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Levo Seminar Cornwall

A weekend with Nathan 'Levo' Leverton
by Paul Carthy SWMAA rep

Day 1 - The Clinch

Saturday morning 11.00am, we arrive at our destination in Newquay, bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for what the weekend with Levo had to offer. Levo arrived shortly after us, with American Dave, Kev and Levo's trusty side kick Paul. We quickly get the gym matted out, with everyone mucking in and in no time were straight into the action.

Nathan gives everyone a brief introduction as to who he was, his club the Leicester shoot fighters and his affiliation to the Straight Blast Gym International. Then wasting no time we were straight into training the clinch. The south west has a vast array of stand up fighting clubs and now clubs that train grappling popping up around the area, but none that really train the clinch range. This was to be a truly eye opening experience for many of us, learning something we had neglected until this time. Nathan demonstrated the 50/50, over/under position and how to use the hips, shoulders and head to pummel into to get the all important double under hooks. We then moved on at break neck speed to what to do with double under hooks, the rear clinch, over hook, under hook, wizzers and front headlocks, training each one 'Alive' for a few minutes to get the feel before moving on.

After a very brief drink break we were back on the mats for striking from the clinch. Nathan with his demo partner Paul ran us through the use of the stomp, inner and outer knees to the legs, body hook and head strike from the over/under position. Training each one 'Alive' against the resisting opponent to get the feel for the technique. This was painful for me working with bulky ABA boxing instructor Will Newland, who I think took mercy on me. We then moved on to learn striking from the over hook, under hook locks, body lock, rear clinch and front head lock. All train 'Alive' before a light 5 minute drill at the end.

For the final part of the 4 hour seminar we were on to takedowns. This was the part of the seminar which took our standup skills and brought them down to the realm of the ground fighter, all ready for day 2, ground fighting. Nathan started with a few simple throws and how to execute them correctly from the clinch. We learnt throws and takedowns from each of the Clinch positions he had shown us earlier in the seminar. Adding single leg and double leg takedowns and their many variations.

The end of the seminar came with a light drilling/sparring round with the others, to try the pummeling/clinch, striking and takedowns all in one go. Now given the speed and volume of information learnt in such a short time, we found we were actually using allot of the stuff we learnt. Proving how simple and practical the techniques are and how well Nathan got the information through to us in his teachings.

All in all this was one of the best seminars to come to the South West. Clinch is definitely a missing skill here in the south west and with the growth of Submission Grappling and MMA here, it is a skill that needs to be harness and learnt to ensure the South West stays up to speed with the ever evolving MMA scene.

Day 2 - The Ground

After the first class seminar on Saturday, things were looking very, very good for the sunday session on grappling. There were a few more in attendance today, with reps and instructors from clubs all over the South West area.

We started off looking at the guard and how to pass. Nathan showed the 'hard ways' to open the guard using elbow force and pressure. Then he showed us how using good posture, position and control we could bait the person into open the guard. This was simplicity in itself and very effective. This was drilled 'Alive'.

Nathan then moved us on to the Combat Base and how when the legs opened to pop into this position, stopping them from pulling guard again and giving you the opportunity to attack.From here we learnt the many variations of passing the guard from Combat Base, the position you adopt from Guard when Combat Base is pulled.

We then moved onto the leg locks section and Nathan was whizzing different legs lock off from the Combat Base position. This included achilles heel lock and heel hooks, counters to this and then further counter, counters. This was then drilled, which proved the number of different variations to leg locks and leg lock counters was almost endless. Nathan was showing how powerful and complex the art of leg locks was. He did this very, very competently.

Next was the butterfly guard and to pass it. Again simple and effective techniques were used. These brought us nicely into side control where we learnt the control positions for pining someone down. The flip side of this was the escapes which nathan showed us the use of the arms and elbows along with shrimping to escape a pin. This was drilled 'Alive' and showed how you could escape someone pining you down hard.

On from there came the mount. We ran through here using the mount to gain submissions, including arm locks and chokes. At this point Nathan showed us the many different ways to break the grip of someone holding arms to stop an arm bar. This info has no doubt improved many a grapplers game alone, due to it's common place during sparring. Not to leave us only with how to attack from the mount, Nathan took us through the main mount escapes, the use of the shrimp and drilled it 'Alive' Into us.

The seminar finished off with a very light roll, using what we had learnt in the session.

All in all the weekend was a total success. Nathan passed on a huge amount of information over the weekend, for us to take away and train and train at our own clubs. The information was first rate and all was very practical and relevant to the modern grappling game. I myself have found many of the techs I learnt at the seminar popping out during sparring and giving the desired end result, a TAP!.

From SWMAA and the people who attended I'd like to say a big thanks to Nathan, hopefully we'll be seeing him again soon.

News on 2 new seminars

If you'd like to contact Nathan you can e-mail him on
Or visit his web site





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