Saturday, 30 November 2019

Annie Thatcher wins GAMMA World title

Last week Annie Thatcher won the GAMMA amateur MMA world title in Singapore. Annie had two great fights in one day first defeating an opponent from Belarus by TKO and then after a few hours rest stepped up to defeat her Canadian opponent by TKO in the final.

This was an especially impressive achievement because Annie had her first MMA bout only 18 months ago. She is now 6 fights for 6 wins in amateur mma and has also had 3 wins in boxing and Muay Thai. Annie has trained almost every day since she first stepped foot in the gym and she has shown tremendous improvement.

Annie is a great example of the kind of work ethic and dedication that we look for in our athletes at Australian Combat Sports Academy. Looking forward to see what the next year will bring for Annie’s fight career.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Advice for Fighters



Be Consistent - Forget about 'Fight Camps'.

Train consistently at the same classes and sessions every week. Don't train hard for a few months and then drop-off for weeks at a time. Early in your career, you need to be ready to fight all the time, often at short notice. If you arent staying ready you'll miss out on good opportunities which could be the difference between reaching your goals or going nowhere. If you keep taking time off then needing to do intense training camps, it will cause injuries, lack of technical improvement and you won't reach your full potential. 

As a coach, one of the worst things a fighter can do is to train hard in the lead up to a fight and then quit training straight afterwards. This is even worse when the fighters teammates also have upcoming fights to prepare for. It is very unlikely the coach will be prepared to put the same effort into training the fighter in the future if he knows they lack commitment. Another side of this is to not chop and change your training every couple of weeks, stick with what has been getting you results and gradually increase the volume and intensity of your training.

Train Smart but be prepared to Train through Injuries.

Avoid unsafe training environments. These are usually found in tough-guy gyms where every session is 100% sparring with nobody actually learning anything orcimproving. If you have an experienced coach and a good team they will be able to supervise and plan your training and workload in such a way that you don't get injured. However, the reality is that MMA is a tough contact sport. You will pick up bumps, bruises and minor injuries along away the way no matter how careful you are. If you need to take three weeks off training every time you have a sore elbow you will never reach the top.

At the elite levels of any sport, every player is playing injured all the time. Get used to it, strap up your injured knee, elbow or foot and keep going. Select different exercises or techniques that won't exacerbate the injury but avoid taking time off at all costs. If training consistently to achieve your goals is important to you you will find a way to make it happen, if it's not important you will find an excuse.

Don't give up your Day Job. 

Do not try to become a full-time fighter until you have a winning record in a major MMA organisation. You will need money for training fees, competition fees and other expenses. You should be prepared to fight for free for at least the first few years of your fight career so you will need an additional income to support yourself. Beware of fight offers with promises of attractive fight purses early in your career. Chances are you are being set up to lose against a more experienced local fighter.

The amount of extra training you'll get done by not working will usually end up not being worth it. Most gyms and martial arts schools do most of their training outside of work hours. Even if you quit your job in order to train full time most of your training partners will be at work.

Find legitimate Coaches and a Team you can trust and stick to their advice.

Find experienced and trustworthy coaches, follow their advice and stick with them. Lots of experts will appear out of the woodwork and start offering advice once you achieve some success, but be careful who you listen to and take advice from. Beware of people offering to help out for free, usually, there is still going to be a price to pay, As a coach you are more likely to want to help and focus on the fighters who have been with you form the beginning and who feel part of the team rather than outsiders,

Forget about building your Social Media Profile. 

The amount of time and effort that people spend on this will be much better spent on working on developing your fighting skills. Let your fight results speak for themselves and then the opportunities and sponsorships will follow. There's no point building your social media following and then getting a chance to fight on a big event like the UFC if you actually aren't yet ready for it because you haven't put the time and effort into your training. 

Forget about lucrative Sponsorship Deals.

