Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Better Edge

I have noticed in Amateur MMA a lot of schools/teams/gyms ignore the importance of elbows and leg submission. Some amateur competitions allow elbows and others don't. I would imagine that many people don't want to spend the limited practice time they have honing skills they may or may not use; understandable, but risky.

After working with one of my teammates and mentors, Ivan, I have gained a new understanding of the importance of the underrated techniques. (I say underrated because I have not seen them very much in competition.) Ivan and I were going over the fine tuning of my last fight. I am a firm believer that there is something to be learned in everything. So, yes, I was victorious but I also have a lot to learn based on the way I fought. During one of our advanced practices Ivan demonstrated for me how to use elbows and strikes to advance my position further. That is the beauty of being able to work hard with people that know so much. I am now more capable of seeing openings that I was not looking for. I have something to work on at practice to help advance me to the next level of my game.

After we had gone over the fine tuning from the fights I asked him to help me out with leg submissions. I will make this generalization and swear by it: most amateur fighters have no clue how to do any leg submissions, nor do they know how to see them coming and defend them. Every time I role with Ivan or T.J. I find myself tapping to a knee bar, leg lock, toe hold, etc. I have been submission grappling for five years and I am decent at it, but I know there is a big hole in my game. After we talked and worked on some stuff, I van dedicated an entire practice to a leg lock series. I did not even realize how many ways there are of submitting people using legs in just one series.

And that is the thing about martial arts: there is always an art to beat yours in one respect or another, always a competitor that knows more, always more knowledge to be gained, always changes and new moves, always a next level. The key to having a better edge is to find a team and coach that you trust, so that you can learn together and build on what you are and who you are. The learning is never finished. I feel like martial arts is a lot like teaching; once you feel like the job is easy, the job is done, then it is time to hang up your shoes and move on to the next.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Where I Have Landed

I have been around for a long time, going on five years. I have met a number of people and have seen my fair share of everything in this sport; good teams, bad teams, poor sports, true martial artists, phenomenal coaches, terrible coaches, inadequately trained teams, teams that do not have a clue, guys with a lot of heart and "cage fighter bar brawlers." I have experienced enough to know that I have landed in the place that I need to have landed to become successful and live my dreams.

I do not, for a second, take for granted where I am and who I have become as a fighter and as a person because of it. There are very few places that make each and every one of their students feel like they are a part of a family. I have had people bend over backwards for me and for my career without asking for a single thing in return. I have never met more kind-hearted upstanding individials as I have training at Lightining Kicks. I am far away from the place that I called home and from the family I grew up with, but Lightning Kicks is a place where every person can go and know they have a home and a family to back them.

My skill level has immeasurably grown in all aspects in the time I have spent with Master Amir and my teammates. I could never have foreseen my reaching my full potential, but now I know I am capable. I have coaches that give up time with their families and friends to be there for all of us, to help us get better and watch us succeed. All of these sacrifices that each of us make are a testament to our work ethic and sense of family and team.

I know how privileged I am to be where I am and to train with the people I train with each and every day. I can never thank all of my teammates and my coaches enough for all they have done to see me succeed and to live out my goals so that I may achieve my dreams. All I can do is live with the indomitable spirit and demonstrate my knowledge and growth in the cage.


Back To It

Summer school has kicked my butt, so I have been unable to get on here as much as I would like.

Since my last post:

1. Awesome Akimma has decided to sponsor me

2. I became the 125 lb Capital City Cage Fighting Champion