How to Use Inside Leg Kicks to Shift Your Stance

In this Tip of the Week Striking Coach Vince Salvador goes over inside leg kicks, and how you can use them to shift your stance and set up other combinations in a Kickboxing, Muay Thai or MMA fight.


Coach Vince Salvador:
How’s it going? I’m coach Vince from The Arena. This is another striking tip. And we’re using kicking to setup this now, and we’re using it to set up angles by setting up the kick to the inside leg. When I first throw the kick, really important where I land, right? So if I start for my kick here and I land here, I’m in range for getting hit. Another thing that will happen there is if this is MMA, easy take down where my legs are so close to him and I don’t really have power to the inside leg. So if I’m using it to set something up, I’m going to watch my right leg drop to the corner here. So if I fire that inside leg, I step off line already. Now my right foot is already in kick position. So if I need to, I can just fire this again, right?


If I want to fire a hard shot to the body, I’m already there. But I’m going to use this to move instead, right? So I use my footwork to set up my positioning again, but now I’m doing it off a kick. So I’m setting it up with the right hand, I shift off line, now I’m southpaw. He comes forward, I’m in a different angle now. So I’m just using this to shift and I’m not going to wait for him or draw myself into any kind of battle. If I go here and I go backwards and shift, he’s already waiting for me. I want to go as fast as I can. So when I go to the inside, he moves forward right away. So when he feels that, he moves forward right away, I’m already in the angle, right? So in the kickboxing, I want this guy to come forward. I’m going to keep him at my range, and so I’m ready. When he comes down here, I’m having a better angle. Now I can hit him from southpaw using a different stance and a different attack. That’s your tip of the week.

Enson Inoue Shows a Painful Way to Finish an Armbar

During his recent seminar here at The Arena, MMA Legend Enson Inoue taught a very painful way to break through your opponent’s armbar defense and finish the fight. Check it out, but remember to be kind to your training partners.


Enson Inoue:
If you’re going for armbar here, there’s all kinds of ways you can leverage with that. You can kick in with that. You can reach over and pull over that side. What I found good is when they hold it, I’d like to get in here and I always like to put this hand in. The reason being, I can strike with this hand and it’s way more damaging than striking this side. So I always have a habit of coming in this way. The next thing I do is here and here. So just like I’m choking his hand. Okay, from here, see how my elbows are open? I’m using the power of my arms. So what I like to do here is I like to sit up on the arm, sit tight, and just use my hips. It hurts like shit.


When I started doing this, I started asking… I had Sarah do it. I’m strong so I could hold, but a lot of times when you’re in this holding, you’re holding tight, whichever way you holding, and the guy starts prying. You can feel you can hold and you’ll feel like you’re, he’s going to break it anytime soon, but you’re stuck.

But it’s a different feeling. When I had Sarah did to me, I could hold, but I could feel the… I knew eventually she’s going to break it soon. Yeah. So here, in here, elbows against and make sure don’t have just against like this, yeah? Everything against. That’s a hold it, hold it, and then you just come back. It hurts like shit, yeah? If he’s strong… Let’s try that, two, three. Don’t do that here.

Finishing an Armbar When Your Opponent Grabs His Lapel

A common defense to the armbar is to grab your lapel and hold on for dear life. Jiu Jitsu Coach Ryan Fortin has a tip to show you a way to break this grip and finish the armbar.


Coach Ryan Fortin:
How’s it going everybody? It’s coach Ryan Fortin here with The Arena, and this would be your tip of the week. This is something that I do to help me get the arm when I’m trying to get an armbar and they’re hanging onto the lapel. So here I am, armbar position, right? My arms are in like this. I’m controlling the arm, and I’m holding onto the leg so he doesn’t bridge. And I want to get this arm right, but he’s hanging on to his lapel, which is a good defense because that allows their free arm to be able to do other stuff with it, right?


So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to let go of this pant grip here, right? And I’m going to grab the same lapel that he’s grabbing just low. And then I’m going to stick my heel and just like this, and watch my heels in it and I’m holding on this side, I’ll use my foot to push away, and then as I’m leaning back, that’s how I’ll break the grip. And then I’ll find the thumb and finish the armbar. Once again, we’re in an armbar position. The guy’s holding onto his lapel. I’m trying to find a way to break that grip, okay. I’m going to get my foot, I’m going to get it right inside that lapel. Grab beneath it, kick it to break it free, and then find the thumb. I hope that helps you get some more armbars.

