Steve Morris – Primal Mixed Training
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In this session at Primal I try to lay out the fundamental methods we use for training. We approach MMA training in a way that addresses the entire game from standup to ground. Naturally, within a single afternoon I couldn’t include every detail, every piece of equipment, or every permutation of the many drills I introduce here. However, I try very hard to get across the principle of how the overall training is structured so as to break the fight down into snapshots, addressing each snapshot individually through technical drills, fighting drills and conditional fighting. I also show examples of how the snapshots can be put together again to reconstitute aspects of the fight in various ways. You can take this DVD and run with it.
I want to inspire you to train in a way that doesn’t rely on rote learning of technique, or on the separation of technique from application. I give you an inside track on how to train, as an individual and as a group. The age range of people included in this session runs from Dan and Kish at 16 to myself at 64. There are a couple of older guys there besides myself. There are women. And the fitness and experience level of the group varies dramatically. However, everyone is doing the same training. Everyone can do this. I made the DVD not as an example of a typical Primal session, because that’s just a hard four hour workout, sometimes with a specific focus, in which the core group already knows what they’re doing and I don’t need to explain a lot. I made this film for people who are new to this approach, and I tried to pack in as much information as I could without giving a lecture. This is very much a ‘doing’ video.
The DVD also includes ways you might go about enhancing those attributes that are necessary to fight with. Certain key principles come up again and again on this DVD. These are related to movement; for example, use of the head, rhythm and timing, and how to enhance power development and penetration through dynamic tension. Also, there is a significant element of training psychology that includes positive methods of beasting and other drills that address psycho-physiological and physical attributes necessary to fight with. This DVD will allow you to take your training to another level.
It’s suitable for those already training in MMA, but equally suitable for those looking to make the transition from a traditional art into MMA. I give you everything you need to do that, and once you’ve understood the way I organize the training, you can make progress very rapidly. This is a coherent, cohesive training framework that can work for individuals as well as instructors; it can provide you with the right direction without straitjacketing you. I want to encourage progression and experimentation in fight training.
Breakdown of Topics Covered
Part 1 Dynamic Warm-up (50 minutes)
Skipping * set the pace for a footspeed practical for fighting * speed that comes from the whole body * vocalization/breathing to confirm rhythm * doubling the beat so you can break the rhythm * skip plyometrically, beginners should use straighter leg * diagonals and criss-cross * increase hand speed to increase foot speed * if you’re having a problem hold the rope in one hand at a time * working shoulder, elbow, wrists using variable rotations
Standup shadow fighting * punch and kick feeling the body is doing the work * feeling your way through the move, slightly exaggerated * elbows, punches, clinches, kicks, knees, sprawls & runarounds * work at a continuous run changing levels continually * emphasize the movement dynamic of each move * can be focused on boxing, Muay Thai, freestyle, Greco-Roman, etc.
Ground warm-up* kickover, sit-through, alternating leg-over, bridges, runaround, switches * core work incorporated into fundamental skills * head going into finish position to organize the movement pattern * runaround, shrimps, running back on shoulders, crawling, run on arms * bridge and make 180 turn using eyes/head to lead * twisting to change position * head movement determining direction of shot, initiation, level, position * backward rolling over and on arm as if in arm bar * free-flowing ground patterns of all ground moves imaginable
Medicine ball ground work * all ground work using large Swiss balls and medicine balls * using the ball creatively to explore combative movement patterns * continuous flow * throw in some strength work * work through different positions, alignments, changing frequently
Appendix–Extra footage * More standup shadow-fighting* More ground warmup *Some wall drills * More ball agility/strength on ground
Part 2 Exchange Drills Inside/Outside Position (53 minutes)
Light exchange drills for speed, timing, and rhythm * inspired by a Floyd Mayweather drill * synchronization and syncopation * hand speed * enhancement of striatium (time perception)
Heavy body shot exchanges * conditioning * tactical body alignment and positioning * offence and defence combined
Head protection * how the head moves * establishing tactical stability/mobility * using the eye * drill using arms to check head shots
