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