Using Cones to Develop Better Boxing Movement Patterns

In this Tip of the Week, Boxing Coach Joe Vargas shows some shadowboxing drills you can do using cones to develop better movement patterns and work on moving in and out. These drills are great for intermediate to advanced boxers.


Coach Joe Vargas:
I’m Joe Vargas, one of the head coaches here at The Arena. Today we’re going to be going on … Our tip of the week is going to be our movements with our feet and head movements. Setting up some drills. I was going to call him Conner. Fuck, what’s your real name? I already forgot it.


Ken. Kenneth.


Joe Vargas:
Ken. Kenneth Duckensberg?




Joe Vargas:
My boy Conner is going to be demonstrating the drill, all right? So we’re going to work from the outside with the perimeter. Feet out. Out of your stance, out of your stance. Circle, circle, circle. That’s who he’s fighting. He steps in, works a little bit, moves around, steps out. Goes under the rope three times. Go … Exactly. Good. These are some of the drills you can do for higher elite fighters, amateur pro fighters. He’s always staggering his movements. Extend that jab, don’t forget to extend that jab when you’re coming in. Not on the way out, on the way in. Lean back on that back foot and stagger in. Let’s jump in. Good. Now work a little bit, then get out. Good.


So on the outside of the perimeter, he’s working with his feet parallel trying to move out the way fast. At his mid range, short range, he’s inching up with his triple jab, double jab. And now he’s fighting inside for a little bit and then he’ll get out. Head movement is always very essential. That’s one way of doing it. The next way of doing it is me standing in front of him and me leading the dance. Come forward. I mean, come sideways. There you go. Come in. Keep working. Good. Back. Boom, boom. Circle. Anywhere you want. Anywhere you want, no worry. Under. One, two, three. There you go. Keep going. Step in. Triple jab your way in. There you go. Out. Out, out, out. Good. Exactly. Good, good. Come in. Boom, boom, boom, boom. Good. Back out. Always remember to keep your hands up, triple jab your way in. Boom, boom, boom. Good. One, two. Good. Under three times.

That’s one of the ways that you prepare, by shadow boxing more extreme, more for the high end guys, more the pro, elite amateurs. I’m Joe Vargas, that’s my boy Conner, that’s my tip of the week.

How to Land Fast and Effective Low Kicks for MMA

A low kick can be a very effective weapon for a fighter. In this video striking Coach Vince Salvador breaks down how you can use the low kick in Kickboxing or Muay Thai.


Coach Vince Salvador:
How’s it going, I’m Coach Vince and this is Enrique Marte. Today’s tip of the week is a kickboxing and Muay Thai tip of the week. A lot of times when we’re throwing the low kick, you see a lot of people in MMA or even in kickboxing, they’ll throw a big wide kick jumping into the kick for power and it’s not wrong, some guys prefer that. José Aldo is really good at that, by getting you to go backwards, as you go backwards, he jumps into the kick. Good, it’s a real powerful kick, but in MMA it can go both ways. I can take him down if he misses that kick or if he times it wrong. Right, so we’re going to work on a shorter kick. It’s more of a cut kick. The kick is to score and to damage a leg. I’m not really picking up my lead leg too much.

I’m not jumping into the kick. If he jumps into the kick and I punched at the same time, he’s going to be off balance. We want to score with the kick. A lot of times we can use this for the low-low as well. We’re chopping really low. But when we’re chopping that kick our whole body is not turning much. Then we’re scoring with the same power as a regular low kick without having to jump. So when we throw the hook, in boxing when you’re taught to throw the other hook, you’ll pivot that front foot to get more of the angle for the hook. But in kickboxing, if I turn the hook and miss, my leg’s exposed, get my leg chopped off. So I want to make sure when I throw the hook, I don’t really turn my foot just the hip so I can still chop the kick.

