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Achilles Lock: A popular submission foot lock/hold that can take many variations, but is ultimately dependent on manipulating and applying pressure on the heel and Achilles tendon.
Armbar: otherwise known as the cross lock, an armbar is a joint lock that hyperextends the elbow joint. Most often you will see it applied as follows: Your opponents arm is trapped between your legs and you hold it either by the hand or the wrist with both of your own hands. You apply pressure by stretching out your body, pressing against his body with your legs, which can be intertwined at the ankles, using his upper body and your groin to increase leverage.
Americana: similar to the keylock and kimura is the Americana. This move involves creating a triangle with your opponents arm and your own. With your opponents arm bent at the elbow, palm up, near or above his head, your arm goes underneath from the bottom and grabs his wrist, 'painting' downwards.
Anaconda choke: otherwise known as an arm triangle, the anaconda choke consists of trapping one of your opponents arms with an underhook and clasping hands on the other side of his neck, squeezing his neck and arm together to cut off air supply. It is most effective when you are on top of your opponent to the side of his trapped arm, with the reverse being called the D'Arce (Dark) choke.
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Back control: Your opponent is sitting on or straddling your back. When his legs are wrapped around you, especially with them tangled between your legs and locked at the feet, this is called "having hooks in". He can also perform a body triangle by folding the back of his knee over the other leg, cinching tightly to restrict your breathing
Boxing: A traditionally western sport/fighting style, boxing is dependant on using quick footwork, evasive head movement, and accurate punches. Although not considered a formal martial art, boxing's offensive/defensive techniques and real-world effectiveness are an invaluable part of a mixed martial artist's repertoire.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: A predominantly ground oriented martial art, which was originally derived from traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. Introduced by the Gracie family of Brazil, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's popularity has spread due to its success in mixed martial arts contests. The art is heavily based around the development of numerous submission holds (mainly chokes and arm bars), but emphasis is also placed on gaining and maintaining advantageous positions.
Butterfly guard: full guard, but your feet are planted on your opponents thighs, preventing him from posturing up and getting past your guard into a more dominant position.
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Can-opener: virtually the only submission that can be applied in your opponent's guard, a can-opener entails putting both of your hands behind his neck as with the Thai plum, and pulling his head towards you. This submission is usually applied to open your opponent's closed guard, though it can lead to a submission against an injured, tired, or inexperienced fighter.
Catch Wrestling: A form of wrestling that incorporates submission holds and tends to favor "catching" an opponents limb for the submission over gaining dominant position.
Choke: A constricting hold applied to the neck in order to restrict blood flow to the brain and/or inhibits normal breathing. Prolonged application may result in unconsciousness or death.
Clinch: A position in which two fighters are face to face, usually with their arms and upper body locked, performed either for a "breather" or to protect against strikes. Some fighters, such as Wanderlei Silva, have mastered the art of the clinch for offensive purposes, throwing effective short punches and/or knees and elbows from this position.
Clinch Maulers: Clinch maulers typically utilize the clinch to stifle an opponent’s strikes and tire them out. In the process, these Maulers will strike with "dirty boxing," knees and elbows, and possibly go for upper body takedowns similar to Greco Roman wrestling. Clinch maulers tend to employ a combination of underhooks and the Thai clinch, which have been tweaked to be more effective in MMA style competition. Several Greco Roman wrestlers have found success with this style, thanks in part to their background in the extremely taxing style of wrestling. Popular clinch maulers are Anderson Silva and Randy Couture.
Collar tie (single/double): grasping the back of your opponents neck; a double collar tie, otherwise known as a Thai clinch or plum, involved clasping your hands together behind your opponents trapezius muscle. Where your opponents head goes, his body follows, making the double collar tie a valuable grappling hold. A double collar tie is especially useful in pulling your opponents head down for knee strikes, effectively doubling the force of the knee.
Corner: A fighter's "corner" is the section outside of the ring occupied by individual who will assist the fighter during the bout. A fighter's corner usually consists of the fighter’s trainer, training partners, a cutman, and potentially other motivators. The fighter's corner is responsible for giving a fighter advice during the fight, and fixing a fighter up during rounds. If a cut or other injury is sustained during the bout, it is the responsibility of the corner-men to fix it up to the best of their abilities.
