Once upon a time, long before I did mma, I practiced yoga, for many years, not the crazy advance stand on one arm stuff. Now it helps me endure and gain flexibility during my trainings, in mma knowing how to breathe in difficult positions and having more flexibility than others is a bit of an advantage.
MMA is a give and take, you roll, you escape, you submit. For me its crucial to know how to do an armbar and how to escape one.
Fist off your ability to escape one will depend on how good your opponent is and how well you know what he/she’s doing, once you’re in the armbared position you need a little wiggle room, and that means being able to pull of your arm a little. You also need to pop your hips to a side position as well that’s where this next position comes in
Thread the needle pose.
This position will help you find the flexibility for that little wiggle room when you are in a unconfortable position. if you are being armbared, you will find yourself in a laying face side up position, your fist mission here is to pop your hips sidewise,pushing yourself towards your opponents body to end up in this position, your knees on the ground will stable your position to defend the armbar.
Half lord of the fishes pose.
I swear I am not just making up random names (LOL), these two positions up top helps your torso get a lot more side movement, which for jiujitsu theres countless positions when you have to pop your hips to the sides or have that separate lower body control, sometimes when I’m trapped in a position I can focus my lower body part on one command and the upper solving another problem; This will give you that ability.
Cow face pose.
Flexibility in your shoulders, elbows and writs is important when escaping and armbar, this will help you prevent injury and give you that extra flex to fight a position, the problem with most fighters is more strength less flexibility, and even though being strong is important jiujitsu proves that a flexible fighter with good technique can escape any position and endure the pressure of a oponent.
These positions are also great pre training stretches, I do these before training, I manage a lot of hip movements to escape positions, I also try to stretch my legs well and my ankles to prevent cramps during training.
The Pigeon pose.
This is by far one of my favorite poses for pre training tretching, I get massive cramps on my thighs, hip or groin area (embarrasing but true) so this helps me stretch all my legs in a less scandalous movement it would say lol.
Stretch on fighter’s!!