Wrestling / Grappling

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Wrestling is the hand-to-hand struggle between two unarmed combatants, in which each wrestler strives to get an advantage over or control of their opponent. Many styles of wrestling are known all over the world and have long histories, and sport wrestling (particularly amateur wrestling) has been an Olympic sport for over one hundred years.

Wrestling disciplines are broken down into two primary categories: (1) International style wrestling; and, (2) folk style wrestling.

International Wrestling Disciplines.

International wrestling disciplines include Greco-Roman and Freestyle.

Greco-Roman is an Olympic sport. In Greco-Roman style, it is forbidden to hold the opponent below the waist, to make trips, and to actively use the legs in the execution of any action. In Greco-Roman wrestling, emphasis is placed on lifting the opponent or throwing him for great amplitude in order to secure points and to ultimately win the period.

Freestyle wrestling is also an Olympic sport. In free style, it is allowed to hold an opponent below the waist, to make trips and to actively use legs in the execution of any action. The ultimate goal in free style is to pin your opponent to the mat, which results in an immediate win. It is currently the international style in which women participate in competition.

Folk Style Wrestling Discipline .

Folk style wrestling disciplines include folk and collegiate.

Folk style wrestling is a generic term used to describe a traditional form of wrestling unique to a culture or geographic region of the world, which may or may not be codified as a modern sport. A folk style wrestling discipline (or a modification of the collegiate wrestling style, as discussed below) is used across the United States in high school wrestling, as well as in middle school levels and for even younger participants.

Collegiate wrestling (sometimes known as scholastic wrestling and even folk style wrestling) is the commonly used name of wrestling practiced at the college and university level in the United States. As collegiate wrestling forms a part of international mainstream wrestling, it is considered too popular to still be considered “folk” style wrestling. It is also that is practiced at the high school.

In folk style and collegiate wrestling, as well as its international counterpart freestyle wrestling, the ultimate goal is to pin your opponent to the mat, which results in an immediate win. Folk style, collegiate and freestyle wrestling (unlike Greco-Roman) all allow the use of the wrestler’s or his opponent’s legs in offense and defense.

Basic Differences in International and Folk Wrestling Disciplines.

Generally, rather than lifting the opponent or throwing him for great amplitude in order to win the period in the international style of Greco-Roman wrestling, the folk, collegiate and freestyle wrestler most often seeks to take his opponent down to the mat and perform a “breakdown” (that is, to get his opponent in the defensive position flat on his stomach or side). With the opponent off of his base of support (that is, off of his hands and knees), the offensive collegiate wrestler would then seek to tire out his opponent by “riding” (controlling the legs and arms in the offensive position on top), for example. With strategies such as this, the collegiate wrestler is then more likely to turn his opponent over for a pin (or fall). The defensive wrestler could counter such attempts for a takedown, or when once taken down try to escape his opponent’s control or reverse control altogether. In a last ditch attempt to foil a pin while on his back, the defensive wrestler could also “bridge” out (that is, arch his back up and then turn toward his stomach). Overall, a folk, collegiate and freestyle wrestler in his techniques would most likely emphasize physical control and dominance over the opponent on the mat.

Folk style and collegiate wrestling differ in a number of ways from freestyle and Greco-Roman. Some of the differences are listed below.

* There are a few scoring differences. For example, in Greco-Roman wrestling, points are given for exposing an opponent’s shoulders to the mat. This can be accomplished by performing a quick rotating maneuver, which simply causes the opponent’s shoulders to face the mat even if only for a moment. In collegiate wrestling, by contrast, one of the opponent’s shoulders must be held on the mat and the other of the opponent’s shoulders forced within at an angle of 45 degrees or less from the mat for 2 to 5 seconds to score. The points generated in this situation are called “near fall points.” Of course, a collegiate wrestler can win the match by pinning both of his opponent’s shoulders to the mat. This distinction in wrestling disciplines shows a difference in focus: while the international styles encourage explosive action and risk, collegiate wrestling encourages and rewards control over the opponent.

* There is an additional position to commence wrestling after the first period, and also to resume wrestling after various other situations encountered during the match. All three styles begin a match with both wrestlers facing each other on their feet with the opportunity given to both to score a takedown (force the opponent to the mat and into an inferior position). In collegiate wrestling, once a takedown is scored, the wrestler in the inferior position (defensive or bottom) remains there until he escapes the move, reverses positions, the period ends, or various penalty situations occur. The inferior position is similar to a choice for a starting position of the second and third periods, where it is called the referee’s position. By choosing the bottom place in the referee’s position, the wrestler has the advantage of greater scoring possibility, as escaping is easier than scoring a takedown from the neutral position or scoring near fall points from the superior position. In the international styles, where the escape point was difficult to achieve and is now no longer awarded, the inferior position is used to penalize a wrestler who has committed an illegal act.

