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Anaconda Choke

The anaconda choke is a submission hold that can render an opponent unconscious by restricting blood flow to the brain. This occurs when the choke constricts the carotid arteries in the neck, which measure pulse. For the technique to be considered an anaconda choke, the combatants must be facedown in the north-south position and the opponent's arm must be trapped and pressing into his own neck. Trapping the arm secures the opponent's and constricts blood flow on one side of his neck, while the aggressor uses his arm to constrict the blood flow to the other side of the opponent's neck.

Ankle Locks

Ankle locks earned the nickname Achilles locks for the Greek warrior with the famously weak ankles. A competitor executes the locks with a hand-to-wrist grip or figure-4 hold. He then squeezes the ankle with his grip while simultaneously thrusting his hips-both of which hyperextend his opponent's ankle, causing immense pain. If the opponent doesn't submit, the ankle will break.

Arm Triangle

The arm triangle is a blood-choke technique in which the fighter encircles his opponent's neck and arm in a figure-4 hold. This causes the opponent to be rendered unconscious or submit. The choke restricts oxygen via compression of the adversary's carotid arteries.

Arm Wrap

A mounted fighter can reposition an opponent to the side with an arm wrap. The technique is characterized by a wrap-the mounted fighter traps and wraps one of the rival's arms around the rival's head while rolling him to the side. During the technique, the opponent is completely immobilized and unable to strike back at his attacker. Fighters use the arm wrap to transition to a new position where they can obtain back control, ground and pound their opponents or execute various submission holds.


An armbar or arm lock traps an opponent's elbow between the fighter's legs in a cross-body position with the corresponding wrist secured by the fighter's hands. It becomes a submission hold when the fighter thrusts his hips upward against the immobilized elbow joint. Two other names for the armbar are the "cross-body armbar" because of the cross-body position and a "straight armbar" because of the positioning of the opponent's arm in the lock.


Back Control

A fighter is in back control, a fundamental grappling position, when his opponent's back is facing the fighter's chest. This is a very advantageous position to obtain because the opponent can't see, strike at or defend against the attacker; he's at the fighter's mercy. However, back control is not a submission hold; instead, it is a position from which to transition and perform other techniques or strikes. Competitors can execute back control from any position, regardless of whether the opponent is prone, supine, seated or turtled. A fighter can further secure his position by using grapevines or underhooks. If the opponent is prone, the position also can be referred to as a "back mount."

Body Triangle

A body triangle constricts the torso of an opponent with a leg figure-4 hold. It's disconcerting because it's very difficult to break. In theory, a fighter can hold his opponent in a body triangle indefinitely, but generally, it is used by a fighter to actively secure back control and/or transition into a submission like the rear-naked choke. A fighter executes a body triangle when he locks his legs in a figure-4 hold around his opponent's torso.

Butterfly Guard

The butterfly guard is an open-guard position in which the insteps of a fighter's feet are hooked underneath the opponent's inner thighs. This helps a competitor maintain the gap between him and his top-positioned opponent and thwart any strikes or efforts the opponent makes to pass the guard. From the butterfly guard, an opponent also can go on the offensive with reversals and sweeps from this position.



Much like an actual can opener, the purpose of the can-opener technique is to free a fighter trapped in the closed-guard position. The fighter secures a two-handed hold around the back of his opponent's neck and puts pressure on it by cranking the head forward. This constricts the opponent's spine so much that the only way he can relieve it is by opening up his legs and the guard.

Chi Kung

Chi kung, also written qigong, is thousands of years old. It is a system of meditation exercises that promotes physical and spiritual health through deep breathing. Chi kung practitioners strive to stimulate and balance the internal flow of chi energy by blending movement, breathing and meditation. Chi kung concentrates on curing sicknesses, enhancing vitality, developing internal force, expanding the mind, and promoting youthfulness, longevity and spiritual advancement.

Closed Guard

The closed guard is a fundamental defensive position in which a supine fighter traps his adversary between his legs. He wraps his legs around the opponent's torso and secures the position by crossing his ankles. From the closed guard, competitors control top-positioned opponents by using their own hip and leg muscles to pull opponents in and push them away. In conjunction with the hold, fighters also can use their hands and arms to strike, grab, block, parry and pull in opponents.

