Some things are often overlooked in fighting. One thing I was thinking today was about balance. Balance in smart training. I think it is incredibly understated how important balance is to a fighter! All fighters are pressed for time unless they make the most of that time. Few of us as fighters have no other job than fighting, making our training time mean a premium. To fighters there are so many options and "necessities" out there that it can sometimes be mind boggling. The end result is often no result at all. Think about it. If you are a young man wanting to be a competitor in MMA you have certain things every "expert will tell you you need to have." Everything from "wrestling to ju jitsu, boxing, and kickboxing." That's just for starters. Now a days what athlete doesn't train with weights? Obviously having size and strength is a tremendous advantage. But what happens if your cardio isn't locked in? You gas! So you have to run, but then its also important to be fast. Speed kills in any sport, so you need to do intervals and plyometrics of course. Come to think of it, with all that weight lifting you are probably getting muscle bound. You better take some yoga classes or set aside some serious time to stretching.

ok by this point you have probably used up about 10-12 hours of your day, you haven't eaten and work? What the hell is that? Oh you mean people aren't going to pay you to train all day based on potential. What do you mean you have to pick your kids up from day care! Be a man! What do you mean you have to STUDY for your college exams? Its a lot of work to be a fighter. No doubt about it. A lot of guys look at this daunting task and just say "I can't."

The truth is, you can. Its just a matter of finding balance in yourself. Train smart and make the commitment. Promise yourself if you really want something, that no matter what you will achieve your goal.

You have to practice things you are good at, your strong points. But you also have to practice your weak points.

Practicing your strong points is a matter of replenishing your confidence. I will relay a story about this that made me successful. I remember when I fought we fought as a team. We won as a team and we lost as a team.

Like all fighters we were expected to do road work in the morning in addition to our normal training regemine. If we lost a tournement (Meaning more of the fighters from our club lost than won) we were expected to run a brisk 2 miles before practice until the next tournement in addition to our normal early morning road work. I remember a guy who was a very good boxer around the 126 lb. weight class by the name of Charlie Martinez who fought out of our club. He was ranked 10th in the nation in his weight class before a PAL tournement which we had lost. I had won in the tournement but had not had an overly impressive performance.

As a result I felt my confidence was not where it was after previous performances. Charlie, although he was the "loser" and I was the winner, had sewn the positive aspects of the tourney. We started out on our run and although I felt like I was in top shape I was completely smoked in the run. I mean, he was something like a block and a half ahead of me by the time he was done. I had always set high standards for myself, I wanted to be the best at everything. The best in boxing, in running in everything. He had his wraps on and was ready for the first round of drills before I was even in the door. I felt embarrassed. I was in shape, I knew that, I could run all day if I needed to. Although I had not run sprints in a little while I felt like I was a better athlete than Charlie and could probably outrun him in a 40 yard dash. It didn't even occur to me to use the fact that I outweighed him by almost 100 lbs as an excuse. I was not the best runner at 2 miles. I wasn't even close. Again I took a dip in my confidence.


But what great athletes are able to do, all great athletes, is come back from adversity. John Elway threw his share of interceptions but after he threw them, the next time he got on the field there was never a doubt in his mind he was going gunning for the end zone. Great hitters strike out more in their career than they will ever hit. Its a matter of regaining your confidence. Not just on fight night, but in every aspect of training!

It might have been easy for me to say that it didn't matter, but it did. You sometimes will not be the best at everything. You sometimes will not be fastest, strongest, or best. Sometimes your best won't be good enough. Sorry folks that's the truth. Sometimes your best won't be good enough. Why did Oscar run from Tito instead of banging with him in the final rounds of their fight? I mean stand toe to toe and whack his ass out? Why? Oscar was smart enough to know and his corner was smart enough to know, that if he stood toe to toe with Trinidad, he would have been knocked out. Smart fighters find ways to compensate for their weak points and showcase their strong points. Now that may not have been the best course of action for De la Hoya. He should have boxed. But he ran. That's neither here nor there, but it serves to illustarte a point. You have to be able to enforce your game, your will, your strengths.

