Always Be Respectful of Your Grappling Training Partners

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Respect your grappling partner

The grappling component to mixed martial arts contributes to the accessibility of the arts. Grappling, unlike the striking end of the art, can be trained by everyone regardless of size, shape, age or athletic ability. At its core, the leverage based aspect of grappling contributes to it being more accessible to a larger number of people. The ability to roll (grappling spar) is also appealing to many because it comes with much lower of a risk of injury and can be done at a relatively slow pace. This means more time can be spent rolling for fun and enjoyment.

Respect your grappling partnerTherefore, partners need to do whats required of them to be good training partners. When the time comes to roll, it is really not a good idea to simply steamroll through a training partner. In other words, you do not want to beat him or her over and over and over again….not unless you want your training partners to not come back the next day.

Keep a few things in mind when grappling sparring, you are not taking part in a competition. You are trying to hone your skills. The same can be said of your training partner. In some cases, your training partner may be more interested in following a slower path to improvement. He or she just might be trying to get a nice workout in before going home or just wants to hang out with like-minded people who share the same hobbyist pursuits. What the person may not be interested in is seeing each and every rolling session seem like an Olympic training session. It is not. Nor is it even a local submission grappling tournament. It is simply a class session.

What would be the value in tapping someone out once, twice, three times, and fourth…and so on? Doing so might be an ego boost, but what would you really be gaining? Such an attitude is also a selfish one because it utterly dismisses the feelings of the less experienced training partner.

And that training partner will not likely stay around forever or even for another class. A lot of the fun goes out of the class when you are treated like a ragdoll. The overall mood of the gym becomes too competitive and all the fun is suctioned out. Ironically, this can make for a bad training environment when your goal is to win tournaments.

The moral of the story here: use common sense and a bit of a good attitude when rolling in a grappling class.

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Breakfalling: Saving Yourself When You Hit The Ground

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Hitting the ground – How to save yourself

Grappling arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Wrestling offer many excellent options for dealing with the ground in a self-defence scenario. It would be wise though to learn some Judo and wrestling as well, but not for the reasons most assume. These are are associated with takedowns mostly from an offensive perspective. They should also be looked at from defensive and even worst case scenario perspectives. Hitting the ground too hard would be one of the worst results that could occur.

Breakfall - Learn how to hit the groundBreakfalling is a critical area of learning in the art of Judo. Breakfalls basically teach people to not do the dangerous gut reactions when heading to the ground. Whether you are thrown or trip, your gut reaction may be to put your hand out to brace your fall. It might very well do this, but the impact could dislocate the elbow. In a street self-defence situation, an assault will continue while you have no means of being able to use one of your arms to stop it.

Worse yet, people are not in the habit of tucking their chin when they fall. As a result, the back of their skull can make contact with the ground. Not to be morose, but this is a common cause of fatalities in self-defence situations. When learning to breakfall, students are taught to tuck the chin to prevent such an injury.

This is not to suggest breakfall lessons alone will eliminate the chances of being injured by a throw or a fall. Getting hit by surprise and being knocked out standing can eliminate the cognitive or even subconscious ability to break a fall on the way down. Surprise and quick knockouts from a standing position often lead to severe injuries not from the strike itself, but from the impact when the body hits the ground.

Breakfalling may lead to the subconscious and muscle memory/response stimulus action that protects the body when falling. Hence, the name…breaking a fall. Students do invest quite a bit of time working on the ground, which is definitely wise. However, it would be equally wise to learn about the unfortunate particulars and dangers of how the body actually hits the ground. This way, the potential for serious injury can be reduced or eliminated.

Learning how to breakfall does not eliminate the full potential for injury, but it can reduce it quite a bit. That alone can have a huge impact on how a fight goes down.

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How Martial Arts Sports Can Help Improve a Young Child’s Character

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Improve your child’s character with Martial Arts

Martial arts training for kids is not just about self-defence. There is also a sportive component and this is a good thing. There are quite a number of benefits that can be gained from taking part in martial arts tournaments. A child that succeeds in safe point sparring competition and forms performance may gain a huge confidence boost that can carry over elsewhere in life.

Improve your kids character with martial artsOne issue here that concerns parents is the solo nature of martial arts competition can lead to the onset of a potentially unhealthy ego in the child. Such concerns do make sense. Of course, these problems are not solely found in martial arts. Tennis and dance would both be solo endeavours that can create a swelled head in a young person. The question that arises would be whether or not there is a way to curb any boosted ego.

