T Nation

Training for 1st MMA Fight


#1

Hello friends. I've always toyed with the idea of competing in MMA just for fun and recently decided to pull the trigger and go all in. I'm about as raw as it gets as far as technique since I've never been trained. I'm a decent athlete I lift and play hockey regularly so my cardio isn't terrible and improving each workout.

A co-worker was a pro boxer and helps prep fighters with their boxing and he is training me as far as boxing. He has some friends that I will be training with as far as all the other aspects of MMA once my conditioning gets up to par. I just want to learn something new and have some fun. I may log what I'm doing if I can remember to keep up with it I am real busy with family and work so you know how that goes.

10-11
930am-1030am 1hr boxing 6 3min rounds - worked the bags for 3 rounds and light sparring for 3 rounds working on head movement and range. Worked the mitts for a little bit to work on slipping and rolling.

1340-1440
5/3/1 beach body challenge week 1 day 2
A) back squat worked up to PR 335lbs x 1
B) deadlift 70%/80%/90% 3x5 285x5 320x5 360x4
C1) military press 70% 115x10,10,10
C2) DB row 70x20,20,20

Ran out of time and had to go to work so I cut it two sets short on the military and DB rows still a productive workout.


#2

I’ve always thought that the Beach Body template looked awesome. I’m interested to see how it works for you.

I hope your fight training goes well.


#3

Steven,
I’m heartened to see someone step up and embrace a challenge like this.
Well done and I wish you all the best.
Excuse my hard comments here-under, I am grizzled before my time.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
Hello friends. I’ve always toyed with the idea of competing in MMA just for fun and recently decided to pull the trigger and go all in. I’m about as raw as it gets as far as technique since I’ve never been trained. I’m a decent athlete I lift and play hockey regularly so my cardio isn’t terrible and improving each workout.
[/quote]
I think this is the most common mistake.
People take up combat sports for fun. On the one hand, the training is immensely enjoyable, deciding to compete is another story.
I cannot convey the gravitas of your situation clearly enough.
You have engaged a situation where another grown man is actively training and conditioning his body to dispatch of you as quickly and impressively as possible.
This is no longer sport. This is no longer a game.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
A co-worker was a pro boxer and helps prep fighters with their boxing and he is training me as far as boxing. He has some friends that I will be training with as far as all the other aspects of MMA once my conditioning gets up to par. I just want to learn something new and have some fun. I may log what I’m doing if I can remember to keep up with it I am real busy with family and work so you know how that goes.
[/quote]
Start Yesterday.
If you want this to go your way your lifestyle must be monastic. You have to immerse yourself in learning.
At this stage you are unconsciously incompetent (please forgive me, I come from a tough gym.) It is only when you get in a are run through the mill you will realise what you do not know. You must not only embrace your education, you must proactively seek understanding. That came of very Mr. Miyagi, but it do man… It do.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
10-11
930am-1030am 1hr boxing 6 3min rounds - worked the bags for 3 rounds and light sparring for 3 rounds working on head movement and range. Worked the mitts for a little bit to work on slipping and rolling.

1340-1440
5/3/1 beach body challenge week 1 day 2

[/quote]
Training plans looked good.
531 is something I’ve used before fights and actually think it is terrific for fight training.
One thing - If your training for MMA you wanna be careful slipping and rolling.
Head movement is my thing; I grew up idolising James Toney, RJJ, Locche, Whittaker, Pep… all the defensive masters…I’m a nerd on defensive boxing.
But it changes slightly when you can get kicked in the head or taken down.

Anyhow, I just want to say all the very best. I admire anyone with the nuts to step up and fight. If there is anyway I can help from behind my keyboard, high in my ivory tower, I will lol.


#4

Great advice by Donny above^^^

I also congratulate you for setting a challenging goal for yourself and committing to reach it.

What Donny said about being unconsciously incompetent is absolutely spot on. Once you start seriously training with skilled training partners you will then become consciously incompetent (you will realize how much you don’t know or cannot do). After some time you will become consciously competent (you will be able to do some stuff, but will have to concentrate to do them and will mostly only be comfortable within a very narrow set of circumstances/situations). And finally, if you stick with it long enough you will become unconsciously competent (where you just “react”/“flow” seemlessly and no longer have to “think” about doing things). This progression takes time though and requires some serious effort and quite honestly discomfort to reach. But if you are willing, it is definitely worth it IMHO.

