10 Things you need to know to be a Mixed Martial Arts Fighter #5: Conditioning For A Fight
Everyone knows that the Mixed Martial Arts Craze is taking over America and everyone wants to be a part of the craze. The problem is that 99% of the Martial Arts Schools in America can’t teach you all you need to know to become a great MMA fighter. Why? Because the teachers don’t know all the skills necessary to become a great MMA fighter and so they only teach a little of the skills required and thus they only produce very poor MMA fighters.
So what exactly are the skills you need to know to be a great MMA fighter
1. How to punch like a Boxer, not a karate player
2. How to kick like a Kick Boxer or Tae Boxer, not a tae kwon do player
3. How to do takedowns like a Wrestler
4. How to do ground jiu jitsu with No Gi
5. How to do conditioning for a fight
6. How to eat like a champion
7. How to get sponsors, for free equipments, cloths and money.
8. How to control your mind and emotions before, during and after the fight
9. How to use the ring
10. How to win the fight.
During the next few weeks I will be going over each of these skill sets and how and why you need to know them if you want to be a great MMA fighter.
The 5th skill set you need to know to become a great mixed martial arts fighter is how to do conditioning for a fight.
One of the most important things you have to know how to do to become a Great MMA fighter is how to get into condition for a 3 round or even a 5 round 5 minute per round fight. It is quite a different thing to be in condition for a “school or dojo fight” than to be in condition for a “fight in a cage or ring”. The training is different, the conditioning is different, and many fighters never achieve their full potential as a fighter because they don’t know how to “condition for a fight’.
There are 3 basic components in the conditioning for a fight. Endurance, power and speed and if you don’t have all 3 and don’t condition yourself for all 3 you won’t be able to make it to the top. Let’s look at each one individually.
The first thing you need to have to be in condition for the fight is “endurance”. So that you are able to go 15 to 25 minutes with intense action. Running is a key component to building your conditioning, and there are 3 basic ways of running you should use daily in your conditioning. Long Distance running, you should run at least 3 to 5 miles a day or 30 minutes to1 hour of endurance running. Running on the streets, or a track and practicing your punching, or at least keeping your hands up when you run. You should take a swift pace, but not too fast. You are building your endurance for a fight in which you intend to go the distance and won’t tire out at the end due to fatigue.
The second type of running you should do is “sprinting”. You should do 10 to 30 100 yard dashes or 50 yard dashes, going full out and pushing yourself hard on each sprint. A great way to practice your sprints is on a track, where you sprint the curves and job the straight ways. This will build up your “aerobic conditioning” and allow you to short bursts of high energy fighting for 10 to 30 seconds in a fight, without losing your wind or punching yourself out.
The third type of running is hills or stairs. You should run 10 to 30 stadiums, or run the stairs for 30 minutes. This will also build up your aerobic conditioning and your legs. One of the first things you lose in a fight is your “legs” or the ability to move and kick because of fatigue due to lack of conditioning. Running the stairs or stadiums is a great way to build up your stamina and your legs.
Weight training is very important. The stronger you are the better you are. I know it is true that with proper technique you can beat a man who is bigger and stronger than you, and I have done it many times, but like the old gangster saying “you can get a lot more with a smile and a gun, than just a smile”. You can beat a lot more people with proper technique and muscles than you can beat with just technique. You should lift weights 3 days a week, and only lift heavy 1 day. If you are conditioning for a fight your weight training is very light, with lots of reps and pushing for every last rep. If you are conditioning for strength a long while before a fight, your weight training should be heavy every 3 days, and light to moderate the other days. You are bulking up and building muscle during this type of weight training. When you lift before the fight you are simply keeping the muscles you already have conditioned and toned.
There is a fad right to us kettleballs, etc. This is simply not necessary. You can get the same results with dumbbells and free weights. You don’t need to go out and buy kettleballs to get your weight training in. But if you have some at your club, they are very good to use to supplement your weight training, not replace all your free weights.
You should also do body conditioning by doing calisthenics. Such as bear walks, duck walks, jiu jitsu push ups, hand stands, sprawls, drop steps, jump squats. I have an excellent book on body conditioning and a DVD coming out that can train you in these areas.
There are tons of free sites on the Internet that will show you great conditioning programs for you to use before a fight. You can buy great books from past UFC Champions, boxing champions, Olympic champions, etc. There is no reason for you not to be in great condition for your next fight. All it takes is time and determination, and when you are in better condition than your opponent you will always have an advantage in the fight.