Posts Tagged ‘Best Martial Arts Classes in Western Mass’

Team Link NAGA New England Champions: Overall Team Champions for 17th time

NAGA New England Champions

Team Link is known for having some of the best grappling in Western Mass and New England. The North American Grappling Association, or NAGA, has posted the team results for New England Grappling Championship from January 25th 2014 that was held at the West Warwick Civic Center in West Warwick, RI. Team Link had an impressive showing winning the overall Adult Team title and the Overall Kids & Teen title. “We want to thank everyone that went to compete and those who went solely to show support for their family, friends and teammates. A chain is only as strong as it’s links. We are not just a martial arts school; here we build champions!!!” says Marco Alvan owner and head instructor at Team Link in Ludlow MA.

Only a fraction of Team Link members actually compete. Competition is not a requirement and most train for different reasons. Some of the reasons are to get in better shape, become stronger, increase cardio, increase conditioning, use time training as great stress reliever, or it is just something they always wanted to do. When you surround yourself with champions it gives you motivation. When you surround yourself with people that want you to become better, there is no other option other than to get better. “We can not progress as whole unless everyone progresses individually as well. Team Link is a teaching school. Everyone is taught how to teach. If you can not explain something, then you do not really understand it. We pride ourselves in having one of the greatest learning environments you can find.” says Marco.

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New Martial Arts Classes Springfield Mass Area : Ludlow Team Link Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Classes in Springfield MA

When choosing a school to train in order to become stronger and to be mentally prepared for fighting situations you must train at a gym where there is most champions. Team Link in Ludlow is that school. No where is there more champions then within the Team Link organization. This photo was taken during a MMA class in our Ludlow school. New classes form all the time. So come on in and take advantage of some free MMA training.

When choosing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu School in Springfield MA or an Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)  school for that matter there are many things to consider. Mixed Martial Arts in Springfield MA there is are few choices be careful.

Free martial arts classesat Team Link and how to choose a MMA school

How to find MMA lessons in Springfield MA

We have  been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) in Western Mass over 10 years now and BJJ in general for almost 25 years. Looking back over the years, there are five distinct revelations I’ve been through with my open guard.  Each realization/revolution made my guard twice as difficult to pass.

1- Getting stacked.  I realized that I could balance on my neck and shoulders, and that my guard wasn’t passed just because I was stacked.  Virtually all of my blue belt students are better at this than I was when I first got my blue belt, which is more a sign of the times than anything else.  20 years ago, “guard” really meant “closed guard” to most BJJ practitioners and instructors.  15 years ago, “open guard” was in the first stages of coming into its own.  For me, this realization came the earliest in my open guard evolution, somewhere between white and blue belt.

2.  Getting underneath.   In 2003, I watched Marcelo Garcia dominate ADCC with a new type of guard people started calling “X-guard.”  About a year before that, I had been introduced to a less advanced version of X-guard by Eric Burdo, but seeing it in competition at the highest level made it much clearer to me.  At about the same time, I was obsessed with leglocks, so I was looking at ankle lock and heel hook transitions from the bottom.  Eventually, the two positions were revealed as branches of the same underlying concept:  just because someone steps over my legs doesn’t mean they had passed my guard.

3.  Spinning back to guard.  I first noticed Rickson Gracie recovering his guard this way nearly 15 years ago and immediately saw the value in this, but didn’t see how to integrate it into my own game until years later.  If your opponent is trying to throw your legs to your right to pass, instead of shrimping towards him, you continue the motion and circle your legs around to recover guard.  This essentially doubles your guard recovery ability because you literally have two ways to go in order to get your guard back.

4.  Lazy man hands.  Remember that you have four limbs and your opponent essentially only has two when you are playing open guard. Not only can you use your hands as frames to escape a bad position; you can use your outstretched arms as guard maintenance tools, becoming every bit as important as your legs with your open guard, creating space and helping you make angles.  This is one of the most frustrating things for the guard passer to deal with. Just because someone gets around your legs doesn’t mean your guard is passed.  Your hands and arms are as much a part of your guard as your legs.

5.  Inversion/upside down guard.  This goes back to the beginnings of my open guard- being stacked and realizing my guard isn’t passed.  Imagine you can do a 180 degree split with your legs.  This means your guard has 180 degrees.  If you simply follow your opponent when he goes around your legs and go upside down, you have an extra 180 degrees, totaling 360.  No matter where your opponent goes, you will still have him inside your guard.  Watch Michael Langhi if you’re curious as to what this idealized type of open guard might look like.

Be realistic about your expectations!  You probably won’t be able to integrate all five of these at once, but pick one that makes the most sense for you to develop immediately.  You will see your guard become tougher almost right away.

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