Mixed Martial Arts is a hard sport, no doubt about it, but how hard is it really?
Well, let's start with the mental disaster that goes on before getting in to the physical part. The training of your mind for MMA is just as important or more important than the physical aspect of training.
The amount of focus, concentration and mental preparation needed to go in to battle is much more than the average person can conceive. Imagine this scenario for example; Try to remember when you were a kid and you had to fight after school and it's only your first class of the day, try to remember how you felt that whole morning and early afternoon waiting, waiting and waiting, class after class for you to hear the school buzzer and know that time to fight is getting closer and closer. Remember the feeling in your gut as you walk to the park behind your school where all the kids are waiting to watch you settle up the score with this other kid that had been a pain in your butt for weeks now.
I think most of us had that feeling before, it's not a fun feeling. Now imagine the same exact feeling amplified by the fact that now there are people actually paying to go watch you fight, the bully is a trained mixed martial arts fighter who is ready to take your head off, you have put in weeks of training and hundreds of hours of work in to this and you have an entire team of people who has also put in as much work as you to get you ready... You see now what I'm talking about mental preparation? The pressure to perform well is incredible, mixed martial arts fighters really do have something special in their minds to be able to go thru with it.
Now that you more of a clear picture of what is is to get your head straight let's talk about the actual fight training. Every Friday at noon I hold a special training session for fighters only, and yes it's only for fighters, no spectators. We get a lot of guys together, friends from Colorado BJJ, our partners from Grudge Training Center and other fighters that have become friends ad training partners over the years.
The training session is long and very demanding, we usually start with jumping rope for 15 to 20 minutes followed by 6 different types of rounds. Every round is 15 to 25 minutes long and normally we begin with Wrestling where both fighters work to take each other down and once the take-down happens they are back on their feet and going at it again.
After that we do other similar types of round that include striking ad other areas of mixed martial arts training, so after the warm up and an hour and half to two hours of sparring we move in to the conditioning part of the work out, we save the best for last.
Conditioning is brutal enough on it's own, let alone doing it after sparring for two hours. We differ the way we do our conditioning often, from the rest periods to the length ad intensity of the work out. Everything has a purpose, regardless if it is a 30 minute round a medium/high pace or five 3 minute rounds of total brutal intensity. The work outs vary a lot and I won't be posting details of why and how, but there is science behind the madness.
This last Friday was the last day of hard work for our Cory Kucheler and Keven Hernadez as they prepare for their fights next weekend at Mortal Combat show being put on by Seth Daniels (Fight to Win).
keven workout In this video you can see a small portion of the work out. These were 3 minute rounds being alternated between jumping over heady bags ad kicking and sprawling at each end and flipping a 600lb tire over and over, at the end of the 3 minutes the fighters have 30 seconds to rest and then begin again on the next station.
Mixed Martial Arts is an incredible sport that requires incredible individuals to be participants in it. My students make me proud daily by putting in so much effort in to the sport they love.
Mixed Martial Arts do however offer you moments like in this picture, Coach Matt Simms celebrating a hard earned victory after defending his Fight to Win lightweight belt.
This picture to me is one of the most honest representations of the feeling you get from winning a Mixed Martial Arts title... it's nothing short of amazing.