T Nation

Sh*t I've Learned


Jarvan asked me a question a week or two ago about what I'd learned over my years of having training logs at T-Nation, so I took my time and compiled this list.

Londonboxer read it and dug it, and said that he wanted to read a similar list from the regular posters ... and I happen to agree. So let's here it - what have you learned in your time training?

I'll start.



  1. Fighting is the most important thing to me. I don't know why - maybe it's because I was always smaller than everyone else and got in a lot of scraps as a kid, or maybe I'm just generally a little more violent. But my training revolves around developing the ability to hit someone and call it a day.

  2. Punching power has nothing to do with how strong you are in the weight room. Trainers will say what they want about deadlifts and squats and posterior chains and shit and how important that is, but those dudes have never fought a day in their lives. When it comes down to it, you learn to hit hard by perfecting your technique and punching everything, all the time.

  3. Fighter's lungs are different than runner's lungs. That's not to say that running is not of paramount importance when it comes to enduring a 12 round fight, but it does mean that if you're experienced, you can spar five rounds without being able to run 5 miles at a time. They're just different.

  4. Relax more.

  5. Mentality is everything in a real confrontation. 98 percent of the time, the scales are going to tip in the direction of the man who will take it furthest, fastest. And if you're a nasty fucker, and you know what you're doing, you're a nightmare to deal with.

  6. Knowledge is king in the ring. There's a reason why guys like Marquez and Mayweather and Hopkins are still at the top of the game after all these years, and it's not because they're just faster or hit harder. It's because they're smart, and they know every individual facet of how to hit, where to hit, when to hit, and how to not get hit. Build your base of knowledge, and everything else will come.

  7. Don't neglect your hands and feet; they're your contact point with the world. Develop the strength in your feet so you avoid plantar fasciitis, and work your grip incessantly - it will make a HUGE difference in punching power because hitting someone with a palm-sized stone is going to hurt way more than hitting them with a palm-sized pillow.

  8. Small things accumulate into big things over time. My morning work might not seem like much - 6 or 8 minutes of exercise when I wake up, big fucking deal. But go back in my log and count what that's added up to; hundreds of rounds of extra shadowboxing and hundreds of reps of ab work, pushups, and hip raises that I wouldn't have done otherwise.

  9. Skillwork takes precedence all the time, over everything. If it comes down to lifting or boxing, I box. If it comes down to pushups or shadowboxing, I shadowbox. Punch until you can't punch no more. That's how you get good.

  10. Bodyweight exercises are incredibly valuable. That shit gets a bad rap on here because all the muscleheads want to act like they're too easy, but there's something to be said for running through the woods and stopping at a tree to do 10 pullups, and moving on. Or in climbing a mountain and doing hundreds of pushups when you get there. Bodyweight exercises are still around after all these years for one reason: they work.

  11. Never stop moving. Ever. Take the stairs. Park as far from the store as possible. Shadowbox in the bathroom, even if it's just throwing 10 or 20 silent jabs. Stretch in the shower. Never stand still. Never rust.

  12. Revel in the cold. It's lovely, and one run in the 10 degree cold makes your mind tougher than a million arid summer days could ever could. Workout in it. Walk in it. Live in it. Harshness breeds toughness.

  13. Achieve balance. Fight, but weightlift too. Weightlift, but walk too. Walk, but meditate too. Meditate, but read every night. Being too aggressive and hitting the weights and fighting and fuck all the other shit - it's not good. Sound mind, sound body.

  14. Practice strikes barehanded. Boxing is incredible, but when you get into the real world and some dude grabs your collar and pulls his fist back, you want to rifle that straight left in there with a clenched fist that's used to striking full power without gloves once in a while. Plus, it keeps you honest - with no gloves to protect your hands and no wraps to save your wrist, you must do it right or you're the guy that gets fucked over.

  15. Green tea and fish oil. Fuck everything else ... green tea and fish oil. Only supplements that anyone needs.



I believe that getting bigger may help you out with wrestling, or hitting a heavy bag, but it does not make you a better boxer. To hit a moving target you have to be explosive as hell.

