Victor Bachmann

April 16, 2010

Do you think you can fight?

Filed under: Training — The Professor @ 1:03 pm

Imagine you’re this guy, goes to the gym regularly, runs most days, is in generally good shape. Every now and then you play one on one basketball with your buddies. You usually win. Maybe you have a hoop on your garage and play with your dad on weekends. Do you think you can beat Michael Jordan, one on one? How about Jamar Samuels, forward for Kansas State? Current captain of your high school’s basketball team?

Sounds absurd. These guys play competitive basketball everyday, where you shoot hoops with your dad as he tells you about the birds and the bees.

How about instead of basketball, you get drunk on weekends and get into scraps or horse around with your buddies. You’re young and in good shape so you usually come out on top. Can you beat up Floyd Mayweather? Chael Sonen? The Professor?

I meet a lot of guys who want to fight professionally in MMA from aging local rock stars to kids fresh out of high school. Generally, they have little to no combat sport experience but still think they’re pretty tough. There have been more than person come in who already have a fight contract signed and want to get some training in with the pros.

Much of the problem is that there is no established amateur MMA. There are amateur grappling tournaments, but people don’t see a connection with MMA. There’s amateur boxing, but that’s a very evolved community and you’d be looking at a career as a boxer. So many people feel that local MMA is their best option.

Then there’s the ‘tough guy’ attitude.

Which one spent the day using his new Bedazzler on his T shirts?

Which one spent the day using his new Bedazzler on his T shirts?

There was a time I considered myself as ‘tough’. Like most young men I had a bit of an attitude, would occasionally get in to street fights, and generally act like an idiot. At the same time, I never though I could hold up against someone who fights professionally. Once I started wrestling, all that attitude went away and the image that I had of myself was crushed.

We get ‘tough guys’ coming in to Hayabusa saying they want to fight MMA, they’re going to be the next Georges St Pierre. We had one guy sign a picture of himself: ‘Hang on to that, it’ll be worth something.’ They start training and soon realize that they aren’t the person they thought themselves to be.

I guess the idea is that all it takes little more than attitude to be a professional athlete. The years I spent wrestling, training Jiu Jitsu, kickboxing, and MMA were a waste.

When tough attitudes, and little else, get their chance to fight it tends to end badly for them. What is frustrating is that occasionally these tough guys get matched up with other bums and they get their win. The fight is always ugly. What I could never figure out is how do they get fights? I hear stories of people walking up to promoters in bars and getting fight contracts. There are organizations which fill their cards with these fighters.

It takes years to develop any kind of athlete. Some people are naturally athletic and it’s those people who are going to rise past the rest when they put in time and effort. Fighting is very complex. There are endless technique and strategies to learn. Physical preparation is just as time consuming. Developing any real strength, power, speed, or endurance takes years. When coaches are developing an athlete, time lines extend into a lifetime.

If you are interested in MMA, start training in some combat sport. Be it boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, karate, it doesn’t matter. As long as it’s realistic, and the techniques are test against honestly resisting opponents. Keep in mind that it will take years for you to achieve technical proficiency and physical readiness. Compete as much as you can; test yourself against many opponents of varying experience.

You are going to lose, people will clown you, and you will generally feel crushed. The more attitude and ego you have, the less willing people are to help you. Keep an open mind, and if the time comes when you and your coaches fee that you are ready, fight.



  1. Awesome post. Very true. A solid amateur system would help develop some amazing fighters, if they’ve been able to compete from a young age.

    I always try to stress to people to at least try grappling tournaments, or even the pancration style rules tournaments they have in the city before they have a pro fight in front of a crowd. At least get some experience competing in a combat sport before a professional fight.

    Comment by Cameron Yallits — April 18, 2010 @ 9:46 am | Reply

  2. Great insite Bachman.

    Comment by Kevin — April 18, 2010 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

  3. […] course, the biggest reason a fighter trains is because he loves it (unless you’re this guy). I did everyday this week because I can. Leave a […]

    Pingback by The Off Season « Victor Bachmann — June 1, 2010 @ 11:41 am | Reply

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