Crackhead control: BJJ legend Eddie Bravo calls mission control with two hands instead of one crackhead control. Many of these names are deliberately bizarre so they can be called out by coaches during a BJJ match without the opponent recognizing them.
Crucifix: from side control you pull your opponents arm between your legs and cross your legs, locking it there, and with one hand you pin down your opponents other arm, allowing your free arm to punch and elbow his unprotected head.
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Decision: When a fight goes the full allotted time, a group of judges render what is called a "decision" in order to declare a winner. The decision awarded is based upon a number of criteria, which differs from organization to organization. Most often the greatest factors are effectiveness, damage, ring generalship, and aggression. Decisions can be split (judges select a different winner), unanimous (all judges select the same winner), or draw (judges select no winner, or an even split).
Double Leg Takedown: A takedown that is accomplished by driving an opponent up and forward by grabbing both of his legs (or ankles), which leads to both contestants going to the ground. An alternate version is the single leg takedown.
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Fish-hooking: The act of "hooking" a finger into an opponent's mouth or ears and pulling, much like a fish on a hook. This move is illegal in all Mixed Martial Arts contests.
Flattening out: your opponent can ground you by taking your back and then flattening you out. He does so by jumping onto your back and snaking his feet inside your legs and around your thighs. By stretching out his body he is able to spread your legs and put pressure on your upper body, eventually leading you to fall to the mat and possibly lay flat on your stomach with your legs outstretched.
When the fight goes to the ground it becomes a war of positioning. Some positions are much more advantageous than others, but it all depends on the skill, experience, and comfort level of the fighter. The following are the typical ground positions in an MMA fight:
Full guard: you are on your back with your opponent between your legs at waist level, sometimes known as the missionary position. The most important part of this position is holding onto the back of the neck, the wrists, or bear hugging your opponent to control his movement. It is essential to keep him from improving his position because otherwise you will leave yourself open to ground and pound attacks and possibly submission attempts. A "closed" guard means your legs are crossed at the ankles over his back, while "open" means your legs are not entangled.
Full mount: the most dangerous position for the bottom fighter to be in. Your opponent is sitting on your chest straddling you with one leg to each of your sides. Low mount is when he is sitting on your abdomen, high mount when his knees are in your armpits. What makes the position dangerous is that it is difficult to buck your opponent off, roll or sweep him. In the meantime he will likely come down with hammerfists and elbows, or work for a kimura, arm triangle, armbar, or choke hold.
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Grappling: A general term used to describe wrestling and ground oriented martial arts.
Ground and Pound: This style is favored by many wrestling-based fighters, and the basic strategy is to get the fight to the ground, be on top, and grind away with strikes from a dominant position. Due to a wrestler's natural affinity for takedowns, this style is popular with them. Elbows, short punches, and sometimes knees are all deadly weapons when rained down from the top position. Popular ground and pound fighters include Jake Shields, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and Fedor Emelianenko.
Gogoplata: more from wikipedia: "it is usually executed from a rubber guard, where the legs are held very high, against the opponent's upper back. The fighter then slips one foot in front of the opponent's head and under his chin, locks his hands behind the opponent's head, and chokes the opponent by pressing his shin or instep against the opponent's trachea."
Guard: A Jujitsu term that refers to a specific ground position. Although there are many variations, the most common version of the guard occurs when the fighter on the bottom wraps their legs around the opponent. This technique is used to simultaneously defend against strikes while setting up a sweep or submission.
Guillotine choke: the opposite of the RNC is the guillotine choke. In this maneuver, you are facing your opponent and you have your opponent in a headlock standing or on the ground with hands clasped together. The choke can be applied more effectively by pulling down on the head while squeezing. Advanced practitioners are able to apply this choke from guard (on your back) or from mount (sitting on your opponent).
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Half guard: similar to full guard, but your opponent has one leg to your side, with the other between your legs.
Headbutt: To strike an opponent using the head. This move is illegal in all Mixed Martial Arts contests, but was legal in "old-school" Vale Tudo (anything goes) events in Brazil.
