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UnderGround Forums >> My MMA Striking Observations IMHO


10/24/10 2:06 PM
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Lord Kancho
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Edited: 10/24/10 2:06 PM
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10/24/10 2:12 PM
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DallasVanWinkle
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Well, i don't have the credentials to try and confirm or dispute Mr. Roufus's argument, I am just a striking coach at my gym. With that said I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Roufus.

The first thing I coach fighters on is defense. I think too many fighters practice the whole "dial a combo", want to rush in and throw strikes, and not be actively engaged and present in striking.

There are 5 elements to defense plus 2 special elements that I teach at Straight Blast Gym in Portland. Any technique from any of those elements can be used together in tandem or in sequence for a large variety of defensive combinations.

10/24/10 2:14 PM
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FightScientist
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Ruiz MMA - 
FightScientist -  I totally disagree. I am not sure where you train and who is training the guys at your gym, or if you are going off the videos posted of guys hitting mitts and such, but  the majortity of guys I know and work with do both offensive and defensive. They all have good boxing coaches AND good kickboxing coaches that work all the same stuff as the boxers and kickboxers. People keep failing to realize that when we see an MMA fight we are seeing everything together, therefor to expect to see boxing or kickboxing in its purity is crazy. Stances change, movement changes, range changes, etc. So MMA striking is its own art that uses the other striking forms as a base, but not in their purity except on rare occasions. Also, have you ever watched these guys you are talking about purely box or kickbox? Most top level fighters (yes not all, but most) can box and kickbox quite well, when they are just doing that... but most people don;t have the opportunity to see that unless they train with them on a daily basis. You just see the promo highlights, and the finished product when they are in an MMA fight. 

As far as them being offensive not defensive, that goes to the fighter. SOme are more aggressive,  others are not. Plus game plan. Seems that these guys can't win... If a fighter is countering he either loses on judges cards or is said to be "running". Fans boo is guys don't turn it into a brawl. Sloppy brawls get called "fight of the year". Add all this up and you could put Mayweather in there and people would say he has shitting striking. 



Man your an idiot lol!!!
Great point! What did I say that was idiotic?
 
10/24/10 2:21 PM
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gorillagrappling
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Duke, is the striking in MMA worse than the conditioning in K-1? Serious question. Seems like half the fighters can't stand straight after six minutes. Phone Post
10/24/10 2:24 PM
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FightScientist
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nobones - 
FightScientist -  BTW Duke I was speaking to the "Subpar" comment and the general speak on here that striking in MMA sucks.  BTW, I have been nothing but impressed with Pettis and Koch every fight. I still think Eric beat Mendes too.


I agree that everything changes in an MMA context, but most MMA fighters have a real hard time controlling distance. Most high level striking coaches say this all the time including Freddie Roach. Lyoto Machida made a famous comment that most MMA fighters had a real difficult time with his style because so few MMA fighters had really learned how to deal with kicks properly and how to close distance on someone with fast kicks and good takedown defense. Many MMA fighters start to panic look at Shields, he starts getting into punch range he starts getting nervous. Until very recently, if you landed even an inside leg kick on Hughes he would start to panic and throw his gameplan out the window. So I'm sorry, the striking of many MMA fighters today is subpar and that is really due to insufficient sparring and inadequate instruction on how to adapt non-MMA oriented striking technique into an MMA context. Of course, if you took this person in a pure striking environment they would also do poorly as well so they are simply 'subpar' strikers they struggle in or out of an MMA context. someone that does well in a pure striking context but simply has difficulty being totally effective in an MMA context would be Michael Bisping. But he is the exception most MMA fighters are bad in either environment and use their grappling as their main means of offense.
For sure.  I just have a hard time with the general idea the "Striking" in MMA sucks, because most people who say that have never fought nor trained MMA and don't know the huge difference that all the elements make, including 5 minute rounds, cardio, takedowns, kicks, knees, elbows, etc. Mostly its guys who think boxing is striking. It just gets old and is ignorant. You are absolutely right here, though that is is putting it into the MMA content, or transition that is important in MMA. Some guys are great strikers in the individual disciplines. I personally know many guys that are sick boxers or kickboxers, but they don;t do well striking in MMA for other reasons. But then to hear people in a forum say, that  So and So needs to work his striking or boxing or whatever is annoying. Then there are guys who put it together very well, like BJ, Anderson, Aldo and like I said, I think Duke has 2 guys that are VERY good at adapting their striking to MMA and their whole MMA game, Koch and Pettis. 
 
