they will want to help you to improve.


Sunday, 3 March 2019

My BJJ Class Grading Requirements

Over the past two years, I've been working on specific grading criteria for each belt level in my BJJ classes. Previously we had always just based grading around how students were performing during sparring in class or competition success. This had also always been the case at the schools where I'd trained over the years. 

Over the years I noticed some problems with this system. Firstly, students who were more athletic could get away with doing very well in training and competition for the first few years but never developed the correct technique so would often quit once they reached the higher belts. Secondly, the lack of structure and criteria of exactly what you need to know and be able to do at each belt level often lead students to lose interest and motivation.

This is the current Promotion Criteria that I use for Promotion from White to Blue Belt and Blue to Purple Belt. Students are tested on these techniques on Grading Day and are also tested in rounds of sparring including Positional Sparring and Line ups where they have to roll with fresh opponents one after another for a set period of time.

The Grading requirements are still a work in progress and I have been adding and removing some techniques at each Stripe and Belt Level since I began.


White Belt to Blue Belt Grading Requirements broken down by Stripe:
Blue Belt to Purple Belt Grading Requirements broken down by Stripe:

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Deliberate Practice

Over my years of training and coaching martial arts I've seen many training partners and students come and go. Some students improve a lot and others don't seem to make any progress. In martial arts and particularly BJJ there is a culture of 'Just train bro' just keep turning up to class and eventually you'll get the hang of it. In my experience this is not the case, turning up to class and going through the motions is not enough to guarantee improvement and this lack of improvement will lead to loss motivation and quitting.


The key to improvement is Deliberate Practice. This is the opposite to just turning up to class and mindlessly hitting pads or doing arm-locks. It means concentrating and being focused on what you are doing with the specific intention of improving your performance.
Here are some of the basic requirements of Deliberate Practice :

A - Goals.
Having a clear 'stretch' goal of what you are working towards - Its important that this goal is something that will be quite difficult for you to achieve because this will force you grow and improve. Eg. Win all my matches by submission at my next BJJ tournament. Its also a good idea to have 'mini-goals' for each practice session Eg. Today I want to use that Combination/ Technique / Guard Pass at least 5 times in Sparring.

B - Concentration and Effort.
Full Concentration and Effort: When you are training in the gym, you are fully concentrating on what you are doing and giving it your full effort. If you are having a chat with your training partner while hitting pads don't expect to see great results.

C - Feedback.
Immediate and Informative Feedback: This could be from either a coach or from a training partner or alternatively you can just figure out how to give yourself feedback. Eg. I tried that arm-lock but my sparring partner got out of it and passed my guard - therefore what did I do wrong and what do I need to fix before next time.

D - Repetition.
Repetition with Reflection and Refinement. Lots of Repetition but not Mindless Repetition. You need repetitions with Reflection ('did I do that properly or did I screw it up?') and Refinement ('This time I'll make sure I keep my elbow close to my hip')

Monday, 4 February 2019

The Four Stages of Learning Martial Arts

This is a very useful concept that doesn't just apply to learning martial arts but to learning any skill.

There are four stages of learning.



Stage 1 - Unconscious incompetence  
This is where you are screwing everything up but you don't yet realize you are screwing it up. For example, Dropping your hands when you punch, trying to bench press your way out of mount.

Often students will stay in this phase much longer than is necessary because of either
A - They are not being given feedback (either verbal feedback - 'Keep your hands up' or Physical Feedback - Getting your teeth knocked out because you didn't have your hands up).
or
B - They are having some success even though they are using terrible technique. For example, Your training partner taps to a submission even though it was incorrectly applied.

Stage 2 - Conscious Incompetence
This is where you start to learn and develop. Its at this stage that you start to be critical of your own technique and begin to figure out exactly what you are doing wrong and what you need to do to improve.
Examples include - 'Why am I getting kicked in the leg so much? Why can I not escape mount position? Maybe I'll pay more attention the next time coach shows us that technique'

Stage 3 - Conscious Competence 
At this stage, you know exactly how to perform the techniques properly and when to do them. You can figure out what you need to do and what to work on. However, you realize that there is also the possibility to lapse back into bad habits if you lose concentration.

Stage 4 - Unconscious Competence
This is the final stage of mastering any skill and this is a common trait with all great champions. They perform the skill perfectly without having to think about it.

Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.


Tuesday, 29 January 2019

BJJ Seminar at 360 Martial Arts in Ulverstone, Tasmania

Last week I taught a BJJ Seminar at 360 Martial Arts and Fitness in Ulverstone Tasmania while visiting the area for a family holiday. I have attended many seminars over the last 25 years and have had mixed experiences. Some have been great and have changed the direction of my martial arts training and caching and others have been terrible. In some cases its clear that the instructor has not given any thought to what or how he is going to teach and is only there to collect a paycheck. I've always wanted to make sure that when I'm asked to teach that I have a great session planned and that every single person who attends will get something out of it and will improve their martial arts ability in some way. I always plan my seminar step by step and then hand out notes on what has been covered at the end of the session. 

Here is what I taught last week:

Takedown & Open Guard Seminar - Denis Kelly MMA Coaching

Grip Breaks: Kumi Kata (From Right Hand Grip)

  • Right hand Fingertips to ear and pull back right Elbow
  • Both hands grip Right sleeve - Pull Down or Pull away and Lean Back
  • Shake - Pull down Collar grip with Left Hand



Grip Surfing Drill:
  • Get Grip and Prevent Grip
  • Flow from One Grip to the Next
  • Collar - Sleeve - Belt - Leg - Two on One


Fireman's Throw / Kata Guruma:

  • 2 on 1 Grip - Pressure Down on Shoulder - Action/Reaction
  • Pull with Left Hand - Drop Penetration Step Right Knee  
  • Right hand to Sky - Ribs on your Neck
  • Sink/Sit on your Heels - So he doesnt have too far to fall
  • Lower your left shoulder to the mat - let opponent do a forward roll over you




Open Guard Grip Surfing Drill:
  • Non competitive - Just flowing between grips - Partners gives correct energy
  • Hips (Feet on Hips) - Hooks (Feet hooked behind knees) - Elbows (Spider Guard)




Lasso Guard:
  • Wrap leg from Outside to Inside of Arm
  • Block Tricep with your Instep - Lock your Elbow to your Hip
  • Test the Connection - Partner walks backwards and pulls you.

SASA Sweep - Yukinori Sasa (Paraestra Gym Tokyo):

  • Bring Right Foot from Left Hip to Right Hip - Shin across belt
  • Right Hand goes inside his left Knee
  • Bring his Right Shoulder to the mat with your Left Knee & Lift with right hand
  • Finish in Knee on Belly Position

To Oma Plata:

  • If they don't move forward after removing foot from hip
  • Right hand to outside of Right Knee - Rotate under stomach
  • Stretch both legs - Knees tight to force shoulder to Mat

To Triangle:

  • Right Leg over Left Shoulder  
  • Grip right elbow with both hands
  • Pull Right elbow in - Stretch left leg through
  • Inside of left knee on right shoulder to angle off to your right.

Guard Passing Drills:

  • Slap-Head : Passer
  • Slap-Head : Both
  • One Arm Bandit
  • No Arm Bandit
  • Blind Bandit

I received a lot of great feedback about the session and could see that many of the participants were picking up the techniques and concepts really well. Really looking forward to getting back there to run another session in the near future.






Jake Shields and Masakazu Imanari seminars

We have two great seminars coming up soon at my gym Australian Combat Sports Academy Firstly we have UFC legend Jake Shields on Thursday 1...