Actually, there is a huge misconception about the martial arts training and this would be the study of the arts is a solo pursuit. Martial arts training always requires a team. No one can become a great martial artist on his or her own. Working with training partners is how you develop your skills. Kids will quickly learn they cannot succeed in their path to martial arts excellence unless they get along well with their fellow students. This might seem like a quaint notion, but it is not. Not very many people can get along in life unless they can work well with others. Training for martial arts events does help teach young ones how to work well with others in the pursuit of their own achievements.

The environment of a kids martial arts class can also contribute to a positive attitude. Martial arts schools do put great value on developing character and virtues. Sadly, such traits can unnecessarily be missing from traditional sportive environments.

Because martial arts training also tries to develop the character of a young one, the potential to develop egotistical traits becomes less likely. This is not to suggest a martial arts training environment will be without any flaws, but it definitely is free of common troubling attitudes found in some of the more traditional sportive environments.

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Grey Areas, Self-Defence and Deescalation in the Martial Arts

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Self-Defence, is knowing how to fight… right?!?!!?

In self-defence, deescalation can be among the best ways to deal with a potential threat. For those not familiar with deescalation, this refers to calming down someone that may be ranting, raving, causing a scene, or acting in a threatening manner. Automatically lashing out or performing your self-defence techniques at someone that is behaving in such a way is not the best approach to take. The reason is there will always be consequences to any actions involving physical violence. This is even true when you are defending yourself and it is especially true if your defensive actions cause injury or harm in an unwarranted way.

That said, there can be times when trying to deescalate can be a very wrong decision. This might seem more than a bit complicated so let’s flesh the scenarios out.

Is it always right to use your self-defence techniques?

There are quite a number of oversimplified discussions of violence and self-defence that give false impressions of what constitutes legally acceptable means of being able to defend yourself.

A person yelling and screaming and insulting you may be obnoxious. They might even be very scary. What they might not be is a threat. If you are not physically harmed or directly threatened by someone and that person walks away and you give chase and hit him, that is no way self-defence. Hitting likely would constitute assault on any jurisdiction on the globe. This would not even require deescalation since the person has walked away from the situation.

On the other hand, trying to calm someone down who is in the act of striking you or, worse, using a weapon, can be very hazardous. The harm being perpetrated on you could lead to a severe injury or even a fatality. There are reports of people believing someone was hitting them and then, when the adrenaline of the attack wore off, they realized they were being stabbed.

As you can see, there are a lot of grey areas and question marks surrounding the martial arts. Unfortunately, most martial arts training programs solely teach the fighting side of the martial arts and do not delve into other serious issues surrounding self-defence. Now, the fighting aspect is important from a self-preservation perspective but this only comes into play when there are no other options. Again, trying to avoid or deescalate violence is always preferred. However, there may come a time when you have to act and act accordingly. And yes, you would have to do so within the law.

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MMA Lincoln Assessments

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MMA Lincoln

Pig Snatchers & Goldfish

So we recently held our first MMA assessments at Function First MMA Lincoln.


Well firstly our responsibility is your safety and secondly we want the wins eh..

Not everyone wants to compete in MMA and thats fine, we never pressure anyone into competing, that would be pointless and stupid. But for those who do then there needs to be a minimum criteria met before anyone can enter the cage and compete. The fight team rules and expectations available in the academy along with Matt Chapman’s book “How to win your first mma fight” detail the areas that need to be understood before anyone enters the cage. I’ll not rattle on too much about that here, as i say its available in the academy.

The assessments integrate with the fight team expectations and Matt’s book. The levels are 1 – 9 with level 9 being the equivalent of a blackbelt. By this time all the areas should be understood and you will have a complete game with no holes. Of course as with any respectable blackbelt this is the beginning not the end of the journey.

A blackbelt signifies a grasp of the basics that we now fine tune until your dying day.

The assessments, like all our other gradings are not solely based on knowledge, MMA is a tough sport so various aspects such as mental toughness, attitude, ability, attendance and conditioning – yep i’ll say that a little louder….. CONDITIONING  all come into play.

What about those who have already competed?

For you the journey is a little different.

What were talking about here is someone who has never trained any martial arts in their life and want to train and maybe compete in MMA. This person needs looking after and not throwing into the fire. Like a sword maker forges the metal we forge the student, a little at a time until they become battle ready. Heat them up to quick and throw them straight into the fire and they will break under pressure.