10/24/10 3:50 PM
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socal
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Thanks for the posts Duke!
10/24/10 5:07 PM
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98lbweakling
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How great is it that we can log in on any given day and see a guy like Duke Roufus sharing his insight? In what other sport does that happen? None. I love this place.
10/24/10 5:11 PM
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erichaycraft
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One thing I see a lot as I travel is a double standard for striking coaching and striking training. Some phenomenal BJJ schools with top notch lineage and bloodlines will hire a complete phony of a striking coach.

Also I see a lot of high level guys that just have a striking coach. Not a striking training environment. Pad work and instruction is just one portion of developing and owning a stand-up game. You need to group training for drilling and sparring. I see guys that make great money in a corner with a coach hitting the pads while very good group classes with good fundamental drills are taking place and I always wonder why they dont just do the classes?
10/24/10 6:19 PM
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FightStudent
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This might not be related to the topic at hand, but Duke Roufus is the man!

I was a fan of his when he was a fighter and am a fan of his now that he is a coach.

Once more, Duke Roufus is the man!
10/24/10 6:30 PM
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Christian_
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i might stop by ur gym sometime since im in milwaukee for now.
10/24/10 8:03 PM
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Duke Roufus
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great points everybody.

Hope all is well Eric!
10/24/10 8:41 PM
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Burton
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Thanks for sharing Duke. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Duke was referring to the lack of active defense in most MMA fighters when he said
"Guys when they are not hitting or get hit at, panic or shell up. They need to do more sparring & drilling of defense & countering."

It is one thing to throw punches then cover up, it is another altogether to attack during your defense, which is the surest way to land strikes. (The opponent is rarely protected well when firing.) This has to be drilled then worked on in hard sparring for it to emerge in the fight. Fighters would be wise to heed Duke's advice.
10/24/10 8:55 PM
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Leghound
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Duke Roufus - 

The key to striking is do it just like jiu jitsu. Come to the gym daily & flow spar everyday like rolling & work proper habits while do it. During training camp pick up the intensity to build game plan & reaction under fire, stamina & endurance, confidence, & mental fortitude!


I think the flow sparring part gets lost at most MMA gyms. Seems like there's either pad work or higher intensity sparring and very little timing/flow work. Maybe that's just the spots I've been to though?
10/24/10 9:05 PM
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OneScoup
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Good thread. I think the top strikers in MMA are light years ahead of the pack in defense.
10/24/10 9:10 PM
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glock4life
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 These are the threads that make this place still worth coming back to!
10/24/10 9:17 PM
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stlnl2
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WhiteWhale - i agree with duke

its a slight grappling bias in that people will drill all the millions of intricacies of bjj but not some of the classical striking

eg front leg checking drills or advanced rolling

they just dont commit to learning these drills and just smash pads

MMA gyms i have trained at do this alot and their guys always have shit defence

defence in striking takes the longest to learn, good offence can be had ina a few weeks (well ok offense)

so if ur athletic and tough u think u can strike cause u know some offence and can take punches from 16oz gloves



Thing is, I think the hardest part to learn, to have REAL offesne and good defense, is footwork. Guys hit pads like its a heavy bag, just standing there and smashing. Pad work is one of the best tools for any developing fighter, but only if you treat it like a fight. Meaning, you have to take entry steps, learn to take small steps, keep your feet under you (extremely important IMO for offense and defense and always having good balance) and to keep your movements economical and technical.

The thing that really gets me, you can do defensive glove and pad drills at a much larger volume of work than you can grappling drills. Even a 3 minute round offers a great deal of work refining skills, footwork and timing IF YOU ARE DOING PROPER PAD WORK.

For "MMA standup" I see way too many guys smashing a bag, or doing rock em sock em pad work, or worse, sparring all the time with another guy with bad footwork and questionable fundamentals.

