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October, 2014
Combat Base Blog
Closed Guard Review
10/27/2014 6:05:03 PM

We have worked the concepts, strategies, set ups and techniques of closed guard for the last few weeks so just wanted to cliff note some of the important bits so you don’t forget.

Hip pressure and movement.

Pressing your hips in to create pressure and developing a vicious hip twist for unbalancing.

Posture and pressure in guard.

Just because you are laid down doesn’t mean that you don’t have to worry about posture and pressure; curl your heels in, get your butt off the floor and put your weight through your partners hips and legs. Always look to be breaking their posture and unbalancing their base.

Countering attempts to open your guard.

Do not allow your guard to be opened if it is not on your terms. Only open if you have to or if you want to, don’t wait until it has been opened.

If they put their knee in your tail bone to pressure your guard, move off their knee to the inside and square up again.

If they put their knee in your tail bone to pressure your guard, move off their knee to the outside and work hip twist to unbalance or sweep them.

If they put their knee in your tail bone to pressure your guard and reach down to push pressure your leg, 2 0n 1 grip to arm drag, don’t let them square back up.

If they put their knee in your tail bone to pressure your guard and reach down to pressure your leg with the elbow, push the arm in and shoot for a triangle.

If they try to stand wait until one knee is just barely off the ground then curl them back in and break their posture.

If they continue to try to stand, place all your weight through one of their hips, by doing this you will know which leg they are going to lift. Curl your hips in and break their posture again.

If they manage to get one flat foot on the floor whilst they still kneel on the other knee go to flower sweep or variation.

If they fully stand, hold in front of their shins and curl your hips in hard to bring them back down.

While curling your hips in and breaking posture, try to guide both of their hands to one side of your body, grip and don’t let then escape the near side arm. Switch to worlds tightest choke, driving the head sweep, arm bar or go to the back.

If their hands go either side of your body, set up the shallow underhook series:

  1. Gable grip kimura
  2. Reverse grip kimura with bent wrist
  3. Wrist lock
  4. If they straighten the arm; elbow crush.
  5. If they circle off the elbow crush; Americana, triangle, gogoplata, back take
  6. If they straighten the arm again; belly down armbar, Judo web turnover

Or over hook brabo grip series:

  1. Collar choke
  2. Elbow crush
  3. Frank Mir
  4. Triangle
  5. Omaplata
  6. Omaplata with collar choke
  7. Belly down arm bar

If they break your guard or you open it, switch to scissor position and reclaim closed guard.

If they break guard and go to combat base, grip the opposite collar, shoot your hips back, snap them down and reclaim closed guard.

If they break guard and go to combat base, grip the opposite collar, shoot your hips in and close your guard again. Grip the same side arm as the collar, use the hip twist for a simple sweep.

If they fully stand and you open guard, drop your legs to unstoppable sweep.

If they fully stand and lift you, continue to sit up, pummel for an underhook then bail out to single leg takedown.

WWID - what would I do?
10/9/2014 12:49:06 PM
I recently watched a world renowned black belt teach a double underpass that was supposed to have amazing details but I thought he missed out quite a bit of important information. 
Then yesterday I watched another world renowned black belt teaching a scissor sweep and again I didn’t think it was that great, critical details missing.
I wondered if I had developed some kind of arrogance where I know better than world renowned black belts but maybe it’s not arrogance, maybe I do know better.
If so, then why and how?
I think it is down to not having a resident teacher which was a curse and a blessing back in the day. I saw Chris Haueter once or twice a year and did a few seminars but ultimately playing trial and error with my training partners was the way I learned.
If I was totally baffled, I would wait until Haueter came over, he would give me one of the light bulb moments and I was back on track.
Although we always need direction and a healthy training environment from people that are more experienced, I wondered if you learn better when you are taught or when you figure something out for yourself.
When you find things for yourself instead of being told, you instantly have the how, when and why feedback so you retain the information better.
I now realise that Haueter taught me so much by not teaching me so much.
I know some people see it as a waste of time and think they are re-discovering the wheel as they could have just asked their instructor but we are still developing new stuff even now thanks to this idea.
Which do you think will give the best results?
Years later when we trained with SBGi, Matt Thornton always pushed the ‘Inquiry method’ which is basically what we were doing and probably why I liked his approach.

