Thursday, August 28, 2014
How many times have you heard the old saying that champs are made and not born (or vice versa). Let me tell you this, champions are made. But, who makes them? They do. You can have the best training facility, training equipment, and the best coaches. Or you can have all of these things to a lesser degree. None of these will matter if you don't decide in your heart and mind to do what is necessary to be the best that you can be. You decide if you are going to be good or not. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the best physical talent give up mentally, even though they are on top of the world when the feel they can bully an opponent. As soon as the other guy gives them a challenge, they lose their confidence. I've seen athletes with little resources rise to become the best at what they do through hard work and self confidence. So, keep in mind that in order to succeed you have to belief it and listen to the main person who determines your success. You!
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I started out as a kid training in traditional martial arts. In my late teens I got into combat sports. Having spent many years in boxing and kickboxing gyms, I learned that most martial artist don't like to fight like other combat sports. The average martial arts student goes to class 3x per week (some are the exception). They usually don't do as much physical conditioning as other combat athletes, nor do they spar as much. Lastly, they don't compete as much. A boxer will start competing at 8 years old and by the time he's a teenager, can have 200 to 300 bouts. If he's good, he will have competed against some of the best his his region or in the country. A black belt can be a student who just comes to class and has no competitive experience. Yet, he or she is supposed to be able to defend themselves. Martial arts like Tae Kwon Do and judo will have big tournaments (i.e. Nationals etc.). Because they have USA TKD and USA Judo in addition to being Olympic Sports, they have a larger number of competitors compared to Karate (which is spread out over too many groups). So, next time somebody tells you they are a 4 degreee in a style, take it with a grain of salt.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
As an instructor who coaches athletes in several disciplines, I can see what styles better suit which students. Some have strong upperbodies and thick necks and don't mind getting punched in the head. Some have long legs, lots of flexibility and prefer to stay outside and kick. Some automatically want to grab when attacked. Even though one cross trains, there will be certain things that they gravitate towards. Learn all you can about things you may not be good at, but perfect your best attributes. I was a very soccer player growing up, but got cut from basketball at age 8. No matter how hard I tried, I never made it on a team. But, I was MVP in soccer all the time.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
As I think back on my time with Shidokan World Karate Association and U.S. Shidokan, I am grateful and thankful for many wonderful experiences I've been able to have. I have been able to travel throught the U.S. and abroad as a fighter and coach (Repulic of Georgia, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica, and France). U.S. Shidokan Hombu, Chicago is my 2nd home. I've met incredible martial artists and I've seen some great fights. I have been able to train with Shidokan founder, Yoshiji Soeno in the home of Karate, Japan. I have promoted Shidokan events and have developed great friendships. Thanks Shidokan.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Some will say he's pound for pound the best and some will say he's not. But we can all agree he is a great boxer. Here's an old clip of Floyd Mayweather sparring in preparation for his fight with Miguel Cotto (which was a great fight by the way). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFmunaSGgBg
Monday, August 18, 2014
What I like about tournaments is that you have several top notch fighters fighting and at the end of the day, the best fighter wins. The following year, another tournament is held and the defending champion has to go through the process again. This would give us a better appreciation of a champion as opposed to the champions who pick and chose there opponents and decide when they are going to fight again. Take the top guys in the weight class, have them draw straws and fight it out to determine the champ.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
To be the best you can be, you have to be disciplined in your training. You have to practice, exercise and perfect your craft. In order to be champion, you have to believe in yourself but be honest with yourself. When training, there is no B.S. conversations with your buddies. You put your heart and soul in everything you do. Everything that you do must have a purpose in helping you to better yourself. Be consistent in training and train everyday. It isn't easy. If it was, everybody would be a champion. Get to work.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Sometimes people think that because they spar well, they will fight well. Well, that is not accurate. Sparring is like any other conditioning tool. There's rope, bag, pad work, etc. Fighters will get caught into thinking that sparring is most important. Sparring is a testing, training lab. It is not the fight. In a fight the intensity is multiplied. The late great boxing trainer, Angelo Dundee, said that Muhammad Ali never won a round sparring in the gym. Ali would create an environment where his sparring partners would put in the worst of situtations and he would have to make adjustments. He used it as a tool. Nothing compares to a real match like a real match. Of course, if you are not able to compete, sparring might be the closest you can get. If that's the case, spar with a pro sometimes instead of someone at equal or less skill level. That way they can create the environment that will give you a realistic approach of how a real match feels. So, don't think because you kick butt in the gym, you can automatically do it for real. Just like the guy who never misses the ball in practice, dropping in in the game, under the lights and with pressure, it's a different ball game.