Sunday, December 19, 2010

Having the balls to go easy

Hi everyone,

I recently heard a guy complaining about how he doesn't like schools that don't go 100% during training - like they don't have the balls to go hard.

It has been my experience that what someone lacks in technique, they make up in horse power. This is just as true for myself as it is for others.

If I find myself in a timing deficit, I go faster to make up the time.
If my base is off, I scramble to catch my balance.
If I lack sufficient foresight to avoid a bad position, I use power to hold my opponent off while trying to rearrange my game.

The more I am aware of what's going on, the less I do these things. I do not strive to "go 100%" - I strive to go 60-70%. Given my competitive nature, that is not always easy for me.

By practicing with a calm mind, I teach myself to have clear vision.
By staying in the lower horse power range, I learn to use my other resources more effectively when I'm in a bad position.
By not rushing to finish a submission before my opponent escapes, I learn more about how he escapes, and how to stop him next time.

Training is not fighting.

Training is the opportunity to take chances and experiment, maybe even get caught. Fighting is the time to win, not to take chances unless there's no other way.

When you fight, you do what you're already good at and hopefully it is enough.
When you train, you practice what you're good at, and what you're not good at, in the hope of getting better.
When you fight, your opponent stands in your way, and he must be defeated for you to meet your goal.
When you train, your opponent stands beside you ready to help you fulfill your goals, because he is your teammate.

There is a time in the training cycle to up the horse power and go hard, but it isn't that often. This blog isn't about periodicity in training, so I wont go into that right now. Suffice it to say that 80% of your training should be at 70% or lower. And 100% of your training should be about discipline.

So man up, and have the balls to go easy.

See you on the mat,



  1. Excellent post and great advice. This particular one speaks to me, as it is my nature to rely on my athletic abilities when I feel the pressure mounting.

  2. blog spoke volumes to me D. Thank you very much.

  3. This is so hard to do, especially being a bigger guy.