Not surprising Matt thought this way as Chris was instrumental in helping Matt form SBGi.
We developed so much Jiu Jitsu training this way. There would just be a few of us exchanging ideas “if I do this, what would you do” put in 10 reps while we got the basic idea then tried it against a little resistance building up until you can do it against full resistance.
While Lloyd Irvin and his medal chasers were micro-drilling 1000s of reps of a real small part of the puzzle, Cobrinha was on the other side doing what we had been doing. He told me that he would do 10 reps of a technique then straight into drilling against resistance building up to restricted sparring, this suited me personally because I always hated specific drilling and always loved situation sparring.

I'm not saying one way is better than the other across the board, you have to find what works for you personally. Some people explore and others have to be told. Pick the one that suits you.

Ironic that when I tell people they should question things, they never ask why :0)


P.S. the Socratic Method is relatively similar to this approach and fits quite well with this concept.
Socratic method (also known as method of elenchus, elenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical GreekphilosopherSocrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer's own point.
Check out the Wiki definition
The Meaning Behind The Combat Base Logo
10/7/2014 12:53:36 PM
I was reading a post about someone designing a logo for a BJJ group and I'm not sure I ever explained fully how I came about designing our most coolest of logos.

First thing I wanted to avoid was the triangle, a much used symbol in BJJ, I had a theory about it being a pyramid rather than a triangle as in 'pyramid scheme' but that's for another day.

I wanted a logo that would mean something, if we are going to do this, we are going to do it right.

It started with the skull and crossbones which is a cool looking symbol in itself but my skull and crossbones is not pirate related although one of my ancestors was a privateer.
It starts with the Templar Knights who were often used to transport important people safely on a long journey.

Relate this to BJJ, we want to help you on your long journey, help you avoid the bandits and pitfalls along the way.

Although the origin of the skull and crossbones in Templar history is pretty sick but basically a Templar Knight, a Lord Of Sidon, was ordered to return to his wife's grave at a certain time.

"at the appointed time he opened the grave again and found a head on the leg bones of the skeleton (skull and crossbones). The same voice bade him ‘guard it well, for it would be the giver of all good things’ and so he carried it away with him. It became his protecting genius and he was able to defeat his enemies by merely showing them the magic head"

I have tried to defeat people in competition just by showing them the logo but they still tried to rip my arms off but then again I'm no Templar.

I like to think that our group is 'the giver of good things' though.

I then added the Ace Of Spades. This is a direct reference to Chris Haueter who had an
Ace Of Spades patch on the sleeve of his gi when I first met him. This was his iconic gi that served as the template for the first Lucky Gi but that is another story in itself.

You can see this evidenced by the Ace Of Spades embroidery of the Lucky Gi sleeve.

I, of course, added our team name above it then added the 'Technical Laboratories' below it as another direct reference to Haueter, this was a phrase he always used and always inspired me to go the 'laboratory' to experiment with my own jiu jitsu.

So there you go, more history of Combat Base.

Hope you liked it.