Right, so it’s a little faster too. So he throws a hook a lot faster. If he throws the hook, pivots his foot as he throws the hook, it makes it perfect, there’s no way he’s going to turn back for the kick. So, again. A lot faster it scores, harder for me to do anything if this is MMA. I come forward, he’s out of the way. If he does a big, big jumping kick, I can take him down if I really pressed the issue. And that’s your tip of the week.

Is Your Ego Preventing You from Growing in Martial Arts?

Switching things up in this Tip of the Week, MMA Coach Charles Martinez discusses something that can hold any athlete back. Your ego. Your ego can really limit your ability to step outside of your comfort zone and learn new skills, so listen up closely to what Coach Charles has to say.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hey, this Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena, and this tip of the week slightly different than what I normally put out. I’m always really focused on technique, but today I decided to talk about how to actually make growth in the sports, right? All of these sports have a similar thing. You’re trying to learn new technique, you’re trying to add to the technique and then you have to do it under pressure.

A lot of times what prevent us from getting better really is our ego. Our ego doesn’t want someone to best you. You want to go harder and harder, and you want to make sure that you win every exchange. That’s not always the best way of being, right? You want to make sure that your technique is getting better. In order for your technique to get better, sometimes you have to do it against people that are better than you. They’re going to get the better of you, and then you have to try to analyze what’s working, what isn’t working, especially with sparring and live rolling.

People are going to get the better of you, and there’s always that, “Well, he started it. That’s why I started going so hard.” That’s the most common thing I’ve heard. I’ve heard guys in the fight team say it all the time. “Well, he started it.” Well, just cause you can do something to him doesn’t mean that you should. Right? There’s varying skill levels. You can learn from each level of someone better than you or worse than you, depending on how you take the lessons.

If you want to smash and smash and smash, that’s fine, but eventually someone will smash you and it limits your growth, right? Yes, you want to practice your technique perfectly, but you shouldn’t see someone getting the better of you as a failure. You should see as an opportunity to analyze what you’re doing, and see why they were able to get the better of you rather than seeing it as a bruise to your ego or a challenge to your manhood. It should really just be taken as a lesson. They got the better of me. Now, let me see why and let’s see what changes I can make to make my technique better so I don’t have to just use brute force or speed in order to win. That’s your tip of the week.

Options to Sweep and Take the Back from Deep De La Riva Guard

If you’re having any trouble coming up with options from the De La Riva guard, then check out what Jiu Jitsu Coach Ryan Fortin likes to do from there. Here he shows some sweeping and back taking options you can try out.


Coach Ryan Fortin:
Hey guys, what’s up? Ryan Fortin here, Jiu Jitsu coach at the Arena with this week’s tip. Harry, one of our purple belts had a question. What was it Harry?



Yeah, I was looking for, once I get deep De La Riva, and someone sits down on it, what’s a good sweep from there?


Ryan Fortin:
Good way to sweep, okay. So, I’m going to show him a couple of things I like to do. Brian, could I use you. So, I’m playing De La Riva guard. I’m looking to control something. I like the sleeve, personally. I’m using this foot like you said, deep De La Riva, so not here, but all the way to the far hip. Now, let’s say he puts that far knee down. They do this a lot. Hey, what I like to do is I’m going to straighten this leg to cripple his knee. All right?


If he leaves his arm long, I’ll lasso this arm and use that to sweep him. All right, so back. If he keeps keeps his elbow tight, I’ll come around and butterfly behind the leg, looking to get pants and then for back takes. So, once we have that De La Riva, straighten that leg and cripple their knee. All right, guys. Hope that helps.

How to Control Your Opponent With a Dominant Clinch

Having a dominant clinch can be a great way to control a fight and impose your will on your opponent. In this video striking Coach Vince Salvador teaches some clinch fundamentals you can use in MMA or Muay Thai.


Coach Vince Salvador:
How’s it going? I’m Coach Vince. This is Jeff Creighton, one of the pro fighters here at the Arena. Today I have a clinch tip of the week.