Commando Krav Maga

Commando Krav Maga is an Israeli fighting art founded by Moni Aizik. Commando Krav Maga, aka CKM, focuses on defeating armed attackers. The system was officially born in 1973, when Aizik was asked by the Israeli Defense Forces to revamp their then-current Krav Maga program. Aizik visits Israel regularly to train the Sayeret units and YAMAM, updating his system's content based on these units' experiences.Commando Krav Maga is positioned mainly as a military self-defense system but makes modifications for civilian students and has been successfully geared toward that market by promoting avoidance, quick engagement and finishing-thus applying special-forces principles to civilian street survival.Commando Krav Maga especially promotes quick finishes and disengagements in response to the concept of escalation avoidance, as well as employing the use of continuous surprise attacks. In drills, a student may be surrounded by other students (some armed, some not) who repeatedly attack and give the central student little rest or time to recalibrate. The individual has to react on instinct to both armed and unarmed attacks, including throws, kicks and punches. This exploration of multiple dimensions of conflict interaction serves to unify many styles of training and expertise while highlighting the individual's weaknesses and providing a forum for focused improvement and skill revision.


The cross-face is a wedge that thwarts an opponent's double- or single-leg takedown. As a defensive wrestling countermove, the technique uses a fighter's forearm as a barrier between the fighter's body and his opponent's head. The wedge allows the competitor to rotate the opponent's head in a direction that is opposite of his forward driving motion. By cranking his head and putting pressure on his neck, the cross-face prevents an adversary from securing his takedown.


Darce Choke

The Darce choke is a reverse arm-triangle choke and submission hold that is executed from the north-south position against an opponent who is on his hands and knees. He wraps one of his arms underneath the opponent's armpit and neck, where it emerges on the opponent's neck side. Trapping the arm secures the opponent and constricts blood flow on one side of his neck, while the aggressor uses his arm to constrict the blood flow to the other side of the opponent's neck.

Dirty Boxing Clinch

The dirty boxing clinch uses a single collar tie-up to maneuver an opponent into vulnerable positions to strike him with hooks, uppercuts and elbows. The tie-up maneuver refers to when a fighter clinches his adversary by the neck with a single hand. Although the clinch's primary purpose is to provide a platform from which to execute strikes, it's also possible to transition into a takedown maneuver.

Double-Leg Takedown

The double-leg takedown the primary wrestling-based takedown used in MMA, but the most often used method is a modified version of it. In the original, a fighter takes a deep penetrating step to snatch both the opponent's legs. He then drops his lead knee to the ground as a follow-through to the takedown. In the modified version, the fighter penetrates-closing the gap without dropping the knee-and snatches both the opponent's legs to follow through with a pickup and slam to the ground.


Elbow Escape

A fighter performs this fundamental Brazilian jiu-jitsu escape by using his elbows as a wedge to escape a mounted opponent. An elbow escape creates enough space for the fighter to shrimp his hips and reverse positions. (A shrimp maneuver is MMA speak for turning to the side.)

Elbow Strikes

Elbow strikes are for close-range attacks. The strikes are characterized by inward-horizontal and downward-diagonal trajectories and can be thrown from the stand-up, clinch or ground positions. They mainly target the head but also the body when used on the ground. They can be used in conjunction with other strikes-hooks, crosses or jabs-from any position.


Figure Four

Figure four is a generic term used to describe holds that look like the numeral four and can be executed by the arms or legs. There are many variations of the figure four found in MMA because they can be used to hold an opponent's leg, arm, wrist, etc. The hold usually involves applying pressure on the trapped limb to force the opponent to submit to keep the targeted area from being dislocated. Figure four holds are not submission holds but rather an important component of them.

Foot Stomp

The foot stomp is a close-range technique that is often used in the clinch. A fighter stomps downward, using his heel to strike the top of the opponent's instep with whichever foot is best at that moment. The move isn't meant to hurt an opponent. Instead, it distracts him and keeps him on the defensive so the fighter can transition into dirty boxing or go for a takedown. The technique is also known as the "heel stomp."

Front Kick

The front kick is a straightforward strike executed by the rear or lead leg, depending on preference or situation. Generally, it targets the opponent's midsection, specifically the solar plexus or stomach because they're the most vulnerable kicking targets. It is the second-most prevalent kick in MMA right after the vaunted round kick.



