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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Everyone is scared of failure. I’ll be the first to admit it that it scares me too at times but you have to get over it. That’s the important thing in accomplishing your goals. Getting over that fear of failure. Easier said then done I know.
I have failed quite a few times. My first Muay Thai fight at 16 I got TKOed…complete failure right there right. Yes and no. You learn alot from failure. It also says a ton about your character when you can get up, dust yourself off and go back to trying. Because if you don’t try then you never know if you will ever succeed. If you don’t try, you will just stay stagnant with absolutely 0 progress. Fast forward to know I became a professional MMA fighter and am loving my career choice. This is because I didn’t choose to stay down and defeated. Get out of your comfort zone. If you don’t get out of that cushy nice comfort zone you will stay stagnant. No progress. Stay where you are.
The timing will never be just right. Trust me on this. If you want something go and get it. Want to start a business? I think that is the best idea you have ever had. Don’t be scared. Just trust me on this. Nobody knows everything in life when starting something. Key word there is STARTING. Be smart, take calculate risks, be persistent and believe in yourself.
YOU WILL SUCCEED
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The human mind is a very powerful tool in achieving your goals. Whether it be minor every day goals or major goal life goals and dreams. Dreaming big and having an idea of what you want is great but it is not enough.
To accomplish anything great you got to have a clear and well defined goal in mind and a plan to go along with it.
How do you do that?
First you have to think about what you want to accomplish or gain. Remember every idea and thought has the potential to become something real. Because of someones idea you are able to read my blog right now. Something to think about.
After deciding what you really want to achieve you need to come up with a plan for action. Decide on what to do first and how to proceed. Achieving your goals requires planning which you need the power of your mind for.
Now that you have a clear goal and a plan in mind next step is to visualize achieving that goal. Visualization is a powerful technique that requires some imagination. If you are having trouble doing it at first don’t worry. Practice makes perfect. High level athletes use creative visualization quite a bit to practice technique in their minds. While I was injured I could not train for almost 6 months but during that time I just kept visualizing techniques. Once I got back in the gym it did not take me too long to get back in the groove of things 🙂
Below is a short video on how to visualize
This will require discipline, patience & persistence.
Motivation is especially important in goal achievement. How can you achieve anything if you’re not motivated enough? Think about your goal, its advantages, the rewards of achieving it. All these things will have a strong emotional impact on your level of motivation.
And lastly, HARD WORK. Now that you have a set goal, a plan on how to achieve that goal the next step is just to work your ass off towards it. Whatever it may be. Good grades, more money, or being a champ. Just put in that work.
As a fighter and an athlete I really like these videos. Doesn’t matter what sport you do or don’t do.
Little bit of wisdom and hard work goes a long way.
Please do not be concerned with soft versus firm
kicking versus punching, grappling versus hitting and kicking
long range fighting versus in-fighting.
There is no such thing as “this” is better than “that”.
Should there be one thing we must guard against, let it be partiality
that robs us of our pristine wholeness and make us lose unity in the
midst of duality.
– Bruce Lee