So you wanna be a Fighter?
I recommend that you read this first before even thinking about living the “fighter’s lifestyle.” This is a piece from Ido Portal that really hits home.
Let me tell you a few things about achieving high level skills that are currently beyond your reach:
1. Long before I could do a one arm handstand or a one arm chin up, in my mind, I already had it. It was a decision, so deep, nothing was going to stop me.
Not dinner with friends instead of the last hardest third workout of the day, not another unplanned cheat meal that spirals into chaos, not a temporary weakness of character.
So, decide. No, really – DECIDE.
2. Become an expert on those skills.
I would spend hours studying any information I could find, watching videos of others executing those movements, traveling across the globe to study with specialists and more. I knew everything I needed to know to achieve it before I actually achieved it. Proof? I achieved it.
So, STUDY IT.
3. Obsession is needed. You ain’t going to do this shit unless you upgrade your ‘goals’ to fucking obsessions.
4. EXECUTE. Again and again. And again. If you really want to do something of this sort, and this is no double bodyweight bench press or a fucking back tuck, (which may seem hard for most, but let me tell you, its peanuts compared to a OAHS or a true quality OAC) this is some serious long term shit even for above average folks.
You need to do something to move you closer to your obsession and often.
I know few who train 3 times a week to achieve their one arm handstand.
I lied, I don’t know anyone.
I cant name a single name after so many years of teaching and training and traveling across the world. So, you think you are going to be the first?!
You know when mommy told you you are special? Mommy didn’t know what she was talking about.
DECIDE + STUDY IT + OBSESS + EXECUTE = …
Only after you’ve DECIDED that you want to be a Professional MMA Fighter, and are willing to SACRIFICE anything to reach that
goal OBSESSION then it’s time to get to business.
Look For The Man With A Process
The key to the game is to become an expert in your field. To do that, you need to find the right gym, with the right tools, the right training parters, but above all, the right coaches to help guide you. Before checking out the gyms in person, make sure to do proper research. The general rule of thumb is to look for a coach with a proven PROCESS. Look at their students, see if they have anything to show for, then make a choice from there. Once you’ve found the right place to train now you have to put in the work (study, obsess, and execute). Be ready to invest the time and money in yourself and fully commit to this decision. Because, if you want to be a great athlete you have to be a selfish person, there’s no other way, but to…
Live In The Spirit of KAIZEN
How do people achieve great things? The answer is Kaizen. Kaizen is the idea of small progressive movements towards goals building one day upon another. So, if we want to achieve anything in life we would have to maximize the use of ALL of our days, making an effort to get better at something EVERYDAY. If you can improve your performance day by day, in any given area of your life, even by a small percentage, within 5 years you can reinvent yourself. John Danaher goes as far as to believe that it takes around 5-7 years of full-time training to get to world-class level in most athletic ventures.
And with a sport like MMA, where here are less rules and more ways to win a fight, the possibilities of becoming a professional fighter are much higher. Compared to the talent, genetics, and athleticism that play more of a factor in other pro sports like football, basketball, or sprinting. Nevertheless, MMA is still a very challenging sport to compete in. So challenging that the average professional fighter’s career lasts only about 5 years in the UFC. And for the top tier contenders, their performance tends to decline after 9 years of fighting professionally, according to the 9-year rule. With that said, one important aspect you gotta think about when competing in MMA is…
How long will I last in the fight game? This solely depends on your drive to fight and most importantly the amount of damage your body can take. As a professional fighter you have to be ready for an ass whoopin’. From broken bones, to lacerations, to torn tendons, to the most severe; brain trauma. If you want to be a fighter you have to live in the reality that you will get hurt one way or another—no matter how good you are at fighting. The only thing you can do is to strengthen your body, take care of your injuries, and minimize the amount of damage you take throughout your training and fight career. And the best way to do that is to either have incredible defense, take your fights to the ground, finish your opponent as quickly as possible, or all of the above.
Go For the Kill
One of the best fighter’s with fight finish ability is none other than Conor McGregor. He’s the type of fighter who finished 8 out of 12 of his opponents in the UFC by KO/TKO just within the first couple rounds. He’s fought professionally for about 12 years, in 3 weight classes, won 2 world titles within 2 different weight classes, knocked out one of the greatest featherweights of all time in just 13 seconds, and sustained only 2 major injuries (specifically in his knee and foot). There’s no doubt that beating his opponents in record time played a huge factor toward his success. But, trying to finish on your feet comes with risks. However, there are a couple things you can do to minimize those risks. One, mainly being to…
Take the Fight to the Ground
When it comes to taking your fights to the ground you are inherently safer, specifically if you’re the guy who ends up on top. Because, the closer you get to the ground the less explosive your opponent is. You are taking away the riskiest element of fighting, which are quick explosive movements such as an overhand right or a flying knee to the face. Less things can go tragically wrong on the ground than in the standing position.
Let’s take a look at who I believe is the best grappler in the UFC today, Khabib Nurmagomedov. He’s 28-0, has beaten Conor Mcgregor by submission—on the ground, has fought professionally for 11 years, and underwent only 2 major injuries (precisely his rib and knee). Khabib’s game plan has always been the same. Take the fight to the ground and finish. For someone who is undefeated and still a reigning champ in the UFC today, ground fighting is no secret to his longevity in the sport. But, even if you weren’t able to finish your opponent by knockout, submission, or ground and pound, you should always be trying to…
Hit & NOT Get Hit
Just like boxing, one of the main goals in MMA is to hit and not get hit. Floyd Mayweather Jr. was able to amass a perfect boxing record of 50-0, not because he knocked everyone out in the first round, but because he was one of the best defensive boxers who ever lived. He may have not been the most exciting boxer to watch (after he switched to a defensive style) but he was the most technical; he fought smart. Defense was the key to Floyd’s long lasting career. Most notably only injuring his hands, but this mind is still in tact, all thanks to his defensive tactics.
At the end of the day it’s all common sense, Less damage = More fights. So, if you want to last long enough in this game to become a World Champion, you will need impregnable defense, impetuous grappling, and the ability to end a fight as quickly as possible.
Lastly, Shane from fightTIPS has some words of wisdom. I advise you to watch this video and reevaluate your thoughts, goals, and decisions before dedicating your life into the sport of MMA. If you have any second thoughts I suggest doing something else. Fighting is one of the toughest things to do in the world. You will fear, hurt, and lose against killers who want the same thing you want. So having even the slightest doubt in your mind will ruin your chances at success. Regardless, it is also one of the most rewarding feelings ever. At the end of the day, you gotta ask yourself, is it worth it?