Eating before your martial arts training is just as important as wearing your Gi. Unfortunately, there is a myth that eating before your workout will hamper your training. As I said, it is a myth. Training on an empty stomach is like driving your car further than the gas you have in the tank. Exactly, you can't.

Eating before martial arts training firstly prevents blood sugar from dropping during your training. Secondly, eating will provide optimal energy for your muscles to work longer and harder. And thirdly, your muscles will recover faster. Good nutrition before your training session, will maximize your performance.

Every martial artist needs to experiment about when and what to eat before training. The ideal pre-workout meal should be consumed 2-3 hours prior. First, it should be high in complex carbs—secondly, low in fat. And thirdly have a moderate amount of protein. You want to minimize the amount of protein and fat because they sit in your stomach longer to break down.


Glycogen is the process of storing glucose in your muscles, which comes from eating carbs. Your muscles glucose as energy. Glycogen/glucose is the primary source of energy when performing high intense explosive types of movement. If glycogen levels are low, your body will not use glucose and resort to breaking down protein, your muscles, for energy. Protein is not a fuel! And, fat is a fuel used for longer workouts. Your muscles can only perform according to the amount of energy you have. Your muscles can be super strong and trained. But if you don't have energy, they will not work well.

Glycogen/glucose, however, is constantly being replaced. In 30 seconds, you get a 30-50% replacement. In about 2-3 minutes, it is at 90-100%. Therefore, based on what you eat optimizes and maximizes storage.


Loading up on carbs before a workout is one way to avoid protein from being broken down. To escape the process, consume protein with your carbs. Eating protein alone or with carbs before training, increases protein synthesis- the rebuilding of muscles. 20-25grams of protein seems to be the magic number. Research shows that having 20g of whey protein 45 mins before training preserves muscles and reduces the amount they will break down from your training and assist in rebuilding faster post-training.


Fat is important. It is a source of fuel used for more extended time in training. Fat is an essential source of energy, especially if you are training for more than 20 minutes.

Timing Is Key

To maximize your training results, try to eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein, and fat 2–3 hours before you train. However, if you eat closer to your training, for example, 1 hour, choose more simple carbs with some complex carbs and some protein.

Within 2–3 Hours

Eat a regular meal—no problems eating what you want at this time. If you eat before 3 hours, your energy may be depleted before your training begins. If you eat too close to your training time, the stomach will have food inside during your training.

The best time to eat a meal is between 2-3 hours before training.

You can eat between 800-1,000 calories as your meal. Make sure 60-70% are complex carbs, 20-30% are protein, and about 10% are fat.

  • Grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with vegetables.
  • An omelet with toast and mixed vegetables.
  • Grilled chicken, burger, or fish with integral/brown rice with vegetables.

Within 1-2 Hours

The meals need to be condensed and the foods must be simple to be easily digested and broken down. At this time, fats should be minimized, closer to one hour, and can be transferred to increase your carb percentage. For example, you can eat 60% complex and 10% simple carbs. If it is closer to 2 hours, you can eat fat.

If the time is less about 1- 2 hours, consume 500-800 calories per meal.

  • Whey protein smoothie using milk, granola, banana, and mixed fruits.
  • Oatmeal, whole-grain cereal, or granola with milk.
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole-wheat toast (Closer to 2 hours).
  • Chicken or turkey sandwich on whole wheat toast.
  • Pasta and chicken.

Within an hour or less 

Your food needs to be very condensed. Meal or snacks need to be easily digested to break down—minimal to no fats in this time frame.

If the time is 1 hour before eating, consume a smaller meal of about 300-500 calories.

In general, it is best to consume a smoothie or a blended drink to empty the stomach quickly before your training.

  • Whey Protein shake with a banana and mix fruits.
  • Oatmeal or granola with milk. You can add blueberries, dates, figs, raisins, and or banana.
  • Yogurt and fruit mix.

Usually, you should consume about 1 gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight about 1 hour before your training. If it is two hours before, make 2 g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight. This can provide a better energetic gauge for your training.

If you do not eat anything before your MMA training, you will not perform well and be tired and tapping out quickly.

For more information about strength, nutrition, and training, please check-out and subscribe to my You Tube channel:

For more information about strength check-out my books on Amazon.



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Two-Time Black Belt Hall of Famer Hayward Nishioka has been campaigning for judo in the United States to harvest more shodans (1st degree black belts) Shodan literally means student. It's analogous to being a freshman in college. It's not the end but the beginning according to Jigoro Kano, the Founder of Judo.

A very dear friend and sensei of mine the late Allen Johnson, may he rest in peace made a home at Emerald City Judo. In Redmond, Washington.

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Competitive Edge Karate
Photo Courtesy: Jackson Rudolph

Team Competitive Edge, coached by Jackson Rudolph, Reid Presley, and Cole Presley, has become one of the premier teams in the sport in recent years. The team consistently takes home individual overall grand championships and they are the reigning U.S. Open ISKA Team Demonstration World Champions. Moving into the 2022 tournament season, they have made a huge move to deepen their roster and add seven junior competitors to the team. The new additions range from proven champions bringing their talents to the squad, some skilled workhorses who have previously joined the team for the Team Demo division, and some promising young stars who will be making their debut in the black belt division this year. Keep reading to learn more about each of the new additions (ordered alphabetically).