MMA is a relatively inexpensive sport compared to some others, the only expense is gym fees, occasional competition fees, training equipment which usually lasts a long time and some supplements. Being a sponsored athlete is usually good for the fighters ego but in general its not usually beneficial or necessary to their long term career. 

Get Experience.

Jumping into professional level fights too soon without adequate amateur experience is a recipe for disaster. Get as much experience as you can especially early in your career, Amateur fights are necessary to develop and build up your skills and experience. It's important not to fight above your level too soon as a bad loss may be very demoralizing and affect your future training and performance in fights. Fix the holes in your game before you reach the bigger stages. An MMA fighter needs to be skilled in the areas of striking, takedowns and groundwork and be able to combine them.

Focusing on only one area at the expense of other skills will leave holes in your game which will be easily exploited by more experienced future opponents. Competing in other combat sports such as BJJ or amateur Kickboxing is a good safe way to gain valuable experience and develop your skills so that you are more well rounded and more of a threat when you fight in MMA.









Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Our first Amateur MMA Promotion

This weekend we held our first-ever amateur MMA competition at Australian Combat Sports Academy,

We've been planning to run something like this for years and now finally felt the time was right.  Over the years of training fighters we always felt that there were very limited opportunities for fighters to develop and get suitable competition experience in a way that prepared them for success in MMA.

The number one aim for our event was to provide a good avenue for fighters to gain competition experience in a way that would benefit them later in their fight career.

We were all very happy with how well the event ran and everyone who took part really enjoyed it and had great reviews,

We put a lot of work into the organisation of the event to ensure that it ran smoothly on the day and that everyone had a good experience.

Some of the things we focused on to make our event work well included.

A modified ruleset with No headshots. We were very clear about this in the lead-up and in the rules meeting before the matches. This rule-set is safer and means fighters can have several matches on one day. of course, it's going to feel different to fighting with headshots but the point is that fighters can gain valuable experience fighting under these modified rules that will serve them well when they do eventually progress onto fighting in pro-MMA rules,

We had several Fighters and Coaches say that they felt they would be at a disadvantage because they come from a kickboxing background and need to be able to strike to the head. In my opinion, the point isn't to win every match at this very early stage of your career. It is much more beneficial in the long term to gain valuable experience early in your competitive career and become a more well rounded and skilled fighter so that you don't get exposed later on in your career when the stakes are much higher.

I've always believed that the best career path for the long term athlete development of an MMA fighter is to compete in Grappling or BJJ tournaments as much as possible, compete in around 5 to 10 Amateur Boxing or kickboxing fights, compete in as many amateur (No headshot) MMA events as possible, then move on to Amateur MMA with head strikes and after 10 amateur MMA matches then you can fight under professional rules.

I believe this sort of long term plan is very important because too many fighters try to rush into pro rules MMA and then hope to learn on the job.


Another difference was that we made sure that all the referees and judges were experienced in MMA and or grappling so they understand the rules and were on top of the action at all times. This takes out a lot of the confusion and mistakes that I've seen in the past when you have kickboxing or boxing referees trying to understand what's happening on the ground during a fight.

We also made sure we were very clear on the rules meeting and that everyone knew exactly what was and wasn't allowed and the type of event we were trying to create. All fighters and teams stuck to the rules 100% and there was a great atmosphere.


Finally, we spent a lot of time making sure the format for the day was well organised and scheduled so there wasn't too much waiting around and less confusion about what's happening when. This, in turn, leads to less nerves for the fighters and overall and more enjoyable.

Overall ACSA Bushido #1 was a great success and we are already looking forward to running the next event on Saturday 1st February 2020.

Thanks again to everyone who helped out as judges, referees and staff. Thanks to all the fighters and teams who came along to take part and thanks to all the spectators who came along to support, Hope to see you all at the next one.









Annie Thatcher wins GAMMA World title

Last week Annie Thatcher won the GAMMA amateur MMA world title in Singapore. Annie had two great fights in one day first defeating an oppone...

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