Regarding slipping and rolling, one important distinction is that although technically any type of evasive head movement is technically “slipping” punches/kicks, there is a difference between “slipping” and “bobbing;” most people though (even very good striking coaches) teach “bobbing” and call it “slipping.”

In a true upright “slip” you are actually not really any more susceptible to getting kicked then you are in your usual fighting posture, and because there is very little rotation of the body, you are actually not really any more susceptible to grappling based attacks either. If you “Bob” though (which includes rotation of your hips and torso) you are much more susceptible to grappling based attacks. As long as you stay upright you aren’t really much if any more susceptible to getting kicked though (if executing the defensive maneuver from the appropriate range and at the appropriate time). If you do a crouching “slip” or “Bob” though, then yes kicks are going to be more of an issue.

“Rolling” can also still be done effectively, but does definitely make you more susceptible to grappling based attacks.


#5

Congratulations on one hell of a goal. Always listen to Donny and Sento, they know what they are doing. I am posting a link to a training log by Ranzo, a mixed martial artist from Tennessee, who used to post here on a regular basis. I believe you will find it beneficial. Good Luck.

   http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_boxing_fighting_mma_combat/ranzo_training_log_1

#6

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:
Steven,
I’m heartened to see someone step up and embrace a challenge like this.
Well done and I wish you all the best.
Excuse my hard comments here-under, I am grizzled before my time.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
Hello friends. I’ve always toyed with the idea of competing in MMA just for fun and recently decided to pull the trigger and go all in. I’m about as raw as it gets as far as technique since I’ve never been trained. I’m a decent athlete I lift and play hockey regularly so my cardio isn’t terrible and improving each workout.
[/quote]
I think this is the most common mistake.
People take up combat sports for fun. On the one hand, the training is immensely enjoyable, deciding to compete is another story.
I cannot convey the gravitas of your situation clearly enough.
You have engaged a situation where another grown man is actively training and conditioning his body to dispatch of you as quickly and impressively as possible.
This is no longer sport. This is no longer a game.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
A co-worker was a pro boxer and helps prep fighters with their boxing and he is training me as far as boxing. He has some friends that I will be training with as far as all the other aspects of MMA once my conditioning gets up to par. I just want to learn something new and have some fun. I may log what I’m doing if I can remember to keep up with it I am real busy with family and work so you know how that goes.
[/quote]
Start Yesterday.
If you want this to go your way your lifestyle must be monastic. You have to immerse yourself in learning.
At this stage you are unconsciously incompetent (please forgive me, I come from a tough gym.) It is only when you get in a are run through the mill you will realise what you do not know. You must not only embrace your education, you must proactively seek understanding. That came of very Mr. Miyagi, but it do man… It do.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
10-11
930am-1030am 1hr boxing 6 3min rounds - worked the bags for 3 rounds and light sparring for 3 rounds working on head movement and range. Worked the mitts for a little bit to work on slipping and rolling.

1340-1440
5/3/1 beach body challenge week 1 day 2

[/quote]
Training plans looked good.
531 is something I’ve used before fights and actually think it is terrific for fight training.
One thing - If your training for MMA you wanna be careful slipping and rolling.
Head movement is my thing; I grew up idolising James Toney, RJJ, Locche, Whittaker, Pep… all the defensive masters…I’m a nerd on defensive boxing.
But it changes slightly when you can get kicked in the head or taken down.

Anyhow, I just want to say all the very best. I admire anyone with the nuts to step up and fight. If there is anyway I can help from behind my keyboard, high in my ivory tower, I will lol.

[/quote]

Thank you for your comments.


#7

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Great advice by Donny above^^^

I also congratulate you for setting a challenging goal for yourself and committing to reach it.

