The Pankration Flow
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FREE-MOTION TO CLINCH:
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When you’re clinched with an opponent, you’re often in a neutral position in which neither person has the advantage. That’s why your goal should be to work to a better, more dominant one that allows your strikes, takedowns and submissions to be effective. An example is transitioning from a front collar-and-elbow clinch to a rear body lock. The latter gets you behind your foe, essentially giving you his back and putting your attacks out of his sight. In another example, you’re locked up in a double-collar tie with your adversary. To improve your position, you “swim” your arms inside his to gain the control advantage.
CLINCH TO FREE-MOTION:
You also " ϐ clinches, which enables you to avoid the damage that can come from closerange strikes. Escaping a tight clinch requires mobility and technique. There are some mistakes to be cognizant of. For example, when you’re caught in a two-handed neck clinch, don’t lower your head away from the grip. This will expose your face to knee strikes and a sure knockout.
Transitions: STANDING TO GROUND
In transitioning from stand-up to ground, it’s crucial to not become preoccupied with falling. If you are, your opponent likely will sense it and take advantage. Instead, you should remain alert so you can transition into a dominant top-control position and then follow up as soon as you land.
Standing-to-ground transitions may be required in the following situations:
KNOCKDOWN FROM STRIKES:
Once ǯ ϐ ǡ " stay focused and defend yourself even though you might be in a stunned state. Otherwise, you’re easy prey for followup strikes and holds. Cover up and stay in motion until your senses clear.
SHOOTING IN FOR A TAKEDOWN:
This is a preferred strategy of grapplers.
Once you’re visibly shaken by a blow, distracted or in the middle of delivering a punch or kick, your opponent might try to rush in and tackle you. Defense requires you to change levels and employ a takedown of your own, such as a single-leg, double-leg or gobehind ankle pick to disrupt his bal ϐ in a way you choose.
SEIZING A KICK:
Kicks must be executed swiftly so they cannot be grabbed, especially when you’re aiming for a target that’s above the waist. Slow delivery can allow your opponent to catch your leg, disrupting your balance and leaving you open to a face punch or sweep.
FALL OR UPROOT FROM THE CLINCH:
Once you and your adversary are tied up in a clinch, there’s a high probability you’ll go to the ground from a loss of balance, a trip or an uprooting (using a leg takedown or throw). When this happens, aim to land mounted on his chest or just to the side of it. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. You may end up in his guard or worse, so you’ll want to have strategies for bypassing those positions.
Transitions: ON THE GROUND
Because transitions are crucial to success on the ground, they must be developed to a high level. Focusing on positions and submissions while ignoring the transitions needed to get from one to the other can lead to failure.
Work on mastering the mechanics of ground combat before you start blending the elements into combinations. Strive to maintain technical integrity as you effect a transition, or you’ll give your opponent a chance to escape or counter. Movement on the ground is paramount. You need to know how to take advantage of any existing space to gain the best positional control.
A ground transition has many components. For example, integrating a basic arm lock with an inverted leg choke requires coordinating several movements, actions and reactions, each of which is predicated on your opponent’s response. Speed, timing, power and explosiveness are all involved.
Effective transitions necessitate control positions that accompany the ϐ " to maintain positional dominance. It’s ϐ " fail to achieve this. There’s also the possibility that your adversary will free himself from your grip, which means you must quickly adjust your body to maintain control of him without losing your hold. In addition, you need to know how to take advantage of any resistance he presents as you go for the submission. Opposing force with force tends to waste energy.
The following are some common tran ϐ ǣ
As in an upright clinch, switching positions on the ground provides better control over your opponent. Going from side mount
to top mount (or vice versa), moving from bottom to top and taking his back are all important skills to develop.
This is particularly relevant in ground-and-pound combinations. For this tactic to work, a dominant position is necessary so your opponent will be unable to interrupt your strategy with submission attempts. The best position for unleashing strikes is straddling your downed opponent in a chest or back mount. If you end up in his open or closed guard and he’s able to deter your attack, you need to be able to get past his legs to diminish his defensive capacity.