I think a lot of people see the weight room as a quick way around becoming a better puncher instead of spending all of that time working on skill work. Gym strength is more quantifiable then punching power, and the two are not mutually exclusive.

The fact is, true skill takes a long time to develop, it has to become part of your lifestyle, there is no shortcut around it.


This is great. Thanks for taking to time to write it out and sharing!


I especially liked 3, 7, and 10



  1. Ater training with numerous LEO's, SF, foreign police and military, the most vital skill to have is the mental strength, the internal belief that you will survive, that you will commit to win at all costs, whether on the street or engaged on the urban battlefields of modern insurgent warfare.

  2. Your best and heaviest lift means nothing in surviving a firefight, or an attack from street predators.

  3. Physical training should always be geared toward improving your fighting skills, not building the largest bicep. Everything I do has one purpose: to help me survive the next encounter. Skill training in the "martial Arts", and, I use the term loosely, includes unarmed and armed striking arts, grappling, weapons of all types, tactics, and situational awareness.

  4. Building on Number 3: For the past year, I have been working a routine of doing one major lift, followed by one of Dan John's complex routines. I feel that complexes help me build overall mobility and strength, while reducing the risk of injury. (Try fast roping out of a helicopter after fucking your back up trying for a personal best on the squat).

  5. The heavy bag is your best friend: it always wins and never brags about kicking your ass.

  6. Kettle bells are much underrated as a conditioning tool. I like doing sets of 20 with a 24kg after working the heavy bag. No, I cannot run a record mile, but, I can operate all day in 120 degree heat with full battle rattle and weapons, or jump up and pull myself over a mud wall or through an open space (window, door frame, etc) in full gear.

  7. Seek out individuals more skilled than you to train with, you will never improve until you do. Being humbled by someone better is the best learning experience you can have. If you cannot accept that some individuals will always be better than you, then you aren't worth training anyway.

  8. Agility and mobility are more important than brute strength in tactical survival. Static people die quickly either in combat or your local bar fight.

  9. Train in whatever martial art you can, dedicated commitment is more important that style. Arguing about which martial art is better "for the street" is irrelevant, hard training and mental focus will serve you well.

  10. If you live in the United States or other jurisdictions that will allow you to own and train with firearms, make every effort to do so. Relying soley on unarmed skills is a fools errand.

  11. Kali and LEGITIMATE Ninjutsu are underrated as martial arts.

  12. Your mind is your greatest weapon, but, like everything else, it needs constant training. Study a different subject every 100 days (based on my leave time). During those 100 day blocks, I pick a subject and try to educate myself. This time it was Archeology, last time it was early Viking explorations. My next project is robotics, since this is the future of warfare.

  13. Training for violent encounters or combat is not "sport" fighting. MMA is NOT training to kill someone. Learn the difference.

  14. Never, ever, ever, lie to yourself about your abilities. You will just get yourself or someone else killed.

  15. Traditional martial arts katas are excellent for focus and mental relaxation. They are my personal form of meditation.

  16. Know your weaknesses. Be man enough to change. Whether in personal or professional relationships, have the reputation for honesty, demonstrate the core values of being a professional. Asshole pricks with inflated egos are a dime a dozen. Challenge yourself to be better.

  17. Know when to take advice, know when to say " I apologize". The greatest leaders always listen to their troops, the greatest teachers always learn from their students.

  18. Every day is a commitment to training, there is no "recovery days". Sore from doing deadlifts? Train your mind. I never really understood the concept of "off days".

  19. Loyalty is as rare as a blood diamond. If you find it, treasure it.

  20. Decide now: If you are willing to die for your principles: its too late for mental gymnastics after the ballon goes up.


Great list Idaho, lots to think about. I'm hoping to get a chance to post my list tomorrow.


Oh boy, I've been posting here on T-Nation since 2005, I could probably fill several pages of this thread with things I've learned since then. :slightly_smiling: So, I'm just going to name a few of the major paradigm shifting ones (for me).

