With the current “Sue First Ask Questions Later” environment lot of martial arts and MMA schools have minimized the amount of full contact and sparring between fighters. This comes at a clear detriment to the fighters themselves. MMA Fighters are very skilled in their respected art(s) like; Muay Thai, Kickboxing, or Jiu Jitsu but cannot perform when it truly matters. These critical times in the middle of a ring or octagon are when you don’t want to find out that you should’ve trained differently.
So, how do you know you will perform the right move at the right time when it matters. Well just like any other skill you have learned it is to practice it. Yes, I said practice at full speed this is the only way your brain will assimilate the movements with the speed at which you will need to use.
One of the most important aspects is the feel, speed, and strength of an opponent. It is extremely important to get used to the feeling of getting hit and the effects of particular holds or kicks flying towards your face. Once you and your partner are well experienced and are trusted it is beneficial to clash without helmets or gloves.
Even when you have all the moves memorized and can do them in your sleep do not feel like you work is done. You need to be able to execute these movements when it matters. Whether this is in the ring or in the streets. You must remain relaxed and calm while being attacked. Most beginners find this to be the hardest skill to learn, and some actually hang up their gloves before doing so.
So, in summary training at full speed is as important as your heavy bag training sessions. What good is knowing the moves and not being able to execute them when it truly matters. This will get you accustomed to reacting and pro-acting to your opponents movements and speed. But, only do this with only a very skilled partner.
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