Headlock: wrapping one arm around the neck of your opponent and holding his head between your side and arm. By grabbing your other hand you can tighten the lock, possibly achieving a blood or air choke. On the mat a headlock can turn into a guillotine choke either from your back or in the mounted position.
Heel Hook: A popular and dangerous submission hold, which is applied on the heel and then fully accomplished by twisting the knee at the joint. Can cause numerous injuries, including the ripping of various tendons in the legs.
Hip Throw: A hip throw is a popular Judo and Collegiate Style wrestling maneuver where a practitioner uses leverage and balance to throw their opponent over their hips. This is done by achieving a lower center of gravity than the opponent, and getting inside their base. A hip throw is often referred to as an "uchi-mata" by Judo practitioners.
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Judo: A Japanese martial art founded in the 19th century. A derivative of jiu-jitsu, both share some of the same history and techniques, though Judo has been refined as more of a sport (striking is not allowed). Judo emphasizes throws and takedowns.
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Kickboxing: A martial art related to western boxing, but incorporating strikes with the legs. Various styles of kickboxing exist with Muay Thai being among the most popular.
Kimura: similar to the keylock is the kimura, which is a very basic submission hold that everyone knows. It is simply bending your opponents arm and pulling it in an unnatural direction, putting intense pressure on the elbow or shoulder joint. The hold can be applied from a variety of positions, but is mostly done in side control. The hold is named after the Judoka who originated it.
Kneebar: A submission hold that hyper-extends the leg at the knee. Similar to an armbar, but focused on the knee.
KO: An acronym for "knock out," a term typically used in boxing. A KO is the act of a fighter taking a hard strike (usually to the head) and then temporarily losing consciousness.
Keylock: a keylock can apply pressure to the shoulder or elbow of your opponent, depending on how it is applied. It involves holding the forearm and using it to twist the arm. Depending on the direction the arm is twisted in, the standard keylock can become a reverse keylock.
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Leglock: A submission hold that focuses on the leg or ankle. Common leg locks are the "kneebar", "heel hook" and "achilles lock".
Lay and Pray: Lay and pray is similar to a ground and pound style, but instead of striking on the floor the fighter utilizes position and smothering techniques to ride out a decision. Many top wrestlers emphasize this style, oftentimes due to their inability to adapt to MMA rules. Many fighters with a double background in wrestling and Jiujitsu employ this style to the fullest, as their dominating ground games are light years ahead of most competitors. "Popular" lay and pray fighters include Ricardo Arona and Sean Sherk.
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Mission control: like rubber guard, only you cross your other hand across your opponent's back and grab your ankle.
Mixed Martial Arts: A hybrid sport allowing participation by all martial art and hand-to-hand combat styles. As a result, participants must be well rounded in all techniques in order to be successful. Despite an inaccurate perception by the general public, the safety of the fighters is paramount in mixed martial arts events and the sport has proven itself to be much safer for participants than boxing or American football.
Muay Thai: A form of kickboxing originating from Thailand. Unlike traditional kickboxing, Muay Thai allows low kicks, elbows, and knees in addition to punches.
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No Holds Barred (NHB): A once popular term used to describe "mixed martial arts" events. Due to the evolution of the sport and implementation of safety rules, the term "no holds barred" is outdated but remains in the jargon among fans.
North/South position: your opponent is chest to chest with you but in reverse, with his head facing your feet and your head facing his feet, sometimes known as 69. The point of this position is that your opponent can try to sink in a choke directly or use a "[alli]gator roll" to get his arms around your neck (and arm).
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Omaplata: this is a more advanced hold that I'll let wikipedia explain for me: "by placing one leg under the opponents armpit and turning 180 degrees in the direction of that leg, [the leg] moves over the back of the opponent and entangles the opponents arm. By controlling the opponent's body and pushing the arm perpendicularly away from the opponents back, pressure can be put on the opponent's shoulder."
Overhooks (single/double): putting your arm over your opponents arm, typically at elbow level, and holding his midsection or upper body; two overhooks is called double overhooks and clasping your hands together can lead to a bear hug. Generally, overhooks are less advantageous than underhooks and are primarily used as a defense mechanism against double underhooks.
