Monday 30 September 2019

My 5 Most Popular Blog Articles

Here are my 5 most popular articles since I began writing my MMA coaching blog in 2012.

How to get ready for your first MMA Fight: January 2012

Advice for BJJ White belts to get the most out of their training: May 2018

What I've learned so far as an MMA Coach: July 2018

Being a Martial Arts Dad: August 2018

My system for developing fighters: October 2017

Amateur MMA tournament - Saturday 9th November at Australian Combat Sports Academy:

ACSA Bushido Amateur MMA - MMA Melbourne

MMA Melbourne

We are running our first ever amateur MMA event at our Australian Combat Sports Academy on Saturday 9th November. There will be no head strikes allowed (standing or on the ground) and will be round-robin format so everyone will get a few matches on the day.

This format will be a good first step for beginners who are looking to eventually compete in MMA but also just for martial artists of various backgrounds to try it out and test their skills under a compromised rule-set.

I believe that no head strikes is the best rule set for beginners to try out MMA. It's a great way for aspiring fighters to gain valuable match experience without the unnecessary risk of injury. I personally competed in many of thees types of matches in the UK in the early 2000s alongside future UFC stars such as Michael Bisping.

Here is the link to register:

ACSA Bushido Amateur MMA Rules:

Time Limits:Matches will be fought over 2 x 3 Minute Rounds

LegalTechniques:Punches, Kicks & Knee Strikes to the Upper Body
Kicks and Knee Strikes to the Legs
Punches to Body and Kicks to Legs are allowed when Opponent is in the downed position.
All throws and Takedowns
All Arm-locks and Shoulder Locks
Chokes and Strangles Excluding Neck Cranks
Leglocks Excluding Heel Hooks

Illegal Techniques:Instant Disqualification:
No strikes of any kind permitted to the head.
No Slamming of opponent either as a result of a takedown or to escape a submission.
No Neck Cranks or Heel Hooks.
No Standing Submissions.
A fighter will receive Warning: Two warnings leads to Disqualification
No Grabbing Opponents clothing or Shin-guards, gloves or Knee-pads.
No running out of the competition area.

Safety Equipment:Eight Ounce MMA Sparring Gloves
MMA Shin Guards
MMA Knee Pads
Mouth Guard
MMA or Muay Thai Shorts

Competition Area:The competition area will be 6 x 6 meters with an outer safety Perimeter of 2 Meter.

Referee Decision:The referee can stop the match and award victory if:
One fighter has taken too many unanswered strikes from any position.
One fighter is in a locked-in submission but is refusing to tap and is risking injury.

Ways to Win:Submission via Tap Out due to Choke, Arm-lock, Shoulder Lock or Leg Lock.
Submission via Tap Out due to Strikes.
Technical Knockout due to strikes either in Standing or Grounded position.
Referee Stoppage
Judges Decision

SCORING TECHNIQUES: In the event of a Judge's decision the match will be scored based on the following criteria:
Effective Striking - Strikes that have an immediate or cumulative impact with the potential to end the match.
Effective Grappling - Takedowns, submission attempts, reversals and the achievement of advantageous positions that have an immediate or cumulative impact to end the match.
A successful takedown is not just a changing of position, but an attack from the use of the takedown.
Submission attempts taking considerable effort to escape are given greater weight than those that are easily defended and escaped without effort.
Impactful throws and takedowns are weighted more heavily than athletes who are tripped or bundled to the mat.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

MMA & BJJ Seminars at ACSA MMA Melbourne

We recently held two great seminars at Australian Combat Sports Academy.

First, we had UFC and Grappling legend Jake Shields who covered some great details on Takedowns, Guard passing, Back control position and Leglocks.

MMA Melbourne

The following week we hosted Japanese Leglock legend Masakazu Imanari. This was another great session where we covered some excellent drills based around his famous 'Imanari Roll' Leglock entry as well as some great details on finishing leglocks.

MMA Melbourne

Coming up next on Sunday 7th October we are hosting one of my former coaches, Chris Brennan.

