Train hard, train smart
When it comes to how hard it is to train, there are thousands of blogs, articles, podcasts, and videos, all offering different types of answers, recommendations, suggestions, and tips. The truth is, the difficulty of the workout is up to you.
No one knows the answer to how well you should train better than you do. All of our bodies are different, and so are our goals. So the difficulty in training MMA depends on how well you answer a few simple questions. In this article, I'm going to go over some simple ideas that you can think about that will help you determine how hard you should train.
The only advice I have received that I know I can pass on to everyone is to try to train smart. It means answering a few simple questions like what works for you, what your goals are, what is realistic, etc. Knowing why you are training and what you want to get out of it will help you determine how hard you should train.
What works for you?
Do you work in construction or some other type of job? Do you use your body for work? More importantly, would an injury prevent you from working? These are the types of questions you want to start asking yourself when deciding how far you should go on the mats.
If you push yourself to the point of exhaustion, what impact will it have on your ability to do what you need to do the next day? If you're in the office at 9 a.m., you might not want to do a gigantic 3-hour workout until midnight the night before.
The best advice I ever had was to mix things up. If I work out on Monday nights I know I have all week to get by, so I tend to keep it easy, around 60-70%. If it's Friday after work and I've had a rough week, I'm going to push myself 80% or 90% knowing that I can recover the next day.
Likewise, if I know I can only get in once this week, I'm probably going to hit him pretty hard. If I know I can go in four or five times, I'll distribute the intensity over the sessions. I have found that it also helps prevent injury. Remember, if you injure yourself, you won't train at all.
What are your goals?
Do you want to lose weight, gain muscle, learn a new skill, or meet a new group of friends? Determining your MMA goals will definitely help you determine how hard you need to train.
If you plan on making any money fighting, obviously you will want to train pretty hard. If, on the other hand, you are training because you want to learn a new skill, you may want to focus on mastering the techniques rather than pushing your body to the extreme.
Regardless of the difficulty, it's a good idea to focus on technique and form. When you first start up, you might not want to go 100%. If you learn the correct way to kick or set up a triangle, then as you increase the intensity you increase your percentages, but you are also less likely to injure yourself.
Relax and breathe
Learning to control your energy and effort is an integral part of MMA training. If you hit 100% and run out of gas after the first minute of the fight, if you haven't patted your training partner, you will be the one who gets smacked.
When I first started training in MMA I used to go all out all the time while I was fighting. It probably had something to do with my body in fight or flight mode and it felt like I was fighting for my life.
However, the more I trained and the more I got used to fighting, the more things like control and relaxation became important in my game. When I was tense and using all my energy, I would get tapped soon. that my tanks were empty.
I have found that practicing yoga along with breathing techniques has dramatically improved my MMA game. Nasal breathing, in particular, helped me maintain my energy level throughout several 5 minute rounds, where I used to be gassed after just one!
The best way to improve in any type of martial arts training is to show up. It's a good idea to set your goals, plan your training regimen, and work on form and technique, but if you don't show up, everything is wasted.
When it comes to deciding how hard you are going to work out, try different things. Do it one way for a week and another for the next week. Ask yourself which way you felt best. Over time, if you actively engage in your own development and learning, you will discover what works best for you.
The most important thing, however, is to show up and do your best. The difficulty of your training is up to you. Try to understand why you train the way you are and work on developing a training program that suits your body, your goals and your lifestyle,
For just over 3 years I have been training in Kung Fu and Muay Thai. Learning any martial art is a physically and mentally challenging process that takes years of practice to master. Here are 4 tips I wish I had known that can improve your training and reduce the time it takes between novice and grandmaster.
Flexibility is a fundamental trait of any good martial artist. Having this early on in your training will help boost you ahead for many reasons. Firstly, the more advanced techniques in martial arts require you to be extremely souple, it’s impossible to begin learning them without the required flexibility to do so, and thus you will be learning advanced moves earlier in your training if you’re already performing a perfect split. Secondly, you need to kick high, sometimes higher than your own head. If you’re training in a martial art that is fight orientated, such as kickboxing, being able to kick your opponent in the head is one of the best moves you have in your arsenal of attacks. If you are studying an art such as Kung Fu, flexibility will dramatically improve your technique in forms, helping you to score those extra points in competitions for your technical ability.
One of the best ways to learn, I have found, is directly from the horse’s mouth, in this case your master. Typically, in your classes, your master will demonstrate a technique that they want you to practice with a partner. If they don’t ask for volunteers before performing each technique, go ahead and tell them before the chic starts that you would like to be involved in the demonstrations. This will help you get a real feel for what they’re trying to show you, as you can miss subtle techniques that may be out of your vision. Volunteering to be demonstrated on can seem scary, but remember that they are a master of what they do, and they won’t actually be performing the move with the intent to hurt you.