The gogoplata is the leg choke applied from the rubber guard in which a fighter maneuvers the shin of his high-guard leg across the opponent's throat. Simultaneously, he uses both hands to lock the position and pull his adversary in, securing a choke by applying pressure to the adversary's throat with the applied shin. If the opponent does not submit, he will be rendered unconscious.

Ground And Pound

Ground and pound is a core ground-fighting tactic: A fighter applies strikes to his opponent while on the ground. The fighter controls his rival from a top position-side control, mount, back mount, from inside the guard-and blasts him with punches, hammerfists, elbows and knees. In essence, the purpose of this tactic is to just knock the opponent out.

Guillotine Choke

The guillotine choke is one of the bread-and-butter submissions in MMA. It is a front head lock applied from a stand-up position, the closed guard, the half-guard or the mount. It can be performed two ways: 1. by encircling the neck or 2. by encircling the neck and overhooking an arm. This is a versatile chokehold that can be applied in a myriad of ways from a variety of positions as long as both competitors are face to face.



Haganah is an integrated and balanced system of defensive tactics founded by former Israeli commando Mike Lee Kanarek. Haganah combines hisardut (no-hold-fighting system of Israel), krav maga, lotar, kapap, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Russian sambo with the tactics and strategies from Israel's special-operations units. It's a reality-based martial art that focuses much of its curriculum on disarms. Haganah's combat-proven methods and techniques cover all aspects of self-defense, including ground fighting, stand-up fighting and weapons.


The half-guard is a variation of the fundamental guard position in which the fighter only has one leg around the opponent instead of both. Usually, a competitor uses the half-guard to stop an opponent who is trying to pass the guard or obtain a better position like side control or the mount. From the half-guard, he then tries to maneuver back into a full-guard position.


Hammerfists are primal, powerful punches meant to immobilize or knock out a grounded opponent. Generally, a fighter will use the downward strikes to ground and pound his adversary's face. The hammerfist is one of the core strikes used in grounding and pounding. While it can be used in a variety of directions, it is most prevalently used in a downward trajectory.

Heel Hooks

The heel hook has a potent and injurious history as a submission hold. A fighter executes it when he secures his supine opponent's heel underneath his armpit while trapping the leg of the secured heel between his legs. From this position, the fighter rotates the heel outward (clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on which foot is secured) to torque the knee for a submission or to break it. It can be applied on the same side or from the opposite side; the opposite side is known as the "reverse" heel hook.

Hip Escape

The hip escape is a fundamental Brazilian jiu-jitsu escape that involves maneuvering an opponent out of side control into the guard or a bottom head-to-head position. A fighter accomplishes this by shrimping, or turning his hips to the side, creating space to escape. The term "hip escape" is interchangeable with "side escape."

Hip Throws

Hip throws are a category of throws that are executed by head locks, arms around the waist or an underhooked arm. A fighter performs the throws by closing the distance between his opponent and positioning his hips underneath the opponent's body. By pulling the opponent in close, a fighter then rotates his hips and throws the opponent's body over him and to the ground. Hip throws are also an interchangeable term for judo throws. They're recognizable because the attacking fighter can't perform the throws unless his back is to his opponent.

Hook Punch

The hook punch, along with the rear cross and rear overhand, is one of the core, bread-and-butter punches. It's a boxing-based bent arm, horizontal, outside-in curved punch directed to the head (jaw) and body (ribs, liver, spleen). It is executed with either hand in the lead and rear positions. It is the most potent knockout punch in MMA or boxing because, when hitting the jaw, it torques the brainstem and rattles the brain. The hook punch can be thrown parallel to the ground or at a variation of angles, depending on the opponent's position.


Jab Punch

The jab is a boxing-based lead straight punch in which the lead hand targets the opponent's head and/or body. A fighter delivers and generates power for the punch by pushing off with his rear foot while simultaneously taking a forward step with his lead foot. The jab punch is used for offense, defense and setting up or in combination with powerful punches and kicks, like the potent cross. Jabs also are used to intercept an opponent's strike by making impact before the opponent.



The Philippine martial art of kali uses sticks, knives and the empty hands to attack and defend. Derived from indigenous stick-fighting methods and the fencing techniques of Spanish settlers, it's claimed by many to teach the most realistic knife skills in the world-partly because the art is still evolving as a result of its being used in real fights in its homeland.Some authorities say kali is identical to escrima and arnis, but others insist there are subtle differences. Perhaps the best-known practitioner is the late Remy Presas, whose modern arnis is taught in seminars and at martial arts schools around the world.


