While most mma artists understand that boxing, kicking, jiu-jitsu, wrestling and the other sports that make up this “super-sport” must be trained repeatedly; many novices don’t understand the importance of one particular type of strike, namely the ground-and-pound. G&P is not simply boxing while on your knees. If you think that, then there are two things you don’t understand: boxing and G&P. Boxing is using the legs, torso, hips, core, and of course, arms to throw an effective punch. G&P works from the core up and you are at arm’s length to your opponent. On the good side, you now have gravity on your side, so downward elbows and strikes could have a bit of a boost.
One psychological factor that many analysts see over and over in the cage/ring is that for novice fighters, seeing their opponent on the floor rockets their adrenaline, they think the fight is over and they are already spending the $75K from earning Fight of the Night. They may either hesitate, giving the opponent valuable recovery time or dive in and start whaling, quickly tiring out their arms. A skilled mma artist on the ground could block most of the blows and wait while the noobie burns himself out.
G&P must be trained with an experienced coach, just like boxing or kicking. Technique is essential since a slight error can have you punching the ground and breaking all kinds of bones, watching an opponent that was just about to get his head knocked off, earn a win due to your mistake. Elbows are thrown in a ‘C’ shape like you were scraping dirt off your opponent’s forehead or chin. The strike should use your shoulder and entire arm in a downward, sweeping motion to maximize impact. If the opponent does move his head, your elbow should only scrape the ground, not pulverize it.
Drills with a heavy punching bag should include striking from the mount and the knee on the stomach positions using straight punches and elbows. Drills should include jumping to side control to work a combination of elbow and knee strikes. Some of the top mma gyms have a certain timed drill on the heavy punching bag, then have the student “take” the bag down as a wrestling move and running a few minutes of G&P, putting the bag back up and repeating the drill.