It was very cool seeing #USAWrestling featured in the last week's #UFC 172. Commentator Joe Rogan often states that wrestling is unquestionably the strongest base of mixed martial arts. Why? Personally, I don't believe that it is specific to any technique or skill, but rather a mentality and methodology in training.
Today, I was down training grappling and wrestling techniques with some of the world's top MMA fighters and Jits legends. The practice was run as a high level intense wrestling practice. 20 minutes of light rolling to warm up the body, stretching, technique, live situations, and then conditioning.
In the conditioning portion of the practice, Coach suggested that we would only do 10 circuits...no more. Ropes, throwing dummies, box jumps, bands, chains, bulgarian bags, etc. Before we started he said...each of these circuits is a chance to break yourself....DO IT!
After we completed the circuits and were walking the mat he called us over and asked one of the MMA legends, "how many rounds in the fight" He replied 3, and coached asked if there was any more, he said no. Coach then stated that it's paramount that we leave it all out there on the mat or in the cage....we empty the tank. Then he gave us the opportunity to do 5 more circuits to truly empty the tank.
The mental toughness and courage to believe in oneself is built in these moments. It is a warrior spirit and frequently what is the intangible that separates the good from the great. This is commonly found in wrestling practice...from little kids to the Olympic Training Center. It's also found in many many jits schools, but it's unquestionable that it sharpens all combat athletes.
When watching the next MMA event look into the eyes of the competitors and you will know if he or she has challenged themselves with these types of practices. Train hard and strive for greatness.