Sunday 17 April 2016


This is a common question from new students with aspirations of fighting.

Minimum Training Requirements

I personally believe that if you want to be successful competitor at a good level in MMA or Muay Thai you need to be training a minimum of 3 hours a day 6 days a week. Success in anything from competing in sports, studying for university exams or getting promoted at work comes down to how committed you are and generally how committed you are comes down to how many hours you are prepared to spend doing it week after week, year after year.
Obviously there may be some times when you are totally unable to train due to sickness or severe injury but it’s worth remembering that during those times your future opponents are still in the gym working hard to beat you so you should be determined to make up for those lost hours as soon as you are healthy again.

What Counts as Real Training?

It’s worth noting what actually counts towards three hours of training per day. Turning up and having a chat for 15 minutes while stretching or putting on your hand wraps, or doing drills while laughing and joking with your buddies rather than being focused on the task at hand doesn’t count.
Real training that counts is running, weight training, sparring, rolling, drilling techniques that you will use in a real fight, pad-work, bag-work etc.

Commitment beats Motivation

Anyone can say they want to be a world champion or make it to the UFC but who is actually going to keep training three hours a day for ten years or more long after the novelty and excitement has worn off? People who are truly committed will and they will train for three hours even on the days when they don’t feel motivated.
On their way to becoming world champion they will face and defeat many people who had better opportunities and more talent than them but weren’t committed enough and always had something more important to do than being in the gym working towards their goal.


I don’t believe there is such thing as ‘over-training’ in combat sports. Your body can get used to any amount training load gradually over time. All Muay Thai fighters in Thailand train for a minimum of 5 -6 hours a day 5 days a week. It’s the same for top level Judo athletes and wrestlers. The idea of ‘over-training’ and needing ‘recovery time’ appeals to uncommitted people who like the idea and the image of being a fighter but aren’t prepared to pay the real price for success.
Unlike sports such as athletics and weightlifting where over-training is a genuine concern, combat sports involves such a wide variety of skills and attributes that you could literally train all day every day and still not cover everything. For example, you can’t do boxing or grappling because you have a broken finger? – work on your kicks, or shadow boxing, or do hill sprints to increase your cardio. There is always something that you can be doing to add to or improve your skills give yourself advantage over future opponents and this is what a the 1% of fighters who are truly committed will be doing while their opponents sit at home waiting to get their motivation back.

Be Accountable

I used to ask people why they haven’t been training or coming into the gym enough. Over the years I found that it was counterproductive because when those people did come back to training they felt like they were doing me a favor rather than doing it for themselves. People are unlikely to stick with something if they feel they are doing it to help someone else.
The truth is people should be committed and stick to their goals for themselves not for me. I’ll be in the gym training pretty much every day regardless. I’ve been training for almost 25 years and plan to be training as much as possible for many years to come. 
If you are just training for fun or as a social activity then I see no problem with coming in and doing 2 or 3 hours or less a week. But I think it’s delusional to think you can perform at a high level in a full contact combat sport which has an inherent risk of brain injury without being committed enough to train in a professional manner.

If something is important to you, you’ll find a way to do it. If it’s not important you’ll find an excuse to avoid it.

Avoid these common Fight Training Mistakes:

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