Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Why Fighters must train in regular classes

Why do some MMA fighters have successful careers while others start off well but then quickly go downhill?

I’ve seen fighters have a lot of success early in their career, then they stagnate, they stop improving and gradually get worse and worse results. How can we explain this deterioration of skill level and results?

There are several factors that can have a bad long term effect on a fighters career.

The Fight Camp Problem:
One common thing I see with many fighters is that once they have a little bit of success they stop attending regular classes and instead just want to do their own fight training, They just want to do their own padwork and sparring rather than attending classes like the regular students,

They see top professionals like Floyd Mayweather training like this so they assume that's what they should be doing too. They also think they’ve become too good to train with the regular students and that all the training should be focused around them and their competition goals,

The reality is that if you are already an elite world champion like mayweather then it makes sense not to do regular classes. There's a point of diminishing returns, time is better spent doing training that is solely focused on you. Also, if you are already a world champion you can afford to pay your trainers and sparring partners a full time salary so they can work around your schedule,

Why do fighters think they don’t have to come to regular classes?
They think that training in the regular classes with non fighters will hold them back. This is not true. I have seen many recreational students who have a much higher skill level in specific areas than the professional fighters. The fighter would actually benefit tremendously from training and sparring with these non fighters.

They believe training should be all just focused around them, This is completely unrealistic, Even if the fighter is paying his trainer 10-20% of the fight purse, it is very unlikely that any decent or suitably qualified trainer will be willing and able to devote all their time over the course of an 8 week training camp.

They think they already know everything that's being taught in class so there's no point wasting time practicing it again. This is usually never the case. There isalways more to learn and more skills to be refined and improved upon.

Disadvantages of only doing fight training:
There are several common patterns which I notice from fighters who only do ‘Fight Camps’ rather than regular training. These include stagnation and deterioration of ability.
Fighter is happy in the short term because he gets to train on his own terms. It's all about him, he feels like a professional and builds his ego but it's a disaster long term,

The fighter may be able to maintain their current level of skill, technique and fitness but is not improving and will not be capable of beating the next level of opponent.

The fighters coach who was probably responsible for the initial success doesn't want to work with the athletes who don't attend his classes regularly as this sets a bad example to the other students.

This often leads to the fighter finding other coaches who are willing to work them but usually the replacement coaches are inexperienced and just trying to make a name for themselves which will ultimately do more harm tahn good to the fighters career.
Why should fighters keep training in classes?
Its very important to continually keep improving and updating your skills. MMA fighting is a game of levels. If you beat a fighter of one level then you will have to move up to the next level to keep progressing your fight career. The level of skills and ability that was required to beat your previous opponent will not be enough to beat your next opponent.
This is especially the case in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts where the overall skill level rapidly increases from year to year. The level of skill required to win a state or national title even a few years ago would likely not be enough now.

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