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?It is no secret, the elite of the cage fighting community tends to be riddled with world beating folkstyle and greco-roman wrestlers converted into fighters. As of February 2014, five out of the seven male UFC titles are held by former NCAA D-1 wrestlers. So what is it that makes this martial sport so effective among UFC fighters.
Before MMA hopped onto the scene, people feared the largest man in the room. Perhaps they felt the sheer size of the man warranted the assumption that the largest was therefore the most lethal. Today’s astute fight fan has changed this mentality, and no longer should you fear the largest man, but rather, you should fear the man with the most messed up ears. What is still consider grotesque in most circles, is often worn as a badge of pride by many wrestlers, mixed martial artists, jiu jitsu practitioners and boxers. It is often assumed a fighter with ruined ears has shown longevity in their given sport. And while some fighters seem more vulnerable than others (similar to how some people are riddle with cavities, while others have never had one) the method by which we fall victim to cauliflower ear is always the same.
It’s said that an Olympic Wrestler doesn’t use a single move in the Olympics unless they have drilled that move at least 10,000 times. Nothing is different in any of the martial arts. If you want to throw a Oomapolatta against a black belt you better have drilled that move a few thousand times, otherwise he’s just going to pass your guard for all your trouble. While there is no replacement for sparring and live grappling, drilling is twice as useful. For every hour spent grappling, you should be spending 2 hours honing your technique, speed, conditioning, smoothness and power in every movement.
In honor of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics in Sochi Russia tonight, I am taking this opportunity to write about the merits and likelihood of Mixed Martial Arts becoming an Olympic Sport. The early-2000’s brought a meteoric rise in popularity to MMA, and since then, I have often heard a calling amongst MMA enthusiasts for it to be made an Olympic sport. Proponents will point to it’s globalness, popularity and history, while also drooling over the chance to see a knockout style tournament reminiscent of the movie “Warrior”. On the other hand detractors will point to the sports violent nature, recovery time needed for fighters, no governing body and a lack of quality amatuer presence.
I think every wrestler in their early matches have extreme nerves. Call them what you will, “butterflies in your stomach”, “Being nervous”, or whatever, but I think the key difference between a confident wrestler and a not so confident wrestler is to figure out the difference between nervousness and letting the adrenalin fly. Being nervous, in my opinion goes away with the harder you work. If you’ve put in the hours, than you have much less to worry about. If you look across the mat during warmups, and you can honestly think to yourself, “Well, I know I have at least out worked this punk” than you leave the nervous zone and enter the adrenalin zone.
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