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Transition fakes and rabbit punches

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Old 02-28-2021, 05:38 PM   #1
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Transition fakes and rabbit punches

EA, remove this unrealistic strategy/meta from the grappling system plz... if 3 consecutive rabbit punches rendered world class grapplers useless, I’m pretty sure Brian Hayes himself could be world champion.

Masvidal would have just rapidly put his feet on Usman’s hips 3 times in a row, rendering his collegiate wrestling background useless... then 3 gentle taps to the side of his head would make him completely forget what grappling is... and then Masvidal could just roll him over.

When Khabib was smooshing Conor from half guard in rd 1... Conor could have just gently touched Khabib’s thigh 3 times in a row in rapid succession. Then, while Khabib’s weakened, busy trying to remember what that YouTube video taught about maintaining half guard, Conor could have delivered the finishing blow by gently poking Khabib’s ear 4 times with a closed fist. Now, not only can Khabib not recall the YouTube video. He forgot how to stop from tipping over. That’s right, 3 consecutive taps on Khabib’s thigh, followed by 4 gentle pokes to his left ear, and Conor could have rendered Khabib useless. Hell, Conor could have even pulled off that arm drag to back sitting EA loves to stick in its games, which literally 72% of YMCA swim instructors know how to defend.

Here’s a Tldr, in the form of a fake conversation between myself and some dude who conveniently helps me make my point:

-GA is a plague to the grappling.
-“Why?”
-Because of its impact on the meta.
-“What do you mean?”
-Transition fakes and rabbit punches.
-“I don’t get it?”
-The need to obtain GA in order to be effective on the ground has ruined the activity and immersion of the ground game.
-“Why?”
-Because you can’t be active without GA, or else you’ll get reversed or denied!
-“Oh so that’s why people rabbit punch and transition fake? It’s all because of the GA system?”
-Exactly. The GA system gave rise to a meta where players engage in battles for GA - instead of just, ya know... grappling. You don’t see players transitioning, being active, scrambling, and going for it anymore. They’re just sitting there, waiting for denials, transition faking, rabbit punching. It’s sad.
-“I get it now. Wow. That is sad”
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:45 PM   #2
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Re: Transition fakes and rabbit punches

Indulge me. What would your alternative system be?
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:38 AM   #3
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Re: Transition fakes and rabbit punches

Good question for a good grappler.

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Old 03-01-2021, 04:44 AM   #4
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Re: Transition fakes and rabbit punches

For me I think we have to start with alternatives to transition denials . I have no grappling experience but from my limited experience :

If my OP is In m guard and he tries to go to half guard , if I anticipate correctly and go to take his back via a back sitting transition or back side that would be more appealing than denials all the time.

In other words transitions to beat transitions . This would keep the fight either on the canvass or in a bid to get back on the feet.

It would also encourage more free flowing grappling exchanges .

Don't know if this makes sense .



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Old 03-01-2021, 04:06 PM   #5
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Re: Transition fakes and rabbit punches

Since he didn’t reply, I say make it more like UD3 transition blocking (or at least reduce the recovery frames on denials so bottom/top could transition immediately during a denial).

Idk about getting rid of GA, it serves it’s purpose but denials shouldn’t grant so much GA it just promotes stalling, GA for punches are okay tho. (especially if those baby strikes could cause ground stuns like they can irl)

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Old 03-01-2021, 07:42 PM   #6
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Re: Transition fakes and rabbit punches

Sorry I was actually typing a reply the other day but forgot to send it and lost it all.

In response to your question, as to what the “alternatives” could be - there are just so many. I’ve written so much on the subject and I could easily just write so much more. But let me just sort of... keep this frank.

There are a lot of different ways to approach - and effectively remedy - the specific issue of “grapple advantage”, its connection with the denial system, and the resulting impact on the meta which I mentioned in the OP (rabbit punches, waiting, transition fakes, lack of activity, etc).

Some of these options may, admittedly, require a rather drastic overhaul of the grappling system in place. And thus are unrealistic to expect any time soon.

However, there are also some fairly simple solutions that I believe could be implemented today, into the grappling system we already have in place, with only minor tweaks. And I believe they could work fairly well. So for time’s sake, I’ll just briefly mention a few of these “simpler” solutions - or “alternatives” as you put it - that I believe could really remedy the current aforementioned issues associated with GA, denials, and the resulting meta.

The simplest alternative, off the top of my head, would be to make denials less powerful. They should accomplish one thing: denying. There shouldn’t be an added “bonus” system, awarding faster transitions, major stamina drains, etc. Denials should tactically serve one purpose in an MMA game: stop a transition (and thus control a position).

Reason being, players shouldn’t fear having ONE of their transitions denied as much as they do. In the current system, ONE single denial yields a “bonus” which is so profound, and so punishing, it can cost you the match. As a result, activity is utterly disincentivized due to the dire repercussions of having your transition denied. Thus evolved a non-immersive, visually corny meta mentioned in the OP.