Chris "The Westside Strangler" Brennan, Pro MMA from 1994 until 2012, has competed for the UFC, PRIDE, Cage Rage, King of the Cage and Shooto. He is a former King of the Cage Middleweight Champion and former King of the Cage Middleweight Superfight Champion. In 2014 Chris was inducted into the Mixed Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
After retiring from MMA competition Chris switched his focus back to grappling and won the No-Gi Black Belt World Championships in 2013, 2014, and 2015 was also the 2014 Nogi Pan American Champion.
He made his UFC debut at UFC 16 in March 1998 and won via armbar submission in the first round.
As a professional MMA fighter has accumulated 21 wins including 18 first-round submissions. he holds a 95% finish rate, amongst the highest in MMA.

In September 2002 I moved to Irvine, California to live and train at Chris Brennans Next Generation Jiujitsu school. Next Generation was also one of the only BJJ/MMA schools in the world at that time where you could live and train at the gym full time. I shared a small room at the gym with several other aspiring fighters from all around the world and trained 3 times a day for 3 months.

I'm very excited to be able to bring him to teach at my school nearly 20 years later. This session will run from 9am on Sunday morning and will be a 3 hour Kimura Masterclass.

You can book your spot at this link:

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Why MMA Fighters must train in regular classes - MMA Melbourne

MMA Melbourne

Why do some MMA fighters have successful careers while others start off well but then quickly go downhill?

I’ve seen fighters have a lot of success early in their career, then they stagnate, they stop improving and gradually get worse and worse results. How can we explain this deterioration of skill level and results?

There are several factors that can have a bad long term effect on a fighters career.

The Fight Camp Problem:
One common thing I see with many fighters is that once they have a little bit of success they stop attending regular classes and instead just want to do their own fight training, They just want to do their own padwork and sparring rather than attending classes like the regular students,

They see top professionals like Floyd Mayweather training like this so they assume that's what they should be doing too. They also think they’ve become too good to train with the regular students and that all the training should be focused around them and their competition goals,

The reality is that if you are already an elite world champion like mayweather then it makes sense not to do regular classes. There's a point of diminishing returns, time is better spent doing training that is solely focused on you. Also, if you are already a world champion you can afford to pay your trainers and sparring partners a full time salary so they can work around your schedule,

Why do fighters think they don’t have to come to regular classes?
They think that training in the regular classes with non fighters will hold them back. This is not true. I have seen many recreational students who have a much higher skill level in specific areas than the professional fighters. The fighter would actually benefit tremendously from training and sparring with these non fighters.

They believe training should be all just focused around them, This is completely unrealistic, Even if the fighter is paying his trainer 10-20% of the fight purse, it is very unlikely that any decent or suitably qualified trainer will be willing and able to devote all their time over the course of an 8 week training camp.

They think they already know everything that's being taught in class so there's no point wasting time practicing it again. This is usually never the case. There isalways more to learn and more skills to be refined and improved upon.

Disadvantages of only doing fight training:
There are several common patterns which I notice from fighters who only do ‘Fight Camps’ rather than regular training. These include stagnation and deterioration of ability.
Fighter is happy in the short term because he gets to train on his own terms. It's all about him, he feels like a professional and builds his ego but it's a disaster long term,

The fighter may be able to maintain their current level of skill, technique and fitness but is not improving and will not be capable of beating the next level of opponent.

The fighters coach who was probably responsible for the initial success doesn't want to work with the athletes who don't attend his classes regularly as this sets a bad example to the other students.

This often leads to the fighter finding other coaches who are willing to work them but usually the replacement coaches are inexperienced and just trying to make a name for themselves which will ultimately do more harm tahn good to the fighters career.
Why should fighters keep training in classes?
Its very important to continually keep improving and updating your skills. MMA fighting is a game of levels. If you beat a fighter of one level then you will have to move up to the next level to keep progressing your fight career. The level of skills and ability that was required to beat your previous opponent will not be enough to beat your next opponent.
This is especially the case in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts where the overall skill level rapidly increases from year to year. The level of skill required to win a state or national title even a few years ago would likely not be enough now.

Check out our BJJ & MMA Classes at ACSA:

Long Term BJJ Training

Eleven years ago since I got my black belt and I thought this would be useful advice for anyone who is in the earlier stages of their JiuJi...

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