Getting Your Head in the Game – Psychology and MMA Conditioning
While getting your body into peak condition is essential for competing in mixed martial arts, there’s a lot more to MMA conditioning than just the physical side.
Like any other sport, the formula to success in mixed martial arts also has a mental component. If you check out the more cutting edge Web sites about ultimate fighting, you’ll see that an increasing amount of attention is being paid to the psychological aspect of the game.
The reason behind this shift in focus is simple: while just about everyone has access to the physical training equipment and services needed to compete in this dynamic sport, not everyone can find someone who can teach them the mental aspect of the game. Those that can become champions, those that don’t become the guys who tap out.
Royce Gracie’s Example
If you keep up with UFC events, you’ll see that the guys who win fights aren’t always the biggest, toughest guys in the sport. Royce Gracie is a fantastic example of this. Gracie is a legendary MMA fighter, but he is by far not a large person. Gracie’s success in UFC and other events comes from the mental preparation that is part of his MMA conditioning.
Gracie understands that to win matches, you have to understand yourself and your opponent. This psychological aspect of MMA is getting more and more press throughout the mainstream and online media.
Know Yourself and Your Opponent
By understanding yourself, you can break bad habits that impede your success in this dynamic sport. You can learn to use your strength, technical skills, and observations about your opponent seamlessly as part of a unified fighting plan.
Understanding your opponent is a part of MMA conditioning as important, if not more important, than any physical exercise. By learning how to quickly assess your opponent — his strengths, his weaknesses, his emotional and intellectual vulnerabilities, you can make use of this knowledge to negate any advantage he may have over you in terms of strength or skill.
Famed Chinese General Sun Tzu once said, “If your opponent is angry, annoy him.” This is an example of the use of psychology to win in combat. By being able to quickly draw a bead upon an opponent’s emotional state, can use your understanding of psychology to goad him, or to lull him into a false sense of security.
The great boxer Muhammad Ali was a master of using psychological warfare to “psych” out opponents.
MMA Conditioning Advice
There are some impressive sports psychology experts who are applying their knowledge to in MMA conditioning. Tapping into their knowledge will, without doubt, deliver a winning edge.