Whenever I’m clinching, as basic as it gets, the first thing’s first is I need a grip. I can’t just grab him over the top or anything like that. He’s going to hit me. I don’t have anything to control him, so when I enter the clinch, I want to have a good grip and my favorite grip for being the shorter fighter is the head in the bicep. Going here is good if it’s Jeff. Jeff has full plum. It works really well. He can knee me up the middle, right? It’s a good strong position, but for me I would have to bring the crown of his head down and it’s going to be a lot harder. I would have a lot more strength because I’m a lot shorter and heavier, but it’s not something that I like to keep so I go right here.

The second thing is my hips. My cup is going to touch his cup. So if he tries to knee me now, not as much power, I’m leaning back. Easy knee, I go down.

Another thing too, a good way to block a knee is just to keep my knee up. So if he tries to throw knee and he can’t knee me. But if I’m here, even with the right knee he can’t really knee me, all right? So I can use that to keep his hips away and give him no space, no angle for the knee.

Another way for me to create the angle is if he’s standing straight up like we’re supposed to do to defend the knees, I can break him down with the grip and also with my leg. I can go to the inside of his thigh, break his waist down, turn my leg in to get a better angle at this and push him back so I can throw the knee to the body. And that’s a good way to create space. Hips in is the key. Hips away. You get kneed. That’s my tip I think.

Chris Leben Shows How to Takedown Your Opponent Against the Cage

In this tip of the week, UFC Veteran and MMA Coach Chris Leben shows an extremely effective old school way to takedown your opponent against the cage, and position him for a solid beatdown.


Coach Chris Leben:
Hey, what’s up everybody? This is Harris, he’s one of our competitors on our fight team. My name’s Chris Leben, I’m one of the coaches here at The Arena and this is your tip of the week.

So what we’re going to go over here is a very basic take down to a beat down position. One of my favorites, old school. This move has always worked and it will always continue to work. If you’ve ever watched Khabib, this is one of his go tos on the cage. Very simple. My head goes in the jaw. I control the bicep with my under hook. I’m going to use my head to drive him up, give him something to think about. That gives me my level change. I pin the hips. Now I’m going to use the bounce in the cage to bounce, that makes the legs light, as I slip him back he goes down.

Now as he lands, if he’s got any game at all, his first reaction is going to be to scoot his hips back to the cage. He’s got to post that hand on the mat to do it. I’m going to go ahead and trap that hand. I’m going to angle my body a little bit and drive across. If you notice my fist is going in front of his arm into the mat. My head comes around and goes all the way to the cage. I walk my hips around here and now even though my weight isn’t on him, with his both arms stuck behind his back, it takes zero power for me to keep him here and land devastating shots.

So it’s an oldie but goodie, cage work 101 right there. Trap the arms, beat him down. One more time. Bicep under hook, drive him up, level change, bounce pop, control the hips, suck them back a little bit. Trap the arm, drive across. Fist goes in front. Now this is important, here I need to get my head to the cage so he can’t get that arm around. Now that I’m here, he’s stuck and I can just go ahead and fire away. Now this fight is all but pow at that point. So Harris, Chris Leben, and that’s your tip of the week.

Strengthen Your Lower Back with Our New Reverse Hyper Machine at The Arena

Lower back pain and injuries are unfortunately a common thing amongst athletes of all kinds, but here at The Arena we have a great machine to help strengthen and heal your back. Watch Strength and Conditioning Coach Jason Salazar demonstrate our Reverse Hyper machine in our new athletic development training center.


Coach Jason Salazar:
Hi, this is Jason here at the arena. Right now I’m just going to show off one of our new machines that we have, the Ultra Supreme Reverse Hyper. If you’ve never seen one of these and you don’t know what it’s really used for, this can be therapeutic or for back lifting, to help strengthen the lower back.

So if you have back issues, this will help pump the fluids out of our back, separate the spine, put it back together. It’s really great.

I’ll show you how to use it. Step one foot in. The other foot we get up. We’re going to pull it up, slide it in, find out where are the handles if you like. And remember, we’re going to slowly push it back and forth.

As you push forward, the head goes in, head goes out. Head goes in, head goes out. You can do this before your work out, in the middle of your workout, after your workout. It’s a great way to keep that lower back in shape.

About The Arena

The Arena is the largest gym in North America for Combat Sports and Martial Arts instruction.

Our Address

3350 Sports Arena Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110 USA

Free Trial (A) Footer