Kapap is a close-quarters combat style that incorporates tactics and strategies employed by the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police, and Israel's special-operations and anti-terrorist units. Kapap instruction focuses on self-defense techniques that include edged-weapon and knife defenses, hand-to-hand combat techniques, defenses and disarms against guns, ground survival, counterterrorism applications and combat conditioning essentials.


The kimura is a submission hold that traps the wrist and cranks the shoulder in a figure-4 hold. It can be applied from the guard, side-control or north/south position. The hold also can be applied by a fighter in an upright position as a counter to a rear-body lock. What distinguishes it from the Americana is its downward rather than upward L-shape.

Knee Bar

The knee bar is a leg-lock submission directed at one of the opponent's knees. A fighter traps one knee between his legs and applies pressure to the trapped straightened knee by thrusting forward with his pelvic area and arching back at the same time. The knee bar can be applied from side-control, open-guard or top-guard positions. In this submission hold, a fighter uses his hands to hold the back of the opponent's shin to his chest to keep the knee straight and get more leverage.

Knee On Stomach

The knee on stomach is a dominant ground-fighting position in which a fighter attains a good base to ground and pound his opponent. The position is usually attained from side control or during a transition from the standing phase to the ground because of a takedown, strike, etc. The fighter controls a supine opponent by placing one of his knees across his rival's stomach. To stabilize the position, he posts his free leg on the ground. The term is interchangeable with "knee on belly."

Knee Strikes

Knee strikes are executed by the fighter's rear knees in a straight, angular, upward, round, side, or jumping-upward trajectory. Knee strikes are versatile and can be employed in the stand-up free-movement phase, clinch phase or ground phase of combat. In the standing phase, they are most often applied from a muay Thai neck clinch. On the ground, knee strikes can be used by the top or bottom opponent; the top opponent will usually use them in side control. Power in a knee strike is generated by a rapid thrusting of the hips in the direction of the blow.



The ancient Hawaiian art of lua revolves around breaking bones and dislocating joints. Lua's repertoire spans the spectrum of combat techniques, from boxing and wrestling to kicking and throwing. It also teaches weapons, including the oar, spear, club, sling and strangling cord. Lua resembles some modern Japanese martial arts. It incorporates elements similar to those of karate, judo, jujutsu, aikido and kendo. Lua practitioners are also masters of the massage; massage is the yin to lua's yang.Lua master Solomon Kaihewalu introduced the art to the American public in 1963, when he was stationed at an Air Force base in Colorado.


Mount Position

Along with back and side control, the mount position is one of the three dominant ground-fighting positions in MMA. In the mount, one competitor is supine while the other straddles him on his knees. Ideally, the mounted fighter wants to be scooted up underneath his opponent's armpits because the opponent won't be able to off-balance him as effectively. The mount is an advantageous position in which to ground and pound and/or seek submissions from.

Muay Thai Clinch

The muay Thai clinch is a two-handed clasp around the back of the head. A fighter uses it to pull the opponent's chin down to his chest, weakening his postures and making the opponent easier to manipulate. The clinch interlaces the fighter's two hands around the opponent's head and squeezes his two forearms along the opponent's neck. The muay Thai clinch is the preferred position to throw knee strikes from, although it's possible to transition into a takedown, as well. It also thwarts any attempts by the clinched opponent to execute takedowns.


North-South Position

The north-south position places the competitors head-to-head and on the ground. The top fighter faces the ground, while the bottom fighter can be in the prone or supine position. The competitors' heads are pressed against each other's chest with their feet facing away and at opposite ends. As a hold-down position, the top fighter can use it to execute submission holds in which the kimura is the most common. The north/south position is also known as "front control" or the "69 position."



The cousin of the gogoplata, the omoplata is a shoulder-lock submission hold in which a fighter traps the opponent's shoulder with his legs. By moving his hips forward, he cranks the shoulder, applying significant pressure that will force the opponent to submit. A fighter obtains the omoplata position by transitioning from the guard. If the fighter isn't on his back in a guard position, he won't be able to get in the right position to execute the move.

