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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Ready to rumble: Welcome to the world of Mixed Martial Arts

IN this new monthly column, Alex Cook and Craig Strickland of West Cumbrian-based club Hybrid Martial Arts, will be bringing you the know-how behind the techniques that are used and practised by thousands of martial artists the world over.

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Experience: Mixed Martial Arts coaches Craig Strickland, left, and Alex Cook

The techniques they will be showing are thought to be some of the most effective used in today’s sport of MMA.

What is mixed martial arts? It is a hybrid of techniques used in all ranges and areas of what is known as MMA (mixed martial arts), UFC, Cage Rage or Cage Fighting, which can all give it a rather brutal but unfair imagery.

But the most applicable techniques used in modern MMA have been taken from various traditional martial arts including boxing, Thai boxing, karate, wrestling, judo, jujitsu, and tae kwon do among others.

MMA has taken traditional martial arts by the scruff of the neck and streamlined them into a more accessible sport. Competitors in the sport can be found to be well versed in striking sports such as karate, boxing and Thai boxing, as well as grappling and ground work sports such as Brazilian jujitsu, judo and wrestling in its various forms.

Originally starting out as a style versus style competition (eg karate versus kickboxing), it was a test to the theory that each individual martial art was ‘better’ than any other out there.

However, the sport slowly evolved and contenders found that by studying in different areas of these disciplines, they could gain better results. Also, as the styles intermingled, more and more rules were introduced to make it an accepted sport in the public eye and for the safety of the competitors.

Today, MMA is one of the safest sports around. Apart from the possible cosmetic injuries like scuffs and bruises, major injuries are surprisingly few and far between.

The athletes involved are also renowned for being some of the fittest athletes in the world, and we think this is an important part of the Hybrid setup as clients will find their own level of fitness increasing through their introduction into the class.

MMA is slowly starting to become a household sport, with some top fighters in the main events being noticed not only as champions but as celebrities too.

We at Hybrid Martial Arts, via this new monthly column, will look to explain and dissect moves within the sport and bring them to a level where people can appreciate them.

We hope to translate the moves into words so that people can understand, covering:

  • the aim of the move
  • how to complete the technique with detail on body positioning and the technical movements involved
  • how to apply the technique if appropriate
  • at what point in competition or in class can the technique be used effectively, offensively or defensively
  • drills involving the move that can be practiced to improve the application of the technique

The moves involved have been gathered from over 10 years of experience. Between us, we have trained and competed against some of the top athletes and coaches around the world including Ian Freeman, Geoff Thompson, Michael Bisping, Peter Constantine, Georges St Pierre among others.

Furthermore, Craig is also a brown belt in wado-ryu karate under Ian Abernethy, and is a member of the British Combat Association, and we are both members of the British Judo Association.

For more information on joining the Hybrid Martial Arts School, class times and venues, you can contact Alex on 07912525808 or hybridmma@googlemail.com.

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