Mind Training for MMA


Wining a combat sport such as mixed martial arts (MMA) competition involves a lot of preparation. More than just the physical aspect, there is also something else that needs to be included in the training. With many wrestlers, boxers, kick boxers, and MMA fighters, there is conditioning and physical work outs that goes along with preparing for a match. However, there is another element that needs to be added – mental training! There are many things that will enter the mind of most athletes of which is thinking intermittently between victory and defeat. However, mental preparation for MMA has to be all about thinking and filling the mind with strength, strategy, fight roll playing, and victory.

MMA fighters are trained to inflict pain on their opponents. If they are not mentally prepared to do just this, it means their mind is filled with fear and in turn, thoughts of defeat. Once a fighter steps into the octagon, the brain should already be centered and focused on strategy to win rather than thinking too much about the next techniques, the audience, and their opponent which they have to have control over. Bruce Lee, the most popular martial arts fighter of his time, had said once, "The most powerful fighter is an ordinary man with laser-precision focus." Focus is indeed a critical element in the mental preparation for MMA.

It is not only just about focusing on the opponent or on the special MMA techniques; but more about being calm, confident and to be in the "zone" where the mind does not fall apart amidst pressure. When the state of mind is clear and visualizes only the moment set before it, then the rest of the body simply follows.

MMAIt is important not to feel any tension in the mind. In fact optimal psychological factors make the person feel relaxed and just moving with the flow of the fight. Many fighters and their trainers would claim that without relaxation of the mind, the body simply becomes restless and tends to strike the opponent without discipline, fearing their opponent will take them down or begin to take advantage of the fight. This action leaves them depleted of energy and rather pushes them to give in to their MMA opponent's strikes and movements.

Everything begins with a single thought. We have encountered the saying many times over, "You become what you think." Every single thought that is formed in the mind becomes your reality. It is the law of attraction. Sure your body can be the epitome of strength, muscles, and core for MMA. But without proper mental preparation for MMA, without confidence, and without relaxation, the mind can easily succumb to external pressures such as an onset of the opponent's attack, doubting one's own ability, and even being consumed by fear of losing the fight.

Mental preparation for MMA is the most powerful facility to include in your physical training especially when stepping inside the combat arena. Many sport psychologists and brain entrainment products help in the visualization of confidence and strength of the mind, therefore, poising the body for the win.

Travis S. Lutter is an American mixed martial artist who won the The Ultimate Fighter 4 reality show. His UFC record, not including his exhibition wins on The Ultimate Fighter 4, is 2–4. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Carlos Machado. http://travislutter.com
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