Hitting pads is good for when you’re learning a new move, but you will find you begin performing the technique in a much different way when faced with something that will hit back. Simple things like remembering to cover your head when throwing a kick or punch will become second nature after being punished for dropping your guard, even for a split second. You may be asked or required to participate in a fighting tournament at some point of your martial arts journey, and the best way you can prepare for this is sparring. Remember that it is for the purpose of learning, not knocking each other out as quick as you can. You will begin to learn how to spot and react to your opponent’s openings, and how to defend against different moves. Forget being stronger or faster than your opponent, being an éclairé fighter is what will give you the advantage come fight night.
Your training doesn’t begin and end when you enter and leave the doors. My Kung Fu master always told us that “practice is good, but perfect practice makes perfect”. When you train at home make sure you are performing each technique properly, as if you were in class, bad vêtements form fast and are extremely hard to be undone. Purchasing a large mirror is a great investment so you can l'étude yourself at home. Also watching scènes of other people performing techniques will help you to see how different techniques should look when you’re not at class.
Did you set a new year resolution this year ? If so, do they happen to be martial arts related ? Do you think you will actually achieve them ?
Statistics for failed New Year’s resolutions run anywhere between 45-80%. Now that another new year is here, it’s time to focus and set our eyes back on the prize in order to not become part of this rather bleak data. to help you, on this post, I’ll be highlighting a couple personal tips that may help make both your short-term and long-term goals stick
Focusing on small milestones, following your détermination, challenging yourself, and finding what inspires you can help you make improvements for the rest year and meet or even surpass your martial arts goals and beyond !
You’re much more likely to stay motivated and make improvements if you’re doing something you enjoy. What is your absolute favorite thing to do at your martial arts school ? If you love to spar find ways to push yourself harder. Ask your instructor for pointers. Train with higher-ranking students. Seek out tournaments in your area for a challenge.
What if you’re doing what you love, and you’re already good at it, but you don’t know how to improve ? Avoid stagnation by digging deeper into your favorite activity. Find ways to go out of your comfort zone. Ask for help and feedback even in areas where you feel you are at your best. For example, if you enjoy doing forms, ask your instructor to work with you on finer details.
Play around with timing and emphasis. Enter or at least attend a tournament to see how other martial artists practice forms and see what you can learn from them. Seek out master classes, seminars, and clinics in your area. If you want some fun and relaxation while you practice consider taking a martial arts holiday.
Alternatively, you can also work on your training from the comfort of your own home by joining an online martial arts training. As you won’t even have to step foot outside, there’s simply no excuse not to keep up your practice !
Think about your long-term goals and then break it down into small milestones. Do you want to be able to do fifty push-ups in one set, but right now you can only do ten ? Don’t burn yourself out on day one trying to do all fifty. You may injure yourself or simply become discouraged that you can’t reach your goal immediately.
Slow down. Scale back. Try adding five extra push-ups per week, and over time you’ll build up the strength and stamina you need to meet your goal.
Maybe you have transferred schools and need to relearn the particular forms or self-defense techniques practiced at your new school. I have seen this happen with black belts and higher-ranking color belts who have transferred to my dojang. For example, a fellow black belt practiced Taeguk taekwondo forms at her old dojang, but now she needs to learn the Palgwe forms that we practice.
Rather than trying to learn everything at once, which will likely feel overwhelming, start with one technique or one form. Ask an instructor or another black belt for help. Watch films online. Move on to the next technique when you are able to perform the first one without any guidance or prompts.
Sometimes you have to do things in martial arts that you don’t enjoy as much but you still have to do due to tradition, chic schedules, and keeping your practice well-rounded. Martial arts may be the hardest thing you do, but it shouldn’t feel like drudgery. Think about what you don’t enjoy as much in chic or what you dread doing, and try to figure out why you avoid it. Perhaps you don’t like it because you’re not very skilled ( yet ), you don’t do it very often, you find it stressful, or you simply find it boring.
Challenge yourself. Find the “fun” in something that has simply felt like work. It’s easy to get better at something you enjoy and you’re naturally good at doing. Just think of how it will feel when you make improvements in an area where you have continuously struggled.
Leveraging your strengths can help you develop skills in areas where you struggle. For example, if sparring is particularly challenging, be mindful of other times when you use blocks or strikes such as in forms or self-defense. Make them as sharp and powerful as you would in a faster-paced sparring match. Ask your instructor to incorporate quick reaction drills into classes. Attend extra sparring classes, and if you are a black belt or higher ranking, attend lower ranking sparring classes and offer to coach or referee. Teaching a skill can help you make vast improvements in your own practice.