* In collegiate wrestling, there is a de-emphasis on “throws” or maneuvers where the other wrestler is taken off his feet, through the air to land on his back or shoulders. This lack of emphasis on throws is another example of how collegiate wrestling emphasizes dominance or control, as opposed to the element of risk. A throw is awarded the same amount of points as any other takedown, whereas in the international styles, a wrestler can be awarded additional points for throws. A well executed throw can even win the period in the international styles, especially those throws of grand amplitude; while in collegiate wrestling, such throws may even be illegal in some age groups. However, many collegiate wrestlers still incorporate some throws into their repertoire of moves because a thrown opponent often lands on his back or shoulders and thus in a position more conducive to producing a fall or near fall points.

Wrestling in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Wrestling has gained respect among martial arts practitioners, especially with the advent of mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions. In the early years of MMA competitions, more wrestlers defeated stylists from traditional striking and submission grappling oriented styles such as boxing, judo, tae kwon do, karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing. Currently, many of the top ranked MMA fighters competed extensively in collegiate and Greco-Roman wrestling before beginning their careers in mixed martial arts. Many other prominent and successful fighters from non-wrestling backgrounds often pursue wrestling training to complement their other skills. Today, wrestling is one of the most dominant fighting styles in MMA.

Sparring

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High quality sparring is the best method to train and develop proficiency in boxing and Muay Thai. Sparring is “practice fighting” with the aim of training skills and fitness, not to determine a winner.

It should be understood that the beginner’s training routine will likely consist of learning how to shadowbox, hit the heavy bag, the double end bag (a small bag with a cord on top and on bottom connecting it to the floor and ceiling), as well as working out with focus mitts. Only when the individual’s skills have progressed to an adequate level, should training include an occasional practice bout or sparring session. Boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing are widely considered to be two of the most physically demanding sports in the world. As a result, even advanced boxers and Muay Thai practitioners will spend most of their time conditioning and working on fundamentals.

No one is required or forced to participate in sparring. Participation in this activity is left up to each individual. However, even if an individual desires to participate in sparring, such sparring is supervised by trainers and is carried out in a manner designed to minimize the likelihood of injury. As noted above, the etiquette and emphasis of sparring is the development of technique and fitness, not to determine a winner. As a result, participants are to limit the power and force of their punches and instead focus on gaining skill, building speed, stamina, and agility. In addition, participants should spar with opponents of similar skill and fitness. Sparring partners also will often agree to practice particular types of punches or defense moves to focus and personalize their training.

Sparring should always be performed with the use of proper safety equipment. Basic sparring equipment includes:

* Mouthpiece – used to protect the teeth and gums, and to cushion the jaw.
* Hand wraps – bands of cloth used to wrap around and protect the wrists and hands.
* Sparring gloves – gloves specifically designed for sparring should be used by all participants. Sparring gloves are more padded than gloves used in general training. These gloves are designed to protect the participant’s hands and the opponent’s head and torso.

* Protective cup – used to protect the groin against inadvertent low punches.
* Headgear – used to protect a participant from soft tissue damage (bruises, cuts, etc), during sparing. Headgear offers no protection from the effects of hard finishing punches. It is important that a participant is aware of this otherwise headgear can produce a false sense of security leading a participant to take punches rather than engaging in defensive tactics or techniques.

Because high quality sparring is the best method to replicate actual combat or competition conditions, this training method is often cited by trainers, instructors, and sports writers as one of the most Spartan forms of sports training. Clearly, it is the best method to train and develop these individual disciplines.

Kids Mix Martial Arts / Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu

CF_Kids PicCombat Fitness offers Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as well as Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) classes to children ages 6 – 13 years old. Through our MMA and BJJ instruction, we provide the kids with training in 4 essential areas: (1) character; (2) self-defense; (3) physical fitness; and, (4) fun.

The discipline and self-confidence that children acquire in our kids program helps them grow into well-rounded adults and empowers them to more effectively life’s challenges. We acclimatize kids to an active, healthy lifestyle, and build the character, self-esteem and interpersonal skills necessary for peaceful conflict resolution while stressing the importance of safety and cleanliness. We believe strongly that kids with character and self-confidence have powerful coping strategies for dealing with and peacefully resolving confrontation with peers.