Women Most Welcome

  • YOU want to win and stay safe
  • WE want you to win and stay safe

Like i said not everyone wants to compete but just love to train in MMA, the assessments work just as well for you to. They give you set goals to achieve and aim for and an understanding of where you are. They motivate and measure your journey just like the belt system in other traditional arts.

Hope that all makes sense. More power to you and onwards and upwards we go..



Building Concentration in the Young Ones is a Major Benefit of Martial Arts Training

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Martial Arts helps concentration in kids

Martial arts lessons for kids can have very positive effect on those enrolled in the classes. One of the biggest benefits would be improved focus and concentration. This is a good thing because our technologically driven society is one that does not always contribute to improving the lost skills of focus and concentration.

Martial arts helps kids concentration

Technology is a good thing and no one would ever say the technological improvements we see in the internet and television are not without value. Neither television or the internet are solely for entertainment. There is great informational benefit to investing time on the computer and even watching television. Educational programming can help very young kids supplement their learning quite a bit as long as they are watching the right channels.

The problem that arises is so many choices in television programming and internet websites can lead kids to switching channels and surfing websites with great frequency. Bored after only watching three minutes of a program? Change the channel! The first images appearing on a website are unappealing? Jump to a new site! While convenient, kids might up discovering their attention span suffers and suffers greatly. A poor attention span is not going to be a good thing when attending school or even when in situations designed to promote socialization.

This is where martial arts classes for kids can be a huge help.

A lot is mentioned about martial arts classes for kids being good for concentration and discipline, but the reasons why are not mentioned with much clarity. The truth is there are some very simple and basic ways in which kids martial arts classes can develop such skills.

A martial arts class will be one hour long and follow a specific structure. This does not mean the class will be overly regimented or not be fun. Rather, a full hour must be spent in the class and the class will be spent on the performance of the tasks at hand. There is no channel switching or internet surfing involved!

In all seriousness, there will be times when a person cannot simply walk away from something that bores them quickly. Getting through an eight hour or more workday is critical for all adults. Kids need to learn what is required to handle necessary tasks and do so with the right attitude. Martial arts training just may help them do just that.


Martial Arts Training Surely Is A Great Way To Loose Weight

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Loose Weight with Martial Arts

A lot of students will sign up for martial arts lessons because they wish to lose weight. Honestly, this might be one of the best decisions the health conscious could ever make. Martial arts training can definitely burn up a lot of calories. Performance in the class itself is not the only source of fat burning. The lean muscle mass developed by the workouts will speed up the metabolism to the degree it certainly can contribute to a great deal of burned fat.

Martial arts for weight loss

The martial arts is a world known for its hyperbole. The claims of weight loss likely are the most honest and there are many examples of people losing weight to show fat loss is highly possible.

Each individual person that suffers from obesity may wish to look at their own situation and personal health before making any assumptions about much weight loss can be expected and how much work will be required to actually lose weight.

For someone that is extremely overweight, it may be best to have a complete physical performed by a doctor to ensure there are no underlying health issues that may make martial arts training risky. Also, anyone in poor physical condition or has low cardio may wish to take things slowly. Going slowly allows those new to working out to be able to slowly build up the endurance required to get the most out of their workout sessions.

There is no reason to rush the process because weight loss from the martial arts likely is a long term benefit gained from improving activity levels. A person enrolled in martial arts training and goes regularly three times a week for three months is likely going to see solid results. This does not mean no results will be gained in the first couple of weeks. Calorie burning does start on day one, but it may take some time to burn off a significant amount of them.

Anyone wishing to lose weight with the martial arts does not to improve his or her diet to maximize results. Martial arts classes can only go so far in terms of being able to burn up stored fat. Cutting back on high calorie and unhealthy meals would boost the chance of weight loss success immensely.

Overall, martial arts training should be one part of a healthy lifestyle that makes weight loss possible.


Attack By Draw – Baiting

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How Attack By Draw Can Improve Your Game

A lot is spoken about learning the basics when it comes to the martial arts. No one would ever say focusing on the basics is a bad idea. There are times, however, when it could be wise to learn a few of the more advanced facets to training. One advanced area would be employing an attack by draw.

martial arts Lincoln

Also known as baiting an opponent, an attack by draw entails opening a line of attack to direct an opponent towards it. This is a risky strategy because you are allowing an opponent the ability to attack. Hence, this is why it is deemed an advanced strategy. What is the secret to making the advanced strategy work?