  1. Effectiveness is the ultimate goal. Now you may be saying to yourself "Duh Sento", but do you really practice this "rule"? Are you and would you be willing to discard "favorite" techniques or tactics if someone pointed out glaring holes in them, liabilities, or even better ways of doing them? Or, like most of humans, would you choose instead to stick to what is comfortable/familiar, things that you have practiced to be good at (even if that thing is shown to you to be inferior), or to be loyal to a given "style"/arsenal/discipline? In other words, is your allegiance really to the truth of combat or is it to a person, a style, an arsenal, a tradition, the past, your ego, etc...?

  2. Methods before moves. Now obviously you need to learn techniques when learning Martial Arts (be it for honoring a tradition, wowing the crowd, competing in a combat sport, or saving lives in real life situations), and as a beginner this will (and should) make up the majority of your training (practicing them , drilling them , and lastly trying to apply them in your chosen arena of application). But, at a certain point you should start to learn the methods and principles behind the moves that you are being taught. These are the things that make the moves work, and without understanding them you are simply a robotic collection of moves , incapable of adapting to the ever changing reality that is combat.

  3. Strategies and principles are what allow you to defeat opponents who may be physically superior to you. Never forget that the human brain is in actuality your greatest weapon.

  4. We are all human beings and thus must all (to an extent) respect the laws of human biomechanics, physics, and performance if we ever hope to maximize our effectiveness in combat. This harkenes back to all of the above points in that we should seek to understand what truly makes our tools (strikes, grappling skills, weapons defense and deployment, etc...) effective when dealing with fully resisting opponents not from the perspective of style or tradition, but from the perspective of being a human being living in the real world and not some idealized world or movie.

  5. "Indomitable Spirit, the forgotten secret to Martial Arts"- Joe Lewis. As Idaho mentioned above, if you are going to engage someone in a true life or death encounter, you must do so with the mindset that you a WILL succeed, you WILL prevail, and that you WILL survive, and if you find yourself in the afterlife, you will come back and haunt your attacker(s). Someone who will truly never stop fighting and never accept defeat is a very formidable opponent, and in a true worst case scenario, garnering this unflinching will and belief that you will succeed in your goal of survival/stopping the threat are really the only chance you have of doing so.

  6. Of all the attributes that one can develop, accuracy is the most valuable, but timing is what will allow you to neutralize any other attribute if understood and applied properly.

  7. Supplementary Physical Perparation for Martial Artists should be geared towards maximizing overall athleticism, maintaining structural balance, and minimizing chance of injury. Hence, IMHO gymnastic strength training, strongman/Dinosaur/Primal Strength training, and partner resisted drills are far more beneficial to Martial Artists than traditional power lifting and definitely more than machine strength training or bodybuilding.

  8. Most Martial Artists' (including military and LEO's) concepts concerning edged weapons defense are totally back asswards and can get you killed against someone with even moderate athleticism who is fully committed, let alone if they know how to use the weapon. I could actually say a lot on this topic alone, but again I'm just sticking to bullet points here, so let me just say that this is absolutely a worst case scenario so you need to make up your mind that you are going to survive, you are going to try to destroy/kill (even if you don't actually kill them) your opponent as quickly as possible, and you are going to the hospital (because you almost certainly will be cut if you must engage an athletic, committed person who understands how to use a knife).

  9. People fight, not Martial Arts/combat sports styles/disciplines.

  10. There are no supermen. Proper knowledge applied to a crap load of practice is what creates high degrees of skill, and while there are certainly those of us who are born ahead of the curve in some respects, even they are only human and therefore not invincible or immune to defeat or their own mortality. So always remember that if you practice properly, long enough, and with enough effort that you too can possess great degrees of skill, but that even then you will never be "untouchable", nor should you ever underestimate any opponent.


Great list, again, by Sento. I'll try to leave out, as far as possible, bits where we all overlap. I've tried to split mine into sport, real-world, and mental.


  1. Conditioning is king. Size and strength are not to be discounted, but the person with the endurance to maintain a high degree of skill past the point where their opponent is fatigued is almost guaranteed to be the winner.

  2. If you need to build aggression, get fitter. It's been my experience that very high levels of fitness have a positive effect on your ability to be aggressive quickly.