Open Guard

The open-guard position is the opposite of the closed-guard position; the fighter on the bottom has his legs open. A fighter uses the open guard to prevent his opponent from obtaining mount or side control while he transitions into a technique like a submission hold. Compared to the closed guard, the open guard is more flexible because it's easier to obtain submission holds, such as the the armbar, arm triangle and kimura. There are several variations to the open guard ranging from keeping the legs/ankles uncrossed to one or both feet on the opponent's hips or any variation in between.

Overhand Punch

The overhand punch is a rear-hand power punch thrown in a convex arc (over the top) to the head. It is often used to go up and over an opponent's arm or as a simultaneous counterpunch over an opponent's jab. This punch is one of the three main power punches (along with the hook punch, specifically the lead hook, and cross) in MMA and boxing.



Parrying is used exclusively as a defensive measure against straight punches (jabs and crosses). Outside parries are safer to use than inside parries because they don't expose a fighter's head to an immediate follow-up shot by the opponent. To parry, a fighter uses the palm of his hand to deflect a punch to the inside or outside, depending on which hand he uses.

Passing The Guard

Passing the guard refers to a fighter who escapes the closed or open guard by breaking free and going over or around the legs to obtain a mount, knee-on-stomach or side-control position. By passing the guard, the fighter takes away the opponent's power to control and manipulate him.

Peruvian Necktie

The Peruvian necktie is a head-and-arm choke. The arms are positioned like the anaconda, but the legs are wrapped differently to stabilize the position and apply the choke. To execute the Peruvian necktie, the competitors must be in the north-south position with both fighters facing down. The fighter on top then executes the move.

Pulling Guard

Pulling guard is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu term that refers to a fighter who purposely puts an opponent inside his guard. The fighter conscientiously wants to put his opponent between his legs and control him from a supine ground position. It's most common to see a fighter pulling guard when both competitors are in a standing position.


Pummeling is a rapid-fire chess game in which two competitors scramble to get into a more dominant position while in a clinch. The wrestling tactic generally consists of both competitors maneuvering their arms to get past the other's lines of defense. Both fighters ultimately want to obtain underhooks in order to gain inside control of their opponent's body. Pummeling is an offensive and defensive maneuver done by both combatants at the same time. There are many different ways to execute this dynamic maneuver.


Quarter Nelson

The quarter nelson is a wrestling-based maneuver used to counter takedown attempts, especially single-leg takedowns. A fighter uses a figure-4 hold around the opponent's head to apply pressure and break the grip.


Rear-Naked Choke

The rear-naked choke is the premier choking technique in MMA as well as one of the most effective and frequently used submissions, alongside the guillotine choke, triangle choke, armbar and kimura. It is a choke used when behind the opponent in back control. A fighter encircles one of his arms tightly around the opponent's neck and uses his other arm to tightly secure the hold. From there, a fighter forces a submission or renders the opponent unconscious by squeezing the encircled arm at the elbow's crook. The rear-naked choke is a versatile blood choke that can be applied from a variety of different positions-including standing, sitting, kneeling, on one's hands and knees, supine or prone-and any position in which you can establish back control.

Round Kick

The round kick is the most effective and used kick in MMA. It is an inward circular kick that travels outside in a horizontal or diagonal trajectory. The kick uses the shin or instep to strike at an opponent's head, body or legs; the body targets are specifically the ribs, liver or spleen. It is the trademark technique of muay Thai and is responsible for a vast majority of the head-kick knockouts produced in MMA. The round kick is the muay Thai and MMA term used for the roundhouse. It's also referred to as a leg kick.

Rubber Guard

The rubber guard is a guard variation developed by Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor Eddie Bravo. It's also being used with more and more frequency in MMA competitions. The guard consists of adopting a high guard with one leg that goes around the back of an opponent's neck and is secured with one or both hands. The objective is to pull the opponent down into a tightly clinched position in which the fighter can transition into submission holds such as a triangle choke, omoplata or gogoplata.


Scarf Hold

The scarf hold is a side-control position that is characterized by one arm around the supine opponent's head and the other controlling the opponent's right or left arm, depending on his position. The fighter's legs are based out wide. The position allows the dominant fighter to apply pressure to his adversary by pressing his chest down with his own chest or via head-lock pressure. The fighter on top is then in a good position to transition into submission holds like an Americana or arm triangle.