Round kick exchange * ‘heavy massage’ round kick exchange * range of levels * targeting safely for partner * conditioning * feed/cue processing of ‘incoming planes’ * combined with front push-away, knees, body shots
Knees exchange * with clinch and breakaway * use of the head to lead the body * ‘nutcracker’ knees * knee-to-shoulder lift for high knee and high front kick * incorporated into mixed exchange drills
Elbow exchange * checked with insertion * as a feed drill * incorporated into mixed exchange drill * positioning to check shot before it releases * ‘looking for head’ handfighting contact drill * clinch position for elbow * safety factors in training * offensive control reaction to elbow
Glove on glove drills * open and closed position exchanges * mixed strikes * lower-tempo, ‘heavy’
Clinch work * Seeking control of clinch * Light variation * Strong/fixed variation * Static position * With a conclusion (hold) * Technical tips for making the hold effective * Takedown from clinch * Off-balance points and taking your body out of the way * ‘steering wheel’ throw * incorporated into ‘heavy’ mixed exchange drills
Shoulders/body as safer targets * mixed exchange drills as above * ‘head shots’ redirected to shoulder * accepting shots for defensive practice * drill as training exercise, not competitive fight * including full range of punches, kicks, elbows, knees, clinches
Punch exchange at full power * with awareness of being hit back * full fighting power * as a foundation for somewhat softer mixed exchange
Mixed exchange with more power
Part 3 Contact missions and stimuli-oriented training (53 min)
greco roman pummelling drills * light/heavy *with movement/static fix *stop and start flow * control, off-balance, leg pickup, knee pickups, ankle pickups, various throws * double legs * outside and inside single legs * always returning to original flow drill * using legs, head, shoulder, hands for movement * with body locks, arm locks * momentary opportunistic locks * momentary opportunistic arm/hand trapping * arm drags, duck-unders, sprawls, whizzers, dumps, trips * under-arm setup for takedown * head for control and drive * throw the head to throw the man * returning to the feet combatively
pummelling progression to conditional fight * as two grapplers, one has mission to go to ground, other not
playfighting conditional ground drill * principle of playfight * roleplaying rolling playfight with call of ‘fight’ for submission * rolling transfers medicine ball positional skills to the man * missions: one man goes for submission, one avoids * mirror learning of submissions with experienced partner * working in chaotic context
playfighting ‘mission’ conditional drill * rolling with each guy going for a specific predetermined submission when ‘fight’ is called * focusing on one weapon to learn offence and defence in chaotic context
Ground and pound * ‘heavy massage’ ground and pound drill * one pounds, one defends * constantly rolling positions * avoiding hitting the head * rolling until ‘tie-up’ or ‘submission’ is called
Stimuli-oriented training * medicine ball pass/sprawl, pass/clearance, pass/guard, pass/guard/runaround * passing/punching, grabbing * medicine ball roll and chase with catching, rolling, sit-out, dives * drills done with a group throwing/rolling balls to one man under pressure
Man on standing bag drill with opposition* man with belt around his waist and people holding him back * people grabbing him, everybody tries to stop him * he hits the bag like a maniac * ‘permission to go crazy’
Part 4 Mob Drills, Mad Moments & Striking Clinic (52 minutes)
Mob pressure drill * covers * taking guys down * pushing * punching your way out
Mad moments in group training * high intensity aggressive repetition of single move* using medicine balls and bags* throw ball at wall in various ways * punchouts on heavy bag (10-20 secs) * kickout on heavy bag * throwing free bag * a ‘mad moment’ of entire gym working at once * repeated at intervals
Striking mini-clinic: some technical tips * using small ball, bag, and wall * how to get faster initiation * how to get more finish* shot put throw for simultaneous release * whip-like throw for sequential release * using the body weight * using the head to drive the body * withdrawal reflex (hikite) to initiate the movement* isometric pressing of punch or kick on wall to to neurally load explosive finish
Appendix: Extra footage * Kishen learning speed ball * ‘Head chase drill’ in the standup * More hand-speed/timing glove drill as on Disc 2 * Light body sparring (role-playing different stylistic types) expands on Disc 2 * Clinch/handfighting/push exchange as on Disc 3 * Touch position takedown drill as on Disc 3 * Role-play standup vs. ground fighter starting from clinch * Rolling with submission as in Disc 3 but in your own time & changing roles * Rolling with predetermined goals, both going for submission/escape @ same time * Mob drill as in Disc 4 * Bag/belt drill as in Disc 4 * Medicine ball mob drill with a few variations * Free bag knee/control drill
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