Most of them need more Sparring drills, light movement (or flow sparring drills), glove drills, and pad work where you use active, varied defense and pay strict attention to your footwork.

just my 2 cents.
10/24/10 9:26 PM
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hugomma
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First of all, thank you Duke Roufus, as well Burton Richardson, FightScientists, & all the other trainers on this most excellent thread.

Duke, you've talked about 'mauling your sparring partner' & "flow sparring'. In my opinion & limited experience (I've trained sporadically over the the years), MMA fighters spar way too hard way too often.

You hear about the soft, controlled sparring they do in Thailand. I've even heard some fighters get nervous if they get a bruise on their leg because they fight so often & need to stay in shape all year round.

In MMA there seems to be this macho full tilt attitude. You hear about Wand giving Forrest & Shogun concussions in training; you hear about the legendary gym wars at Philly boxing gyms & other cities in the US.

Burton mentioned 'hard sparring'. This may be difficult to quantify, but how hard, & how often? One of the most important things in strength & conditioning is peaking at the right time, not 'leaving it all in they gym'. How do you cycle flow sparring & hard sparring so fighters don't get burnt out or injured?

Thanks in advance,

Hugo
10/24/10 9:27 PM
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rbl
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 I was surprised that Gonzaga wasn't trying different approaches vs Schaub. Obviously he can fight, he KOed Cro Cop, but he wasn't trying to cut off the cage (OK harder than a ring, but still) or trying to get outside of the jab much.
10/24/10 9:33 PM
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Wasa-B
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Thanks, Duke for your commentary.

The UG is so full of dung but cases like this where we can actually talk about the complexities of this sport is why im here.

I think all of the factors that come into play in the standup for MMA (punches, kicks, clinch, tds, etc) just isnt looked at as a whole enough on the UG. Most of us still look at "pure striking," "pure tds/wrestling."

This is what makes a fighter like GSP stand out for me is that he has flawless timing and execution of using all of those together.

Cool to see that JJ is giving you new perspective to the game. This is another reason the UG still has worth, hearing about a world class striking coach talking about how grappling has influenced his striking perspective too!

Thanks, Duke.
10/24/10 9:36 PM
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Wasa-B
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bsrizpac - 
Duke Roufus - I want to say the level of striking in the UFC has come up along way since 2005!

One mistake I see fighters make:

They only train offensive striking. Pads, Bag, maul your sparring partner, etc.

To me that is liking only training jiu jitsu subs without defense, position & transitions.

There is more to striking then hitting. A little goes a long way, behavior while getting hit at, defensive habits-blocking- checking-evasion, counter fighting, footwork, angles etc.

On a side note, since I train Jiu Jitsu it has help re-enforce my coaching style look at striking more like jj in reference to positions & situations more then just fighting hoping you land a strike.

Hope that makes sense to people.

Take care everybody



Correct. Good post. The pajama nerds and UFC fanboys won't like it/understand it tho


LOL. BS turning this into a boxing vs MMA angle? WTF? No way! Did you miss the part where he said BJJ has given him new perspective into his striking game?
10/24/10 9:56 PM
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JaBoston
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Cool thread. Thanks everyone.
10/24/10 11:06 PM
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Duke Roufus
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Edited: 10/24/10 11:14 PM
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Cool discussions everybody.

I am honored to have Burton on here!
10/24/10 11:11 PM
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Duke Roufus
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Wasa,

Thanks for the kind words!
10/24/10 11:17 PM
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Duke Roufus
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Burton - Thanks for sharing Duke. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Duke was referring to the lack of active defense in most MMA fighters when he said
"Guys when they are not hitting or get hit at, panic or shell up. They need to do more sparring & drilling of defense & countering."

It is one thing to throw punches then cover up, it is another altogether to attack during your defense, which is the surest way to land strikes. (The opponent is rarely protected well when firing.) This has to be drilled then worked on in hard sparring for it to emerge in the fight. Fighters would be wise to heed Duke's advice.


I concur with you 100%.
10/24/10 11:33 PM
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Friction
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Awesome thread! Hey, what do you guys think of Edgar's defense against BJ in there fight. It seemed like the defensive striking really frustrated him and he had no answer, helped him win the fight.

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