  3. You can't learn to fight unless you spar regularly. However, past a certain point, I believe many fighters would benefit more from quality shadow boxing than they would quality sparring. For clarity, I believe novices should spar 3x a week minimum. Once you are beyond this stage, there is scope to train in a more individual manner. Personally, I found sparring high level opposition 3x a week wore me down quickly. Shadow boxing with effective visualisation can be an excellent replacement. Every time you get in that ring, you've got to want to fight, and feel mentally and physically primed to do so.

  4. Give time to your gym. There is a high turnover of fighters in a lot of gyms, and good fighters come and go - even when they don't, they can be unreliable. In no other sport is it more true that what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. Spend time sparring and training with the guys coming up, and you will soon have guys you can get useful rounds in with, and they in turn will boost the overall quality of your gym.

  5. Have fun. It's possible to spend all your time coiled like a spring in combat sports. For years I used to have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach before I went down to the boxing gym. My imagination would run wild, I'd hope that so-and-so wouldn't be down there so I wouldn't have to spar him, or that it'd be a quiet session and we could just work on technique. I was always so on edge, so hung up on 'being a fighter', that I never learned to just enjoy it. It wasn't until someone older and wiser (who'd just made me see stars), said that it was all just a game and that he was in there to have fun, that I started trying to play. It was about this point that I started to get good. Go figure.


  1. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. People who get sloppy find themselves in trouble, people who enjoy themselves without feeling the need to manifest their enjoyment all over other patrons tend to go home in peace.

  2. There are bad people out there, and they are looking for victims. Don't look like a victim and they'll find an easier target. Being big and strong helps, as does your demeanor. Walk tall, don't look for trouble, but don't be naive either. If trouble finds you, nip it in the bud with extreme prejudice.

  3. There is a pervading myth that there is some kind of honour code in a 'street fight'. There isn't. And since most streetfights involve a disparity of force, either in numbers or physical size, you should always be aware of the available force equalisers (ashtrays, glasses, bar stools, pens etc) around you. If you move table, or bar or whatever, you should always have something to hand that you could use to stack the odds in your favour.

  4. It follows from that that there is no such thing as a fair fight outside of a ring. If you've genuinely tried to avoid trouble, and can't, then be the first to escalate.

  5. If you do find yourself in a situation where you are outnumbered, the first guy has to go down hard and fast. I have less experience than many others here with regards to RMA, and training for these scenarios. However, it is my firm believe that your ability to stay alive/not cop a hellacious beating, depends on you putting the first guy down before the fight's even begun, and in such a way that he won't be getting up until long after it is over. Always try to equalise first, that's the first step in surviving.


  1. In all aspects of life, self-discipline is the most valuable quality you can develop. I believe this is particularly true to combat sports/soldiering/violence. Toughness, indomitability, integrity in their truest forms are all built on a foundation of unwavering discipline.

  2. In a world where virtue is derided and sneered at from all corners; and fashionable types will trumpet their own moral relativism from a powerful platform to the impressionable many, there is still no greater path to contentment than through an unwavering commitment to principle.

  3. Do the hard things, do what frightens you. Find ways to be brave, irrespective of whether anyone else knows. You will build reserves of courage that may save your life when the shit hits the fan.

  4. If you don't put regularly put yourself in a position where you are forced to find courage, you will never really know what it is like to be courageous. Courage being one of, if not the, greatest virtue(s), it would be a life of hollow contentment not to ever know the feeling of having been forced to overcome pant-shitting fear. Adversity is the greatest gift imaginable.

  5. There is no shame in losing or failing at anything, providing you have not compromised your principles in doing so. Mentality and consistency should be outcome independent - there's a difference between doing a thing right, and doing the right thing.


Great list London, and really good job articulating those insights. :slightly_smiling:


WOW dudes! I came hear expecting a good read but.....I found a gold mine of knowledge!


These are gold- I can come up with a few of my own in a few days.

amazing thread.


this is a great thread!

I feel smarter just for having read it.


Sento, London, and Irish: great lists, well written and all truth. One thing I should have added follows up on London's comment about trying to have fun in training. Try not to become bitter about life, look for ways to see some type of goodness. I struggle with this all the time. Great Thread.