Scissor Sweep

The scissor sweep is a fundamental Brazilian jiu-jitsu guard-reversal technique. The defensive maneuver uses a scissoring leg action, which gives a fighter in the bottom-guard position the proper leverage to reverse himself into a dominant mount position. Leg positioning is important in this technique.

Shell Position

The shell position is like a protective shell against a standing opponent. A fighter who is on his back uses it as a platform to protect himself from kicks, punches or other attempts by the standing opponent to gain a dominant ground-fighting position. To establish a shell position, a fighter draws in his arms and knees, forming his body into a tight shell. From that position, he can execute an up-kick, stomp kick or round kick.

Shoot Wrestling

Popularized by Karl Gotch in the late 1970s and 1980s, shoot wrestling is a Japanese combat sport that blends striking techniques and eclectic grappling maneuvers with catch wrestling. Shoot wrestling incorporates a diverse range of disciplines, including sambo, Greco-Roman wrestling, judo, jujutsu, karate and muay Thai, making it a natural choice for mixed martial artists looking to improve both their ground and stand-up game. Among the most popular shoot wrestling's spinoffs are Shooto, Pancrase, shootfighting and shootboxing.


Shootfighting is an eclectic martial sport from Japan. Its techniques were influenced by the submission grappling skills taught by the legendary American wrestler Karl Gotch when he visited Japan. Variations include shoot wrestling, shootboxing and pancrase. All are taught primarily as ring sports, and their matches frequently draw large crowds in Japan. Rules permit kicks, hand strikes, takedowns, throws and ground grappling.

Shoulder Butt

The shoulder butt is an offensive strike that is applied by thrusting either shoulder in the opponent's face. It's a close-range strike that a fighter uses to distract an adversary, keep him on the defensive and create an opening. The shoulder butt can be executed from a clinch position, the mount or side control. When on the ground, a fighter drops his shoulder to apply it. If both competitors are standing, the fighter drives his shoulder upward to apply the strike.

Shuai Chiao

Shuai chiao (also spelled shuai jiao) is known as China's wrestling and throwing art. With roots going back 2,000 to 3,000 years, it may be one of the oldest styles in existence. Shuai chiao strategy encourages students to use hand and foot strikes to soften up an opponent, then move in for a bone-breaking throw. Unlike judo, in which breakfalls can usually be done to lessen the impact of a throw, shuai chiao teaches students to lock the limbs before throwing, which intensifies the impact.Shuai chiao was popularized by Chang Dung-sheng, a Chinese master who fought many challenge matches in China before relocating to Taiwan to teach at the Central Police Academy. The art is practiced in Asia, the United States and Europe.

Side Control

Side control is a dominant offensive ground position in which the fighter lies on his side on top of a supine opponent. Both competitors are, in a sense, chest to chest. This versatile position is used to control bottom opponents and to execute a myriad of submission holds. A fighter also uses it as a stable platform to ground and pound. Side control is also known as the "cross body" or "cross side" position.

Side Kick

The side kick is a sideward, lateral kick that is most often executed with the lead leg. It generally targets an opponent's midsection.

Side Mount

The side mount a modified mount position in which one of the top fighter's knees is up and the other is down. It is employed when the supine opponent turns to one side as he's trying to roll over. If the opponent's on his left side, the fighter's right foot is posted. If the opponent's on his right side, the fighter's left foot is posted.


Slipping describes a common evasive maneuver that face-to-face competitors will use on the ground or while standing. A fighter moves his head laterally to the inside or out of an opponent's straight punches to evade them.

Spinning Back Kick

The spinning back kick is only occasionally used because it is based on surprise and opportunity. A fighter spins around in 180 degrees to throw a back kick straight into an opponent's midsection. The purpose of the kick is to knock the wind out the opponent or break one of his ribs.

Spinning Backfist

The spinning backfist is a hand technique based on surprise and opportunity. A fighter spins around 180 degrees to throw a whipping follow-through backfist strike to the opponent's head. If applied correctly, it is a knockout punch.


