A few days ago after about 10 solid round of sparring a few of us dead tired were sitting down and chatting about what it takes to keep your composure in MMA, boxing, and other combat sports. Keeping your composure is crucial to performing at the elite level because you keep your mind from panicking and in turn can think and focus on the task at hand. A panicked mind cannot think! Fighting is very mental. More so than physical. I learned this in my 5 years as a pro and 10 years training martial arts.
Now losing sucks! We all know this. All your hard work blood, sweat and pain that you put yourself through could disappear in a second. Especially in a sport where anything can happen. Don’t allow this to happen especially if you can avoid it by keeping your composure. Below are just a few steps that may help you in keeping your composure at stressful times.
- Keep your eyes on your opponent and avoid the instinct to flinch: Never close your eyes and hope your opponent is going to disappear or stop punching you. If he or she smells blood…you’re done. Keep your guard up and keep looking at your opponent. Don’t flinch your eyes. This is something that is learned through practice, it may be difficult at first because your body isn’t used to it yet but you’ll get a hang of it. Remember you cannot fight back if you don’t know whats going on.
- Move: Bob, duck, weave. Make your opponent guess where their next target will be. Don’t be someones punching bag. Always have your opponent guessing!
- Drill: When you drill boxing enough you will get used to punches being thrown at you and even getting hit once in a while. You might even start to enjoy getting punched once in a while…that comes with years of experience…we fighters are an odd bunch but anyways back to business with enough drilling you will learn how to remain steady and focused in the fight.
Initially your reaction will be “WOW did I just get hit in the face!?!?” if you have never been punched in the face but you will realize over time and as you gain more experience that punches don’t really hurt that much….well sometimes they do but for the most part they’re just annoying.
TRAIN HARD|TRAIN SAFE|TRAIN SMART
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Mixed Martial Arts or MMA is a synthesis of a combination of different martial arts that come together to what is known today as MMA. The UFC was created in the beginning by the Gracie family to showcase that Jiu Jitsu is the deadliest form of martial art and the most effective. They proved without a doubt that to step into the cage and get out in one piece you needed to know Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu, MMA, and the UFC has grown tremendously in popularity since the inception of it.
All of my professional career wins came by submission so I have tremendous respect for Jiu Jitsu as an art. In my last fight you can see the effectiveness of the ground game against a tough opponent. Click Here to view it.
Anyone considering MMA has to understand that you need to have a solid grasp of the ground game if you are to walk out of the cage intact. This is of course taking into consideration that your opponent is proficient in the ground game as well. If you both don’t know it…well anything can happen then.
Being a professional MMA fighter you hear mixed reviews and feelings in regards to training in the gi. Some swear by it others want nothing to do with it. Personally myself I enjoy. I try to get my Jiu Jitsu training with the gi at least 2 times a week. MMA athletes have alot of plates to spin. Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Boxing, Muay Thai/Kickboxing, Sambo etc are all part of our weekly routine striving to be the best in the world at what we do. Putting the gi on after a 2 sessions each day can seem alittle discouraging because you think to yourself “im not going to use this in my fight why should I put it on?” but putting that gi on is a very worthwhile activity.
Implementing the gi into your training regime is MORE MAT TIME! More mat time is alot better then sitting on your couch eating chips and watching tv. Much like boxers holding weights in their hands when they shadow box to make their punches quicker, the extra weight of wearing the gi will make your technique alot tighter and your strategy will change. In gi training explosive movements are not as common as in no gi and you have to rely on your technique and skill set alot more. From personal experience I have noticed that my no gi game gets alot better after a few weeks of training in the gi.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Train hard and enjoy life 🙂