MMA Glossary

  • Achilles Lock / Ankle Lock – Submission move applied to the joints in the ankle causing compression to the Achilles tendon or sometimes the calf muscle.  
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – A martial art and combat sport based on grappling, ground fighting and submission holds. 
  • Choke – A movement blocking the carotid artery in the neck where the flow of blood is restricted to the brain. If your opponent fails to tap, he can fall into a temporary state of unconsciousness. 
  • Clinch – A position in which two fighters come face to face, usually with their arms and upper body locked. This move typically is used to slow action and/or protect against strikes. Also, it can be used for throwing effective short punches or knees in the clinch. 
  • Decision – This occurs when the fight goes all 3 or 5 rounds and the judges will make a decision on who won the fight. Based on their round by round scoring.
  • Double Leg Takedown – A takedown completed by driving an opponent up and forward by grabbing both of his legs and/or ankles. This leads to both fighters going to the ground. 
  • Elbow Strike – When a fighter throws an elbow intending to strike the opponent with the point of the elbow. 
  • Eye Gouge – An illegal move where a fighter’s fingers poke in and around their opponents’ eye. 
  • Fishhook – An illegal move in which one fighter puts his finger into an orifice of an opponent and pulls with the purpose of tearing skin. 
  • Flying Knee Strike – When one fighter jumps up or takes a step springing off one leg and in mid-air switches to the other knee to strike. 
  • Grappling – Refers to the gripping, handling and controlling of another fighter without the use of striking.  Grappling can occur standing or on the ground. 
  • Ground and Pound – A fighter has another in a side mount and throws a series of blows with his forearm and/or fist into his downed opponent’s face. Typically leads to the fight ending. 
  • Guard – A position where a fighter is on his back but is in an advantageous position. The fighter on his back will typically wrap his legs around his opponents’ hips and look for a joint submission or a choke. 
  • Guillotine Choke – A finishing submission where a fighter meets his opponent and then wraps his forearm around his opponent’s neck and applies pressure to cut off their air. 
  • Half Guard – a position where one fighter is on his back and the opponent is on top of him. The fighter on the bottom has both of his legs wrapped around one of his opponent’s legs. 
  • Head Butt – An illegal move where a fighter uses his head as a weapon. 
  • Heel Hook – Effective submission hold which is applied to the heel and achieved by twisting the knee at the joint. 
  • Jiu-Jitsu – An ancient Japanese martial art that encompasses throwing, joint locks, striking, and weapons training. 
  • Judo – A Japanese martial art that emphasizes throws, striking is not allowed 
  • Knee Bar – Type of submission that hyperextends the leg at the knee 
  • Knee Strike – When a fighter thrusts his knee straight upward at his opponent.  
  • Kimura – An arm lock that looks like a chicken wing that is often used to end fights. 
  • Knockout (KO) – When one fighter receives a hard blow to the head and knocks them unconscious ending the fight.
  • Leg Lock – Is a joint lock that is directed at joints of the leg such as the ankle, knee, or hip joint. 
  • Mount – One fighter gets the other flat on his back and then sits on his chest or stomach. This prevents the downed opponent from getting his legs around him and moving into the guard position. It’s one of the most dominant positions where the fighter on top will look to use his fist, forearms or look for a submission 
  • Rear Naked Choke – A type of choke that one fighter is behind the other capturing his back and looking choke out his opponent 
  • Reversal – Switching from being in a position that is not advantageous to a superior one. 
  • Roundhouse kick – When a fighter swings his leg around in a semicircular motion. This leads to striking their opponent with the front of their foot or front of their leg. 
  • Side Mount – A position where a fighter is laying on his back and the opponent is on their side, lying across his chest. A very advantageous position for the top fighter. Can lead to the fighter on top throwing forearms and punches. 
  • Single Leg Down – Takedown that is accomplished by driving an opponent up and forward by grabbing one of their legs. 
  • Tap Out – where one fighter taps out or submits to their opponent as a result of submission or continual striking. 
  • Technical Knockout (TKO) – When a referee ends the fight, usually when one of the fighters is knocked out or receiving numerous blows in a bad position.
  • Triangle Choke – Type of choke that can be done with either the legs or the arms but is primarily used with the legs. Often accomplished from his guard. 


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