21 March 2016

What about the winners?

Over the last few months we have seen a few upset victories in the MMA field. Two immediately spring to mind: Ronda Rousey v Holly Holm; and Connor McGreggor v Nate Diaz.

Regardless of how each bout went, the news coverage and comment fields across the Internet focussed on one thing: the person that lost. For Holly Holm's victory all I saw for the next two weeks was coverage of Ronda. She was the one making appearances on TV and giving interviews. Yes she is a media darling and has done a lot to promote women's fights in the UFC. But where is the love for Holly?

18 March 2016

Preparing for a competition - Comp Day and After

Comp day has finally arrived and you are at the venue. Your last few month's preparation has all been for today. You can click here for part 1 and part 2 if you want to review the knowledge.
You have your fight schedule and should have at least an hour to prepare. This time, and the time you spend between matches, is critical to success. You have to ready your mind and body for the task at hand.

You can't treat competition with the same regard as rolling at the gym. When you roll with team mates you know how they respond to your techniques, you have had plenty of exposure to their A-game and know which techniques you can utilise for advantage. This is missing from competition, thus removing a safety net.

11 March 2016

Preparing for a competition - The Lead Up Week

Here we are two weeks from your competition. Things are slowing down after the last few month's efforts. For a refresher of the lead up period click here.

During this time it's too late to learn a new technique you can rely on at the competition. All your training should focus on solidifying your existing skills. You may need a refresher on some escapes or takedowns but these should already be in your repertoire. The last two weeks are for refinement, healing any injuries and mentally preparing for combat.

Preparing for a competition - The Build Up

I have had a lot of success in BJJ competition. I generally come away with a medal in any comp I enter which is in large part due to my coach John Campbell, and how I prepare myself.

I have known a lot of people that don't do any preparation for a comp. They train as they always have at classes and don't speak to their coaches about filling the holes in their game. They don't orient their diet to cater to the high demands of competition. They don't improve strength, cardio or flexibility and they rock up to the competition with no game plan. These people don't have much success and they usually don't review the fight to determine why they performed the way they did ie lost.

8 March 2016

Living with Recurrent Corneal Erosion

This condition is something I don't advertise that much because it takes a while to explain. Other than a slightly bloodshot eye there are no external indicators of when it occurs. The effects however are quite potent and it can prevent me from training effectively.

Recurrent Corneal Erosion (RCE) in its simplest explanation is the result of dry eyes. Basically, while sleeping part of the eye sticks to the eyelid because the lubrication is ineffective or absent. So when the eyes move, such as opening in the morning or when dreaming ie REM sleep, a small part of the protective surface wrenches away. The result is instant sharp pain, the sensation of having a sharp object stuck in the eye and copious amounts of tears as the body tries to flush the problem away. Not everyone with dry eyes will experience this, there are a few indicators that factor into it, the majority is that your eye is lacking something. My cornea are oval instead of round (astigmatism) which may contribute. Its the reason I need glasses. So let's discuss a typical day when this occurs.

5 March 2016

Product Review - Ankle Support

Ankle sleeve
This is not the brace you are looking for 
I've been having some ankle issues for a while and I've started trying a few different supports to help out. The common ones which are glorified socks with the toes and heel cut out are slightly more useful than simply ignoring the pain. While these supports, a term I use loosely, are good for maintaining hooks and grip during hard training sessions full of sweat, they simply don't offer enough protection.

To begin it isn't recommended to wear a brace at all times for injury prevention. There isn't a brace made that can prevent ankle injuries especially if you roll your ankle. The brace is ideal for a few weeks when you return to training after an injury. Proper rehab will get you your best results, and the brace supports your injury so you can build up your training without hurting yourself further.

3 March 2016

Dealing with Illness

Injury is one thing that keeps you on the sidelines, but you are still able to attend classes and maintain training focus. Check out here for advice on what to do during injured periods.

Illness however is another beast entirely. It doesn't matter what you are ill with for my purposes here. You may have a cold or flu, have stomach cramps or one of the multitude of conditions that are either contagious or keep you laid up in bed. Either way you can't attend the gym and that is where some issues can arise.

Clearly you should be taking care of yourself and doing as the doctor orders as the first priority, but once you are well enough to focus but not well enough to train you have a few options to keep your mind in the game.

2 March 2016

Diving Deeper into Motivation

So in my previous post (click here for a refresher) I covered an overview of motivation and a few general things to remember. This post will guide you through some strategies to identify dips in motivation and how to restore it.

This information has been obtained via my own trial and error over my life's successes and failures, as well as from motivation courses I've attended. This isn't just motivational platitudes but things that have worked for me. It may not work for you in the same way but should at least guide you in the right direction.

1 March 2016

Subtract from Diet Month - March

Last month's success with removing caffeine and soft drinks from my diet work out so well that I figured I'd continue the process. To read all about that journey click here.

This month I figure I'd tackle the issue of snacks. Generally my main meals are well established and have the right balance of good food and some guilty pleasures. But snacks are a problem. I usually have a couple of yoghurt tubs as a morning snack but at night I grab whatever is in the pantry. This often includes all manner of snacks from the confectionery isle or packets of chips.