The Top 10 Tips From The Cage

Below you can find a collection of 10 "tips from the cage".  This is a section in our twice weekly, email magazine where I give a bite sized tip to help improve your performance as it relates to MMA. 

The topics range from techniques, strength & conditioning, nutrition, psychology,  post work out recovery, recovering from an injury and injury prevention. 

You can find the list of categories we focus on here at www.mmawarriorcircle.com above in the header of the site listed under "blog". 

Enjoy! 


Tip #1: Keep Your Chin Down

Always keep your chin down when training, fighting etc. Tuck that shit! Make it a habit & practice it.

Ball drill : Get yourself a golf ball, tennis ball etc. (experiment with different types of balls- no pun intended)

Put it under your chin and shadow drill.  Boxing, kickboxing, etc.

If the ball drops it means you’re lifting your chin. This will help develop the habit of keeping your chin tucked. 


Tip #2: Relax


The power of relaxation.Try to stay loose when sparring, training, fighting etc.Stay as relaxed as possible and when you need to explode, flex every muscle in your body for maximum power.When flexing, clench your fist, brace your abs as if

Try to stay loose when sparring, training, fighting etc. Stay as relaxed as possible and when you need to explode, flex every muscle in your body for maximum power.When flexing, clench your fist, brace your abs as if

When flexing, clench your fist, brace your abs as if your going to take a punch and squeeze your glutes as though you want to hold a coin between your ass cheeks! You’ll notice, it forces all the other muscles in your body to contract simultaneously.Application:When you execute a technique, i.e, throw a punch, kick, takedown etc., stay relaxed and loose until just before the moment of impact.At that point exhale explosively, squeeze your fist, brace your abs and squeeze your butt as hard as you can.You’ll notice a huge boost in strength and power. Practice, practice, practice!

You’ll notice, it forces all the other muscles in your body to contract simultaneously.Application:When you execute a technique, i.e, throw a punch, kick, takedown etc., stay relaxed and loose until just before the moment of impact.At that point exhale explosively, squeeze your fist, brace your abs and squeeze your butt as hard as you can.You’ll notice a huge boost in strength and power. Practice, practice, practice!

Application: When you execute a technique, i.e, throw a punch, kick, takedown etc., stay relaxed and loose until just before the moment of impact.At that point exhale explosively, squeeze your fist, brace your abs and squeeze your butt as hard as you can.You’ll notice a huge boost in strength and power. Practice, practice, practice!

At that point exhale explosively, squeeze your fist, brace your abs and squeeze your butt as hard as you can.   

The result: A huge boost in strength and power. Practice, practice, practice!

Tip #3: Shoot From The Correct Distance


Never shoot at a leg from farther out than arms length.

Tip #4: Break Your Opponents Stance


Never shoot a take down without first destroying your opponents stance.
Set up all take downs.

Its all about "leverage & balance"

Tip #5: Use Combination Attacks


Throw only 3-5 combination attacks.

There’s no need to throw more than that since it will exhaust your energy, and you’ll be open to counter strikes.

Stick with practicing combinations in bunches of 3-5. You’ll be more effective.

Tip #6: Basic Muay Thai Knee Drill


The basic straight knee:

practicing in shadow is key before moving onto pads.

Stay on the toes throughout and extend the hip in the upper position.

Performing repetitive knees in this fashion is how Thai fighters improve their balance and control.

Tip #7: Water Quantity Formula


Water intake guidelines:

Here is a formula for how much water you should be drinking daily.

Bodyweight/ 2 / 8 = cups of water.

If you’re sweating or exercising a lot more than usual, (which you most likely are) then you’ll want to keep this as your base and increase as needed.

Tip #8: See Everything


When you’re fighting/sparring etc. look at everything! Take the entire picture in.Treat fighting like driving.

Here’s what I mean.

Bad drivers: They don’t pay attention to anything.  
Decent drivers: They watch the car in front of them.
Excellent drivers: They look as far as they can see.. because of this, they’re able to see everything and not just react, but anticipate what will happen next.

Likewise, an experienced fighter takes in his surroundings & his entire opponent.

You’re looking for openings & anticipating his/her attack.

By taking in the entire picture you’re able to capitalize on his/her mistakes, openings, and anticipate attacks.

Look at everything- NOT just the hands, feet, or chest. Be aware of the entire picture.

Tip #9: Create Schedule


If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

That is a principle I apply in all areas of my life, and I encourage you to do the same. 

Its no different in MMA training.

When it comes to training, the biggest challenge for most athletes is fitting it all in, even if its just a hobby.

After all, MMA consists of SO many aspects from the various ranges of combat, techniques, strength and conditioning, and on and on.

Schedule your recovery! #1 thing I learned along the way is to actually schedule your rest and recovery.

Make sure you give your body enough time to adapt and to heal.
Otherwise, you’ll do a great job of running your body into the ground.

Tip #10: Experiment With What & When To Train


Experiment training your different ranges at different times of day (if your able to).

Meaning, I prefer doing any stand up before any grappling if I’m training both on that specific day.

For example: I’ll do some kickboxing & boxing in the late morning and then in the evening I might do shoot wrestling, Judo etc.

Likewise, when I’m doing my strength & conditioning, I like to do my strength first and then do any conditioning work after that vs the other way around.

Experiment and see what feels better. When you find the perfect mix for your body, you'll find you recover much fast and your results will improve quicker too.

Obviously your work schedule, gym hours, class times etc. will be a factor. Just do your best but most of all, listen to your body.

About the Author Ricardo Vasquez

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