Our program teaches children basic striking (punches, elbows, kicks and knees) techniques found in boxing and kickboxing (such as stance, positioning, foot work, movement, types of punches and kicks, and putting together combinations of both punches and kicks). Our program also teaches basic grappling techniques found in wrestling and jiu-jitsu (such as take downs, take down defenses, reversals, sweeps, escapes, joint locks, etc., which teach the students how to take down an opponent, to control an opponent on the ground, and to transition from one style to the next; meaning, from standup to ground and/or from ground to standup). Since wrestling and jiu-jitsu techniques rely on leverage and not size or strength (unlike many martial arts disciplines that focus on punching and kicking) a jiu-jitsu practitioner is able to defeat much larger and stronger opponents. The emphasis on technique and the use of leverage, rather than size or strength, coupled with the fact that most confrontations end up on the ground, makes jiu-jitsu a very effective martial art for children.

Training in these disciplines will include the use of boxing/kickboxing bags and focus mitts, and will also involve shadow boxing, light sparring and grappling. Our program also uses games to teach the fundamental movements of these individual disciplines because kids often learn best through playing. Additional conditioning techniques will include pushups, abdominal work, resistance exercises and much more. Hand wraps, gloves, shin pads, gi (for BJJ), mouth guard and cup are required, and headgear is optional.

Judo

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Judo (meaning “gentle way”) is a modern Japanese martial art and combat sport that originated in Japan in the late nineteenth century from another traditional school of martial art. Practitioners of judo are called jūdōka. A judo instructor or teacher is called sensei. Although the word judo means gentle way, a potential practitioner should not make the mistake of believing it is delicate and powerless discipline. In fact, judo forms the basis for many military and police combat training tactics around the world.

In judo, there are two main phases of combat: the standing phase (tachi-waza); and the ground phase (ne-waza); with each phase requiring its own (mostly separate) techniques, strategies, training regimen’s, conditioning and so on. Special training is also devoted to “transitional” techniques to bridge the gap between the standing phase and the ground phase. Judo’s inclusion of both the standing and ground phases of combat gives judoka the ability to take down opponents who are standing up and then submit them on the ground. Certainly, the most prominent feature of judo is its competitive element, where the object is to throw one’s opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one’s opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit by a joint lock or choke hold.

Judo’s primary focus is on throwing and groundwork which is accomplished through a variety of rolls, falls, throws, hold downs, chokes, joint-locks, and strikes. Throwing techniques (nage waza) are divided into two groups—standing techniques and sacrifice techniques. Standing techniques are further divided into hand techniques, hip techniques, and foot and leg techniques. Sacrifice techniques are also divided into backward fall techniques (those in which the thrower falls directly backwards), and side fall techniques (those in which the thrower falls onto his or her side). The ground fighting techniques are divided into attacks against an opponent’s joints (joint locks) or neck (strangleholds or chokeholds), or pinning techniques.

In the standing phase, the opponents attempt to throw each other. The main purpose of the throwing techniques is to take an opponent who is standing on his feet, mobile and dangerous, down onto his back where he cannot move as effectively. The main reason for the throw is to control the opponent and to put oneself in a dominant position. In this way, the practitioner has a greater potential to secure a decisive outcome. Another reason to throw the opponent is to shock the opponent’s body through force against the ground. Throwing techniques include four phases: off-balancing (kuzushi); body positioning (tsukuri); execution (kake); and finally, the finish (kime). Each phase follows the previous one with great speed; ideally, they happen almost simultaneously.

After a throw occurs, or if the opponents otherwise end up on the ground, combat continues on the ground through the use of ground fighting techniques. Of significance, however, an opponent is not allowed to simply drop to the ground to force a ground fight (ne-waza). Once properly on the ground, the opponents grapple in their efforts to secure either a submission by way of a chokehold or joint-lock, or a hold down (osaekomi) or pin.

A kind of sparring is practiced in judo, known as “free practice”. In free practice, two opponents attempt to submit or defeat each other using their previously learned judo throwing or groundwork techniques. For reasons of safety, chokeholds, joint locking, and sacrifice techniques are subject to age or experience restrictions. In free practice, when an opponent successfully executes a groundwork technique such as a chokehold or joint lock, one submits (or “taps out”), by tapping the mat or one’s opponent at least twice in a manner that clearly indicates the submission. When this occurs the match is over, the tapping player has lost, and the chokehold or joint lock ceases.

