Home PRO MAI MMA Glossary / MMA names and terms

PRO MAI MMA Glossary / MMA names and terms

General Terms

Invert – some techniques or positions have a strong biomechanical relationship between them and sometimes that relationship is that one is effectively an upside down version of the other. We generally refer to these as inverted, for example if you are in a standard back control position where you are face down and then the position rolls over so that you are face up then we refer to this position as an Invert Centre Back Control.

Examples
Invert Centre Back Control (rear mount)
Invert Side Control (scarf hold)

Open/closed side – the terms open and closed are used to help you understand your relationship to your opponent. The simple explanation would be to say that these terms refer to whether you are more toward your opponents front or their back, with open referring to the front or stomach side and closed referring to the back or closed side. The absolute definition also takes into account the opponents arms. If you are inside the line of the arm (toward their stomach) of your opponent then you are on their open side, if you are outside the line of the arm (toward their back) then you are in their closed side. Of course your opponents arms may continuously change position and consequently you may be switching to the open or closed side of your opponent simply because their arm has moved. This may sound odd but it’s entirely appropriate as your orientation around the arm has a massive implication whether you are standing, clinching or on the ground.

Examples
‘Counter attack to the open side’
‘Transition to the closed side’

grip – if you are controlling your opponent and the primary control mechanism is a gripping action with the hand then we refer to it as a grip.

Examples
Primary Neck Grip
Secondary Wrist Grip

Trap – if you are controlling your opponent and the primary control mechanism is not a grip with the hand then we refer to it as a trap (including leg work).

Examples
Arm Trap
Full Leg Trap

Clinch

Open clinch – any clinch that doesn’t have both a locked grip and control around the torso is considered to be an open clinch

Examples
Shoulder and Triceps Clinch
Double Neck Clinch (Thai clinch)

Closed clinch – for a clinch to be referred to as closed it has to fulfil two criteria; firstly it must be using a locked grip and secondly the locked grip must be established around some part of the torso.

Examples
Front Body Clinch (body lock)
Side Body Clinch

Primary control – the term primary control generally refers to the grips or traps that you may use in an open clinch. In a clinch situation where you are limited to the amount of bodyweight that can be used to control an opponent the concept of a primary control point is very important. A good quality open clinch should consist of at least one primary control point and this then determines the focus for the rest of your clinch. shoulder control in an open clinch is a good example of a primary control point, with this grip you can control your opponent very effectively and the rest of the clinch position and posture is then focussed around it.

Examples
Primary Shoulder Grip (underhook)
Primary Head Trap (front headlock)

Secondary control – again this term is used primarily in conjunction with open clinches. A secondary control point can be used in addition to a primary control point in order to solidify a clinch position. However, the clinch should still be focussed around the primary control point and if you choose to release one of the control points then it’s the secondary one that you would look to give up.

Examples
Secondary Wrist Grip
Secondary Biceps Grip

Locked – a clinch is deemed to be ‘locked’ when the hands are clasped together in any form of grip.

Examples
Locked Arm and Head Clinch
Locked Arm and Neck Clinch

Takedown

Committed – in reference to takedowns the term ‘committed’ refers to the fact that we are dropping one or both knees to the floor as part of the takedown technique. This is an important term because it reminds students that there are tactical decisions to be made during some takedowns. For example, a Double Leg Capture takedown can be done with or without the knee touching down. With the knee down (committed) you are in a stronger driving and lifting position than if you remain on your feet, however, the speed and efficiency of the of the set up is lower and you are committed to the technique at the point your knee drops and are more exposed to counter attacks if it goes wrong.

Examples
Committed Double Leg Capture
Committed Backward Calf Trip (outside trip)

Lift – the term ‘lift’ refers to the action of lifting your opponent so that both feet come completely off the ground. This initial lift action is separate from the completion of the takedown and could potentially lead to several different actions that would complete the takedown.

Examples
Side Body Lift
Single Hip Lift

Drive – the term ‘drive’ is used to describe a takedown where the primary action used to complete the takedown is one where we drive through the opponent in a straight line regardless of our position in relation to the opponent.

Examples
Single Leg Capture and Drive

Drag – the term ‘drag’ is used to describe a takedown where the primary action used to complete the takedown is one where we are dragging our opponent backwards and downwards in a straight line regardless of our position in relation to the opponent.

Example
Double Neck Clinch Drag (Wrestling snapdown)

Trip – a ‘trip’ is the term used to describe a takedown action where a blocking action is placed on a point of balance and then the opponent is driven over that blocking action.

Example
Backward Calf Trip (Outside Trip)

Throw – initially a ‘throw’ seems very similar in nature to a throw in that it is an action where the opponent is lifted off both feet. However, a throw is different because it is completed in one smooth action and is performed with a specific completion action right from the start rather than having a lift section and then a subsequent choice of completion actions.

Example
Front Hip Throw (Suplex)

Leg capture – the term leg capture is used to describe the action of getting control of one (single leg capture) or both (double leg capture) of your opponents legs with your hands and/or arms in order to effect a takedown on them.

Example
Single Leg Capture

Hip capture – the term hip capture is used to describe the action of getting control of one (single hip capture) or both (double hip capture) of your opponents hips with your hands and/or arms in order to effect a takedown on them.

Example
Double Hip Capture

Ground

Transition – the term ‘transition’ refers to the action of moving from one ground position to another that may put may not result in a reversal.

Example
Transition to Back Control (taking the back)

Escape – the term ‘escape’ is used when you manage to extract yourself out of an opponents dominant position. This action may involve getting your own dominant ground position or a return to a standing position and may also result in a reversal.

Example
Knee Escape from Centre Control (Knee escape from mount)

Reversal – the term ‘reversal’ refers to the action of flipping an opponent from a position where they are on top of you to a position where they are underneath you. This may be as part of an escape or as a transition between positions.

Example
Single Leg Lever Reversal (elevator sweep from guard)

Submissions

Choke – a choke is a neck submission where we are attacking the trachea (windpipe) in order to prevent oxygen entering an opponent’s lungs to cause the opponent to lose consciousness.

Example
Inner Forearm Choke (guillotine)

Suppression – a suppression is a neck submission where we are applying pressure to the carotid arteries to the sides of the neck in order to suppress the blood flow to the brain to cause the opponent to lose consciousness.

Example
Leg with Shoulder Suppression (Triangle Choke)

Extension – an extension is classification of submission where we are trying to hyper-extend a joint past it’s natural range of motion.

Example
Elbow Extension (Straight Arm Bar)

Rotation – a rotation is a classification of submission where we are trying rotate a joint past it’s natural range of motion.

Example
Downward Shoulder Rotation (Kimura)

Compression – a compression is a classification of submission where a muscle group is compressed to the point of pain usually by creating pressure with a solid part of the body like the shin bone or the forearm.

Example
Biceps Compression (Biceps Slicer / Crusher)

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