Yes, sorry I meant to compliment Irish and Idaho on their lists in my first post but forgot to; all great insights and info.

Now that I've had a little more time to think on the subject and had my thought process further jogged by reading these other great post I'd like to add a few more:

  1. Never underestimate anyone that you have to engage; an 80 year old woman or 10 year old kid is a lethal opponent if armed, and since you never know who is armed you should always assume that someone is unless proven otherwise.

  2. Fight to impair, not to impress. Your skill sets, tactics, and mindset should be based on maximal effectiveness, not on doing things because they " look cool", or are "fun/fancy", or because they "showcase more skill", or because they inflate your ego. Real fights are seldom "pretty".

  3. Fight to protect people, not for power, possessions or property. Real combat can have severe consequences (permanent injury, serious jail time, even death), so really the only time that you should engage on it is when yours or another innocent or loved one's immediate saftey is being threatened.

  4. Don't walk around in "code white" (daydreaming, head buried in an electronic device, oblivious to the world around you) as that lack of awareness is going to make you an easy target for would be criminals and also make it much less likely that you'll be able to avert or avoid bad situations before they happen. But it's also not conducive to health and well being to walk around in "code orange or red" (basically suspecting everyone of being out to attack you and living in a state of constant paranoia).

  5. Respect and honor your training partners. Nobody ever reached a truly high degree of Martial/combative skill without the help of others. These are people who are willing to let you hit them, choke them, crank them, throw them onto the ground, hit them with weapons, bite, pinch, pull their hair, gouge and just generally cause discomfort to them and instead of suing you or coming back with a gang of their armed buddies to retaliate, they shake your hand afterwards, give you a hug and say "thank you, great job"! This should absolutely not be taken for granted, and therefore we must do all that we can to preserve our training partners (while of course also not going so far in the other direction where we never experience any real resistance).

  6. Experience is the ultimate teacher. This is one of out "6 laws of RMA" for good reason. The quickest, most sure fire way to gain skill in something is to actually do it. Likewise if you haven't actually done it, your knowledge of that subject is likely incomplete at best and grossly inaccurate at worst.

  7. Spend considerable time on mental, psychological, and emotional conditioning and training. We've probably all heard the phrase "combat/fighting is 80-90% mental and 10-20% physical", yet most people then turn around and do physical stuff 99.9% of the time and maybe, maybe throw in a mental training drill or principle once in a blue moon. Clearly this should jump out as being contradictory. Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't spend a considerable amount of time on physical training, but if combat is really that mental, then we should at least be incorporating mental/psychological/emotional skills/components into our physical training on a regular basis.

  8. If you are training for real world scenarios, then you cannot only train in the gym/dojo, but must at times (and truth be told you can go overboard on this, so like with any powerful prescription you need to use it in moderation) also train in more realistic conditions. A simple change in terrain (grass, concrete, gravel, mud, water, hills, etc...), climate (temperature, humidity, precipitation), and/or lighting (bright sunshine vs night) can have a dramatic effect on not only how you execute skills, but which skills you choose to execute.


thanks sento

1 is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Not just weapons either, hooligans tend to act like coyotes, use the weak looking guy to lure you back to the group. or if you've offended them, they'll wait till you go to the washroom and jump you in a group there. Plus you never know if the guy in front of you is the next GSP or Mike tyson.

4 is a tough one. Its one of the reasons i don't own an ipod, but i also have a tendency to carry it too far and it makes me paranoid of crowds, for years i wouldn't go to a rock concert because i was so paranoid. Balance is important i guess, whats the point of life if we can't let lose and enjoy it once and awhile?

7 is a valid point. I wouldn't even know where to start training this kind of thing, any suggestions?


Sure, there are a bunch of relatively easy ways to integrate this into your training, but instead of giving you specific drills (which are good no doubt) instead let me give you a couple methods/principles, that way you can create your own drills.

