MMA 101

MMA 101


As the new striking coach for Team Alpha Male, former UFC fighter Duane “Bang” Ludwig has come out of the gate firing. Three of his Team Alpha Male fighters (Joseph Benavidez, Chad Mendes, and TJ Dillashaw) earned knockouts on the UFC on Fox 7 card, while Urijah Faber’s crisp striking helped him earn a submission win at the TUF 17 Finale.

With more than 50 kickboxing bouts and 30 MMA fights under his belt, Ludwig knows a thing or two about the striking game, and his BANG Muay Thai affiliate gyms ( are popping up all over the country. “The team is doing all the hard work,” says Ludwig. “BMT is just helping them become even more badass ninjas.”

This month, Ludwig and Team Alpha Male bantamweight TJ Dillashaw show readers a combo from the BMT System. Follow closely, as BANG Muay Thai has its own terminology. Leave it to Ludwig to create his own codes.

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1) Duane and TJ square off in orthodox stances.

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2) TJ begins his BANG Muay Thai “3-Shake-Fit In” combo by throwing a left jab. The goal is to get your opponent’s attention by attacking upstairs. It’s important to keep your feet in sync with your hands.

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3) TJ throws a right cross, while protecting his chin with his left hand.
4) TJ finishes his initial combo with a left hook.
5) TJ changes levels and begins his “shake” (shaking his head to the outside) and “fit in” (stepping with his left leg to the outside of Duane’s right leg for a fake shot). Now TJ’s head is to the outside and “off the tracks,” which keeps Duane from connecting with a cross or overhand.

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6) As Duane’s hands drop to counter/defend the shot, TJ drives forward in a southpaw stance, as if he is finishing the double-leg takedown.
7) TJ explodes upward and throws a left cross.
8) TJ finishes the combo by throwing a right hook.

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Optional Double-Leg Finish

If Duane doesn’t counter/defend the shot correctly in #6, TJ can finish the double-leg by cutting the angle and driving Duane 45 degrees to end up in mount or side control.


When Royce Gracie ushered in the MMA era at UFC 1 in 1993, he brought his unique brand of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with him. Over the course of the next two years, Royce won 11 consecutive fights via submission on his way to championships at UFC 1, UFC 2, and UFC 3. With the help of Rodrigo Gracie for this month’s MMA 101, Royce reenacts two of his favorite submissions, the ARMBAR and REAR NAKED CHOKE, that he used inside the Octagon to beat seven opponents, including Ken Shamrock, Keith Hackney, and Kimo Leopoldo.



1) From a mounted position, Royce sits up and begins to strike Rodrigo.
2) As Rodrigo attempts to block the strikes, Royce grabs Rodrigo’s right wrist and pushes on his triceps. This forces Rodrigo’s elbow across his body.

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3) As he continues to control Rodrigo’s right wrist with his right hand, Royce lowers his chest to pin Rodrigo’s arm across his chest.
4) Royce reaches behind Rodrigo’s head and uses his left arm to trap Rodrigo’s right arm.

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5) By pulling with his left arm and pushing with his right arm, Royce begins to turn Rodrigo over.
6) Royce drives Rodrigo onto his stomach by pushing on his right triceps, pulling his right wrist, and using chest pressure.
7) Rodrigo is forced onto his stomach.

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8) Royce pulls up on Rodrigo’s forehead to create space and begins to snake his right arm in for the choke.
9) Royce moves his right arm across Rodrigo’s neck, while grabbing his left biceps.

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10)Royce removes his left hand from Rodrigo’s forehead and brings it behind his head. By pulling his elbows in and squeezing, Royce forces the tap.

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1) Royce has Rodrigo mounted, keeping his hands on the mat to maintain a good base.
2) Rodrigo pushes on Royce’s chest to initiate the escape.
3) As Rodrigo begins to roll to his left, Royce posts his left hand and left leg perpendicular to Rodrigo’s head.

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4) Using his right arm, Royce traps Rodrigo’s right arm and begins to slide to his right side while using his head and shoulder to post. Rodrigo has now rolled over to his hands and knees.
5) Royce brings his left leg over Rodrigo’s head, scissors his legs, and starts to extend Rodrigo’s arm.

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6) As Rodrigo stands up, Royce grips Rodrigo’s wrist with both hands, and pushes his own heels down, pops his hips upward, and forces the tap.



There are a lot of benefits to being in side control. You can knee the body, drop elbows to the face, work toward full mount, and hunt submissions. This month, Robert Drysdale—2007 ADCC World Champion and undefeated professional mixed martial artists (6-0, with 6 submissions)—shows readers a slick armlock from side control.

1) I begin by holding my opponent in side control.

2) As he pummels to get his left arm underneath me, I snake my right arm through and put the back of my right hand on his biceps.

3) As he turns into me, I let him push his left arm all the way through. When he does, I trap his arm by placing my right hand on my left pectoral. I keep his arm trapped here during the entire sequence.

4) As he turns to his side, I keep my weight on him. The more weight, the better. I don’t want to stop him from turning, I just want to slow him down and keep him in my control. I spin clockwise by bringing my knees toward his head and putting my left elbow on the ground at his gut, which blocks his right thigh.

5) I pop my hips up and begin to take a big step with my right leg over the top of his head, almost like I’m doing a sit-out. His arm is still trapped in my armpit.

6) I put my right foot on the mat, and pinch my right elbow toward my hip, forcing him to tap.

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photos: Paul Thatcher

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