MMA Success!

I hope this series of articles sheds light on the discipline and hard work that is required to be a successful MMA Athlete...
MMA (mixed martial arts) is rapidly becoming a popular word in the sports industry. There are hundreds of shows yearly in the USA as well as other countries. If you are not familiar with the sport it is a combination of various martial arts in the competitive arena.

This sport attracts all types of disciplines. Striking arts as well as grappling arts can compete against each other. To be successful in MMA it is important to have an understanding of striking as well as grappling. This is not like movie fights this is the real deal. Bouts can be won in a number of ways including knockout, submission or decision.

MMA Fighter Heath Herring Interview!
Heath Herring has taken the mixed martial arts world by storm and has defeated some of the best MMA fighters including: Mark Kerr, Tom Erickson and Enson Inoue.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Number of rounds and time limits are dependent on the particular event. The rules also vary according to the particular event. In general, no eye gouges, biting, fishhooks, kicking in the head while in a 3-point stance, no elbows to the spine or no groin shots. I have attended shows that literally had no rules.

If you have ever seen Pride or UFC these are examples of MMA shows. They are also probably the most well known. Other events you may have heard of include The Kentucky Fighting Challenge, Hook N' Shoot, Shooto or Superbrawl. This is just a few examples; there are literally thousand of these events taking place around the world.

MMA sounds extremely dangerous to most people, but contrary to popular belief serious injuries are a rare occurrence. I have witnessed thousands of MMA fights and have seen only a few major injuries. In most cases these injuries occur due to mis-matches. These athletes are among the best conditioned humans in the world.

MMA Conditioning

The role of conditioning is of monumental importance to the MMA athlete. It is not enough to be technical alone. To maximize success skill and conditioning must be optimized. The conditioning work an MMA athlete needs to go through is tough. With the physical needs being so demanding in MMA there is no other way to approach this.

MaxCondition The MMA Athlete!
The role of Strength and Conditioning has been emphasized in sports such as football, hockey and other sports for some time now. Until recently the martial arts community placed little emphasis on this element of sports preparation. As the MMA platform keeps on growing so has the need for effective strength and conditioning regimens.
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When combat athletes seek my advice in regards to conditioning I usually change their entire way of thinking about conditioning. Often they have been led down a road that is detrimental to their performance. A few examples include the overuse of low intensity long duration aerobics (3 mile jogs).

Other examples include high reps with low weights or machine circuits. There are many other fallacies that exist in the typical MMA trainees program. After athletes become familiar with MaxCondition Training they are able to understand why most athletes are lost when it comes to maximizing performance.

All of the methods used in MaxCondition Training have a purpose. I like for the athlete to know why they are utilizing certain methods.

Sometimes they are bored with my explanations, but for the most part they come away the ability to understand why they are doing certain things.

The main objectives with MaxCondition Training are as follows:

    Enhance movement ability in sport as well as everyday life
    Identify and develop individual weaknesses
    Develop the entire spectrum of fitness
    Introduce new movements in a progressive manner.
The above principles apply to all athletics and general fitness enthusiasts.

Comprehensive fitness levels are a must for the MMA athlete. I have seen the outcome of many fights determined by fitness levels. In fact, there are many techniques that cannot be executed without a specified type of fitness.

For example, no matter how good your technique is, it is hard to knock out someone with a left hook if you do not have decent rotational power. It is hard to have good foot movement if you have tight hips. A combination of properly developed motor qualities, skill and mental toughness make up the ultimate fighting machine.

Identifying Coaching Roles

Identifying the role of the skill coach and the conditioning coach is also important when attempting to maximize the athlete's performance. The skill coach sometimes likes to control the conditioning work as well as the skill training.

When this happens the athlete becomes confused and gets caught in the middle of the power struggle between the skill and conditioning coach. If the skill coach trusts the conditioning coach the conditioning should be completely manipulated by the conditioning coach.

Rarely does a skill coach understand the specific motor qualities, bio-energetic systems and nervous system needs of the athlete to succeed in sport. Most of the time skill coaches advice their athletes to do what they did when they competed. They have no idea why you are doing what you're doing. How many times have you heard a coach say "That's the way we have always done it".

Just because you have always done it that way does not mean it is correct. Take my advice when I say the coaches need to sit down and discuss how they plan on maximizing their athlete's potential. Both need to let the other know where they stand and jointly develop a plan of attack.

A good skill coach and a good conditioning coach are necessary to develop the ultimate fighting machine. A good working relationship between the two is also necessary to develop a top level MMA competitor.

Over the next 6 weeks I will give the reader an inside look of the type of training that has been used to assist numerous successful MMA athletes. Keep in mind a great deal of the material presented will be foreign to some readers I hope this series of articles sheds light on the discipline and hard work that is required to be a successful MMA Athlete.

About Coach Hale

Coach Hale is the owner of Total Body Fitness, Winchester Golden Gloves Boxing and MaxCondition Sports Conditioning. He designs comprehensive training programs for coaches and athletes worldwide. He is the author of Optimum Physique and contributor to numerous exercise and sports publications. Coach Hale is an official member of The World Martial Arts Hall of Fame in recognition of his strength and conditioning work with martial artists. He also serves as vice-chairman for the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame. To learn more about coach Hale visit his Website.