My coach believed very much in hard conditioning. He discouraged weight lifting and he advocated a strong cardiovascular regemine with lots of aggressive movement and contact. That was the way they did it where he was from in Philladelphia and that's the way he ran the show.

I took the lessons he taught me and I followed his advice to a tee and had good success, but I had to look inside of myself and ask myself if I could do things differently to take the next step. To climb the next peak. So I began to use weights in my regemine. I excelled at it. So much so that I finally convinced him to let us use the weight room in the basement (normally reserved for the other police officers) twice a week. I lifted privately on other days.

What do you know? I totally excelled at this and Charlie, the guy who had beaten me in the running so badly struggled with lifting the same lbs. to % of body weight I did. We were different athletes.

So now I was faced with 2 strikingly different but extreme paths I could go down. I could

A) dump the weight training which I was naturally better at anyway and focus on running. Who knows, if I ran every day trained smart, ate smart, maybe I could even squeek out a win on the running course against him.

or I could

B) Say forget running. I'm obviously better at weight lifting. I can use this weight lifting to my advantage and use it to suppliment what I'll lose by running faster.

This is where balance comes in. Hey, I'm not a long distance runner. I feel like I can do a lot of things if I put my mind to them. But I was there not to be a runner, but a boxer. I ran my best every time. I kept with my running and pushed myself but I refused to let it comsume me. I had to accept that yes, Charlie was a better runner than I was. Especially at 2 miles. Maybe not 6, maybe not 40 yards, but he was better at 2 miles. I was also not a body builder. I had to keep in check with my body. When I went too much into the weight lifting and too little on other things, I had a smart enough corner to tell me they could see things slipping. I did daily checks on myself to find balance. I had to ask myself a few simple questions.

Is what I am doing helping me become better at my overall objective?

Is what i am doing coming at the sacrifice of something else? ...sometimes the answer will undoubtedly be "yes"

but you have to ask yourself

Is that sacrifice worth it?

Is it worth me cutting back from 5 days a week of weight training to 2 to work on my take downs which may be weak?

But be careful! If you don't replenish that confidence in the things you are strong in, the things you are weak in will become on equal par with your strong points because your strong points will no doubt slip and so will your confidence.

Randy Couture said of his loss to Josh Barnett, "I knew I was good at wrestling so I focused on my ju jitsu game. I approached that fight almost like a ju jitsu player." Randy is a fantastic athlete, but Minotaro he is not.

It was important to feel comfortable on his back but not at the sacrifice of what he is good at and that is wrestling.

Let me tell you something. When we compared lbs. to % of body weight, I was so happy I was screaming inside. I encouraged Charlie and helped give him pointers. I don't need to be a classless asshole about things and have an "in your face" additude. But I was happy that I won. But I had to take a look at the overall picture. That was good for my confidence and you have to feed that. But you can't do that at the expense of shoring up your weak points. You also can't avoid your strong points and change who it is you are.

In short, you must find a balance.

Good luck and train hard.



buddie you are seriously my favorite poster on

Thanks Tommie, I appreciate all the nice things everyone has said.

Train hard,


great job i like to hear thes things

Truly Buddie has shown himself to be a, "must read" forum member. Not only does he make technically sound points in his posts, but he displays much wisdom in being able to make us examine ourselves, our goals, our training approach and how to think like winners.

Best in Health and Training, J. R.

Man, that was sic!

I'm at that exact cross-roads too, and have just decided to halve my weights and double my running.

"But be careful! If you don't replenish that confidence in the things you are strong in, the things you are weak in will become on equal par with your strong points because your strong points will no doubt slip and so will your confidence."

Great stuff.

Buddie, another great post that make one rethink aspects of training.

Dude, do you compete in MMA or just boxing?

good shit.

kick arse! thanks man

buddie....... could you write me a novel? Seriously, I could read your thoughts from the heart all day........ I'd never get anything else done around here, but I'd be totally happy. :-)

Another great post Buddie!





great article and makes me think

If you can move without breaking the string you've got balance to become a very dangerous poyson!

Balance is odd with me.I can be clumsy as shit outside of training and all but when I get in the room or whatever it is something I automatically can have it's funny