Ten commonly used terms in MMA

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There are many terms in the sport of MMA that new comers might find confusing when first introduced. Here are some of the most common terms in the sport of MMA.

Hooks

The term hooks in MMA means to use your arms or legs to better control your opponent. There are many different hooks in MMA, and they are used from many different position. For example, you might hear someone say, “When you take your opponents back, you should get both hooks in.”

Stack

To use put your weight on your opponent when in the top guard position, forcing the person’s feet towards his/her head. Stacking can be used to defend against submissions, as well as for passing the guard.

Grapevine

This means to wrap your legs or arms around the opponent’s limbs for better control. For example, your coach might tell you to use the grapevine for better control when in mount.

Arm lock

This is often used to refer to any submissions that involve the opponent’s elbows or shoulders. Examples of arm locks include the kimura, arm bar, and omoplata.

Leg locks

This term refers to submissions that attack the opponent’s lower joints such as the knee and ankle. Examples of leg locks include the knee bar, heel hook and straight ankle lock.

Sweep

This is using leverage to reverse a bottom position into a more dominant one. A common sweep in MMA is the scissor sweep which is performed from guard bottom.

Clinch

This means grabbing on your opponent while standing, usually done by using hooks. Clinches are used a lot in MMA and can be a big part of the sport. Clinches can be used to set up strikes, or takedowns.

Rolling

This is a term used to describe sparring sessions involving grappling. For example I might say, “I’m going to roll after I work some technique today.”

Transition

This means to improve on one’s position while engaged. The goal on the ground is usually to transition to a much better position, where the chances of getting a submission (or some solid ground and pound) are better.

Escape

This MMA term means to avoid a submission your opponent has initiated. There are just as many escapes as submissions in MMA.

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