This week I was thinking I would share a few things I learned fighting and training along the way myself. I would like to think that even if you're not a fighter, you can apply most of this in some way. Even if you have to rearrange the words in the sentences to make entirely new sentences, technically, I will still take credit.
Never plan on your next workout being the hard one. Too many times I would hold back working as hard as I could, assuming that things were going to happen as planned. If all the guys you workout with swear up and down that they are coming back later in the day for a hard session, and you pull back thinking you'll need to save your energy - don't. I think when you're at the gym and sweating, give it your all with the scenario at hand, who knows how the next workout is going to shape up, work hard for yourself when the opportunity is there.
Careful with the new guys. Anyone who has been training any amount of time will tell you, the new people are substantially more likely to hurt you than the vets. I guess it's just the inexperience, but it seems like every time someone is hurt training, there is usually a new guy involved. When you start out, it's much harder to control strength and movement, you are much more spastic and do strange things. While I certainly feel that there is a benefit for both sides in working with the inexperienced, just keep safety in mind as well.
Shut your mouth and train. For the most part, the vast majority of the people I have encountered in this sport are very easygoing, humble, likeminded people. That being said, there will always be a few bad examples and I think it can be more poisonous to the gym environment than one may think. While in competition this is an individual sport, but in every other aspect you are part of a team, and how the team interacts is important. I am all for jokes, but while training take it seriously and let everyone else do the same. Trying to talk tough and be in charge of little sub-hierarchies in class is also useless. The structure of one person teaching, and the rest listening and doing is important. I don't care
if you watched Dean Lister's rubber guard tapes five times, shut up and practice the armbar drill we are doing.
Money hurts people's feelings. One of the biggest disappointments about turning professional in my eyes was having to get paid. That sounds strange I know, but coming from a "pure" amateur status, where I did all my fighting and training at my own expense and for the pure love of it, and suddenly becoming paid to do so I noticed things were now more complicated. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful everyday to be able to support myself doing what I love, and I hope to be able to for as long as possible, but it just added another element of reality to the whole thing. No one ever told me, but introducing money to the mix can make your training relationships a bit more strained. The friendly gym
down the street from your regular gym may not be as cool with you just popping in and out on occasion, little things like that. Again, your team is very important to how your career goes, and being paid to fight will change how you are treated. This is a very complex and delicate subject to really explore, but I think even just being cognizant that going pro will change how routine and interpersonal relationships go for you is an advantage.
This is all of course just my opinion, and you may agree with some or none of it. The important part is that you read and think for yourself, and tell all your friends to read it too and email Spike and tell them my blogs changed your life and they should pay me extraordinary amounts of money to publish this crap I make up. Peace.