The average joe. We got it figured out. It's not as hard as it looks. We all do it. We all sit there yelling at the TV, criticizing the guys fighting, acting as if you were there you would be the man imposing your will. We have all had our tough guy moments where we, for one reason or another, came out on top of an altercation with some other no name. We've all believed we were pretty tough and in pretty good shape. Well, so did I.
My son attends a wrestling club in Torrance, California. I recently heard that a submission instructor was going to be there that has competed for close to 20 years. He taught not only law enforcement officials and military personnel, but MMA fighters in the UFC. I jumped at the opportunity to mix it up and do a little sparring with this guy who was smaller than me.
I mean my stand up in the military was solid enough that I boxed for them. My strength is pretty solid. I am about 6'2" tall and 205 lbs. and bench over 300 lbs. My cardio is pretty good. Yeah I got this...so I thought. Yeah right. It opened my eyes to exactly how slow, weak, uncoordinated, out of shape, and ignorant I was.
This guy went about 20 percent and I still had problems getting out of anything he did. The hour long session was humbling to say the least. It's with huge respect that I say to the individuals that compete and make this MMA thing a lifestyle and a career, I ADMIRE YOU.
In order to succeed at MMA, you need to have not only discipline, but desire and a ton of heart. You need to be both tough and smart. You need speed but it needs to be combined with power. It's a thinkers game. One needs more than just a conditioned body. A fighter's knowledge of the game needs to be top notch and, in order for it to get there, you need to spend years to get it there. That takes a special person.
I came to realize that anyone can put on a Tapout shirt and walk around thinking they are the top dog. Anyone can call a good game from the comfort of their couch. It takes a tough SOB to last in the world of MMA. I was humbled and humiliated, but happy to learn that I am not as tough as I thought. I was very happy be meeting the instructor on these terms and not in an altercation where Jose Cuervo had me sizing him up thinking, "Yeah, I can take this guy." Better to know now then spend the next three months sipping through a straw with casts on both arms. No thanks.
For the record I did elect to take training classes from this guy once a week and I will chime in occasionally to update you on the status and share any stories I think may get a laugh or a smile.
Thanks for the inspiration and reality check Ben. You can find Ben's site at www.southbaymma.com