Alan “The Talent” Belcher is known for a few things, being an extremely well rounded MMA fighter and for his legendary Johnny Cash tattoo. Recently I got my hands on his Immunity MMA course and decided to let you guys know how I feel about it. I’d recommend this product for not just MMA fighters but for grapplers as well. He shows some high percentage stuff in the terms of his escapes from submissions, especially leg locks. Which get’s us started with our first DVD which is all about defending the heel hook. The first three DVD’s are a mini course within the larger course itself titled “Immune to Leg Locks”
Alan covers some key BJJ concepts about defending leg locks right off the bat. He starts by explaining that in any submission, esspecially leg locks, that prevention is key. It is best for us to defend against submissions by preventing them from even happening. He demonstrates this in his example when both fighters are on the ground. Most people will drop back for the heel hook by starting with their hands on your knee. Alan shows that if we can control their hands, the submission is void. But what if they get a hold of your leg and start the submission?
Alan will free his heel and dig it into his opponent’s ribs, as to make it difficult to recapture, and then he will stand up and put all of his weight into the leg the opponent is trying to attack. From here he opens up his opponent with ground and pound. Personally I use this defense every time I can! Once I free up my leg it will be much harder for my opponent to submit me with my whole weight through my foot. Alan also covers the defense and escapes to when you are standing, when your knee is bent, and multitudes of other bad scenarios.
The second DVD in the series dives in deeper into the world of the 50/50. Alan builds off of the leg lock defense shown in the first DVD to help us contiune developing our skills. At first he shows ways to break and pass the 50/50 guard, common mistakes, and how to use the 50/50 for ground and pound. He also has a whole section where he shows us how to counter with our own submissions.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, the 50/50 is the new killer trend in BJJ and we are even seeing it in MMA now so it is crucial that we evolve with the game and start practicing these new pheromones. After he covers the 50/50 he covers defense to the straight ankle locks, also known as the Achilles lock. If you want to be on the top of your game you have to check this DVD out and all of the 50/50 content we have here on Science of Skill.
The third DVD in the series is the last of the Immune to Leg Locks section and is all about drilling the leg locks that were covered earlier in the other DVDs. One of my favorite drills is counter leg locks up against the cage. I know exactly what you are thinking. How in the heck can you leg lock someone up against the cage? It’s quite simple, go for a takedown and pull them off the fence. Once they are separated from the cage, pull into anaconda guard and attack the legs. Alan used this drill extensively in his fight camp against Rousimar Palhares.
You will start with your back against the fence and let your partner take you off the fence and pull into their guard or submissions. If we cover the concept of prevention we can scramble out of the guard or pass the guard before the threat of the submission is real. If our opponent does put us in danger it gives us the opportunity work our submission defense. I’m a big proponent of maximizing mat time and having both partners get something out of drilling which is another reason I like this drill so much! Our partner gets the opportunity to practice their wrestling and guard pulls to see what does and doesn’t work for them.
The fourth DVD in the Immunity MMA series is the first in the mini series called Immune to submissions. What I particularly like about this DVD is how he shows multiple escapes for the same submission. The same escape doesn’t work for everyone and some people have trouble grasping the concepts of certain escapes and cannot hit them live. The first part of the DVD he shows us different arm escapes from armbars from being on bottom and being stuck in guard. One of my favorite is the running man escape also known as the hitch hiker escape.
He proceeds to teach us triangle choke escapes. He starts this section with explaining the importance of prevention again and shows us proper posture to be able to stuff triangles and how to see them coming from a mile away. One of the triangle escapes he shows is one that Marcelo Garcia uses on the regular. He starts by posturing up as soon as the triangle is slapped on. Next you will step the foot up to the inside arm side of the triangle. You take this leg and whip it with your hips to attain a knee on belly variation on your opponent, this will break the grip of the triangle. We raise both our arms in the air to prevent being armbarred or omoplataed and we pass the guard.
The fifth DVD is the last of the Immune to Submissions mini series and covers escaping americanas, omoplatas, kimuras, rear naked chokes, and arm triangles. One of the escapes comes from when our opponent is on our back and trying to sink in the rear naked choke. He starts to explain that this is not about escaping the back mount or how to prevent a rear naked, but instead the worst case scenario with the choke locked in.
We should use one hand to attack the choking arm and one hand to try to attack the hand on the back of our head. Once we free the hand on the back of our head we will get a 2 on 1 baseball bat grip on it and roll ourselves to that side, with the choking arm up. Yes our opponent can still get the tap with a one arm rear naked choke, but the odds decrease significantly. We then will free our hips from our opponent’s hooks and start a scramble to take top position. This is a pretty rough place to be in and it will take time to be able to escape a full blown rear naked which is why prevention is so important.
The sixth DVD is the last DVD of the Immunity MMA series and it is titled Submissions from bad positions. This is my favorite DVD in the series because it is a collection of advanced submissions when our opponent least expects it. One that I use in my game is the Heel Hook escape from Mount.
We start by bucking our opponent using our hips and arms to create space. While our opponent is in the air we need to put one knee up the middle and crash the other leg over our opponent’s hip to set up anaconda guard. We use our arms to push our opponent away and we can start working for our heel hook. Some of the other cool submissions he shows us are an omoplata counter to the single leg, a darce choke to escape the back, and a scarf hold twister. If you can get proficient at these techniques you WILL be a killer on the mats!
It could be your first time on the mats, you could be an up and coming fighter, you could be a black belt in BJJ, or you could be a fighter in the UFC and this course will still elevate your game. If you cannot be submitted it brings your ground game to a whole new level. If you want to be a killer MMA grappler or you are a striker looking for ways to stand the fight back up then give this course a shot. It will only help your game and soon enough the wins in your column will start racking up and you could get noticed by the big leagues.
Coach Daniel is the founder and head publisher at Science of Skill, LLC. A martial arts black belt and self defense instructor, Dan has spent years training with and interviewing some of the world's best self protection experts. His passion lies in encouraging others to train smart and to improve the skills that make them safer and stronger.
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