  1. Why do we fight? Walk into pretty much any boxing gym, Muay Thai gym, wrestling practice, BJJ school, heck pretty much any Martial Arts school (be it a combat sport or Exhibition based Martial Art) and you are certain to find people working hard on their ability to perform their physical skills, and of course this is good and necessary. But, how often do those instructors or coaches address or incorporate why the individual might be fighting in the first place? And (generally speaking) even if the topic of motivation is addressed it is generally for selfish or petty reasons (winning a belt or medal for example, not that there is anything wrong with those goals).

But, if we are talking about real combat, then mindset and motivation must be addressed because it precedes any physical skills that one might execute. Real combat is not going to be pretty and can have dire consequences, so one must cultivate or at least tap into his or her primal sources of motivation and instincts for survival if one is to survive such situations. Things like defending one's life or the life of a loved one are classic examples that generally work for pretty much all humans. Visualization can be a powerful tool to activate this survival mindset and also to more realistically approach training for such situations in the first place.

For instance, I mentioned edged weapons defense in one of my earlier posts and how most people's concepts on the subject are way off. The truth is that should you have to actually engage an edged weapon wielding attacker while unarmed (which is definitely a worst case scenario), unless the attacker is in serious operator error (doesn't understand the weapon or how to utilize it's advantages), you are going to get cut. I don't care what anyone says to the contrary and I'd recommend that anyone who thinks otherwise do the "magic marker" test. This fallacy that you are going to walk away unscathed stems from the uncomfortability and innate fear that we humans share with the idea of being slashed (and probably eaten), this is a primal fear that we pretty much all share. So, we develop knife "defenses" wherein we are able to avoid being cut at all and practice performing them on cooperating, limited, or semi resistant opponents to make us feel all warm and fuzzy about our knife defense skills.

This is bullshit! Edged weapons are among the most lethal and dangerous tools ever created by humans and more people have died throughout history due to edged weapons than any other category. To think that we are going to walk away unscathed is just mental masturbation. The goal when engaging someone with an edged weapon ( or any weapon for that matter) is not to avoid being cut or injured in any way, it's to survive and/or to keep your loved one alive and to destroy the opponent's ability to continue to continue to attack with the knife. This is not a pleasant thought, and I sincerely hope that none of us has to ever be put in such a situation. But, if we accurately consider our motivation in such situations (survival), then we see that we would all be willing to suffer such injuries and continue fighting rather than to accept the alternative (the death of our loved ones or our own death). If on the other hand we never really consider the realities or mindset present in such situations it can be easy to convince ourselves that we'll be able to go all Steven Seagal and pull off some sort of intricate skillful knife defense wherein we completely dominate our opponent and walk away without a scratch on us.

  1. Adding in R.I.O.T. (Realistic Ingredients Of Training) principles into your training. Changing the environment, adding in dialogue and tone, changing postural factors or adding in increased physical demands can all increase the realism of your training and can add in additional mental and emotional components/demands which can help one deal with things like stress inoculation, fear management, mental toughness, etc...

Those are the two easiest ways, and you can get a lot of mileage out of them.


thanks man! You always put so much thought into your posts.

I know what you mean about edged weapons, many years ago (more than 15) i was part of an amateur sword/knife fighting club (aka wooden sticks), and anyone who thought they could disarm me without me "lethally" wounding them first gave me a serious chuckle. But you're right, i never thought about what if i was defending a loved one against a superiorly (is that a word?) armed attacker.

i usually carry a knife with me, but one instance where i thought i might of had to use it, i realized i'd left it at home!

  1. I remember in my rexkwondo classes (also more than 15 years ago) my skills and defense would totally fall apart whenever my instructor started yelling at me.

anyways thanks! I have food for thought.


Shit Ive learned.

where to start?
Im going to speak on the sport side vs actual fighting as that is where I have the most to draw from
now some of this has been said by me here before.
and some of this is similar to other topics in this thread.
and some of this I have paraphrased and adopted
and this got very long winded.

I found myself wrestling in HS. Literally dragged to a practice not because of any athletic ability
but for my size more specifically the lack of it.
Where else can a scrawny freshman under 5' tall and under 100lbs excel athletically
I had taken what I guess was some watered down Karate class- at the YMCA then I stumbled on Judo
and did that as a kid thru grade school. I didn't play little league baseball or football etc.
But this was much better- 5 days a week of trying to beat someone's ass.