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Pinch grip tie: one of your arms goes under your opponents arm, the other over his shoulder, with both hands clasped together behind his back, also known as the over-under body lock. Both grapplers can achieve this position simultaneously. It is useful for bullrushing and forcing your opponent down onto his back. The over-under position is the same as the pinch grip tie, except without having the hands clasped.
Position: A generic term for various positions that a fight goes through. Includes "standing", "mount," full- and half- "guard," among many others.
Pulling guard: Jiu-Jitsu fighters are often more comfortable fighting off of their backs than anywhere else. Sometimes instead of engaging their opponent in a stand-up war, or attempting to take their opponent down and mount them, they pull guard. Pulling guard means to grab onto your opponent and pull him down into your full guard. This is uncommon in MMA as it practically requires cooperation on the part of your opponent to get into this position.
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Rear Naked Choke: A type of choke that is applied behind an opponent upon capturing his back. A rear naked choke is one of the most advantageous types of chokes as far as positioning.
Rubber guard: full guard, but you twist your leg so your foot is facing your opponent, and you grab your ankle with the hand on the same side, trapping his arm and shoulder between your arm and leg. An effective rubber guard can lead to omaplata and gogoplata submission holds.
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Sambo: A Russian martial art that combines elements of wrestling and Japanese Judo. Sambo is especially vaunted for its leg submissions. One of the most famous practitioners of Sambo is Fedor Emelianenko.
Shoot Fighting: A term that refers to "real" fights (as opposed to matches that are "worked" or have a predetermined outcome). "Shoot Fighting" also refers to a hybrid fighting style that incorporates the best elements of other martial arts. One of the most famous fighters to claim "Shoot Fighting" is Ken Shamrock.
Side mount: otherwise known as side control, your opponent is chest to chest with you with both of his legs to one of your sides.
Single-/double-leg take down: in wrestling, a single-leg take down is, simply, grabbing one of your opponents legs at the thigh with both arms and driving forward, knocking him onto his back. The double-leg take down is more effective, with your arms wrapped around both his thighs, pulling his legs together and knocking him over as you drive forward. Lifting while performing this take down can increase effectiveness and also helps to direct your opponent towards where you want to go, be it towards a cage wall or into the middle of the fighting area. Some fighters like to lift their opponent onto their shoulder using the double-leg maneuver and then slam them.Small Joint Manipulation
Any variation of submission holds which consist of twisting, popping, or hyperextending a small joint, such as the fingers or toes. Such holds are illegal in all Mixed Martial Arts contests.
Streetfighting: A loose "art" consisting of experience gained by fighting "on the streets." Unlike other martial arts, street fighting places opponents into realistic fight situations, but also exposes them to unnecessary danger and injury.
Striking: The act of hitting an opponent with the arm, hand, elbow, head, foot, leg, knee, or any other appendage.
Submission Hold: A choke or joint manipulation that is meant to cause an opponent to submit or "tapout."
Submission Wrestling: A hybrid style of wresting which has many variations. This style combines portions of traditional wrestling with submission holds.
Sweep: A generic Jujitsu technique that is used to describe the person on bottom switching positions with the person on top. This can occur as the result of a failed submission attempt, strike, or scramble, but oftentimes an actual technique referred to as a "sweep" is employed.
Sprawl and Brawl: Fighters more comfortable with striking prefer this style of fighting. Unlike standard striking styles the fighter must adapt their techniques to actively defend takedowns and avoid the ground game. Due to this many strikers practice short combinations of three strikes or less, usually power shots, as well as takedown counterstrikes. Some of these, such as a flying knee or rising kick, result in a KO if a single shot connects. Lately many good wrestlers have learned to strike and used this style effectively, due to their heightened takedown defense. Popular sprawl and brawl fighters are KJ Noons, Chuck Liddell, and generally anyone with professional striking experience.
Slick Submissions: Slick submission fighters are all about getting the fight to the ground, and they don’t care if they have to pull guard to do it. Most slick submission fighters are just as comfortable off their backs as they are in top position, and they are certainly just as dangerous. Grip control, sneaky submission transitions, and fluid sweeps all play major factors in a slick submission fighter's success. Popular slick submission fighters are Nick Diaz, Rodrigo Nogiuera, and Joe Stevenson.
