Monday, October 25, 2010

Saturday afternoon DT Universal

Pad work with one of the guys from the gym

Richmond Thai Boxing class

Running the class ( in Richmond through some warm-up and heavy bag work.

ways to improve your training/up your game

I think I will do a series on how I feel people can best improve their fight game.

The majority of improvement, or lack of improvement, comes from self. Basically if you want to become a better fighter its up to you. There are however a few other players in the game. They are the coaches as well as the training partners.

I feel a coach's job is 100% to help people reach their goals what ever they may be. There are a lot of ways to go about doing this. For the most part it is pointing people in the right direction by showing and explaining to them the ins and outs of good technique and giving advice on how to best go about training in order to achieve their goals. This is done through acquired knowledge and drawing on past experience in order to give better insight. A coach should have the ability to read people and adapt to individual learning types, body types and personalities, know when to push and when to ease off. I do feel the best natural athletes dont always make the best coaches. Its not always the case but I feel the more someone had to struggle to learn a technique or get to where they are the better they understand that path and the better they can lead others down it. Sometimes when things come to easy it can be hard to transfer that understanding to someone struggling with the same thing.  Coaches tend to also want to live vicariously through their athletes and I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing.

A coach can't give you a ride to your destination but they can show you the best fastest possible rout to get there.

A coach's job is not to boast, establish pecking orders, stroke their egos or feed their insecurities. Unfortunately in martial arts this can be common.

Im not big on self appointed titles to be addressed by either, but thats my opinion. First names should suffice. If you wish to call someone sir, mr, kru (teacher) or master by your own accord out of respect then go for it, but I don't think it should be required. Your an adult and an equal, its not the military, its not elementary school, you're a paying customer and respect should be earned not demanded. Of course treating your coach as well as your training partners and the class with respect is a must if there is to be a positive training atmosphere. This is done by listening when they are speaking and acknowledging the coach's role as the instructor and you the learner.

A training partner's job (and this is a dance so it goes both ways) is to support and nourish growth through appropriate resistance. Like weight training, appropriate resistance builds strength, explosiveness, conditioning and sharpens technique. Too much resistance causes injury and not enough does little at all to help. The amount of weight or resistance depends on the specific lifts and specific goals. In other words if you're learning new technique for the first time you need less resistance so you can better sharpen the new move. Same if training with some one much smaller or inexperienced. Drilling technique you need medium. If you're training for a fight or match you need someone that can apply enough resistance to create a realistic scenario for the fight. Always the correct amount to better benefit both parties. Also someone that you mesh with and makes training fun and enjoyable. Someone that has your back when you're preparing to step into the ring or on the mat.

A Training partner should not be someone who boasts, or is there to establish pecking orders, stroke their egos or feed their insecurities.

I think above all else a good coach and training partner is someone who is looking out for your best interest and who legitimately cares about you and your progress. So a quality gym with quality people in it is a must if you want to continuously improve.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Heavy bag work

Idea is to video tape myself so I can get some self coaching in. Always more work to doing sharpening up. Comments/tips are are always encouraged. Troy, lets hear it (besides dropping my hands haha).

Working on conditioning with one of the guys from the gym.This is only round 1 and 5. rounds 2-3-4 were not included in the video.

You need to have all elements of your game in check

Technically sound, mentally strong and physically able.

Your weapon is your technique. Your mental game is the confidence, toughness and intelligence to wield that weapon. Where your strength and conditioning comes in to play is as a tool to keep your weapon sharp and your mind clear throughout the fight.

Here is the thing though its all intertwined or holistic or whatever you want to call it. If you are mentally strong your conditioning is automatically at a higher level and technique comes far quicker and easier then someone who is mentally weak. If your technique is sharp you use far less energy then someone who is sloppy and you have more confidence in what you can do. If your conditioning is good and your body nourished and strong you can put in more hours working technique as well as be in a far better mental space. Everything is holistic and if you focus on your game as a whole instead of individually then improvement happens 10 fold.

Likewise if you are missing an aspect, well its like a tripod, one weak leg and your camera is smashed.

The last and often overlooked element to improving your game is to have a strong support group. Friends, family, training partners, a good coach. This is what fuels and guides you. Not to mention makes the whole process an enjoyable one.

What is conditioning's role in a fight?

Its no secret that conditioning wins fights, but why? Simple being in peak physical condition allows you to implement your game and execute technique at top performance deep into the fight staying mentally and physically sharp until the final bell.

Easy right? Get in better shape than your opponent and you should win. Right? Wrong. The truth is its not about who is in better shape as much as its about who can make the other guy weak, tired and give other words break. The individual that controls the fight and implements pressure through out the fight is usually the one who is less fatigued come the end of the fight. Why? Because when you are in control you are comfortable, sharp and relaxed, when you are being pressured you are anxious and under stress. Anxiety and stress will tire you out 10 times as fast as throwing punches and kicks on a heavy bag for a round. It is not uncommon for a fighter to have trained physically to the point of peak performance in the gym but come fight time they gas within the first round. Reason- they let their opponent dictate pace and they weren't comfortable with it. They allowed themselves to be the prey in the game and thats a scary place to be.

Alot of aspects come into controlling a fight but the basis is you need to have the mind set of a hunter or a predator not one of prey. Doesn't matter weather you like to press action or counter you still need to be the one that is doing the hunting and not the hunted. In other words focus on what your going to do to them and not the other ways around.

So the idea is not to simply have a greater energy reserve then your opponent and see who drops first or can last the longest. The idea is to be in control of energy expenditure. You defiantly need to be in great condition to implement your game and take the role of the hunter, but the goal is to force your opponent to waist energy by causing them anxiety and stress while minimizing your output through positive mind set and controlling the tempo and pace of the fight.