Home Science Education Seminar Technique Notes: Daniel Cormier – Singles Off Right-Hand

Seminar Technique Notes: Daniel Cormier [Part I] – Singles Off Right-Hand

"Technique Notes"

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Seminars are amazing: excellent instructors delivering excellent instructions. In this seminar, Daniel Cormier demonstrates single-leg setups and ground strike transitions. In MMA, grappling and striking does not exist in a vacuum, and few have as much expertise as Cormier and Cain Velasquez.

This is a new series where I basically observe, take notes, and share it with you guys. Enjoy! View the entire seminar in this youtube link.

The Easiest Takedown: Off The Right-Hand

 The Right-Cross (2.18): “It brings the hands up, which allows me to reach with the left hand for a single-leg”

Rear-Cross and Overhand to Single-Leg

The Right-Overhand (2:50) — Cormier brings the opponent’s hands up. As he connects with the overhand, his head is already closer to the opponent. Simultaneously, he grabs the opponent’s lead-knee with his left hand.

In MMA (3:00): “You don’t want to hit the mat before your opponent. *Demonstration when he hits the mats the opponent starts hitting him while he has one leg. [Gif Here]

The Single (3:30): as he goes for the single he uses his head as a lever, steps in and gets the right-leg (now lead) behind the opponent’s (right) rear-leg to trap. Key* after the opponent falls, Cormier stays standing ready to ground and pound. 

Head Placement (4:35): It’s right in the chest, not down at the stomach. The head should be pushing so that it makes the opponent’s head and chest go backwards. If the head is down at the stomach then there’s a good chance the opponent will sprawl on you.

Overall Posture (5:05): Back is straight, foot is behind his opponents foot, butt is down to finish the takedown. After the opponent is knocked down, Cormier takes a foot, and snatches it back as he steps in to the side with one knee facing the opponent’s body (ready to knee-on-belly) to start and punch.

Opponent Turns For a Single (5:30): It’s fine cause he’ll just take his back as he kicks back the leg (that the opponent is attempting the single on) and forces the back of his opponent’s head down as he turns (so that the back is now exposed). He keeps one arm wrapped around the opponent’s body for leverage and puts his bodyweight on opponent as he throws strikes with free arm.

Keeping the Lead-Hand on the Opponent’s Foot (8:10): If you don’t hold it, it gives the opponent a chance to run the away from you towards his free side. If you keep it, that’s not a viable option because he’ll give up positioning and his back and you pull it. Therefore he will always turn back into you.

Cross Face (9:00): If the lead foot is kept gripped, the opponent will probably turn into your leg. In this case Cormier will cross-face, which will allow him to have side-control. If he can flatten the opponent he will knee-on-belly again and punch. *Key is always to get into position to strike.

The reason why he’ll always turn back into you is because the best case scenario is that he’ll have a single. But that’ll only happen if “I (Cormier) don’t have any reaction at all.”

Cross-face knee-on-belly counter to single

Punching If The Opponent is Turned as You try to Knee On Belly (10:00): it’s not the best positioning, but it’s manageable and you may get two-shots off. After two-shots you sprawl and you flatten him out. Base and then knee-on-belly again as you grip the back of his head with the left-hand and punch with the right.

*Once knee-on-belly and opponent is flattened, the grip behind the opponent’s back of head can be very critical for striking — maintaining leverage. 

*Reminder Knee-on-Belly Base Leg Must Be Up (12:20)

Control and Leg Space When Knocking the opponent Down (13:20): Press the leg down, foot (at crotch) and knee is pressuring between opponents legs. As he takes the opponent’s foot back he slides his foot over to the side, Cormier maintains control of the foot. *Do not use the outside leg to knee-on-belly (will result in leg locks).

Learning and Practicing (14:00): People are practicing way too fast – they need to slow down to learn. “When learning techniques, you have to go slow.”

*Do not fall with the opponent. Stay up, head and chest high, and control the head. Remember sometimes you have to sprawl and cross face if opponent tries to turn for a single. If you try to leave the knee in as you cross face there’s a good chance he’ll just get up. Sprawl and put the knee back on belly right away.

Outside-Step High-Crotch (17:24):

If your head goes outside, the key is that you have to be quick to finish it. The moment the head is out to the side, the more chance he has to guillotine. In MMA, throw a right-punch and throw the head to his side as he grabs the single. Many will still attempt the guillotine even if it’s set up and you’re quick…

Defence to the Guillotine:

The moment the opponent goes to grab the neck, he takes a big step forward with his rear-leg and pop the head up to break the guillotine. His back is still straight, the butt is down. He looks across the opponent’s back and then he just starts to run forward until his opponent is down.

*19:00 Cormier uses his head to control posture and takes a step to the front with lead-leg and starts running until the opponent falls over.

*19:30 If the opponent gets both legs on his hips to control, he presses both down and sits on their shin and just starts to punch. Eventually they’ll be forced to turn. 

Stay tuned for more notes! You can follow Lawrence Kenshin on his social media accounts below.