Donald Cerrone Alex Morono

Believe it or not, there are some parallels between being a profession Mixed Martial Arts fighter and being a professional anything else.

Clearly, the consequences can be different, but there are things in common. One evident commonality comes from the mouths of fighters themselves. One example who is always pretty candid is Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. He has said on more than one occasion some version of, "I didn't want to be there." He can be colorful when he says it too. Such as when he says in that same context (upon losing to McGregor at UFC 246), "Donald showed up; Cowboy wasn't there." Everyone knows exactly what that means. And it is probably true that everyone relates to what that means.

Yes, the similarities with most vocations and literally fighting for a living are probably not extensive, but this area is one all probably have experience in. Maybe it goes back to little league when you choked in an at-bat. Maybe it is after an interview where you seemed to say all the wrong things. It would probably not take people much time to look back at times when they just did not show up. As perplexing as it may be to imagine fighters spending weeks and months at a time preparing for the moment the enter the cage under those lights only to not feel right about being there, it is actually way more sensible than they probably get credit for. A little empathy can go a long way here.

One possible reason we love fighting – and probably competition in general – is the apparent super- human ability of our heroes to rise above and overcome. To face impossible odds, perform, and come out on top. But the fact is, however insane the proposition is that fighters, well, fight for a living, they are after all people. Very special people, but people. And people have bad days at work. People are emotional and can be affected by stress and difficulty. It is amazing when fighters have bad performances how fans can be quick to draw conclusions about them. And it's that quickness here that is the critical thing to consider. It is very meaningful and worthy of note when introspective fighters reconsider their direction upon lengthy reflection in loss. But fans can be quick to interpret a bad day or two as someone no longer being who they once were. As though it is a foregone conclusion that one is just supposed to be the very best they can be at a scheduled moment - always.

Maybe fighters need to be more self-aware about their exit plan and set measurable goals and strategize so as not to stay too long at the party and keep a bad night from defining them. But fans would also be well-served to empathize with a fighter who just could not get up for going to work and performing. Evaluate one of your own bad days or poor performances. If it is not the sum total of your work, ask if maybe you would rather not be graded on that particular outing. Cowboy is a legend. This writer though, fully understands when it is Donald who shows up too.

Donald Cerrone talks heartbreaking loss, what’s next after #UFCVegas26 | ESPN MMA

Black Belt Magazine has a storied history that dates back all the way to 1961, making 2021 the 60th Anniversary of the world's leading magazine of martial arts. To celebrate six decades of legendary martial arts coverage, take a trip down memory lane by scrolling through some of the most influential covers ever published. From the creators of martial art styles, to karate tournament heroes, to superstars on the silver screen, and everything in between, the iconic covers of Black Belt Magazine act as a time capsule for so many important moments and figures in martial arts history. Keep reading to view the full list of these classic issues.

Keep Reading Show less

Visualize, the fight begins. You go into your defensive stance. You spend about 30 seconds moving around looking for an entry point or angle to punch, kick, or lock up and take down your opponent. You find the point and throw an explosive punch. Your opponent blocks it. You go back into your defensive stance and wait to find another opportunity. Or, let's say in jiu-jitsu, you spend 2 minutes in the mount or guard position waiting to find the opportunity to execute the right technique with speed and explosiveness.

Punch faster, kick quicker, throw harder. Yes, these are all important to develop in your martial arts. However, martial arts and jiu-jitsu are not predominantly explosive sports. They are sports that use explosive techniques that have bursts of speed from their aerobic base. And, if your aerobic base has no strength, no foundation, then it affects your endurance, explosiveness, and speed. After you perform an explosive fast technique like a kick or throw without success, where do you have to return, to your aerobic base.

Let's understand the three different energy systems so you can comprehend their integration into martial arts.

Keep Reading Show less

Fighting two or more attackers, even if they are unarmed, is a "worst case scenario." However, as with any conflict, there are rules that can help you survive it. Here are six of them that you must commit to memory.

Keep Reading Show less