Sparring, the age-old practise of getting in rounds before the big fight night. Sparring is useful for conditioning, timing, gameplans and muscle memory, sparring is used in combat sports at all levels. Regarding professional combat sports, things can get a little hairy during sparring sessions. When fighters train most of their lives to compete professionally, they often learn to use just enough in sparring as to not obliterate their training partners.
Some, however, do have the occasional war that goes a little too far. Since the expansion of social media hit, we have reels of footage available of sparring and training sessions. offering an in-depth look for their fans, fighters often release hours of training footage before fights.
First off, let’s take a look at the clip of UFC lightweight/welterweight Donald Cerrone accidentally knocking out his training partner at the gym:
If you don’t like tinny hip hop music recorded on a cell phone, hit mute before you play this video!
One of Cerrone’s go-to combinations in MMA-left hook to the body, right hand to the head followed by a switch head kick. Cerrone used this combo to demolish Rick Story. Cerrone’s unique striking style has seen him take brutal stoppage victories over ‘The Horror,’ Matt Brown, Yancy Medeiros, John Makdessi, Jim Miller and that poor SOB in the video above.
Next up is a video of prolific striker Uriah Hall:
And finally for Conor McGregor’s hard sparring with Paulie Malignaggi
Leading up to his August 2017 boxing clash with Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor got some serious rounds in. Sparring a number of different opponents, ‘The Notorious’ was hoping to scvore what would likely be the biggest upset in sporting history. Unbeaten and relatively untouched in 49 fights, Mayweather would eventually have his way with McGregor to make it 50-0.
There was some hype before the bout, ironically mostly surrounding McGregor’s rough sparring sessions with Malignaggi:
The majority of amateur fighters believe that learning how to “cut weight” is your secret weapon to winning fights.I challenge that train of thought.
Though cutting weight can give you an advantage in pounds, nothing beats good old-fashioned hard work and smart preparation. Actually, cutting weight can and will alter your metabolism. In the long runs, during a bout or your general state of well-being. Dehydrating by 5 lbs is not a huge derailment of your metabolism. But what I am referring to is the 10-20 lbs that you sometimes hear about when a fighter bravely takes a bout on short notice.
Is Cutting Weight on short notice the answer?
Although this can be considered a heroic and courageous to step in for a match-up that has fallen apart. Why not be a little more forward thinking to stay prepared for a battle at all times? My first trainer, an ex-fighter from Thailand, taught me to think like a true warrior. He would say “Don’t train FOR a fight, train TO fight.”. To me, that meant staying in shape all year round to prevent the extreme “cutting” process. Hovering close to “fight weight” meant eating right and training daily. I followed his way for most of my AM/PRO fight career, doing my due diligence to stick with this mindset. This kept me able to fight in the super middleweight division during my entire journey as a Nak Muay. (What is a Nak Muay? Click Here -Courtesy of Wikipedia.)
I was always ready, willing and able until my second to last PRO fight. I made the mistake of not following the game plan that had kept me ready for years. Not having a confirmed opponent for the bulk of my 8-week fight camp. It allowed me to lose focus, not train seriously and let my normally, healthy dieting process go by the wayside.
This resulted in me sitting in the sauna for hours the day of the weigh-in. I was fighting worn, sluggish and just making it out of the fight by the skin of my teeth. All credit to my opponent who was indeed the better fighter that night. The result of that difficulty in making weight cost me the glory of getting my hand raised, in front of my hometown crowd.
A Muay Thai Lifer – “Staying in Optimal Health”
I’ve always known that I was a Muay Thai Lifer – whether I was going to fight beyond my prime or instead take on coaching full time. Staying in optimal health is the only way to ensure this path and depends solely on the food you put in your body for performance, recovery, and your overall well being!
Believe that you not only train like a warrior, but eat like one too. There are better ways to get to “fight weight” other than starving and dehydrating yourself. Explore your options and be “Battle Ready”
About the Author:Chris Romulo is a retired Muay Thai fighter who won titles in an amateur and professional career that spanned 16 years.
Strength and conditioning are important in Martial Arts and MMA! Use these 3 Pro tips for the best ultimate strength and conditioning results.
Gym Machine or Not to Gym Machine? That is the question.
1. Your Strength and conditioning doesn’t need to be on fitness machines. Stay off the Machines! As a Muay Thai practitioner you ARE the machine, so don’t lock yourself into another one. Stay out of the “health club” gyms because a seated chest fly has no benefit for a Martial Artist. There are hundreds of pushup variations that will build strength, speed, and power while incorporating other muscles than just your chest. Martial Artists are not bodybuilders, don’t train like one. Pick up and use dumbbells (no bicep curls), medicine balls, kettlebells, and barbells.
Stay Simple! DeadLifts, Back Squats and Presses, OH MY!
2. Go back to the basics! When it comes to your skill training, there is no such thing as too much practice. Things like shadowboxing, hitting the bag, and pad work are all staples of Muay Thai. There are a few things that are a must in your strength and conditioning program if you want to excel and build armor around your organs. For your weight training: Deadlifts, back squats, and presses are essential. When using your own bodyweight (calisthenics) such as pushups, pull ups, dips, sit-ups, back extensions, squats and lunges. You will build a great foundation for you to move on to more advanced methods. Quick advice, learn to crawl before you walk, then run!