Suddenly that angry fucking teenage wasteland had a purpose.
wrestling let me work hard and see results immediately.

  1. I have mentioned this many many times here-
    skill work
    strength work.
    in that order.
    bust your ass in all three - til one impacts the other.
    It really is that basic.

  2. the basics of your sport are the most important.
    I mean the very basics . stance, posture, level changes, head motion your jab, your shots and takedowns.
    Drilling them is essential mastering the very very basics movements makes you so efficient
    that the other million variants are easy to implement. But its the basics that makes you unstoppable.

  3. If its important do it everyday.
    Yes - Dan Gable said it, and many many other maxims of the sport
    but its true. Whether in training or life - do it everyday.
    in my case its putting an emphasis on recovery mobility and GPP

5 . get good at what you suck at.
even for the simple reason of making that part of your training bearable
It will take many hours but it will close the gaps in your work

  1. better is always better then more

I didn't come up with that- but its so true.
wanting it and busting your ass accordingly - wont make up
for a better support structure and guidance

  1. train someplace else.
    people above mentioned it too.
    seek the best

I went to HS in Brooklyn- not a great region for wrestling and I sucked.
But I worked all the shitty teenage jobs I could to save for wrestling camp
did some camps in PA and did a 28 day intensive camp in Oklahoma.
then I got better but I still sucked.
went to a busted ass D3/jr college and I had no grades, no plan but they had a wrestling team.
no weights no 'facility' just allot of snow and allot of hills and some mean ass training partners.

turns out Coach was a Oklahoma cowboy an all american and a greco guy - who went to worlds
and was very connected and recruited the fuck out of kids too dumb or lame to get into good schools.
Place was a factory
I was the worst one everywhere I went But I did the work and evolved enough to make it competitive with people
had done it since childhood and I started in HS

So get up pack your training shit get in a car or train and travel to get your ass busted someplace else.
Best and most direct way to improve your own skills is to work with better people.
much better people.
More importantly with people from different places like another country.
I welcomed every chance I could to roll with people from different gyms.
Work travel has taken me all over the country- pre late 90's 2000's when BJJ was just a whisper.
you could find Judo everywhere.
Church Basements, rec centers , Off Duty local and state Police barracks. Korean Cultural centers,
Polish Communities ( elks lodge beer halls)
you can find other people with different ways of training then you .

  1. this shit is a team sport.

wrestling , boxing etc its just you by yourself
and the cliches are endless and emotions run high. As do egos.
you cant spar by yourself.
You need other people to fight , spar and roll with to train and to really test you they should be strangers
you cant be friends on the mat or in the ring even if your goals are the same

  1. keep your emotions in check
    mean streaks are an asset- if reigned in and fear is something you have to accept and manage


Great list Bro. Thanks for contributing.


It is at least possible to survive an unarmed vs knife attack encounter, but...

1) the more skilled and knowledgeable the person wielding the knife is the lower your chances get

2) you MUST disrupt the neural impulses telling the knife to continue to do you harm (you've got to attack the attacker, the real weapon, the blade is then just an inanimate object)

3) you ARE going to get cut in the process, your goal should be to take them on non lethal targets and get yourself into position where you can do serious damage, so you'd better be fully committed to this reality and never stop until they are neutralized

Once the attacker's brain is no longer sending signals to the arm to manipulate the knife to hurt you, then, and pretty much only then are disarms possible. But, even then you need to ask yourself "why should I even care about doing a disarm at this point?" Now, there could be good reason for you wanting to get the knife (like you are dealing with multiple attackers and now that you are bleeding and possibly severely injured or even missing non vital appendages you need that tool to have a hope of overcoming the other opponents) but you still need to watch the tendency to become "married" to the idea of performing the disarm even then and chasing after it (possibly giving the opponent enough time to recover and start using it against you again).

There are lots of details as well when doing things like "clamping" or controlling that must be observed or else you could find yourself "leaking" very badly very quickly. But this is a big subject and I'm not looking to monopolize this thread or write a book here. :slightly_smiling:


I agree strongly with almost everything here.The best is nr.11 :wink: