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MMA 101

For the inaugural Saturday Night Fights on CBS last, er, Saturday, EliteXC put together a short informational piece for viewers new to MMA. Frank Shamrock hosts this short rules and general techniques video. I was on hand to help out with the production.

I know most of you seasoned fans might roll your eyes when you see this piece but I rather enjoy it. It’s very basic, which is exactly what it should be. Though there was a script for the piece, the crew sat around with Frank before the shoot brainstorming how best to phrase terms and what techniques to include, which were too advanced, etc. The cameraman put his amusing two cents in, “What about a discussion of uniforms, like gi and those wrestling unitards?” Everyone cracks up. The producer was a high school wrestling champ and gets up from his seat, pacing and scoffing angrily, “Unitard. Bah. It’s a singlet. Don’t ever say that again.” Frank giddily points at the cameraman, “I’m going to start calling you ‘Unitard’ – ha!”

Best blooper of the shoot day is Frank stumbling over his description of the fighters as world-class athletes. Instead of, “These are not barroom brawlers,” Shamrock keeps saying, “Ballroom brawlers,” and giggling each time he messes up. It was early in the morning following that long media day, so everyone is exhausted but in a great mood from the success of the autograph session. The hardest part of making this piece was putting ourselves in the mindset of someone who knew nothing at all about MMA. From the video, my favorite segment is the illegal moves with Frank Shamrock responding to fish-hooking as, “Not cool,” and the graphic that says “No Fingers in Orifices.” What can I say, I’m immature.

So take a look and let me know in the comments, what do you think would be good for the second installment? What is too advanced for the casual fan, what’s a necessity to explain?

  • Alex

    Good video! The part about positioning on the ground was glossed over a little bit, you could have explained what’s happening in the guard etc. Also the rear naked choke went by a little too quickly. “…get your hooks in…” I could see someone being confused by that. If it was me, I probably would have left out the specific submissions and concentrated more on the positioning. Maybe you plan on going into more detail later?

    Really cool video overall though!

  • Lifer

    maybe a better breakdown of the ‘no knees to the head’ on the ground rule because

    1. he makes no mention of kicks to a downed opponent, only knees and only from side control
    2. explain what is considered a downed opponent(i guess that’d go with 1.)
    3. explain mma’s apparent preference for horrible announcers like mauro renallo
    4. explain why we are still subjected to almost 10 minutes of watching a fighter tra la la to the fight area followed by his opponent’s 10 minutes of travel to the ring for a 15 minute fight
    5. explain the legacy of herb dean
    6. explain the legacy of mazagati’s porn-stache

    i like how they used the footage of frank kneeing renzo in the head on the ground tho. that was nice.

    also i’m not sure if they did enough self-promotion during that event cuz people at work know that i watch mma and multiple people came up asking me if i had watched the UFC fights on the weekend(referring to eliteXC). I even had a guy ask me if the ELITE UFC was a new show. of course this might just be because of the UFC monopoly.

  • Lifer

    oh oh, also explain what a freakshow is and how star power > skill.

  • goo

    Like no.1 said maybe cover open and closed full guard, half guard, mount and side control in detail. Then the idea of i”passing” someone’s guard or, I don’t know, just improving position on the ground.

  • Wu Tang

    Did i just see the twister?

  • Larsenator

    GREAT stuff! :)

  • Fatal Error

    Wait, I’m confused. Are fingers in orifices not even allowed in the women’s matches?

  • Fatal Error

    Ok seriously now, I think descriptions of how certain styles match up would be cool, but not too advanced. If a wrestler is fighting a muay thai guy, describe the difference in stances and the different clinches each uses. The same goes for wrestling v. bjj on the ground. Just my 2 cents.

  • Wu Tang

    Fatal Error.. That was MMA 101….. You know, basic of basics……..

    Styles are more situated for ‘advacned,’ somewhere along the lines of MMA 307, graduate course or something.

  • Lifer

    yeah that was shana bazler or however you spell it. pretty slick.

  • Mark

    I think a better job of describing the downward elbow rule would be good. I know several newbies I watched it with were confused when Thompson started raining those down on Kimbo. “Isn’t that illegal?” I think describing it in the clock metaphor is best. No 12 o’ clock to six o’ clock elbows on the ground. That also helps people understand why Florian elbows are legal.

  • Wu Tang

    Fuck gogo, new craze, ‘TWISTER’ In mma fights!