When we are young and first get an interest in something, particularly martial arts, we often want to get straight in to sparring and fighting. Often this wish is driven by the fighters we are seeing in MMA or Muay Thai events, which may have also influenced us in taking up training, such that we want to be like them.
What we may find ourselves ignoring is that these fighters spent many years developing their ability by learning their skills from professional coaches and martial arts schools. Most have competed in many amateur and lower skill level matches before they made to the high profile events, such as the UFC or fighting in Lumpinee Stadium, Bangkok.
Muay Thai fighters, in Thailand, start as children training in Camps and spend many years preparing until they reach the level of an acclaimed professional, and then very few make it. The same is true of MMA, Boxing and Muay Thai fighters in the Western world. The majority have spent many years developing their skills under good coaches and at schools that emphasize the learning of quality technique, often enhancing and improving the existing basic techniques with their experience, to improve the game which also may contribute to and result in the evolution of the game .
Without good technique you are relying on basic techniques together with extreme conditioning to triumph. This often works at the beginner levels of competition, but as the skill level of your opponent’s increases, and the level of competition rises, the athletes at that level will have superior physical conditioning, a stronger mental attitude and very well trained and perfected techniques.
To give yourself the best opportunity to develop a strong martial arts game take the time to learn and perfect your technical ability. While there are “martial arts clubs” that just train to fight and use a philosophy of fighting to learn and train, generally the training life of a student is short term and results in a very limited knowledge of the art, being learned. In addition, it does not give the student the full appreciation of the benefits that training in the martial arts can provide. Clubs such as this filter their students by attrition so that only the hardest fighters remain and this is what builds the reputation of the club. An excellent example of this was evident in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the difference in approaches that Carlson Gracie Snr and Rolles Gracie took. Carlson tended to favor fighter focused students whereas Rolles was interested in developing all students and focused on developing the technical skill of himself, his students and the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
At the Academy of Combat Mixed Martial Arts School our philosophy is to teach and provide a fully comprehensive curriculum of the various martial arts we specialize in, together with an emphasis on enabling students to obtain the full benefits of training in the martial arts, The emphasis is in the teaching and development of precise technical ability and knowledge.
By attending a school with a comprehensive curriculum and qualified, knowledgeable instructors you can be assured that you will develop a very comprehensive knowledge of the discipline and be able to embrace the awesome benefit s that the art has to offer, in a safe and supportive environment, in which you don’t have to endure the mental and physical poundings that takes a toll on your overall well being, not to mention the many injuries that will slow your progress, or even end your training.
And if you want to be a competitive fighter take your time to learn the techniques, then start to compete, but continually train to develop your knowledge and abilities, and hone your skills in a safe controlled environment aside from the random semi chaotic training of free sparring, which is essential but only once the skills have been learned. Sparring should be carried out at a level that enables you to try out and incorporate your learned skills into your game in a less controlled situation than choreographed training drills.