"Relax Serg...slow your breathing down...think about the situation, and solve the puzzle."
I heard that a bit more than I did last week.
Today I was reminded of the importance of focus when training. A good fighter has to be focused to control both their own and their opponents movements and reactions. You have to realize what style of fighter your opponent is, and take that fight away from them. If they are a fast mover, slow them down; If they are a stand-up fighter, take them to the ground; and vice versa. it takes discipline to control your breathing, and your reactions so as not to show your opponent when something they did worked. When you are focused on your fight, you can plan ahead and essentially tell yourself, "I will use this technique next, and depending on how my opponent reacts, I will use this submission, or this choke, or this strike to finish the fight."
If there's one thing I look forward to every week it's "open mat" at Jackson's Martial Arts here in town. It allows me to practice grappling and the occasional stand up fight in an environment where 90% of the people there are much more experienced and skilled than myself. I go into open mat with my mouth shut, and my eyes and ears open so that I may learn anything and everything presented.
Usually, I do alright for myself; not always winning, but always learning. I'll do things right, and then get caught when I make a mistake or just get ousted in skill. Today, however, that would have been a stretch. Right from the start I had to tap within 5 minutes because I quickly became exhausted and claustrophobic--that's never happened before. I was more confused than disappointed; and probably a little embarrassed as well. I grappled a few more times and it became apparent that my mind wasn't there; I don't know where it was or what I was thinking about, but I wasn't focused on what I should have been. Those I was rolling against would stop and explain and teach me things I already knew ( shrimping, not leaving an arm open for an arm bar, mount control...ect) and all I could do was listen, agree, and re-learn it. Obviously it would have been stupid to tell them I already knew all that stuff, because today I seemed to have forgotten it all. I'll see how I do tomorrow.
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