Weapons of Mass Destruction


grappling“Weapons of Mass Destruction”

By Joseph Simonet

January 2006

Pg 88-90, 127

If you are an MMA Fighter who wants a weapon that is versatile, simple and powerful, consider the Supported Elbow Frame.

I have trained in the martial arts since 1972. From the very beginning, my interest and/or motivation was to be able to defend myself and become a functional fighter. My journey of 30-plus years has been filled with highs, lows, injuries and triumphs.

Anyone who pursues the truth in the fighting arts ultimately will get his ego crushed and his hat handed to him on a regular basis. The karmic freight train is coming around the bend, and it’s coming for you.

I have experienced countless “reality bites” moments. One such moment occurred November 12, 1993 at McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado. I found myself ringside at the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Being a veteran martial artist and holder of multiple black belts offered little solace as I stared into the face of reality.

“Oh, (bleep), I have to learn the ground”.

There I was, nearly 40, and immediately desperate to gain knowledge of the ground. My first opportunity was with the local high school wrestling team. I was allowed to train with the varsity heavyweights. It was a humble beginning as my pursuit of knowledge took yet another turn.

Since that fateful day, my training has become more refined and focused. My system of training has been organized into what I call “The Art and Science of Mook Jong” (ASMJ, wooden dummy training).

5 Ranges

It is widely accepted there are five ranges of unarmed combat: kicking, punching, trapping, clinch and grappling. “The Art and Science of Mook Jong” focuses on trapping and/or clinching range. The movements I utilize are essential ingredients distilled and extracted from preeminent martial arts systems such as kenpo karate, wing chun, silat, doce pares, tai chi, boxing and an eclectic ground game. I have discarded 90 percent of the techniques and training these arts had to offer. I felt most of the material just did not hold up in real fighting.

“The Art and Science of Mook Jong” is powered by a superior attitude. In the stand-up game, superior attitude defeats superior techniques. However, it is only when you add conditioning to the attitude and technique methodology that real success can be achieved.

The Supported Elbow Frame

The supported elbow frame is one of the most significant and essential weapons in the ASMJ arsenal. All MMA practitioners should train and utilize this weapon because of its versatility, simplicity, and power.

To create a supported elbow frame (1-4), start in a left lead, with your body leaning forward. Thrust your left elbow up until it is pointed into your opponent’s centerline. Cover your left ear with the palm of your hand. As this is happening, your right hand creates a frame by attaching to your left inside forearm near the elbow. This is the basic supported elbow frame.

It is imperative to established a lower art base. When executing the supported elbow, sink your base as you move forward to prepare for absorbing a powerful strike, such as a head-high roundhouse kick or a huge over hand punch.

Surviving the Big Punch

Distance is one key to using the supported elbow to survive the big punch. This forces my opponent to bridge the gap and commit to a big bomb. While standing just outside of punch range, I have allowed myself time to react to a big right hand (5-6).

As my opponent loads for the punch, I begin to sink my weight and move forward into his centerline. By creating the supported elbow frame, I have protected my head, neck and face, while solidifying my base. When my opponent makes contact, he is not prepared to hit such a solid target, which in turn disrupts his timing and base.

My left elbow also acts as an attack as I drive the point into his oncoming shoulder (7). Note my body position and/or base. I have successfully absorbed the big punch, bridged the gap, and disrupted his base, while attacking with an elbow point by entering into trapping range.

Wrap, Trap, Attack

After blocking his right punch, my left hand now circles counterclockwise to trap my opponent’s right arm above the elbow, while simultaneously striking his jaw with my right elbow (8). My left hand now attaches to my right biceps, which creates another support, adds striking power and hyperextends his right arm. I follow with a standing armbar on his right arm as I crash down on his collarbone or jaw (9).

I then hook my right hand around his neck as I jerk him into a right knew to the race, while still locking his right arm (10). I release my opponent’s left arm and proceed into a guillotine (11-13). I finish by sitting and falling back into guard position as I plant his face into the mat.

In developing fighting skills, simplicity and versatility of technique weighs heavy on value. It only makes sense to develop muscle memory and skill sets that work at all ranges.

Supported Elbow When Mounted

This next example begins from the mounted position. The attacker throws a big right punch. The defender on the bottom (14-15) prepares for impact with a supported left elbow frame. Once the punch is deflected and jammed (16), the defender wraps his opponent’s right arm with his left arm. Notice, this is exactly what was demonstrated in the stand-up version.

After wrapping the right arm, the defender strikes with his right hand and then reverses position. Note, the defender’s elbowlock and right hand position (17-18). If his opponent extends his hips to free up pressure on his face, he only adds more tension to his left elbow. The defender now applies more pressure, stretching the elbow joint and punishing the face (19). When tension reaches its peak, the defender releases his right hand for a downward elbow cut to the face (20).

Prevent the Rear Choke

When you find yourself mounted from the rear and your opponent is moving in for the kill (choke), the supported elbow frame may just save you from defeat. I can use the elbow frame to block my attacker’s attempts to put me in a choke. Essentially, I am tucking my chin, locking my arms, supporting my heard forward, and buying time.

Next, the attacker briefly aborts the choke attempt and decides to strike. I simply reverse my elbow position to my left side and block his strike. As a follow-up, I grab his left arm, extend it over my right shoulder and apply pressure with my head and body.

Developing Training Drills

Now that we have demonstrated the technical value of the supported elbow frame, let’s establish functional training drills as well. Begin by facing off in a fighting position wearing focus mitts or gloves. Have your partner throw big punches to your head as you counter with the supported elbow frame. This should be done on both sides. Add intensity and realism to the attacks as you get more comfortable with this drill. In other words, try to take his head off with huge powerful attacks. Make it real.

To follow up, feel free to add tie-ups with knew attacks. Be creative and intense.

Sticking and Contact Drills

Sensitivity drills are extremely important in “The Art and Science of Mook Jong.” Body contact is a key component in learning to listen to my opponent’s intent. For example, the next photo sequence will demonstrate a training drill guaranteed to develop muscle memory and body awareness.

Face off with a partner and begin the drill with your partner’s right punch and your left supported elbow frame counter. Now, wrap your partner’s right arm as you strike with your right hand while applying a lock with your left arm. Hook behind his head and applying a follow-up right knew to his midsection.

After your knee strike, plant your right foot back and let go of the lock. While this is happening, your partner throws a left punch. Repeat the same counter-sequence on the left side. This pattern should be repeated from side to side. To attain a higher and more intense level of training, include heavier contract that continues for the equivalent of two-minute rounds.

Linking drills is a challenging, essential aspect of sensitivity training. Repetition and body sticking will enhance every fighter’s skill level. After excusing the left knee, step forward with the same leg and begin the pummeling drill. Make sure to repeat on each side.

Skills Box

By now you should have gained a new insight and greater appreciation for the supported elbow frame. You will find its function to be an essential tool in your fighting skills box. When in doubt, train harder.


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