weekend with Nathan 'Levo' Leverton
by Paul Carthy
1 - The Clinch
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
2 - The Ground
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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'
seminar finished off with a very light roll, using what we had learnt in the session.
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!.
SWMAA and the people who attended I'd like to say a big thanks to Nathan, hopefully
we'll be seeing him again soon.
on 2 new seminars
you'd like to contact Nathan you can e-mail him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit his web site http://www.totalgrappling.com