What Donny said about being unconsciously incompetent is absolutely spot on. Once you start seriously training with skilled training partners you will then become consciously incompetent (you will realize how much you don’t know or cannot do). After some time you will become consciously competent (you will be able to do some stuff, but will have to concentrate to do them and will mostly only be comfortable within a very narrow set of circumstances/situations). And finally, if you stick with it long enough you will become unconsciously competent (where you just “react”/“flow” seemlessly and no longer have to “think” about doing things). This progression takes time though and requires some serious effort and quite honestly discomfort to reach. But if you are willing, it is definitely worth it IMHO.

Regarding slipping and rolling, one important distinction is that although technically any type of evasive head movement is technically “slipping” punches/kicks, there is a difference between “slipping” and “bobbing;” most people though (even very good striking coaches) teach “bobbing” and call it “slipping.”

In a true upright “slip” you are actually not really any more susceptible to getting kicked then you are in your usual fighting posture, and because there is very little rotation of the body, you are actually not really any more susceptible to grappling based attacks either. If you “Bob” though (which includes rotation of your hips and torso) you are much more susceptible to grappling based attacks. As long as you stay upright you aren’t really much if any more susceptible to getting kicked though (if executing the defensive maneuver from the appropriate range and at the appropriate time). If you do a crouching “slip” or “Bob” though, then yes kicks are going to be more of an issue.

“Rolling” can also still be done effectively, but does definitely make you more susceptible to grappling based attacks.[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. I have been pretty aimless for the past 3 years and I’m very goal oriented in the gym and life. This is a new goal I want to reach and put my energy towards. Plus the self-defense aspect could come in handy since I work in prison.


#8

[quote]idaho wrote:
Congratulations on one hell of a goal. Always listen to Donny and Sento, they know what they are doing. I am posting a link to a training log by Ranzo, a mixed martial artist from Tennessee, who used to post here on a regular basis. I believe you will find it beneficial. Good Luck.

   http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_boxing_fighting_mma_combat/ranzo_training_log_1

[/quote]

Thank you. I have read a lot of your posts and am honored you took the time to reply.


#9

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
I’ve always thought that the Beach Body template looked awesome. I’m interested to see how it works for you.

I hope your fight training goes well. [/quote]

It’s actually a pretty fun template. I like the hang cleans I’m hoping to PR mine been stuck at 225 for a while.


#10

[quote]StevenF wrote:
Thanks for the reply. I have been pretty aimless for the past 3 years and I’m very goal oriented in the gym and life. This is a new goal I want to reach and put my energy towards. Plus the self-defense aspect could come in handy since I work in prison. [/quote]
That’s awesome; would be really interested to see you logging your experience & progress


#11

[quote]StevenF wrote:

[quote]idaho wrote:
Congratulations on one hell of a goal. Always listen to Donny and Sento, they know what they are doing. I am posting a link to a training log by Ranzo, a mixed martial artist from Tennessee, who used to post here on a regular basis. I believe you will find it beneficial. Good Luck.

   http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_boxing_fighting_mma_combat/ranzo_training_log_1

[/quote]

Thank you. I have read a lot of your posts and am honored you took the time to reply.
[/quote]

Steven,
No need to feel "honored’, I am just a regular guy trying to learn like the rest of us here, Seriously, you have my deep respect if you work in a prison.
I am ashamed to say that a lot of people in the LEO/Tactical Military world “look down” on correction officers as being second class citizens. Nothing could be farther from the truth, yes, there are bad apples like every other profession, but, it takes a particular type of courage to enter those walls everyday. My unit was sent to the Atlanta Federal Prison to practice drills for a future operation on another foreign facility, and I swear, what a death trap,reminded me of a medieval castle with hidden chambers. I have been in county and big city jails, and, that is just worse, especially those “open pods?”. Damn, talk about feeling naked. So, like I said, you have my respect. Any chance you are on a Crash Team? Last year I met a former sniper from the Washington State Prison system, didn’t know the prison was that big, and certainly didn’t know the amount of tactical training they received. Good Stuff. You really should start a log, take advantage of the knowledge of Donny, Sento and Irish. Be good to follow your progress and training methods.


