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 🙂
In any type of undertaking you need positive self talk at all times. Job interview, competition, exam etc you always need to tell yourself that you are going to do great and that you feel great.
From a fighters perspective, a few days prior to a fight all fighters go through weight cuts. Now this involves very little fat in your diet…actually nevermind it is the skinny anorexic models diet! haha but ok all jokes aside its a pretty shitty time. Especially because you cant eat what you want to eat and whatever you are eating you cannot have too much of it. Anyways its a ton of pressure on your mind and your mood will take a killing in the process. A simple fix. Positive Self Talk! A very simple exercise of just saying positive sentences to yourself. These sentences could be as simple as “I am feeling great today!” Thats it!
This has had profound effects on me the past few days. It may seem alittle odd at first but believe me it will change your whole day.
One positive thought in the beginning of your day will determine how the rest of your day goes.
As you walk into a boxing gym, exactly like the one I train at you can hear a familiar sound that rings through the gym “tat-tat-tat” this is the sound of fighters honing their skills using the ‘speed-bag’
Even if you’re a beginner you will soon realize that this is an important tool for all fighters.
The speed bag develops the following skills:
- Hand Eye Coordination
- Rhythm & Timing
- Shoulder Endurance
- Punching Power
When working with the speed bag focus on control, even if you have to start off slow. Sloppy work with the speed bag will result in sloppy technique. AND TECHNIQUE IS IMPORTANT!
This is part 1 of a 3 part series for speed bag drills and technique. Come back for more in a few days
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Now your money maker could mean different things to you according to whatever field you are in… for me it is my hands due to the fact that well I am a fighter and I tend to either punch, or grapple people with my hands. This means that I really need to keep them extremely healthy at all times!
Hand injuries are extremely common in combat sports. It does not matter whether you are a weekend warrior or a professional athlete/fighter you need your hands. You don’t want to have a hard sparring session one night, fracture your hand, and then not be able to work the next few weeks or even worse TRAIN!!!
Enough of this blabber below are some techniques to keep those “MONEY MAKERS” HEALTHY & STRONG
- Make sure you have proper technique
- Proper hand wrapping. I’ve seen time and time again shitty hand wrapping jobs. Now this isnt your fault if you are just starting out. If you are new to this ask someone in your gym to show you. Who knows what they are doing.
- Push Ups. Could be knuckle push ups as well but dont over exert yourself. Do whatever you can.
- Chin-ups. Good for strength and everything else in between 🙂
- Farmers walk. Grab two dumbbells and walk back and forth. Great for grip strength and overall body strength. Tough as shit too
TRAIN HARD | TRAIN SAFE | TRAIN SMART
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