Recovery is Training and its smart Training!
3. Recovery is just as important as the training! Your body doesn’t get stronger during the workout. It gets stronger after the workout. When your body is in repair mode, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bone heal. The heal to become more resilient than your last training session. Learn to listen to your body if longevity is a goal for your training and fighting. There is a thin line between being lazy and listening though…Your own research and experimenting are crucial on your path to becoming a smart Muay Thai practitioner. In my 20 plus years of fighting and training. I have been blessed to have used a multitude of recovery techniques that still keep me active. Acupuncture, massage, yoga, swimming, chiropractic care and physical therapy have all kept me able to now teach, coach and train “The Art of 8 Limbs” at 41 years old.
Here is workout we do here at our CROM Physical Culture facility in Rockaway Beach, NY. You will perform 12 exercises in a row at 10 reps a piece to develop your agility, balance, flexibility, endurance, power, speed, stability and strength. Also known as the “CORE 8”. Watch, practice and then perform!!
GET TO WORK!!
CROM’S “CORE 8” WORKOUT BELOW.
3 min jump rope
***15 min AMRAP***
Reverse burpee – 10
Ab-mat sit-ups – 10
Frog push-up – 10
Cossack squats – 10
Knee to elbows – 10
Jump squats – 10
Alternating superman plank – 10
Reverse crunches – 10
Power skaters – 10
Toe touch crunch – 10
Sit through – 10
Hindu squats – 10
The goal is to eventually make this a 30-minute AMRAP, at 30 reps per exercise. Progress as you feel ready!
UFC Champion TJ Dillashaw Added to Super Seminars NYC!
Super Seminars World Series is proud to announce the addition of the one and only, UFC Champion TJ Dillashaw. The legendary line up that is coming to New York is going to be insane! Super Seminars legends consist of Andy Souwer, Bas Rutten, Duane Ludwig, Chinzo Machida, and now the current UFC champ TJ Dillashaw! It will kick off strong with our event host, Shane Fazen of FightTips.
Super Seminar World Series instructor Duane Ludwig believes a super fight between TJ Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson can change the fight game and push it forward.
“As far as human evolution and just history in general, these are the two that are at the highest peak of martial arts evolution. We have to see them fight just for the pure entertainment standpoint, or just for the evolutionary standpoint. We have to see them fight. He’s not a big 135er. He has to eat and lift to be at 150 to cut to 135. If he wasn’t lifting and eating excess calories, he’d be probably mid-140’s. So, he can make 125. That’s why we’re going to make this happen. It’s TJ [to be the next fighter to hold two belts at the same time]. TJ can beat Demetrious, that’s for sure.” — Duane Ludwig speaking to the Onnit podcast.
True “Super Fights” transcend the sport exciting both enthusiasts and casual viewers. There’s no question that a Dillashaw vs Johnson clash would be a pound for pound classic and earn the title “Super Fight”.
“[TJ Dillashaw]’s a ninja. That’s why he’s the champion and that’s why he’s going to fight Demetrious [Johnson]. Demetrious, where you at buddy? C’mon, Demetrious. Let’s make this happen. Whether I’m TJ’s trainer, or friend, or instructor, or Sensei or not, right? For me, just as a martial art enthusiast, I want to see that fight happen to see who truly is the best mixed martial artist.”— Duane Ludwig speaking to the Onnit podcast.
As a world-class fighter and award-winning coach, Ludwig knows a thing or two about fighting. We can only hope that this fight happens sooner than later and the fans get to experience the highest level of mix martial arts on display.
Leg Kicks – A Key Ingredient of a Good Striking Strategy
Leg kicks or also known as low kicks are a very important part of a well rounded striking strategy. Leg kicks will impact your opponent’s ability to make basic movements. Additionally, if used correctly, leg kicks will also degrade your opponent’s ability to defend themselves. Which means more leg kicks, punches, elbows, and overall pain for your opponent.
How Leg Kicks Work
When you deliver leg kicks to your opponent, their ability to move and balance weight is impacted. Since properly placed leg kicks effect movement, an opponent’s ability to “sit down” on punches and strikes will also be hindered. Additionally, as kicks to legs connect, the damage adds up and an opponent’s ability to check kicks and move away from strikes is diminished. As kicks to the legs hit the thigh area, the two major areas impacted are the muscle tissue and the Sciatic nerve. The difference being that nerve attacks immediately cause the temporary loss of control for the limb and muscle tissue attacks cause swelling, cramping/knotting, and gradual deterioration of muscle function. Both hurt, just in different ways.
Leg Kicks On Display
The powerful effect of leg kicks was on full display during the Jose Aldo/Urijah Faber 2010 WEC Fight. Faber took a total of 31 kicks to the legs. Faber admitted that he was in a lot of pain, beginning in the first round when Aldo delivered some good kicks to Faber’s thigh. As the rounds progressed, Faber was limping and unable to fight his best. After the fight, Faber said he thought he was going to pass out. Post-fight medical examinations revealed tests Faber suffered no broken bones.
After the fight, Faber admitted that Aldo’s leg kicks put him at a disadvantage early on in the fight. He was unable to recover from the lack of mobility and the pain he was feeling and Aldo took full advantage.