Seems that with the boom of Mixed Martial Arts that every martial arts school, gym, studio, etc. has become some form of MMA. That’s cool by me; we all need to evolve and train differently to maintain our edge in business or personal life. This thought actually came to me while discussing our programs with a potential student. The conversation geared towards his experience in the cage, where he boxed, what his grappling experience was, and so on. This is where he said that he wants to train to be a fighter. Great! I say, though we don’t train fighters here; we train athletes that fight. And so he gives me the ever common, perplexed, “WTF?!?” look….and I tell him, we don’t train fighters, we train athletes who fight. Below is an over-simplified description of what I feel a fighter is:
- is a generic term for combat athletes
- does what he/she needs to do to survive
- is driven by sheer determination and will
- is willing to suffer if he/she must
- is willing to die if he/she has to
- most importantly, it’s a mindset.
This is something I cannot teach another human being. As a coach, I can ONLY equip my student with the necessary weapons to compete. Being a fighter has a certain set of intangibles that the student must develop through their own inspiration. I am not saying that combat sports athletes are not fighters; quite the contrary. To perform at such a high level, a combat sports athlete needs to have this mentality. Whether the most or least successful competitor, preparing for the fight and actually showing up ready to face another skilled opponent demonstrates the “fighter” mentality that one needs to participate in combat. Point blank…I respect all combat athletes regardless of wins or losses.
What I am saying, is that entrusting someone else to teach you what you need to find within yourself is a recipe for disaster. That leads to inflated promises from the coach (it is a business you know) and diminishes the most important component of the fighter’s mindset…internal drive. No one can teach you what needs to be inside. The most successful competitors endure that which the others don’t. The most successful competitors make great personal sacrifice in their quest for what drives them. The most successful competitors reach deep within the recesses of their own psyche to find the will to continue.
Anyone can come to Diesel Training Grounds and learn how to strike, grapple, and compete. Anyone can come in and train to improve performance. Anyone can break through personal or preconceived restrictions here. What I never say is that I train fighters; I train athletes who fight.
Any thoughts would be welcome….