What are the 4 Key MMA Skills Training Session Stages?

NOT knowing these 4 Stages is REDUCING your PROGRESS.


Read Below to discover a NEW way of looking at each practice that will result in at least 40% increase in your PROFICIENCY over the next 10 training sessions if you dare to read and APPLY!


The 4 Stages of a MMA Skills Training Session:
Preparatory Skills
Technical Form, Body Mechanics & Integration Of Movement Training
Attribute Enhancement Drills


A Closer look into each of the 4 stages to follow but first let’s look at the PURPOSE of a Skills Training Session &  its goals…

A Skills Training Session (STS for Short) defined by Tudor Bompa (Designer of Olympic Athlete Training Programs  Father of the concept of Sports Periodization) is as follows:

Skill Training Sessions should develop Proficiency Competency & Application of TECHNIQUES

“Skill Training Sessions specifically are intended to prepare an individual with the “3 Micro Phases of Technical Skill Application”: (The First 2 Phases last 1-3 weeks…The 3rd phase is ongoing)

Technical Knowledge (Learning a Technique)
Technique Attribute Enhancement (Drilling the Technique)
Technique Application (Apply technique in Uncooperative Environment).”

(More on the 3 Micro Phases in a another post)

STS do not have a Strength & Conditioning component but it’s not to say they will not gain strength or better their conditioning. It’s just not the FOCUS!

If a student has a deficiency that does not allow them to train in skills then General Physical Preparedness should be the focus and return to skills once GPP has been achieved.
Meaning, the focus of STS is not a “Good Workout” although most skills session provide a good workout. The focus is development, competency and application of skills & techniques.

Back to the 4 stages


For the coach this is the stage where he has chosen a progressive set of exercises that specifically Warm up, Mobilize and Limber the entire body. This phase takes 10-15 minutes.

For the student, it’s best to completely ENGAGE your ATTENTION on each movement and apply each movement with accuracy. Students & athletes tend to walk through this stage with little effort which is a mistake. The amount of attention a student has in this stage will dictate their attention for the rest of the training session,

Preparatory Skills

Coach: Preparatory movements that apply directly to the type of techniques being covered should be selected. Focus on further preparing students to perform the Techniques that will be covered. This phase takes 5-10 minutes.

Students: Focus on Mechanics of the movement your coach is having you go through, this will allow you to understand the mechanics of the technique that will be covered.

Technical Form, Body Mechanics & Integration Of Movement Training.

Coaches: This is where the technique is learned.

Break down each movement into numbers, explain what good form is and define the body mechanics.Create form mechanics cues, that students learn to recognize and remember. Once form & mechanics are present challenge with integration of movement with the technique. This phase takes 5-10 minutes.

Students: While performing each technique pay attention to the details of FORM and MECHANICS. Watch closely the order in which the technique is explained

Attribute Enhancement Drills

Coaches: Partner, Pad, Bag Drills are used for Attribute enhancement. Each Drill type develops different attributes that support the technique. Each Drill type is crucial to be able to apply the techniques live time. This stage is about 15-20 minutes
See this video for in depth explanation of the FUNCTIONAL DRILL FRAMEWORK for coaches: Click Here to Watch the Video Now!

Students: Focus on not sacrificing the foundation of FORM & MECHANICS to perform the drills for attributes.

Keeping forms & Mechanics while you perform the drills forces your attributes to accelerate. It’s always harder and the temptation is to compensate for deficiencies in attributes with form and mechanics or movement


Coaches– This is a good stage to point out common problems you saw students go through and what they should remember for next session. During this time Select Mobility Exercises & Active Stretches that were utilized in the STS. Give out form cues, in fact hammer them.

Students – Many time this where your mind can float, stay engaged, listen for coaches commentary. When doing Mobility & Active Stretch focus on the position of your pelvis and the form cues that your coach is giving out. Even though the session is almost over this is still learning a skill.

Knowing what to focus on in each skills training session will get you or your students RESULTS faster!

Imagine taking these concepts into your next training session

Feel free to leave your comments or questions.

Also, have you seen the Nexus Nutritional Program?

Click Here to See Week 1