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Pruning the decision tree, retrieving the shears, and finding a point

Pruning the decision tree: The first drill we did tried to work skills to set-up reaction. If you use one or two longer range techniques, such as a jab, jab-cross, kick, jab kick, your opponent will either be hit or react. If you do it again they will typically counter. On your third application, you should then be able to pick up their counter and find the opening it presents. It is critical to move in, deliver your opener, and move out to read the response. The move in to deliver the opener and react to the likely response. The entire point is that, in a fight you have to create reaction in order to land effectively. You have to be brave enough to place the opening bet but patient enough to grow the pot. You have to cultivate your pitch before you seal the deal. In other words play the long game to find the rapid victory.

Retrieving the shears: The second drill we did tried to explain how to regain momentum, when someone is deliver their opener pushing you toward the ropes, how to recover the action. In it we tried to read the first opener and react to the second, pivot stepping or countering to shift momentum toward your opponent. Key to this is interrupting your opponents striking and striking to push them into the ropes. The fight swings on a pendulum the fighter who controls the angle and speed of it’s swing is most likely to win.

What’s the point when my technique fails: The point is to learn, to grow, to try something new, to realize the limits if your knowledge and work to develop to a higher level, to conquer fear, to realize the lesson inside the fight in the gym is not one of win or lose but how adversity can be challenged and we can become better complete human beings because of it. The point is that that job you want, that raise you need, and that girl you like aren’t going to punch you in the face (and if they do not with a fraction of the power I can), so go for it.


Wrestling Practice Notes

Double leg
Use your rear hand as a distance gauge by placing it on their forehead. Use the other hand to wrap the neck, pull toward. They should reach to your shoulder. Use your tie hand to lift their triceps and shuffle in, placing your head on the lateral side of their ribs. Grab their thigh with your ipsilateral arm and step through with your opposite leg as you grab the thigh on this side. Drive laterally as you pull on the legs.

Russian Tie to Reverse Double Leg
If your opponent collar ties use a two handed baseball grip and rotate your shoulder as you pull this across your body. Leverage their arm by driving your elbow into their triceps. Retain the grip on the wrist and with your near hand grab a grip at the biceps. Squat, putting your weight on their arm. Now hook their near foot and lift to your far hand. Pull with this hand and reach behind their leg to tap the far knee.

Pummel Arm Drag Pull Down
From the pummel use the under hook to pull as the overhook pushes and drop step making them plant. Now shove their underhook arm down and reach across with your underhook to pull their triceps across. Grab their far hip with your free hand and drive with your head into their scapula, pulling them to the mat in 4 points.

Russian Tie to Pull Down

From the Russian tie, reach up with your wrist control hand to their biceps and transfer your top control to the far hip. Pull them laterally to 4-points.


Jab-Cross Stationary Read


  • Jab - rock back - rock forward - rock back - step - cross using quarter turn of the base foot (walk up and down the mats x2)
  • Lead kick walk: Switch step - throw “kick” by raising knee and flicking straight up - drop foot for next step (walk up and down the mats x2)
  • Rear kick walk: Step - throw vertical flick kick as above -drop foot for next step (x2)
  • Alternating kick walk: Walk throwing alternating vertical flick kicks (x1)


Step jab-cross, retreat step, fake jab (range finger), bring rear foot to heel of lead (L position), and throw lead kick to inside of lead leg, recover backwards to opposite stance and then step back into original stance (2 steps out to open range and look…to see what they will react with.

Stepping In

If they are simply being defensive it is a reasonable risk to step into range and attack.

Option #1: Using the above set-up, place your kicking leg in a new stance (i.e. drop from kick right into the stance, no recovery) and throw cross - hook - cross (video)

Option #1A (lead kick): After the cross  - hook - cross, throw a lead head kick by driving the knee toward the head, flicking the kick to the head (video versus Southpaw)

Option #1A (rear kick): After the cross - hook - cross, slap with the lead hand as you pivot off to the lead side, (if ipsilateral leads) point your lead foot at their rear foot and deliver a rear body kick (video).

Option #2A (opponent is hunkering down): After the kick, drop the foot wider as you step in and deliver the upward elbow between their guard (video).

Option #2B (opponent is hunkering down): After the kick, drop the foot in the middle, grab their head with your rear hand and their same side arm with your free hand and pull into the knee. You can drop the kneeing foot down, switching stance, pull the arm down on the side you have control and deliver a horizontal elbow to the jaw (video).

Option #3: After the kick, rechamber foot near the rear leg, cat stance-like. Throw the tiip and step forward bringing your rear foot to your front foot, chamer the tiip again:

Option #3A: If they do nothing, tiip again

Option #3B: If they defend by using the lead hand to hook what they think is an incoming tiip, throw the cross (video).


Use your hips, punching and throwing

Little pre-semester start practice tonight and we worked on combining striking with throwing, specifically the ogoshi (hip toss). We initiated each exchange with a jab cross, our partner threw back a cross.

The “Turn and Burn” Versions:

Straight cross: Use a catch parry and hook their cross wide to allow you to setup the underhook. Use your free hand to elbow the face then step across and turn to do the hip toss.

Haymaker: Use the SPEAR and use the near elbow to the face, step across hooking the head with the far arm and hip toss (counter the strike). Alternatively wrap the head with your near arm and turn the opposite way to hip toss (with the strike).

“Side Clinich” Versions

Straight cross: Use a catch parry and hook their cross wide to allow you to setup the underhook. Step up next to their hips and clinch from the side, grabbing their far arm with your anterior hand, your hips perpendicular to theirs, break their posture laterally away from you, step through a hip toss

Haymaker: Use the SPEAR and step into the side clinch as above to hip toss.

We also talk about the to use the side clinch to setup the single leg and knee tap. We also looked at the sacrifice throw to the back by sitting to your butt and placing your posterior leg, straight behind their legs. Use your dropping momentum to transfer pulling energy to their hips and pull them to their back.