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We will have classes that are specifically designed for each audience. In our self defense class we might be working on techniques for the guard where we are making sure we are not getting hit with punches, elbows, head butts or strikes to our eyes. At the same time we will try to get back to our feet, establish a dominant position or the the altercation quickly with a submission. All of this we would not be relying on using a gi or any other article of clothing because in a self defense situation you can not make your assailant put on a gi.
In one of our sport classes or competition workouts we might also be working on the guard but the techniques we chose might be different. We might be working on an inverted triangle or working 50/50 guard. Two situations that you would probably not chose to do in a self defense situation but can work extremely well in a competition setting.
Now one of the many things that sets Scranton MMA apart from any other academy is the fact that although we have these two different curriculums and two groups of people focused on different aspects of training we are the only school that actively has these two groups cross training with each other with the goal of mutual benefit.
Most schools fail to have two separate and distinct programs. Other schools might have two programs but do not know how to integrate them. At our academy we are able to have our sport students train with our self defense students and allow both of them to benefit from the training.
The first benefit is that it basically doubles the amount of people they get to train with. Imagine if in any other area of your life where you are trying to learn or improve if you suddenly had twice the guidance or two times as many people helping you reach that goal. It only makes sense that you would be able to reach that goal much faster since you now have more help.
Another benefit is that there are many areas where there is a direct cross over in the two areas. Maybe it is a simple strategy or goal like controlling the opponents arm. For the sport students that prevents someone from grabbing them and for the self defense student that prevents them from getting punched. Maybe the sport student has just learned something that could help the self defense student or vice versa.
One last benefit of this style of cross training that I’d like to discuss is the creative benefit. Sometimes when you get to train with new people it gives you some new ideas on how you could do a move or technique differently. Maybe you see a big guy spin or move quickly in a way you thought would never work for you. Perhaps you see a small guy get in a position where he is much stronger than a larger opponent. There are many ways that training with someone with a completely different focus can help give you some new ideas that you can incorporate into your training.
Hopefully this sheds some light on why we mix our self defense students in with our sport students and our sport students into the self defense situations. If you haven’t taken a basic self defense class recently now is the best time to start.