3 Goals Of An MMA Sprawl

One of the important techniques that you'll learn when you train in mixed martial arts is the sprawl. This is a simple technique that gets you out of harm's way but can also give you the opportunity to gain the upper hand on your opponent. Your instructor will explain the sprawl and demonstrate it in front of your class, and you'll then get a chance to practice with a partner. As you develop your skills over time, the sprawl can be a valuable tool in your arsenal. Here are three goals of the sprawl.

Keep Your Legs Free

In mixed martial arts, you can expect that your opponent will frequently attempt to gain control of one or both of your legs. There are numerous ways of doing so, but when you're both standing up, the opponent will "shoot" forward and grab at your legs. At this moment, a sprawl can be effective. Sprawling means that you shoot your feet backward and lower your torso toward the mats. In doing so, you'll be increasing the distance between your opponent and your legs. When you perform the sprawl correctly, you'll keep your legs out of range so your opponent can't grab them.

Control Your Opponent

While a lot of MMA practitioners use the sprawl to evade their opponents, it can also be useful for controlling them. When they shoot toward your lower body and you move into the sprawl, you can sometimes time your movement so that you land on your opponent's back. This position gives you a significant advantage, particularly if you're stronger than your opponent and are able to hold them down. You then have the ability to move your body in any number of ways so that you can begin working toward a submission.

Stand Back Up

There's nothing wrong with sprawling to evade your opponent and then simply standing back up again. When your opponent shoots toward your legs, it takes energy. Your sprawl doesn't use as much energy, which means that their movement will make them more tired than you. If they continue to shoot at your legs and you continue to sprawl effectively, you'll begin to find that they're slowing down due to fatigue while you're still feeling fresh. When there's a difference in your energy levels, this can work to your advantage because you can then begin to be more offensive and work toward a choke or a joint lock. Look for an MMA training academy in your area.