Archive for the 'Combat Sports' Category
Below is a great video which shows a young Mike Tyson sharing his thoughts about several legendary fighters from the past.
While Tyson is often remembered for his brute strength and power, many don’t realize that he was also a student of the sport. Cus D’Amato schooled him well. He instilled upon Tyson the importance of learning from those who came before him.
Unfortunately, the lessons that were passed on to Tyson are often forgotten. Many athletes and trainers in today’s era are in a constant search to find or create something new. Rather than learning from those who came before, they attempt to reinvent the wheel.
New or different doesn’t always equal better. More often than not, the fundamentals still work well. This isn’t to say that there will not be opportunities to improve on the past, but such opportunities don’t come nearly as often as many believe. It’s also much more difficult to improve upon the past if you don’t know it.
The take home lesson here is quite simple. If you are an athlete, study the greats from past and present. Take advantage of the free resources that are available to you. A young Mike Tyson didn’t have the luxury of watching classic footage on Youtube. Fortunately, you do. Much can be learned through simple observation.
Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. – George Santayana3 comments
This entry is an update to a previous post from 2012. The original video that I shared was removed from Youtube. As a result, I have added two new videos below. Within each, you will see a man (James Mason) who once weighed over 500 pounds. Doctors told him that he would be dead within 5 years if he didn’t make drastic lifestyle changes.
Fortunately, those changes came when James began training at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Thailand. After 18 months of training, he has now lost over 300 pounds.
The first video shows him in the early stages.You can then see his drastic weight loss when viewing the follow up below.
You will also notice that James did not need anything fancy to get in shape. Old school, fight conditioning has always been one of the most effective training styles. Success does not depend on the tools that are used, but rather the effort put forth towards whatever you do.
Hard, consistent work with the basics is often more effective than the most elaborate training systems and tools.
When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied. – Herophilus20 comments
Within my most recent video, I shared a story of an aspiring boxer who’d been told that he was too old to box. Since sharing that story, I’ve had a few women email me about similar experiences. They’d been told (by men) that they couldn’t become fighters.
In case you’ve ever been told the same, here is a compilation of women who have proudly refuted such ignorant advice.
Always aim for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. – W. Clement Stone1 comment
In the video below, Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion Marcelo Garcia shares wisdom regarding the significance of sport training for conditioning. In many ways, his ideas are similar to what was discussed in the recent Jack Dempsey entry. Dempsey, like Garcia, believed strongly in practicing the sport to prepare for the sport. And while such advice may appear to be common sense, many athletes mistakenly focus too much attention towards supplemental conditioning activities, without enough time dedicated to the sport itself.
This isn’t to say that supplemental work cannot be useful, but such work must be performed in small doses. Regardless of style, the best fighters typically spend the most time fighting. The boxer must box, the wrestler must wrestle, and the grappler must grapple. Supplemental work is then added to fill in the blanks, not interfere with the more pertinent sport training.
It’s not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; it’s what you put into the practice. – Eric Lindros5 comments
Following yesterday’s post about Jack Dempsey, I received several questions about other fighters from the past. Many have inquired about the differences between today’s boxers vs. those from previous eras. What is the biggest difference between the two?
In my opinion, the most significant change is the frequency of competition. Fighters from the past spent more time boxing. Boxing was more common so there were naturally more fighters competing and more fighters available for sparring. It was not uncommon for world class fighters to fight more than once a month. There was very little down time. As soon as one fight ended, another was planned.
Perhaps the greatest example of activity comes from the legendary Henry Armstrong. He held world championships in three different weight classes at the same time. In 1937, Henry Armstrong fought 27 times. Yes, that is right. He had 27 professional fights in one year. He fought nine times between July and September alone.
Based on his activity, those who are not familiar with Armstrong may assume he was a safety first fighter. Such an assumption could not be more false however. Henry Armstrong had several nicknames, two of which were Homicide Hank and Perpetual Motion. His pressure was relentless. His stamina was endless. He never stopped throwing punches.
Aspiring fighters can learn plenty from legends like Henry Armstrong. While we’ll certainly never see fighters compete so regularly, we should recognize the significance of his activity. The best way to stay sharp as a fighter is by staying active. The best amateur fighters stay busy throughout the year. They compete regularly both locally and at larger national tournaments. The best professionals also stay busy. Perhaps the best modern example is Bernard Hopkins. At age 48, he won a 12 round title fight earlier this month (March 9th). He was back in the gym just a few days later.
Too many modern athletes live in constant fear of working too hard. They baby their bodies as they’ve been led to believe that anything strenuous must be a sign for overtraining. Such individuals would have never survived in Henry Armstrong’s era.
Armstrong was one of the best conditioned fighters of all time. What’s even more incredible is that he did so long before supplements and performance enhancing drugs became commonplace. He also didn’t have scholarly conditioning specialists overseeing each and every move he made. Armstrong’s approach was quite simplistic. He trained hard, focused much of his attention towards the sport itself, and fought regularly. He steered clear of the complexity that is so common in today’s era.
There is plenty to be learned from his example.
For those interested, more highlight footage can be seen below.
I like this feeling of weariness after training, when I’m walking home exhausted, dragging my feet. I like this a lot. – Fedor Emelianenko7 comments