I was talking to the Kickboxing class last night and also to the BBC kids last week about the value of “chain” technique training, for all forms of hand to hand combat like MMA, Thai Boxing and so on. What is chain wrestling? Chain Wrestling or Kickboxing of whatever you want to link to it is the ability to take more then one technique or move and put them together, sort of like a chain. In the BJJ circles we can it flow rolling, in Muay Thai Kickboxing we call it timing sparring and in Wrestling it’s called chain wrestling.
Being able to stack one move on top of another is a skill that separates the good fighters from the great ones. I know that in my own training, I used to always drill moves in sets of at least three. I assumed the first and second moves would be countered so I needed more moves to follow up with that would catch the opponent. It worked out very well for me to say the least. This is the way I’ve been drilling since 1995.
So, how can a student of Ivey League MMA learn to put techniques together to become unstoppable? Step one is to start drilling techniques in sets and planning for the first move to be stopped and have a follow up ready. The newer students might not stop the first technique but at the higher levels they will almost always stop it. I always liked chains of 4-5 techniques in a row waiting for the opponent. An example would be:
- Start with a basic jab
- Add a straight right hand
- Assume they slipped both punches, add in the lead hook or knee
- Finish with a round kick for good measure assuming the hook/knee missed
You see, you take the basic jab and add some punches and a kick/knee to it and you have a “chain” of techniques waiting for your opponent, rather then just one move.
Another example from the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu/BJJ world:
- You go for an Armlock from the guard
- Opponent pulls arm out, you go right into the triangle
- Opponent wraps arm to avoid triangle, you switch to the omoplata
- Opponent rolls out, you turn it into a sweep
In the above chain from BJJ, you have one move (the armlock) that turned into 4 moves. This is the way to be drilling your techniques!
If you need some combos or other ideas for the right way to chain drill please come in and ask one of the instructors at Ivey League MMA and they’ll be more then happy to help you guys with ideas. Also, when you’re rolling or sparring make sure to try things out in sets of 2-3 then once you get the hang of that add maybe 2 more moves to it. Become a student of chain techniques, it’s going to pay off ten fold I guarantee it!
I will be pushing this more and more in the classes so you’ll hear me talk about chain drilling. Oh and the photo on the board of the chain should also be a consent reminder as well!