Once again, we have to return our attention to the basics. Ironic is it not?

The better you have mastered the basics, then the better you will be able to engage in something along the lines of attack by draw. The better your basics are and the cleaner your movements, the more likely you can make an attack by draw strategy work.

Such a strategy is not exactly complicated to grasp. Hard to do, but difficult to explain. Let us look at a simple example:

In kickboxing, you could leave your hand a little low to draw in a punch or your elbow a little high to draw in a kick. In a grappling scenario, some in a closed guard could let the arm drift forward to draw in an armlock or triangle attempt.

All of this might seem a little risky if not outright dangerous. So, why would you want to do it? Well, you can never 100% guarantee what someone is going to do, but by leaving lines open, you can gain some semblance of certainty in terms of how they act or react. Basically, you are slyly guiding the actions of an opponent for them. This opens the door for counterattacking and overwhelming an opponent.

To repeat, you never know how an opponent is going to act. Just because you leave the door wide open for someone to take a particular action, the action might not be taken. It could come off as just being a little too good to be true. So, you have to have good reflexes and combinations in order to react if things do not go as planned. Even if you do launch an attack, it can be countered so always be ready to react. This is why good basics are so important.

When timed right though, an attack by draw technique can have amazing results. For that reason alone, investing time in developing these skills is recommended. Once you do develop the skill, you might have a powerful new strategy at your disposal to exploit.


Martial Arts in Lincoln – An Apple A Day

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An Apple A Day

martial arts in lincoln

Reach for an apple first – Martial Arts In Lincoln

When you are hungry, try reaching for an apple first. Why? Apples are healthy, filling, and quite handy in a rush. The average sized apple is about 85 calories, whereas the average fast food burger is about 600 calories. That means you would need to eat seven apples to consume the same amount of calories as that burger. That might not sound like much to some, but I challenge you to eat three apples in a row… its not that easy.

Keeping the doctor away at Function First Martial Arts In Lincoln

The point try reaching for the healthy stuff first and then if you are still hungry try a little bit of what you were craving, the chances are you wont want it anymore. Lets be honest, feeling to full to eat unhealthily is a pretty good position to be in.

We take nutrition seriously at Function First Martial Arts In Lincoln

So not only are apples healthy and handy, they are also a good preworkout snack, so next time you finish work, and think I don’t have time to cook before your training at function first martial arts in lincoln, reach for an apple…

Thank you and forward the revolution


Kids & MMA?

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Making MMA Suitable for Kids

Kids MMA Lincoln

Can kids get involved with mixed martial arts MMA?

There is really no reason why they cannot. The growth of the sport has been amazing and young ones are definitely becoming attracted to it. Once they enroll in MMA classes, they reap all the rewards this sport offers

Mixed martial arts (MMA) training is certainly popular for adults, but is is fine for kids? The answer is yes as long as the kids program remains appropriate for the young ones. Adults may look at cage-fighting events and feel this is totally not a good thing to get their kids involved with. To a great degree, such sentiments are understandable. This is why kids martial arts instructors do not run a kids MMA program in the same way they would an adults.

The most common difference between a youngster’s MMA class and one for adults would be the class likely will maintain much of the essence of a traditional martial arts. While the MMA gyms that cater mostly to young men may have a counter culture facet to them, parents are probably not going to be very thrilled to expose their kids to such environments.

Parents can feel a sigh of relief. No responsible martial arts instructor would take that approach with teaching young ones. The class will maintain the same focus that mostly all well run kids classes would. There would be emphasis on fun, fitness, and discipline. The main different would be the class integrates some of the arts found in MMA.

The arts could include submission wrestling, kickboxing, and Judo among others. Boxing may play a role in the training as well. Generally, the main arts found in basic MMA training are going to be found in a kids program. The way in which the material is presented is going to be changed to make it better suited for kids. Again, MMA for adults is not the same as MMA for kids.

The interesting point about a kids MMA program is that learning the basics of MMA at a young age can set the stage for becoming a competitor later in life. No one can ever tell how far a young one can go when learning such a sport early in life. Of course, all this is getting ahead of things. He or she has to start the lessons and do so on the right foot. A well run class will meet such goals.

At Function First our kids classes are extremely popular, we have waiting lists in some classes for a reason.

We are a family friendly fun martial arts mma academy

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