Lord Darren Of Pomfret and Protecting Genius
The Times, They Are A Changing
10/6/2014 1:01:10 PM
Take a look through the television guides these days and you will see MMA on mainstream TV, not just the flagship events but local shows too, something many of us thought we would never see especially with the attitude of the media back in the day but as Bob Dylan prophesised “the times, they are a changing”
Our story begins not too many years ago in the ancient borough of Pontefract when a wise young man with a full head of hair decided to organise an MMA show to try to highlight a fledgling new sport but was not really available outside of the big smoke and certainly nothing like it around us. Our hero and his partner had indeed frequented these things in the borough of London and were such fun, a really good test of your all round martial artistry.
We had introduced this style of fighting as an after Taekwondo class activity and the guys seemed to really like it. We had no mats and didn’t know what we were doing but it was fun and double legging someone onto a hardwood floor just seemed so right.
Our hero approached various fighters that were prepared to compete in this new and exciting format and was met with a lot of enthusiasm, it all looked very promising.
The local rugby club was to be hired to showcase this event, talks had gone well and an agreement reached, the ring had been measured and all extra seating was sorted so a date was set. Was all set to be the first MMA show in God’s own county of Yorkshire then everyone’s favourite 2 things got involved; the media and the church. The countdown to destruction had begun.
First of all, a TV show named Calendar interviewed our hero at his place of work and were thoroughly excited about the new venture, the TV employees asked if they could have tickets to the show for a little publicity so was agreed.
The very same evening the interview with the hero of the piece was actually on Calendar but had been edited so it sounded a LOT different to what had actually been said. Add to this that the TV show had researchers up in the old town of Pontefract showing UFC 1 to old ladies who were out shopping because it was pension day; the old ladies verily agreed that this type of fighting was indeed barbaric and would not be going to the rugby club to partake in the fight night.
Calendar invited noted pacifist Brendan Ingle to comment, he was outraged that guys were actually trying to hit each other. This was around the time that Paul Ingle was put into a coma from a beating received in a boxing match. He received severe brain and head injuries in a 12 round title defence. “You do know what irony is, don’t you Baldrick?” “Yes, it’s like tinny or coppery but iron instead”
To quote a scientific formula of the time, one heavily edited interview + one disgruntled boxing coach + countless outraged old ladies = not looking good for yours truly.
All the offended people immediately flocked to church for a good cleansing and upon hearing that such sorcery and brutality was due to take place in his parish, the priest started proceedings to have our hero removed from his parish (I swear that the local church wanted to get me thrown out of the parish, they actually thought they had the power to get me to move house!) At one point I swear I could see the dim glow of torches as the flock went for their pitchforks.
The might of the church came down upon the rugby club who then had a change of heart; they sent a letter to our hero explaining that they would have to retract their offer as “they didn’t want rugby being associated with a violent sport”. Seriously!
Everywhere our hero went the common people did ask of the show and were disappointed to find out that it wouldn’t be happening just yet. Even the wonderful serving girls of Greggs, where our hero would procure provisions, were looking forward to a night out at the rugby club. The bad publicity had actually attracted more people than it had detracted, I guess they didn’t realise the mentality of the population of the mighty borough of Pontefract. This is a town that Shakespeare wrote of in Richard III because unfortunately King Richard II had met his fate in Pontefract; some say in the castle, some say on a night out but never the less we celebrate regicide. Bloody Pomfret as Shakey called it.
Alas there was nowhere else to go. The Council wouldn’t allow sporting contests in its facilities so couldn’t get an entertainment licence, even though I had seen Giant Haystacks wrestling at the Town Hall previously.
And so, faithful readers, that was the end of the first attempt to organise a legal MMA show in Pontefract. We would have to take our new found sport underground for a while so watch out for more devilishly entertaining tales coming to these pages.
Team Training Day
10/5/2014 1:58:23 PM
Combat Base UK Team Training Day May 2014
 4th of May saw the latest instalment of the always popular team training day. This is a ‘gathering of the clans’ where all members of Combat Base are invited to a large training session aimed to integrate the ever increasing number of members and to expose everyone’s students to teaching methods employed by various other coaches in the group.

This is also a great opportunity for the instructors to cast an eye over everyone to make sure that our principles and standard are adhered to. It hasn’t happened yet but if for example, if the students of a particular club were all making the same mistake it becomes evident very quickly when they are integrated into a large group setting.

The format is basically always the same; workshops, competitive matches and free time. This again allows everyone to learn new skills, to roll with different people in a competitive yet friendly environment and to catch up with old friends.

On top of this we always donate any money raised to charity, having donated thousands of pounds to charities over the years. Everyone is always so generous with their time and money, it’s overwhelming at times.
We were once again hosted by Team Fulinkazan head coach Mark ‘Spenna’ Spencer who took time out from his busy schedule and fight prep to organise his premises, services and even to secure a sponsor to provide some goods to be sold/raffled. He deserves many thanks for going above and beyond in his help.

The day started with the first workshop, this was courtesy of Factory BJJ’s Scott Smith. He was to deliver a clinic of the single leg takedown which he had used successfully the previous week to win gold at the Manchester Open, his attention to detail, the set-up, the angles were superb but considering he had wrestled at Oklahoma State for a good few years, I guess he knows his subject.
As soon as he spoke and we all completed our racial profiling we knew he would be able to wrestle :0)

On a side note, it was fitting to have a Factory guy as the first coach as it was also the anniversary of our first meeting with Adam and the guys at Factory. We went over to teach a seminar for them, I hit them with the ‘Star Wars Day’ joke, a few laughed so I knew we would get along. In those few short years I have known them, the improvement across the board has been immense, they are out there on the big stage representing us with style, I couldn’t be happier with their contribution to the group.

Next up was the first round of Absolute Blue – an 8 man tournament that pits club against club for bragging rights, who’s going to be group champion?
Because it is a very serious affair, I determined the competitors, took into consideration their weight, time spent at grade and competitive experience then had their names wrote on pieces of paper, put into a hat and drawn at random, the absolute fairest way to see who goes against who. Luck of the draw they say, the only thing is the playing field was level, there was to be no easy matches.