Gavin Bodiford

Gavin Bodiford

Photo Courtesy: Kellie Austin Bodiford via Facebook

Bodiford is twelve years old and hails from Lebanon, Tennessee, a product of Premier Martial Arts Lebanon (formerly known as Success Martial Arts Center), where the Competitive Edge coaches have all earned black belts. He has five years of martial arts experience and was the 2020-2021 ProMAC Southern Region Champion in four divisions. He also finished the 2021 NASKA season in the top ten for creative, musical, and extreme forms and weapons. Bodiford is one of the competitors who has stepped up for Competitive Edge in the past, joining the demonstration team to help them secure the 2021 U.S. Open ISKA World Championship.

Riley Claire Carlisle

RC Carlisle

Photo Courtesy: Mallory Parker Carlisle

Carlisle (pictured with coach Sammy Smith) is a 10-year-old rising star from Starkville, Mississippi who has been training for four years. In the underbelt division, she has won grand championships at the Battle of Atlanta and numerous regional events. She holds multiple divisional and grand championship titles from the ProMAC circuit, and has amassed over ninety divisional wins in recent years. She is moving into the black belt division in 2022 and looks to continue her winning ways.

Kodi Molina

Kodi Molina

Photo Courtesy: Priscilla Molina via Facebook

Molina is a 13-year-old world champion from San Antonio, Texas with 10 years of martial arts training under her belt. She has won many grand championship titles on the NASKA circuit, and has claimed world championships from NASKA, ISKA, ATA, and WKC. At the 2021 U.S. Open, she became the reigning ISKA world champion in 13 and under girls creative/musical/extreme weapons. She is a versatile competitor who can win with extreme bo or kama routines, performs beautiful traditional forms, and is a solid point fighter as well. She is an active member of her community and participates in a variety of leadership programs, making her a great role model for younger members of the team.

Michael Molina

Michael Molina

Photo Courtesy: Michael Molina via Instagram

"Super Bomb" is the 9-year-old brother of Kodi, who is a world champion in his own right. In his seven years of experience, he has already won a variety of titles across multiple leagues, including NASKA overall grand championships at the 2021 Battle of Atlanta and AmeriKick Internationals. Since he began training at the age of two, his regimen has included strength, speed, agility, and conditioning training at "Rojo Dojo", where a number of world champions and national contenders gather to train. He is known for his incredible performance ability, always putting on a show when he graces the stage.

Gavin Richmond

Gavin Richmond

Photo Courtesy: Bobby Benavides

Richmond is yet another world champion being added to the Competitive Edge roster. The 13-year-old from San Antonio has been training for five years and has accumulated several grand championship titles, including wins at prestigious events like the Diamond Nationals and U.S. Open. The young star is a well-rounded athlete, not only because he competes in a variety of divisions at sport karate tournaments, but he also finished in 7th place in the pentathlon at the 2021 AAU Junior Olympics which included the high jump, long jump, 100m hurdles, 1500m run, and shot put, resulting in him being named an All-American. He is currently recovering from a knee injury, but his high-flying routines will be back on the mat soon.

Madalynn Wiersma

Madalynn Wiersma

Photo Courtesy: Gabrielle Dunn

Wiersma (pictured with coach Gabrielle Dunn) is another rising star moving up from the underbelt division who is expected to make waves in the black belt division. She first moved up into the black belt ring at the WKC world championships, where she won her first world title. The 9-year-old Georgia native was the 2021 Underbelt Competitor of the Year for ProMAC and she secured underbelt grand championships at the Battle of Atlanta and U.S. Open this past year.

Elijah Williams

Williams is a 16 year old from Lebanon, Tennessee who trains at Premier Martial Arts Lebanon. His eight years of martial arts training has culminated in black belts in Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do. He is on an upward trend as a competitor as he has started breaking into the top four in his divisions, which are some of the most stacked on the NASKA circuit. Williams has been a great asset to Competitive Edge in the past, stepping up to fill in for team demonstration, such as in the world championship effort at the 2021 U.S. Open.

The Competitive Edge coaching staff told Black Belt that they are thrilled to take their roster to another level with these moves. They believe that these new players will create the perfect storm to win more overall grand championships now, strengthen the team demo, and build a great foundation for the future of the program.

Jose Also Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
The seemingly ageless Jose Aldo won his third straight fight at bantamweight Saturday claiming unanimous decision over Rob Font in the main event of UFC on ESPN 31. Font started well against the former featherweight champion working behind a strong jab that kept Aldo on his back foot and allowed Font to consistently land sharp punches. But with 30 seconds left in the first round, Aldo threw a stiff left jab and immediately followed with a powerful straight right hand that dropped Font though time ran out before he could do more damage.
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