Monday, November 16, 2015

When you Fail to Understand Your Weaknesses: Rousey vs Holm Analysis

Obviously, things didn't go well for Ronda Rousey Saturday night when she fought Holly Holm.

After a busy weekend, I haven't really gotten a chance to talk with anyone about the fight. But today, after a good skill and sparring session, I sat down one of the coaches at Raja Academy of Martial Arts here in Greenville, SC to talk about the fight. Hafez Hakim, who's been featured in some of the videos I've posted previously, had some insightful things to say about the mistakes that were made.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pad-work Conditioning Drill for Fighters.

Below is a pad-work drill we use at Raja Academy of Martial Arts here in Greenville, SC.

This is a Thai pad drill where the fighter is only allowed to throw kicks and knees (no punches allowed) and has to defend against the strikes of the pad holder. The drill is tough and is intended to build both mental and physical toughness as well as improve kick and knee volume in preparation for a fight. This makes it an especially good drill for those fighters who rely too much on their hands.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Are You Sparring Too Much?

I recently came across an article regarding MMA fighter Jamie Varner and his recent retirement. In it, Varner talks about his concerns that too much sparring can lead to severe head trauma and prematurely end a fighter's career.

The whole article can be read here at Bloody Elbow - good stuff.

This brings up a great point that I've talked about in the past. Namely, brain trauma is a serious concern for those of us involved in full-contact fight sports and we should take steps to prevent it. The effects of brain trauma accumulate over time and can lead to progressively worse issues - slower reaction speeds, impaired memory and speech patterns, changes in personality, impaired motor control, and even dementia.

Not fun stuff.

In previous posts I've talked about ways to prevent brain trauma. One of the suggestions I've put forward is to take it easy on the sparring. Obviously, if you are getting hit too hard by your sparring partner then your risk for brain trauma will go up significantly.

But, even if you're sparring with light contact, could you still be sparring too much?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cung Le Tests Positive for HGH...So What? (WARNING: Rant)

It was recently reported that UFC MMA fighter, Cung Le has tested positive for HGH - a performance enhancing drug (PED) - after his fight with Michael Bisping in Macau.

Upon hearing this news, I was surprised. Not because he was confirmed for being on PEDs, but I was surprised he got caught. It's very unusual for athletes at Le's level and notoriety to actually get caught.

To be perfectly honest, this should come as a surprise to no one. I'm serious: if you still believe that any pro-level athlete in any contact sport (Football, Boxing, MMA, etc...) isn't on PEDs then you are living in a fantasy world.

Take a look at the photo above. Cung Le is 42 years old. Does that look like a "natty" physique to you? It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out he's on some form of PED. But it isn't just Cung Le. If you think Michael Bisping wasn't on gear then you're simply being naive.

In fact, it's kinda funny that Bisping accused Cung Le of "looking" like he was on HGH prior to their fight. Very funny. Funny in a "pot calling the kettle black" kinda way.

Now, of course Le is denying HGH use. Just like Bisping would be denying it if he got caught. Just like every other pro athlete denies PED use.

But, really, why do people care that these athletes are on steroids? It seems very silly to me and, quite frankly, I'm getting pretty fed up with hearing about how awful PEDs are.

Some will claim, while sitting atop their high horse, that preventing athletes from taking PEDs "levels the playing field". Others will say their concern regarding steroid use is directly related their to concern for the safety of the athletes.

Upon closer examination, however, both of these arguments fall flat on their face. Let's take a look at why these two arguments fail support the need to ban PED in professional, full contact athletics.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Learn To Utilize the Muay Thai Clinch

Proper Clinch work is essential for any MMA or Muay Thai fighter
Muay Thai is famous for it's clinch work.

One thing I see a lot of, however, is guys who simply aren't comfortable being "clinched" and working in the clinch (which the Thais call "plumming"). Typically, these are folks from a non-Muay Thai background like American or K-1 style kickboxing or western boxing.

So, in today's video I want you guys to see a very simple, basic drill you can throw into your training to help you become more comfortable in the clinch and learn to gain/maintain a "dominant" position when clinching. I asked my Kru, Harun Raja of Raja Academy of Martial Arts here in Greenville, SC to teach this drills.

Enjoy -