Once transition denials become less punishing, players will have less reason to transition fake, rabit punch, or simply sit idly. They can simply go for transitions, and if it gets denied, it gets denied. Perhaps a small stamina tax is fair, but the current punishment (due to GA’s correlation with denials) must be removed.

On this same theme, regarding a “simple fix”, denials and reversals should be assigned to separate inputs. This is crucial for a variety of reasons - namely the fact that there couldn’t be anything MORE DIFFERENT in the sport of MMA than a denial and a reversal. I’d argue that they’re complete opposites from a tactical standpoint.

A denial allows you to maintain a single position - so as to “settle” into the position, perhaps slow the action down, hell, even stall. Whereas a reversal accomplishes the exact opposite - it’s an active move to change positions entirely. It makes no sense that a well timed denial should be “rewarded” by automatically becoming a reversal or sweep. That’s like rewarding a well timed punch by automatically turning it into a flying knee.

Perhaps you have your opponent wrapped up in your closed guard and want to keep them there, denying their transitions before going for a submission or sweep. This is a legitimate, reasonable strategy players should be able to employ. Yet it’s impossible, because if you deny your opponent from passing your guard, you’ll automatically - against your will - reverse them and take top position.

That’s just one part of one idea, in one category of what I envision as viable “alternatives” to the current system. I’ve written pretty extensively on it before, perhaps I’ll make another post soon.
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:12 AM   #7
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Re: Transition fakes and rabbit punches

The fakes essentially game the system. They had to make it so missing a denial would give GA otherwise people would just spam denials. The rabbit punches are supposed to be the main way of gaining it. If the other guy is rabbit punching then it makes it a bit easier to transition while he’s doing it which is supposed to try and balance it out.

If they’d make get ups/reversals/major transitions a bit easier to get then it should help. Atm even if the other player has practically full GA you can easily stop any transition in half guard for example except the one that goes to full guard. It’s similar for the player on the bottom who only really needs to worry about the posture up.
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:33 PM   #8
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Re: Transition fakes and rabbit punches

Thanks for the reply pal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Grappler
The simplest alternative, off the top of my head, would be to make denials less powerful. They should accomplish one thing: denying. There shouldn’t be an added “bonus” system, awarding faster transitions, major stamina drains, etc. Denials should tactically serve one purpose in an MMA game: stop a transition (and thus control a position).

Once transition denials become less punishing, players will have less reason to transition fake, rabit punch, or simply sit idly. They can simply go for transitions, and if it gets denied, it gets denied. Perhaps a small stamina tax is fair, but the current punishment (due to GA’s correlation with denials) must be removed.
Nerfing denies would be interesting and I agree it would benefit the game in the long run. However, I have a slight balance concern with this. I would argue a lot of transitions are still largely reliant on gaining GA (bottom guard subs, top guard transition to half guard). Wouldn't this incentivize people to go for even more fakes and rabbit punches since denies are no longer an effective way of gaining GA? Nevertheless, I do agree that the deny penalty should be adjusted.

Quote:
On this same theme, regarding a “simple fix”, denials and reversals should be assigned to separate inputs. This is crucial for a variety of reasons - namely the fact that there couldn’t be anything MORE DIFFERENT in the sport of MMA than a denial and a reversal. I’d argue that they’re complete opposites from a tactical standpoint.

A denial allows you to maintain a single position - so as to “settle” into the position, perhaps slow the action down, hell, even stall. Whereas a reversal accomplishes the exact opposite - it’s an active move to change positions entirely. It makes no sense that a well timed denial should be “rewarded” by automatically becoming a reversal or sweep. That’s like rewarding a well timed punch by automatically turning it into a flying knee.

Perhaps you have your opponent wrapped up in your closed guard and want to keep them there, denying their transitions before going for a submission or sweep. This is a legitimate, reasonable strategy players should be able to employ. Yet it’s impossible, because if you deny your opponent from passing your guard, you’ll automatically - against your will - reverse them and take top position.
Well you could argue that reversals are simplified versions of reading your opponent's maneuvers and countering them. However, this could be implemented better with timing your own specific transition as your opponent attempts one which also alleviates other issues like overdependence on building up GA. A simple example of this is timing the bottom-direction get-up transition in bottom guard as your opponent starts their posture up. Admittedly, this kind of gameplay interaction would be more feasible with your deny change suggestion.

I'll just say that I think in this case you're fixating on the obvious blunder that is the bottom guard reversal to top guard. At the moment I think that is the only reversal that can be disadvantageous for you. Furthermore, your bottom guard scenario is probably the only instance where you'd rather keep that position instead of converting to a top position. Nobody has ever said "I'd rather stay in bottom half guard". It just feels bad man.
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