SETTING UP SUBMISSIONS WITH STRIKES:
Anticipate that your opponent will possess strong defenses against the basic ϐ Ǥ " " plan on using strikes to penetrate them. By forcing him to react to a striking onslaught, you’ll make him expose his limbs, which facilitates a submission.
A submission chain is a series of locks and/ ϐ sequence, similar to standing or grounded striking combinations. They’re especially instrumental as counters against counters for submission attempts. Once you sense that a certain hold is not working or has been blocked, quickly transition to another, complementing the resistance encountered rather than merely using strength to overcome your adversary.
Transitions: GROUND TO STANDING
Knowing how to get up from the ground is essential for all strikers.
" ! ϐ Ǧ ciency to defend yourself when you’re down, but your strength manifests when you’re on your feet and able to unload heavy shots. When things go ϐ ǡ you need to return to your position of strength as soon as possible. First, create enough distance between yourself and your opponent. This can enable you to use up-kicks. Another tactic entails using your legs to push him away so you can scoot back and scramble to your feet. It’s crucial to remain well-protected in case he instigates a new attack.
Obviously, seamless transitions are the nucleus of any multiskill combat Ǥ ϐ ) stay one step ahead of your adversary. That way, you can smoothly execute positional changes to better dictate the outcome of the contest. As was proved in pankration long ago, the ability to ) ϐ Ǧ ciently under duress is the best way to prepare for victory.
STRIKE TO STANDING SUBMISSION: Jim Arvanitis (left) squares off with his opponent (1). The man initiates a right punch to the head, causing Arvanitis to move laterally and step forward while parrying the blow with his rear hand and delivering an elbow strike to the face with his left arm (2). The pankration stylist follows up by extending his right arm (3) so he can wrap the limb around the PDQ·V QHFN OHDYLQJ WKH HGJH RI KLV IRUHDUP XQGHU KLV WKURDW (4). After locking his hands together, Arvanitis leans back to apply a guillotine choke (5).
SPRAWL TO BACK CONTROL: Jim Arvanitis (left) and his adversary face each other in matching right leads (1). The opponent drops his level and shoots in, forcing Arvanitis to step back and lower his hands (2). Arvanitis then sprawls, SODFLQJ KLV ZHLJKW RQ WKH RWKHU PDQ·V EDFN (3). The pankration master moves to his left while making sure his adversary remains pinned down (4). As the man attempts to curl up into a defensive turtle position, Arvanitis steps over his back (5) and mounts him (6). With his heels locked against KLV RSSRQHQW·V KLSV WR ÁDWWHQ KLP $UYDQLWLV LV IUHH WR SXQFK until the confrontation ends (7).
KNEE CATCH TO TAKEDOWN: The opponent (right) clinches with Jim Arvanitis (1). Arvanitis leans forward and drops his level (2). The opponent takes the bait and begins a left knee strike, but Arvanitis checks it with his right arm (3) +H WKHQ XQGHUKRRNV WKH PDQ·V OHJ and postures up to reduce the danger of getting hit (4). Next, Arvanitis OLIWV WKH RSSRQHQW·V OHIW OHJ (5) and sweeps his right leg with his left foot (6). He follows his adversary to the ground and stacks the left leg to maintain control (7). If necessary, Arvanitis can continue with strikes.
CRUCIFIX TO ARM LOCK: -im Arvanitis begins in a modified side mount (1). kote how his right elbow is against his opponent’s left hip and the opponent’s right hand is on Arvanitis’ chest to prevent him from moving forward. Arvanitis extends the man’s right arm (2). He immediately places his left leg over the arm and his right leg under it (3). Making sure that he’s holding down the opponent’s left arm (4) I Arvanitis hammers his face with his left fist (5). If the opponent manages to free his left arm to block the blows (6), the pankration instructor — who has already placed his right arm under his foe’s left elbow — can flatten his hips, grip the man’s left wrist and execute a figure-4 lock (7).