First match was Ryan “Old Dirty” Broomhall or ODB to his friends representing Factory BJJ against Jamie Lester from Evade, although carrying a groin strain refused to pull out and let anyone down. It was a very close match and even went to overtime where ODB took the match by the only advantage scored putting him through to the semis.

Next match saw Serge Pawlowski from Voodoo against Ad Russ from AVT, another back and forth battle that Ad took 5-3 taking him to the semis too.


3rd match saw Will Cleary from Pete Guest’s Evolution MMA against Rich Cadden from Chokdee. It was starting to become apparent because all of our clubs are of a high standard that every match was really going to be a battle, Will took the match 6-2.

Final match of the 1st round was between Mick Smith from Pete Guest’s Evolution MMA against Mike Ng from NGT. Mick stepped up to compete about a week ago after a pull-out from someone who was injured. The guy that was going to represent NGT also got injured a couple of days before this tourney so on the day Mike offered to take his place. Respect to both guys for stepping up. Another close contest that Mick took 8-6 but Mike got a round of applause for accepting to compete with a few minutes notice.

After some free time for people to drill some more, roll some more, take advantage of the refreshments and baking kindly supplied by Cat and Hannah, the next workshop was ready to kick off.

This was to be a nasty, dirty, painful catch wrestling workshop with Ian Jones, the winner – by submission – of the only real catch match held in this country in the last 50 years and regular attendee at the world renowned Snake Pit in Wigan. Ian took us through neck manipulations to turnovers, horrible neck cranks and a submission from back that hurt so much I don’t know what I tapped from, everything hurt at the same time.
Even though someone said they couldn’t understand him because he was the most Yorkshireman she had ever met and needed subtitles, the workshop was very well received.
At the end of his workshop, Helen came over to promote Ian to black belt; he has studied and competed in just about everything, gi, no gi, freestyle wrestling, pro mma, catch wrestling, the guy can do everything. So after 20 years of grappling in general and after well above 10 years of gi BJJ, he was promoted becoming Combat Base UK black belt #8.

Onto the semis of the 8-man Absolute Blue tourney ODB faced Will to determine the first finalist, a close match again that was finally decided by a single back take giving Will the win 6-2.

Ad then took on Mick for the 2nd final spot. I had asked Will and Mick, who are from the same club, what happens if you meet in the final or meet in the 3rd place playoff match, without hesitation they said “we fight”, no close outs here.

As it happened that wasn’t necessary as Ad put in a great performance catching the first sub of the tourney to put him into the final.

After more free time for everyone to try and take in some of the information passed on so far, the final workshop was to be Danny Mitchell.

I asked Danny to do some crazy shit, he obliged by doing some twister scenarios which by a lot of people’s standards would be crazy shit but this is Danny’s domain, his go to moves and he can break things down and teach them so well that suddenly something like a twister seems high percentage. I really like a lot of the 10th Planet stuff but I love Danny’s style, I swear the guy could teach anything and make it work. Even Eddie Bravo is a Danny fan…………seriously.

After that really enjoyable final workshop the absolute tourney was to be completed, Ryan ODB put in a redeeming performance to take the bronze medal by submission and in a fight of 2 halves, Will took the gold 8-5 in an excellent match against Ad.

The final results were:
1st – Will Cleary - Pete Guest’s Evolution MMA
2nd – Adam Russell - AVT
3rd – Ryan Broomhall - Factory BJJ
I have already started planning Absolute Purple for later in the year.

Throughout the day, Stu Tomlinson from Warrior Collective was filming and is currently producing a Combat Base mini-docu so thanks to everyone who did an interview too. Subscribe to his YouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss the documentary plus there is a bunch of other stuff there already.
 Stu's YouTube channel

Finally a big thank you to everyone who supported us, gave your time and money generously, even people that weren’t able to attend still sent money to help out our cause and for this I am truly thankful.

Even though a lot of the franchises say they are a family (which they clearly aren’t unless you charge your family to use the family name) I really feel like we are, we are much more than just a group of people doing the same thing and every training day proves this more and more. I see the younger guys up and coming so I know for sure that even when I’m not around the future of Combat Base is very bright.

Stay tuned for the next instalment, planning already.


Thanks to everyone whose photos I stole too :0)

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