Black Belt

Mat vs. Concrete

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 “The mat makes you comfortabl­e,” Damon Gilbert said when asked about the biggest problem with sporting MMA. “The mat makes you want to stay on the ground. The mat hides the issues you will have with your knees, your back and your elbows when the cushion is gone.”

An equally serious situation can develop when two people are battling on the concrete and a crowd develops, he said. “When you hit the ground, you have a limited time before more people come,” Gilbert H[SODLQHG ´<RX GRQ·W NQRZ LI LW·V WKH UHODWLYHV WKH ER\friend or girlfriend, or just a friend. If you just get in a dominant position and think \RX·OO ZDLW XQWLO KH JHWV WLUHG so you can get that armbar RU $PHULFDQD \RX·UH PDNing a mistake.

“Within 30 seconds of JRLQJ WR WKH JURXQG LW ·V likely the whole neighborho­od will come out to watch. 7KDW·V ZK\ \RX KDYH WR ¶FKHFN \RXU VL[· ³ ORRN DW your body and your surURXQGLQ­JV ZKLOH \RX·UH RQ the ground. A teacher has to remind his students in the dojo to always check their six during class. Otherwise, WKH RQO\ WKLQJ WKH\·OO WKLQN about is the technique or the rules.”

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