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Archive for the 'Combat Sports' Category

Cub Swanson And His Road To UFC

Below is an excellent video for all aspiring fighters to watch. What you’ll see is the story of Cub Swanson and his journey towards becoming a successful professional fighter. As evident throughout, Cub’s success isn’t just about what he does, but more importantly what he’s been able to overcome.

So often young fighters ask how they should train. The assumption is that if you train properly, you will succeed. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Yes, it is important to train hard, but equally important to persevere through pain and failure. The life of a young fighter is often difficult and lonely. There are no shortcuts to the top. Throughout your arduous journey, there’s a good chance you’ll get knocked down, injured, and be surrounded by so-called friends who believe you should quit.

The pain and sacrifices that a fighter endures cause many to break, physically and mentally. It is a difficult path and if you aren’t willing to take your lumps and bruises, don’t expect to excel.

Cub Swanson’s life is similar to many fighters. He had a rough childhood, got into trouble, had some difficult losses early in his career, and had to overcome countless injuries. Yet despite all the setbacks and obstacles, he kept moving forward.

He’s now a successful fighter who is as hungry as ever. He continues to excel yet remain humble. Young fighters can learn plenty from the example he’s set.


So long as there is breath in me, that long I will persist. For now I know one of the greatest principles on success; if I persist long enough I will win. – Og Mandino


Hard Work Is A Universal Language

Judo was first included at the Summer Olympics in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan. In the time since, South Korea has distinguished itself as one of the dominant forces in the sport. Only France and Japan have won more Olympic medals.

In the video below, you will see why the Korean team has been so successful. You may not understand the language but you will certainly recognize the work. No translators are required when witnessing such intense and rigorous training.

As you watch these athletes in action, you may note similarities to a previous entry about the legendary Masahiko Kimura (see here). Kimura trained his athletes in a way that would likely be scrutinized today. His work was not just physical but also mental. He took his athletes to a place that is difficult to describe to those who haven’t been there before.

Training need not be complicated but you must be willing to work. Hard work with the basics will often trump the most complex system. Simply working with the basics is not enough however. It’s not just what you do, but how you do it. At some point, your success will depend on how far you willing to push yourself.


Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead. – Charles Bukowski


Study The Past

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 Santayana


Inspiration From James Mason

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. – Herophilus


The History of Women’s MMA

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 Stone

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