Notes on Quitting and its 9 Levels

Sometimes fighters quit without even knowing they’re quitting. The truest fighters fight back to win in fights they are losing AND fights they should have lost – when they’re hurt or embarrassed or slower or less skilled they still find a way to win. They are supremely disciplined and/or special. Not trying to get lucky. This is boxing. Many fighters talk about Plan B’s, but almost all adjustments are still part of Plan A. A great fighter uses a true Plan B only 2-3% over a whole career. Plan B’s are not “adustments.” A Plan B is doing something entirely different when a fighter doesn’t believe she/he has a…

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5 Things Every Fighter Should Quit NOW:

Static stretching.  There is evidence that Dynamic Stretching (movement stretching, such as is the basics of Yoga and Pilates) is the best replacement for static stretching before a workout.  You won’t lose strength and you prevent injury better.Dr. Stuart McGill supported this notion saying, “Static stretching deadens the muscle from a neural perspective, diminishing the stretch reflex and reducing peak strength and power.”  Do static stretching after training or in lieu of training.Classes.  Especially if you know what you’re in for – meaning, you’re not a newbie to knowing your own needs – you should sign up for one to one training and working out during free gym hours…

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Methodology of Training: Time, Time, Time is of the Essence

The science behind fight training is jumbled with fitness experts who know all about the body and have weeded-out the poor philosophies form the elite ones that make up the fitness world. Every fitness trainer has his methods for conditioning that he favors (maximal effort, repeated effort, dynamic, post activation potentiation, resistance, repetition, etc.) But fitness trainers, as I’ve expounded on before, may not be allowing their trainees to meet their needs for fighting. For all the linking (fight specific situational conditioning) that they incorporate into a program, they may not apply workouts that address fight specific goals. One shouldn’t care about developing upper-body muscle strength that links “whizzers”…

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Unconventional Techniques – Spinning Backfist, Superman Punch, and the Straight Blast

The martial arts are littered with conceptual techniques that are vigorously taught to people who follow format usually without ever testing against it. Then those techniques are reinforced and mastered whether they’re made to fail or made to make their marks. Even if they work, how much do certain moves make sense in the big picture? Within the amalgam of contrarian techniques, there are some unconventional moves that are regularly practiced along with foundational moves. Spinning back kicks are learned along with sidekicks. Double hooks are learned when the hook itself is not learned. Crosses are learned before straights. Arm-bars are learned on every person’s first-day before a complete…

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On Luck and Referee Discretion in MMA

I will continue to study the goings-on of mma, but I will not stop complaining about its flaws until change is made. Fedor Emelianenko’s defeat to Dan Henderson was fun to watch on the surface, but it contained the underlying contradictions and drawbacks of the sport. Although this bout did not have the feature of a buffoon jumping up and down in a dry pre-fight warm-up or doing some victory dance after landing a Hail-Mary overhand, the outcome can arguably be credited to luck. Emelianenko knocked Henderson down after rushing in, fell into being swept, got punched, went limp, got punched in the back of the head a couple…

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The Importance of Loyalty In Boxing

Coaches get broken. Their hearts become more damaged than anyone may know. Years of promises gone awry. Some of those promises gon’ stray. Boxing, more than any other sport, has an aspect of loyalty – ironic of a one to one sport. And in no other endeavor does it get tested more. The relationship formed between coaches and their fighters is not just about time spent together and bonds built, but it has a tangible effect on fighters’ skills and performance. Over time, trust is built between the coach and the fighter and the team, and the coach’s acumen for application fitting to each specific fighter shouldn’t ever be…

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Controversial Decisions, Disputed Championships, and the Asterisk in Boxing

There should be a new statistic considered in boxing: the Asterisk. Baseball has argued the idea of adding an asterisk to its record books because of all the alleged steroid use among its players.  The slippery slope might make someone argue that teams’ wins and losses might need asterisks too.  Bad calls by the officials in boxing, however, are not reviewed the way great performances are.  In boxing, next to fighters’ records of wins, losses, ko’s, decisions, and draws, there should be an asterisk to signify and quantify whatever number of those fights were controversial to the effect that the outcome, out of the fighters’ control, had a reasonable…

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Some of the Tools of the Boxing Trade

Teddy Atlas took Cus D’Amato’s Willie Bag invention and ran to the bank with it when he sold the idea to Everlast. Boxing is filled with tools for learning that have lasted many decades, possibly centuries. Cus developed some strange number system and made the Willie Bag to prepare Jose Torres for Willie Pastrano.  The evaluation line, the slipbag, slip lines (ropes), the jab plank, the floor-to-ceiling bag (double-end bag), etc., have been incorporated in boxing, but it’s unclear to whom we owe the ideas.  Trainers often take other people’s ideas and create their own systems – few have cashed-in like Atlas – without a dab of recognition to…

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The State of the Art of Boxing

If there were boxing Gods, all powerful judges overlooking every aspect of the art of boxing, what would They think about it?  The quality of boxing has arguably never been up to a standard worthy of Gods. Regretfully, boxing may have never been up to a standard of itself.  With all the basic tenets and fundamentals of boxing, why do most boxers neglect them? The apogee of boxing has always been about 10 to 15 people in the history of boxing out of hundreds of thousands of boxers. After those 15 or so fighters, we have countless generations of intermediate and inferior boxers.  Of the 10 to 15 men…

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A Skepticism On Weapons Training

Coming from a background of a mixture of martial arts trumped by boxing, my skepticism on any theoretical training is stark yet open-minded. I’ve done all-out sparring with sticks and wooden knives.  I’ve been bruised and cut by sticks and slashed by fake knives, but I hardly respected any of it because it all felt fake.  All the reality based martial arts simply don’t have the real combat aspect of boxing.  When I did “simulation” of getting robbed, it was missing the biggest aspect of any real-life situation (and most reality based martial arts schools miss this too):  the aspect of fear.  Even though I wasn’t partaking in meaningless…

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