June 01, 2007
One of the things that differentiates Mixed Martial Arts from other combat sports, in an exciting and sometimes shocking way, is the dimension of striking on the ground. Striking a downed opponent is considered by some to be an acceptable and realistic tactic, and by others as one of the factors that makes MMA brutal and equivalent to street fighting. In truth, it is a highly technical area of fighting, and it is a piece that bridges the sports of boxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu.
Taking an opponent down and striking him is commonly referred to as "ground and pound." This month's article will illustrate one sequence of ground and pound (GNP) techniques. Comprising both offensive movements and counters, this sequence originates from the mount position. As I describe the technique, the photos of professional MMA fighter Traver Boehm will illustrate the movements that make up one of his favorite sequences. This GNP sequence begins from the mount position. Traver is seated on top of his opponent, Andy. Traver controls Andy's hips and torso by keeping his feet in tight to Andy's body and driving his knees down into the mat, thereby pinning Andy to the ground. Traver is seated upright so he has the space to twist his upper body and throw powerful punches at Andy's head. In this instance, Andy is doing a good job of turtling up and protecting his head. This prevents Traver's punches from being completely effective.
Traver Boehm is a professional MMA fighter who also trains at Petranek Fitness. He is fighting next in Santa Monica, Calif., on June 14, 2007, as part of the Total Fighting Alliance show.
Becca Borawski teaches and trains at Petranek Fitness/CrossFit Los Angeles in Santa Monica. She has a master's degree in film from the University of Southern California and a background in martial arts training. She has blended these skills together to produce DVDs and build websites for professional fighters. Her main job is as the music editor on the TV show Scrubs and she currently trains jiu-jitsu under Eddie Bravo at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu in Hollywood.