Sunday, December 06, 2009

Self-Defense lessons learned from The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale



I’ve got to get to sleep, so I’ll make this pretty quick. I’d love to hear some feedback in the comments.

  1. Physique means little to nothing in a fight. I’ve learned not to be surprised when someone who doesn’t look like he ever refuses dessert can fight, and fight well. Roy “Big Country” Nelson’s first round KO win over Brendan Schaub proved it again. I believe Schaub, at 6’4” and 240 pounds had a superior physique, was a professional athlete (NFL), and had the better reach and quickness. The problem is that Nelson didn’t know that. Roy Nelson had enough endurance and quickness to connect, plus the savvy that you only get from experience. He covered up, and he counter-striked when he should. The “fat guy” knocked out the athlete cold. The real lesson? Don’t judge that book by it’s cover!
  2. The 1-2 is still the best martial arts tactic there is. The jab (the 1) opens up the cross or straight (the 2). If I could teach a fighter only one combination, the 1-2 would be it! Every good shot that Schaub connected with was part of a jab or straight. Same with Nelson. In fact, Nelson had a beauty of a 1-1-2 that stunned Schaub before the KO exchange. Good stuff!
  3. The lazy jab is always trouble against a counter-fighter. Nelson crossed over a jab that Schaub left hanging out there like a fruit ripe for the picking. Who could blame him for picking it? Lesson? Never leave an opening by laziness. Always return to your defensive position after an exchange.
  4. MMA is a sport! Several techniques that will end almost any fight are instinctive, and thus show up here and there even though they are illegal under MMA rules:
    a) kneeing a downed opponent in the head. How often do you see an opening like this?
    b) eye gouges. Unfortunately, they are still relatively commonplace, and usually unintentional. They are fight-enders in self-defense, and career enders in MMA. That’s why they’re illegal.
    c) striking to the back of the head. I have a problem with this, as a defensive technique in many grappling arts and MMA is “turtling." The problem I have is that it creates an opening that’s usually intentional. In MMA, as in boxing, your should protect yourself at all times. When you turn your back, you are relying on the other fighter to obey the rules, or the referee to protect you. Punk move, in my opinion. I hate it.

So, in summary, never underestimate anyone, practice the basics, and do the dirty stuff to survive!

Is there more? Sure. I will try to update this when I get a chance to watch it again on my DVR. Meanwhile, please chime in with your comments!

For more information:

The King of Combinations for MMA, Boxing, and Self-Defense
Timing Counter
Why Do We Get Hit?


Elias said...

Just posting to let you know that real people do read this regularly... I hate spammers...

Good post :)

John W. Zimmer said...

Hey Nathan,

Roy Nelson is fun to watch... good fighter although he runs out of steam in longer fights.

Can't say enough about the merits of the old one-two combo, works with almost any type of attack too.

I like your 'lessons' about self-defense... rules lessen one's ability to fight. said...

Good post. There can be lots of lessons learned from watching MMA and some which yu have listed here should be remembered by all.

Anonymous said...

Good post. Agreed on all counts.

Nathan Teodoro said...

John, I agree. I watch to see when he'll gas out. So far, his experience has given him the edge. And his confidence. What will happen, I think, is that he'll plateau if he doesn't take conditioning seriously when he faces the top-level fighters. What do you think?

Thanks Marks. Always good to get your input.

tgace, I appreciate the feedback. For us civilians, the best lab is often the Octagon.