Various aspects of judo principles and training methods promote attributes and skills helpful in self-defense and all other combat sports:

  • Training with full power and speed against fully-resisting opponents builds speed, stamina, strength, and agility.
  • Training in safe methods to take falls.
  • Ability to accurately and quickly use balance, distance, and timing against skilled opponents in fully-resistive sparring. Judo practitioners are experts in controlling their opponent’s balance while maintaining their own.
  • Sports Judo rules emphasize rapid transition to pins or submissions after a take-down, which builds skills in explosive use of chokes and locks in self-defense situations.
  • Emphasis in controlling one’s opponent during throws allows a practitioner to dictate the angle, direction, and force with which their opponent lands on the ground. The consequences could be gentle or lethal, depending on the judo practitioner’s intentions.

It should be noted that the traditional rules of judo are intended to avoid injuries to the participants and ensure proper etiquette. In fact, research shows that judo is a particularly safe sport. This is true because a properly applied throw performed in a controlled way is designed to protect the opponent from injury. In addition, proper throwing techniques are thoroughly drilled by sensei’s before allowing participants to free practice, and sensei’s are present to supervise free-practice.

The philosophy developed for judo became the model for almost all modern Japanese martial arts that developed from other “traditional” schools of martial art. In fact, the worldwide spread of judo led to the development of a number of offshoots such as Sambo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Bartitsu. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (“BJJ”) was developed after judo was introduced into Brazil in 1914. At the time, judo was still often commonly referred to as “Jiu-Jitsu”, which explains why this derivative of judo is called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rather than Brazilian Judo.

Muay Thai

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Muay Thai fighting is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on the use of punches, kicks, elbows, knees and standing grappling to wear down and defeat an opponent. The fists and feet are used for long-range combat while the elbows and knees are used for short-range combat. Muay Thai is sometimes called “Thai Boxing” because the techniques of this style are not practiced in sets commonly referred to as “forms – Kata’s or Koso’s” which can be found in other traditional Japanese, Chinese and Korean martial arts. Muay Thai techniques are, however, practiced in much the same manner as in regular western-style boxing, which allows the practitioner to develop power, speed, and a spontaneous reaction to attacks. Practice of these so-called forms, however, do not properly develop the qualities which are the most essential elements in becoming a proficient combatant. Thai training methods develop devastating power, speed and superb cardio-vascular endurance as well as a tough fighting spirit. In fact, Muay Thai is classified as one of the most powerful styles of martial arts known to date because Thai fighters utilize maximum power in every technique. Whether the Thai fighter is striking an opponent with fists, feet, elbows and/or knees, this higher level of power is generated by the twisting of the hips and the turning of the waist, or by the thrusting of the hips, in execution of the movement. There are many types of grappling within the Muay Thai clinch, which can involve the arms, body, leg, neck, and shoulders of the opponent. Clinches can aid the Thai fighter in maintaining balance while striking with the knees, in maximizing the force of a blow by pulling the target area closer to the striking weapon, and in preventing one’s adversary from getting away while offensive techniques are being executed. No other fighting art has adapted this form of close range combat and in the specific use of the elbows and knees more than Muay Thai. Muay Thai training is also quite safe thanks to sophisticated pad training that evolved to keep fighters healthy between fights. The simplicity of the footwork and techniques are some of the main reasons why Muay Thai has been considered to be one of the most effective styles of Asian martial arts. Muay Thai has also proven very effective outside the ring and has been embraced enthusiastically by practitioners of a variety of self-defense, sporting, military and law enforcement activities. The length of time needed for a fighter to acquire the self-defense attributes found within Muay Thai is much less than in most other martial arts.

Fight Fit

Our Fight Fitness classes are high intensity, sweat inducing and calorie burning workouts that will help you achieve the fitness and looks that you want! Expect to build lean muscle, burn fat and get results with this non-contact workout that mixes in bag training, plyometrics, strength conditioning and flexibility training. Fight Fitness classes are designed for all skill and fitness levels. Unlike traditional and moderate paced aerobic classes, our fight fitness program is ever dynamic, changing and moving. You’ll learn and practice authentic MMA techniques and striking combinations while burning calories. Classes run for 60 minutes with specific rest times. Want to do cross training like a Mixed Martial Artist? Here is your chance!