10 Things You Need To Know To Be A Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Part 3: How to do take downs like a wrestler.
Everyone knows that the Mixed Martial Arts Craze is taking over America and everyone wants to be a part of the craze. The problem is that 99% of the Martial Arts Schools in America can’t teach you all you need to know to become a great MMA fighter. Why? Because the teachers don’t know all the skills necessary to become a great MMA fighter and so they only teach a little of the skills required and thus they only produce very poor MMA fighters.
So what exactly are the skills you need to know to be a great MMA fighter
- How to punch like a Boxer, not a karate player
- How to kick like a Kick Boxer or Tae Boxer, not a tae kwon do player
- How to do takedowns like a Wrestler
- How to do ground jiu jitsu with No Gi
- How to do conditioning for a fight
- How to eat like a champion
- How to prepare for a fight mentally and physically
- How to control your mind and emotions before, during and after the fight
- How to use the ring
- How to do physical conditioning
During the next few weeks I will be going over each of these skill sets and how and why you need to know them if you want to be a great MMA fighter.
The 3rd Skill set you need to know is How to do take downs like a wrestler.
If you want to be a World Class MMA fighter you better be able to take your opponent down to the ground and just jumping at him and trying to push him down won’t work.
If you watch MMA fights you see fighter after fighter who has no clue how to take their opponent down. They bend over at the waist and try to lift the man, only to hurt their back or get a knee to the face or worse.
There are really only 2 sports that teach take downs in an effective combat manner. These are Judo, and wrestling. Judo players have some great take downs, but most of them require that your opponent be wearing a GI or have a heavy coat or jacket on. Judo take downs don not work as well when you can’t grab to control your opponent. If you watch an Olympic Judo match you will see 75% of the match is the judo players trying to grab the GI of the opponent and set up the throw. They reach out and grab, and the other man pushes the hand away, or moves or counters, etc. Once they get control of the GI the match is usually over and the throws are powerful and devastating. I can attest to the power of judo throws in 2 ways. I am a Black Belt in judo and have throw people 1,000’s of times. I know what I am doing and how to do a throw. I have also been the recipient of throws and had my shoulder broken, requiring surgery and 6 months to heal. There is are few techniques in the Martial Arts that hurt as much as trying to do a fall from 6 feet in the air, on to the hard ground. If you can pick your opponent up and smash him violently to the ground, you will win 99% of the fights you are in. The problem arises in that to do most, not all judo throws you have to hold the GI. Or set up the throw with the GI. And 90% of the people in the streets that start fights are not wearing a GI and 100% of the people in MMA fights are not wearing a GI. So if you only know Judo throws your take downs will not be as effective as they should be. You definitely should learn some judo throws but these are not all the techniques you should learn to take some one down.
Now it is entirely different in Wrestling. My son Teddy is a 4 times State Champion, has been a wrestling on a daily bases for 14 years, and he is only 20 years old. So he has extensive experience in wrestling and wrestling take downs. Most of the great MMA fighters have been successful wrestlers. Not all but most. Please let me give you an example of the power of wrestling take downs. In my son’s high school there was a bully that intimidated both the boys and girls in the school, and everyone was afraid of him. He made the mistake of challenging Teddy to a street fight after the end of the school year, and a large crowd showed up to watch. The man he was fighting (I don’t say boy, because he was 18 years old and weighed 200 pounds and a accomplished street fighting punk) was very famous for his devastating boxing skills, and when the fight started he squared off like a boxer and began moving around. That movement lasted about 10 seconds until Teddy picked him up and smashed him to the ground got on top and punched him in the face a few times. The bully protested, that this wasn’t fair; this was supposed to be a fight, not a wrestling match. What he meant was “this was supposed to be a fight he could win, not a real fight, where there are no rules). Teddy understood that and told him, “no this was a real fight and he was going to teach him a lesson”, but just to be nice he let him up again. The guy squared off, and immediately Teddy dropped in, picked him up and this time knocked him out with the take down, smashing him to the ground. The fight was over and the boxer lost.
And that is the way it is in the most MMA fights, if you have no idea of how to do take downs and are relying solely on your boxing and karate skills, you will not have a chance against a accomplished wrestler in the ring. If you want to become a World Class MMA fighter you better train with a teacher who knows and understands how to do wrestling take downs and can teach you not only how to do the take downs, but how to defend against the take downs. Most of the current or former UFC champions, including Chuck Lydell, Randy Colture, Tito Ortiz were accomplished high school and college wrestlers. Randy Colture has said many times that he would rather have fighter who was a great wrestler in his camp, than a fighter who was a boxer or karate player. The wrestler knows how to take you down, stay on you and get the job done. The boxer only knows boxing and if you take him down he is done. The karate player knows kicks and punches but nothing about take downs and how to defend against them.
I suggest that you get some books or DVD’s on wrestling take downs to study if your teacher does not know how to teach wrestling take downs. There are lots of great books and DVD’s out there from Olympic and World Champion Wrestlers. So there is No reason for you not to learn to do wrestling take downs. One more thought. You are not going to learn to do great wrestling take downs in a few weeks, a few months. You need to practice your wrestling take downs for years to become World Class.