The sprawl is the No. 1 move to thwart any takedown maneuver. Derived from wrestling, a sprawl counters a lower-body takedown attempt such as the oft-used double-leg takedown. A fighter executes a sprawl when he throws his legs back and applies downward pressure with his hips. He simultaneously spreads his legs wide apart to thwart the opponent's attempt at securely grasping one or both of his legs for a takedown. Coupled with a cross-face, a quarter nelson or a simple head push-down, a sprawl puts a fighter in a good position to break free, stand up again or transition to a more advantageous ground-fighting position.

Sprawl And Brawl

Like the ground and pound, the sprawl and brawl is a core MMA fighting tactic, but it is executed while standing rather than on the ground. A fighter who prefers to fight standing uses it in order to thwart takedowns, avoid ground fighting and keep the fight in an upright position.


This fundamental starting position serves as the primary stand-up fighting platform. It is the on-guard position from which to employ standing offense and defense from. There are basically two types of stances used in MMA: an upright on-guard stance and a semi-crouched stance. An upright stance is basically the platform for stand-up fighting, while a semi-crouched stance is a platform to shoot in on an opponent to take him down and for thwarting/countering takedown attempts. Both stances can be deceptively used interchangeably to set up strikes and takedowns.

Stomp Kick

The stomp kick is a straight thrusting kick executed from a supine ground position against a standing opponent. It is launched at an angle, targeting the approaching adversary's stomach. The main purpose of the stomp kick is to keep the standing opponent on the defensive so the grounded fighter can stand up. It's also known as the "thrust kick."

Superman Punch

The superman punch is like a superpower cross. It is a powerful, leaping rear-hand straight punch deceptively thrown off a distracting knee chamber. The knee movement also charges up the punch, making it a knockout strike.


The suplex is a high-arching takedown that secures the opponent in a rear, front or side-body lock. The fighter then picks up his opponent and throws him backward, slamming him to the ground. A fighter will find his opponent's back to him through the fight's own dynamics or a specific technique like the arm drag or other wrestling maneuvers. The suplex is also known as the souplesse.



A toehold is a catch-as-catch-can wrestling technique that causes an opponent to submit or break his ankle. A fighter grasps the opponent's foot in a figure-4 hold, rotating it inwardly clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on which foot is captured. This technique is usually applied from side-control position or from inside the guard (top guard).

Top Guard

The top guard position occurs when a fighter is inside an opponent's closed guard; he is "in the guard." It is a position in which he can execute the ground-and-pound tactic or a leg-lock submission hold to finish off an opponent. A top-guard fighter also can pass the bottom-positioned guard into side control or the mount, or disengage and stand up.

Triangle Armbar

A competitor generally uses the triangle armbar if he doesn't successfully transition into a triangle choke. It is an opportunistic armbar that will submit an opponent. It is applied from a leg-triangle position.

Triangle Choke

The triangle choke is one of the premier submission techniques to force an opponent to tap or be rendered unconscious. It is a leg-based blood choke in which the fighter encircles and constricts one of his legs around the opponent's neck, wrapping it up with his other leg in a figure-4 position while entangling one of his arms in the process. The choke is set in by constricting the carotid artery on one side of the opponent's neck with one of the fighter's legs and his other carotid artery through the constriction of his own arm (via your encircled, wrapped leg). It is a versatile submission hold that can be executed from the guard, back-control or mount positions.



Like overhooks, underhooks are wrestling-based tie-up arm positions used offensively and defensively in a clinch. They are also used to set up or thwart takedowns, for dirty boxing tactics and ground grappling/fighting control


This upward-thrusting kick is delivered from the shell position to the head of an upright opponent. It is a powerful strike, which a fighter uses to stand up or knock out the standing opponent.

Uppercut Punch

The uppercut is a close-range boxing-based punch that travels in a oblique (vertically upward) trajectory. It can be delivered with either hand with the primary targets being the chin and solar plexus. The uppercut is a potent punch to use when applying the dirty boxing clinch or in conjunction with hooks.


Wrestling Clinch

This clinch involves the use of both arms to pummel (through underhooking, overhooking, body locking) to ultimately secure double underhooks against an opponent to gain an advantageous position to set up body locks and takedowns from.


Wushu is the term used in the West to identify the modern Chinese martial art that emphasizes flashy techniques and acrobatics. In China, however, it's the official term used to refer to what Westerners call kung fu or chuan fa. In fact, wushu translates as "martial skill." Training includes numerous empty-hand techniques and practically every imaginable weapon. The forms can be performed solo or with a partner.