Mixed martial arts is the seamless integration of multiple styles and forms of martial arts to create a versatile total combat simulation. This unique approach to combat sports is virtually limitless in its boundaries and opportunities for training and knowledge. Athletes are free to arm themselves in whatever combination or stylization that they feel most effective and comfortable; with this comes formidability that is unbridled in its potential for fitness, self defense, and competition. Yet, with this freedom, opportunity, and unrestricted blending of styles comes the tremendous risk of making very detrimental training mistakes at any level of competition. These are the top training mistakes, how to avoid them and how to continue improving no matter what your experience.
1) Strengths and Weaknesses- As an athlete there is going to be an inclination for comfortability and gravitation towards a specific area that you are naturally good at. The key is stand outside of yourself and realize your shortcomings. From this, you must work to improve those weaknesses for overall development. By the same token, an athlete cannot neglect their strengths completely for the sake of weakness. Depending on the gravity of your weakness a ratio of training should be implemented to bring your total combat sports ability to a higher level. Do not leave any holes in your training for an opponent to exploit, develop yourself overall and balance your training. Capitalize on your strengths and know your weaknesses.
2) Neglecting Defense- Every combat sports athlete would rather hit or tap someone out than be hit or be tapped out. Bag work and drills are the base of all levels of training, and they revolve around an offensive perspective and thus hitting someone. The same goes for submission sports, classes evolve around submissions and transitions without much regard for escapes. This is a hallmark issue with many combat sports athletes. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master Carlson Gracie once said- “Punch a black belt in the face, he becomes a brown belt. Punch him again, purple…” Performing under pressure and integrating defense with the appropriate offense is the true definition of an effective defense. The bag does not hit back, learn to use your various abilities with effective and situational defense and you will emerge a stronger athlete every time.
3) Overtraining- The symptoms and epitomes of overtraining have already been hallmarked in a recent article. Since mixed martial arts requires training various forms of combat there is a large potential for overtraining. This is further exemplified by the addition of weight training and cardiovascular training with mixed martial arts training. The body will exert itself beyond its ability to recover and henceforth result in detrimental physical and mental symptoms that will decrease your athletic progression. Balance your training schedule, watch your 2-a-days, and realize when you are overtraining.
4) Proper Nutrition and Supplementation- Most athletes are familiar with supplementation but few are fully aware of how to properly implement it. Supplements must be introduced and utilized with respect to their specific needs and nutritional deficiencies. An athlete must introduce the proper amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals for the body to recover and return stronger each day. Investigate your needs, diet, and supplements for how to get the most out of your training both before and after your workout.
5) The Right Team- Choosing the right team and coach is vital to an athletes improvement as a fighter. The knowledge that you develop from another individual must fit your abilities and leave you room to grow. Once you stop learning, you are not improving, and to improve you must learn from the best coaches and teammates possible. Your team and camp provide support, sparring partners and improve your abilities through their knowledge as well. Therefore, do not limit your combat sports improvement by not training with the best coaches and athletes available.
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