I thought I knew how to train simply because I was finding success. That was a big mistake in a long line of mistakes. When you are young and stupid you feel young and smart. This leads to lots of errors that hopefully lead to real knowledge that will make you old and wise.
Classic mistake; I need to train 100% all the time and make myself really tired before sparring so I can push just like in a fight! WRONG! Horribly wrong and stupid. I used to fight hurt and tired all the time then a week after the fight I would feel amazing! I thought it was the lack of stress but it was the week off from training that let my body recharge.
When I started to train with Arne Soldwedel specifically and Seidokaikan in general, I learned how to stack my training for maximum results. Due to the fact that this is combat sports we are training in and we are not getting ready for the Iron Man, we need to emphasize sparring and technical work over purely physical training. Yes, we need to be in top shape but not at the expense of technique and positive sparring experience.
Fighting is really more mental then anything. If we always spar and train drained from conditioning we will always associate fighting with feeling like crap. If we spar fresh and allow ourselves the opportunity to feel good we will associate fighting with more positive things. That is why we wear so much protective gear and spar before we do anything else. We don’t want to spar anymore stressed then we need to.
The proper order of things is sparring first, technique work; pads, drills, heavy bag, etc…., with conditioning last or conditioning in the early morning with Sparring and tech work at night or far enough away that we get a full recovery.
Training tired does not simulate a fight. Training tired just gets you hurt. If you are tired going into conditioning is fine because it doesn’t matter as much as sparring and tech work. Having a bad day conditioning won’t put you behind in training for a fight. Getting hurt in sparring cause you are dragging a$$ after conditioning can knock you out of a fight.
I don’t care what you are preparing for; a fight or anything else. You need to associate hard tasks with positive experiences. If we beat ourselves down expecting to get stronger we are actually training to be depressed in response to adversity. Prepare for hard tasks in a positive position and you will train to have a positive response when you need it.
Look at the Real Elite schedule. All of our Fighter Training is early with classes and conditioning after. It is that way for a reason not convenience. We have a system and the schedule reflects that system. Sparring needs to be early and the rest needs to go after it.
We had a promotion test the other day in kids class. One child had to spar 3 5 minute rounds and another had to go for 4 5’s. The 3 round kid was beat before he started because he felt sorry for himself. He was hot and tired. He wasn’t prepared to push due to a negative response to the task in front of him. He grunted and groaned as he coasted through the rounds. He barely got by and didn’t pass the test for lack of effort. On the other hand our 4 rounder smiled the entire time and went for it for 20 minutes. She was just as hot and just as tired but didn’t care because she trained to be positive in the face of a challenge. BOOM! 90 pound 11 year old girl takes on 3 adult men in sweltering heat and crushes the challenge. Brown belt, winning!
Kids, adults, fighters, office workers, WHATEVER. We will all respond based on how we have trained ourselves to be. Drag ass from training wrong and you will not have the right head space. Train in a way that builds you up instead of breaking you down, Positive Head Space and Greater Chance For Success!
Train hard but more important – TRAIN SMART!