Mixed martial arts is growing across the world and the recent pay per view statistics from top organisations in the industry, as well as large fighter contract deals in the millions of dollars at the elite level have captured the public interest and its eyeballs over the recent years. Fans across the globe can now live stream events and watch the competitors, modern gladiators if you like, test their skills against one another in the cage. Today’s champions are in the limelight, and everyone wants to know the secret to the champ getting to the top. One thing that consistently turns up is almost every single one of them gives the greatest amount of support to their team. That’s what got them there, and that’s what will keep them there. While every champ is unique and great in their own right, they all agree that without the team of people they’ve worked with over the years, they wouldn’t have been able to achieve the levels of success in their careers.
The WanderleyJiujitsu Roufusport champions
While we all start out our own personal MMA careers alone, if we want to continue progression over the years, we have to find the right people to work with. By work, don’t get it confused with strictly professional or semi-pro athletes, we are talking about anyone who eventually reaches a ‘plateau’, or cops an injury in training that side-lines them for a few months. What we’re talking about is that you are in the life, you are at a point in your training where you’ve been at this game a while and you realise you can’t go it alone anymore.
So where do you start? Well that’s different for everyone. Just look at the area you are lacking most in and begin there. Training, nutrition, bio-kinetics and mental health ae the key areas to focus on, let’s take a look at each of them and who to look for to improve and progress your MMA skills with.
If you are lucky, you may hit the golden goose and find a gym that caters for the full MMA training skillset, that is; striking, grappling and wrestling or jiu-jitsu, chances are that at a certain point you may want to branch out each skillset to a specific expert in an area, for example, you might train Muay Thai at your primary gym but then go to another to train jiu-jitsu while going to another school to learn how grapple on your feet Greco style, maybe you think that Carlson Gracie style jiu-jitsu suits you best, while someone else may prefer the 10th Planet system. After your technique training you head off to your strength and conditioning coach where you do prowler suicides and tyre flips til every muscle screams in agony. You need to find the right trainer that you can work with in each department who’s style your gel with and whose trainers gel with you.
The Different Breed MMA team in a wrestling seminar with Jace Bennet
Maybe you’re out of shape, you’ve been training hard with your coaches and things are progressing nicely but you just can’t lose that last ten pounds, you are thinking of perhaps doing an amateur fight soon and need to drop that weight class to be competitive. That’s when it’s time to find a nutritionist. Nutritionists are even harder to find that trainers, good ones at least. With so many fad diets out their today, so many bro-science methods to drop weight fast available on internet forums, misinformation is everywhere. You can waste valuable time and sometimes even go nowhere at all if you leave your nutrition plan to chance with what you eat and what you supplement your diet being absolutely critical roles in not only your MMA but your life as well, a good nutritionist will plan your meals down to the calorie and macro nutrient profile that you need without you doing the math and the planning. Depending on your situation a quality nutritionist can sometimes even help you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. The benefits of having someone else work with you and monitor you weekly will produce results when it’s time to step onto the scale at the weigh-in. Along the way they will offer support with your diet till you achieve your goals and they also offer a second pair of unbiased eyes that you are accountable to and will keep you on track until you make it.
Sooner or later, touch wood, things may go wrong. An injury comes about and you’re left with maybe even up to four months before you can get back to training, or you throw your back out doing heavy sled drags with the strength coach this week, whatever the cause, it’s now that you need to add to your team more than ever. A physio is the first stop, someone who specialises in deep tissue sports massage and injury specific physiotherapy is a good idea. Follow that up with a visit to a chiropractor for a spinal and neck adjustment and you will feel brand new again in the morning and if you can get them in the same building, even better! word to the wise; make sure someone else is driving you home. These people build you back up when you begin to crumble and if things are really bad and it’s a proper injury like a knee or a rotator cuff, then their help with the rehab is really indispensable. They will keep you in the cage and in the game, so respect their skills as much as you do your trainer or nutritionist.
At the end of the day, you are only as good as your team you build around you, that’s true in life, true in business and it’s sure true in the MMA game as well. Choose your team wisely and get quality members, just like if you ran a business, you wouldn’t want rubbish staff would you? Treat these people like gold and when you find a good team member, develop a relationship with them, some of them may even turn into the best friends you ever have in life. One thing is certain, without a team you will fail. Period. To keep progression going and keep pushing yourself you may sometimes need a push from others, we all do, get your team together and keep moving forward. For more information please contact us here at McBryde Mats.