Effective Anti-Grappling Techniques for MMA With Matt Thorpe

Top UK MMA coach and former M1 Champion Matt “12 Gauge”Thorpe provides step-by-step tutorials on anti-grappling techniques from standing.



Welcome to the latest video in our series of martial arts tutorials filmed and explained by Warrior Collective. Warrior Collective is run by Stuart Tomlinson, who has been involved in shaping the UK martial arts scene for over twenty years.

In this piece, top UK MMA coach and former M1 Champion Matt "12 Gauge" Thorpe of 12 Gauge MMA provides step-by-step tutorials on anti-grappling techniques from standing.

Matt has a huge degree of experience in both competing and coaching.He has over fifteen years experience training in different martial arts disciplines, and has had fighters competing nationally and internationally in MMA regularly since he opened his Stockport gym over five years ago.

Origin of the Sport

Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is not one specific system. It is a term coined in the early nineties to describe the modern day combat sport that allow both striking and grappling within the same contest.

Although mixed rules bouts had been taking place across the world for centuries, the emergence of large promotions such as UFC and Pride, coupled with the evolving media and technology of recent years, has seen these styles of contest brought to mainstream audiences globally.

When competing in bouts where such a broad range of skills can be utilised, it is a key skill to be able to negate your opponent’s strengths whilst at the same time exploiting his or her weaknesses. This is where anti-grappling techniques come in.

Anti-Grappling Tutorial

The techniques portrayed in this video can be used to stay standing up in order to strike when your opponent is trying to instigate clinch-, grappling-, or takedown-style attacks.

It is important to use the arms as a quick frame between you and your opponent. This frame then acts as a safety net to avoid being dragged into a more grappling-dominant clinch such as under-over. It also keeps your hands in a more striking orientated position, so when you get the opportunity you can hit.

In the tutorial you will also see some examples of "what if" counters – examples of what you should aim to do if your opponent tries to counteract your efforts.