#12

[quote] idaho wrote:

Steven,
No need to feel "honored’, I am just a regular guy trying to learn like the rest of us here, Seriously, you have my deep respect if you work in a prison.
I am ashamed to say that a lot of people in the LEO/Tactical Military world “look down” on correction officers as being second class citizens. Nothing could be farther from the truth, yes, there are bad apples like every other profession, but, it takes a particular type of courage to enter those walls everyday. My unit was sent to the Atlanta Federal Prison to practice drills for a future operation on another foreign facility, and I swear, what a death trap,reminded me of a medieval castle with hidden chambers. I have been in county and big city jails, and, that is just worse, especially those “open pods?”. Damn, talk about feeling naked. So, like I said, you have my respect. Any chance you are on a Crash Team? Last year I met a former sniper from the Washington State Prison system, didn’t know the prison was that big, and certainly didn’t know the amount of tactical training they received. Good Stuff. You really should start a log, take advantage of the knowledge of Donny, Sento and Irish. Be good to follow your progress and training methods.[/quote]

I tried out for the ERT team here but I didn’t interview well and they didn’t accept me unfortunately. I can’t really be on call all the time anyway with 2 kids and a wife in nursing school. Our facility is level 1 which is the lowest security level and each housing unit , 11 total, holds 160 prisoners and 2 officers per unit or sometimes 1 if they close a position which is always fun. The housing units are dormitory style with cubes of 8 two hallways 80 prisoners per hallway. Not a place for the faint of heart to walk down those halls the women especially have a difficult time. It being a level 1 and wide open is actually a bit more unsafe since we cannot lock them down into cells but a lot of new people think level 1 means they are safer. Two days ago in the level 1 part of a prison an hour south of here an officer was found in the officer restroom with a big gash on his head barely conscious. One of the gangs for whatever reason had put hits out on some officers there and he got hit with a lock in a sock going to use the restroom.

Needless to say things like that motivate me to be as prepared as possible. I always try to tell the new officers that just because nothing happens that doesn’t mean it never will.

10/13/15 training

5/3/1 beach body week 1 day 3

A) hang clean PR 225lbs x 1
5 x 3 @ 85% 190x3, 3, 3 (Terminated here couldn’t maintain decent form)
B) squat 70% of 300lbs 210 x 15
C) press 3x5 @ 75/80/90% of 160 110x5 130x5 140x5
D1) chin-ups 10, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 5, 5 44 total mixed up with kettlebell pull-ups, towel, regular pull-ups, parallel grip
D2) DB floor press 70x10, 10, 10

Heavy bag
5 x 3 min rounds


#13

A ratio of 80 to 100 hundred inmates to one CO? Insane. Glad you started a log and looking forward to reading about your training. Stay safe, train hard, watch your 6.


#14

Beginning training next Friday with an MMA guy. He fought in a boxing match in Vegas recently and went 6 rounds with one of Floyd Mayweather’s fighters don’t think he won though but did pretty well. Needless to say I’m excited to begin.

My friend and boxing coach is the blond hair guy.


#15

He’s been around.
And went six with a good boy.
Should make a great training companion!


#16

I love how that dude is grabbing the other guy by the back of the neck to hold him while he pounds his body. True MMA style.

I was going to ask how you were going to learn to wrestle. I guess you can’t do much better than a college wrestling coach who fights.

Watch out for your ears!


#17

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:
He’s been around.
And went six with a good boy.
Should make a great training companion![/quote]

I tried to edit it after I read the article but regardless it should be a great learning opportunity. Next Friday!


#18

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
I love how that dude is grabbing the other guy by the back of the neck to hold him while he pounds his body. True MMA style.

I was going to ask how you were going to learn to wrestle. I guess you can’t do much better than a college wrestling coach who fights.

Watch out for your ears![/quote]

Yes what a blessing. Not only that, all this training is completely free! Since I’m not a pro they won’t charge me since I won’t be making money off their efforts.


#19

10/15/15
0930-1030
10 2 minute rounds 45 sec active rest between push-ups, jumping jacks, burpees
Switched bags each round between angle bag, uppercut bag, 200lb heavy bag fighting on the inside, double end bag, 150lb heavy bag fighting from the outside
1 min normal stance 1 min southpaw

Can’t wait till I get paid next week I am really missing my Plazma and MAG-10 right about now sore as shit from my last 5/3/1 workout.