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Takedown: The act of putting your opponent on the ground via tackle, sweep, Greco-throw, or other technique, typically involving the legs and upper body. This is a staple move of Jiu Jitsu and "ground and pound" fighters, as they must get their opponent on the ground in order to maximize their ground-oriented fighting style. Josh Koscheck has some of the best takedowns in the sport of MMA.
Tap/Tap Out: An act of submission or "giving up" in which an opponent, hopelessly captured in a submission hold or being pummeled by strikes, taps the mat or his opponent in lue of blacking out or risking bodily harm.
Throw: there are a variety of throws in MMA and martial arts in general. The most common is the hip toss, which is similar to the trip. You hold onto your opponent and step into him, partially putting your back to him while twisting. As you do so you pull your opponent over your outstretched hip, sending him spiraling over your midsection and onto the ground on the other side of your leg. Advanced practitioners don't let go of their opponent during his motion and can transition seamlessly into an armbar or another similar submission position. Some MMA fighters utilize Judo throws, but the issue with Judo in MMA, similar to Jiu-Jitsu, is that the gi is not permitted. Many Judo and Jiu-Jitsu techniques rely on being able to grab onto your own gi or your opponents. Some fighters have trained in these disciplines extensively without gi's in order to overcome that obstacle.
Toe hold: like the heel hook, but with a focus on the foot and ankle, directly twisting the foot by holding it with one hand at the toes and the other at the achilles tendon
Triangle choke: you'll usually see the triangle choke applied from guard, where the man on the bottom traps his opponents head and one arm between his legs, with one leg tightly overlapping and trapping the other at the back of the knee. One or both of the hands can be used to pull down on the head of the opponent locked in the hold to increase pressure.
Trip: the most common trip you will see occurs when your opponent has you in a body lock. He will step forward, putting his front leg behind your leg, and trip you up with it, sending you falling backwards with him chest-to-chest while you tumble. Sometimes your opponent will fall forward in order to ensure you will trip over his outstretched leg and foot.
Twister: a cross between side control and half guard, twister involves facing your opponents feet while in half guard, putting your hand on your opponents knee and creating space to spin into full mount.
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Underhooks (single/double): putting your arm underneath your opponents arm and holding his midsection or upper body; two underhooks is called double underhooks and clasping your hands together behind your opponent's back is called a body lock. Using double underhooks enables you to maneuver your opponent and possibly slam him.
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Vale Tudo: Portuguese for "anything goes." This term is made in reference to the "no holds barred" fighting events that began in Brazil. Vale Tudo events are now illegal in Brazil, for the most part, and are looked upon as a bygone era of our developing sport.
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Wrestling: An ancient sport that dates back to the dawn of man. Contestants use leverage and technique to accomplish takedowns and achieve and maintain advantageous positions. There are many variations and styles of wrestling. Although wrestling is not considered a formal martial art, its techniques for positioning and control on the ground are invaluable in the sport of mixed-martial arts.
Wild Brawlers: Wild brawlers employ a bolo-swinging, cage slamming style similar to how you would fight in prison or on the street. Their go-for-broke style is usually due to a lack of training, but many wild brawlers fight this way as a matter of choice rather than a consequence. This overwhelming style works to their advantage most times, as opponents can't find a rhythm to counter. Sometimes, usually in the face of a calm technician, this style falls apart rather easily. Popular wild brawlers include Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett, Tank Abbot, and Thomas Denny.
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X Guard: It is either a form of the open guard or the half guard, depending on your point of view. You end up here a lot when you use the butterfly guard, especially when your opponent posts his foot to stop your sweeps
Zuffa: The parent organization of the UFC. is an American sports promotion company specializing in the promotion of mixed martial arts. It was founded in January 2001 in Las Vegas, Nevada to be the new parent entity behind the Ultimate Fighting Championship by Station Casinos executives Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta, after they purchased the UFC from Semaphore Entertainment Group. The word "Zuffa" is an Italian word, meaning "brawl" or "fight with no rules". Zuffa is headed by the Fertittas and President Dana White.
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