1. #1

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    MMA school, striking drill ethics

    Hey guys I'm relatively new to posting on Bullshido (though i do tend to lurk a bit) and I have a question about how I am supposed to conduct myself during drills. This is a more competitive (as in a good deal of the guys there compete in amateur leagues) MMA gym.

    I've never done MMA before, though I have done a good deal of a Kickboxing / Karate blend for awhile, so i didn't know if this is more common / standard in MMA gyms or even preferable. So heres the situation: I start working with this guy (hes 2+ years at gym) for some basic combination drills. I throw first and keep the pace calm trying to focus on getting the techniques right, flow them together well, while trying to adjust my range from push kick to body hook range. After a couple times i pick up the speed to be realistic but keep my power low. Its his turn to throw and he starts throwing power shots with full followthrough, to the point where it felt like he was treating it as a hard sparring session. It felt like he was legitimately trying to knock me out during the drills. I was uncomfortable with this so I asked him if he could lay off the power a bit (at my old school during drills we used a good amount, but it was still less than how we would treat say a sparring session) he flat out said no. Though it sounded odd, I assumed that maybe thats just how this gym (or maybe MMA gyms in general) trains. A few combinations later as we start trading he would sometimes deviate from the combination we were working; sometimes it would be something as little as changing a head hook to a lower body shot and other times it would be something like adding a knee after the combination was over or replacing a kick with straight knees or a short boxing combination. He kept the same level of power throughout the session and would land those changed strikes with just as much force, even though i didn't know to expect them (granted I know we should try to react to techniques instead of anticipating them but arbitrarily changing targets and techniques when we weren't sparring seems inappropriate). I kept my pace the same speed as his but i kept my power level more around where I was taught before and thought was appropriate.

    Is this acceptable MMA drilling on his part? I was always taught to keep the power lower during drills, but the man i learned from might have been incorrect. I didn't see what other partners were doing, so i couldn't go off of that.
    If it is acceptable, was i in the wrong for not upping my power levels to reach his more?
    If it is not acceptable, how do you think would have been the best way for me to respond?
    I've been thinking about this for awhile and can't seem to come to an acceptable conclusion. Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to try to set up the situation as well as i could. If you have any questions just lemme know.

  2. #2
    alex's Avatar
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    mma gym or not being an asshole is being an asshole. hes an asshole. im assuking you are using pads for this?

    1- you should match to what your partner is comfortable with. if im with someone newer/a lot smaller/whatever ill practice technique over power. if im with my coach ill throw as hard as i like.

    2- randomly throwing **** in, the way you described, is a definite no. throwing a few jabs or whatever, ok, and ill do drills with some of my clients where i get them to just unload, im good enough to catch whatever they throw. but those are specific drills. hes an asshole. dont train with him.

  3. #3

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    Gonna second what Alex has to say and relate a short example too.

    The instructors at my club have just gotten back from a John Wayne Parr seminar. Look him up,its easier than me relating how good a fighter he is. Anyways, sparring type drills he was using and we're now using?? minimum contact,correct technique,reaction type sparring drills.He can hit hard anyways,but spotting the opening and landing a shot is the hard part.Sure ,thats not the ONLY type of sparring he's doing,but its one of the main things they brought back from the seminar. He reduces injury,improves speed and reaction,has great technique and would freaking kill most ppl in the ring.

    Honestly?? if the guy at the top of the game is incorporating that type of drills in his training? then i'm prolly gonna follow what he's doing.

    So yeah,not only was the guy you were training with a knob,but he's really not helping his own game. You're set for a particular drill sequence and he throws a hard random shot?? wtf?? is he tryin to make out he's awesome cuz he landed a shot?? Don't train with him.
    Last edited by KiwiPhil889; 9/21/2011 4:47am at .

  4. #4
    PointyShinyBurn's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    No, being a dickhead is not common practice in MMA gyms in my personal experience. If it's common in the gym you're training at I'd suggest you go somewhere else.

  5. #5

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i dont do MMA i do kickboxing and boxing, but for striking there is no difference, anyhow during those combo drills one can go hard if his partner is comfortable with it!!! if not than slower and easy. Because your partner knows what to expect you can go a bit harder than you would a regular sparing match, but then again you cant improvise with the same power, i mean you dont want to hurt the guy, you should respect him.

  6. #6

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Nope,he's an asshole,just refuse to train with him & don't be shy in telling him why.
    I doubt you are the only one he is going off script with & believe me,your classmates will sort it out during sparring.
    If you like the school,then **** him.
    You will no doubt still be there training long after he has retired to the couch to tell war stories.

    With some of my classmates it's gently does it & often becomes more like a 3 minute round of technique instruction & encouragement,
    With others,I'm the noob being spoonfed my lines,
    Whilst with others,it becomes indistinguishable from full contact sparring, ( if you don't defend properly you will get smacked ) & I know for a fact that it is the same in gyms that friends of mine train & teach in.
    Last edited by Rickko; 9/21/2011 9:49am at .

  7. #7

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    @ Alex: I had boxing gloves and shin gear on and he had boxing gloves (he didn't use shin gear). We weren't using thai pads, belly pads, or focus mits.

    Thanks for the advice / conformation guys. I was hoping that wasn't standard practice for drills in MMA schools, but I'm ignorant to a lot about how MMA schools train. I definitely won't train with him again.

    I was wondering also, if i ever get into a situation similar to that again what do you think is the best way to handle it? Should I leave the situation after talking to him about it, take it and just don't train with him again, up my power as much as i can to match theirs, or something else entirely?

    Thanks again for yall's replies!

  8. #8

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I was wondering also, if i ever get into a situation similar to that again what do you think is the best way to handle it? Should I leave the situation after talking to him about it, take it and just don't train with him again, up my power as much as i can to match theirs, or something else entirely?
    Talk to the coach before it happens again so you don't get paired up with him. If the coach refuses to listen to you, then **** 'em, and leave. Just taking it every time you have to work with him is just going to reinforce him being a prick, and you trying to go hard is going to end poorly.

    There's a time to be going hard and to learn how to deal with it. Light technique drilling isn't it.

    Also, this-

    (he didn't use shin gear)
    ...is really disturbing. Even pros do most of their contact drilling and sparring with shin guards. Throwing full-power kicks on someone without them while drilling is 100 percent bullshit, and the fact that the coach let that go is not a good sign.

  9. #9

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Geez, i thought you were using focus mitts or forearm pads or similar. As Neo stated, the guy not using shin pads and going fairly hard (and random) REALLY shouldn't be happening and that the coach/trainer didn't say or do anything is worrying. Its got nothing to do with toughness and alot more to do with injury prevention and longevity of fighter,plus,hitting the target is the hard part,not hitting hard.

  10. #10

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Sparring without shinguards,dude thats extreme.
    I've done classes where I left my shinguards at home when we train basic leg kick drills which amount to little more than leaning your weight over your rear leg while it rests on the other guys leg.
    The last time I did that one of my instructors ( Elvis Sinosic ) came up to me & my trainingg partner & told us to back down a little as we would hate each other the next day.
    We laughed...But my thigh was black the next morning.

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