#20

Steve,
I think you would really benefit from reading Donny’s post on the current “Boxing books thread” great information.

CarltonJ wrote:
Gloves
For a 168lbs fighter, should I be using 10oz gloves for pad and bag work? I feel I?ve exhausted using 14-16oz at this stage (my speed is good, technique needs refining), and I see a lot of professionals using what appear to be very small (10oz) and limiting 16oz to sparring.

Padwork is for refining technique.
As such you should use as close to a competition glove as you can.
Even slight differences in weight will cause you to throw in a different motor pattern, so when refining technique, use as close to competition as possible (10oz.)
The bag should be similar. The only difference is with the bag we are unloading on a static target. This can take wear on your hands/joints etc. real quick. I use 10oz and double wrap for bag sessions, but theres nothing wrong with a 12 or 14oz glove here.

CarltonJ wrote:
Reactions
Do you guys do any reaction timing training? If so, id love to hear what drills. On the one hand, I think reactions are kind of like power. In that your born with it and/or you can develop this skill most when young. Just my opinion. With that said, I understand fast reactions are a huge advantage and therefore very willing to work at it.

In 2013 I was part of a study in the university of Limerick measuring reaction times.
In the study I performed ok. A “good” rating.
I know of young boxers who received “excellent” reviews. But when we get to the boxing gym, I was out performing them.
In our sport, reactions are vital. Even more vital is the knowledge of what reaction to use for each stimulus.
So, while I understand what you’re getting at, my take is; dont over complicate; spend your time mastering techniques and principals and once you have grasped the movements, try adding speed.

CarltonJ wrote:
One thing I?ve heard quite a few fighters who stepped in the ring with Mayweather say is, whilst hes got fast hands, his footwork and reactions are out of this world. Recent case in point, anyone seen that clip where he has hands down by his side, slips 3 berto jabs and then lands a left hook?!

This is related to the above.
Knowledge on when and how to react can make a spontaneous or poorly contemplated attack look novice like.
Additionally; timing beats speed.
They called Archie Moore “the Mongoose,” famed for catching even his most snake-fast opponents; despite the fact that he wasn’t an athletic freak of nature.
Timing beats speed; knowing what tool to implement and when makes that lethal.

CarltonJ wrote:
Footwork Question
Currently I do 3 x 3 minute shadowboxing-esq rounds (twice per week) dedicated solely to footwork. I focus on 2 movements:
Pivoting (left and right)
The ?L? step (moving back with the lead foot, followed by moving right with the rear foot).
Wondered if there are any other ?moves? to practice.

When we were amateurs they used to tell us the first form of defence was our guard.
Complete manure.
Your feet are your first form of defence. If you can move and evade an opponents attack’s there is no need for a guard!
So footwork is your most basal defence.
Then I employ what I refer to as "footwork defenses."
These include;
The Step away
Sidestepping
Pivotting
Pull Counters
and more variations

CarltonJ wrote:
Head movement
Without a doubt my worst attribute. I?m so lazy with it on the heavy bag and in shadow boxing when I practice, some of my moves just seem to lack purpose.
I combine it with blocking and do 3 x 3 minute shadowboxing rounds once per week. Any drills or tips people particularly like are very welcome.

Its difficult to focus on head movement when you’re working out on the bag.
My girlfriend is national ladies champion. On the offense she is world class; but she struggles to integrate head movement to her game.
Padwork is one method of improving head movement.
Using a countering system, you can set up nice drills there.
Outside of that, I think shadowboxing in the mirror is really helpful.

In some other thread I outlined how I rehearse myy head movement;
I outlined it bettter back then, but essentially his is how it goes;

Stimulus > Defence > reaction

So I visualise an attack coming at me; I rrespond with a defence; and I counter his aggression

Opponents Jab > Outside Slip ® > Straight, LH, Straight

I will then drill that repeatedly in the mirror so that my defense is quick and smooth and my counter is explosive and accurate.