MMA/Combat Athletes

My daily resistance training templates look like this:

Block # 1
Jump rope 3 minutes
Joint mobility drills
Dynamic stretching

Block # 2
Control drills

Block # 3
Main session

Block # 4
Optional work depending on the auto-regulating scale

Block # 5
Iso-metric/static stretching (before bed)

Block # 6

[quote]peterm533 wrote:

In my opinion you should prioritise the skill or playing of your sport from which you will naturally receive specific conditioning benefits and only add in additional workouts as necessary dependent upon your specific needs, the recovery from your sport workouts and the timing of your competitions.

You?re not looking at the large picture, it really depends on the phase your in (exp. GPP, SPP, CP, M,).

[quote]peterm533 wrote:

There is a strange notion held by a number of people that you need to endure the toughest workouts imaginable at all times as a precondition for success in sports. That is not smart training in my opinion. [/quote]

I concur for the most part, but just as CS and the renegade alluded to before, mental toughness is a sound training goal. Again my friend you?re not looking at the big picture.


I am sorry but I genuinely have no idea what you mean by looking at the big picture.

I gave no specfic recommendations but
general advice about the organisation of training with a view to high level performance in a sporting context, with particular reference to grappling.

My view from years of competition and involvement in coaching is that I would not organise my training in the way you have set out. On the other hand I freely admit that I know nothing about Modern Ninjitsu or how to train for it.

I said nothing about mental toughness but constant destructive testing of your physical capacity is not comparable to the demands met in competition and imo is not the route to sporting success.

Great read guys thanx. I run into so many people in mma who think wieght training is bad for mma and they need to get up with the times. They think everyone lifts like a body builder doing isolation exercises. All of the knowledge listed above is perfect imo. But, one thing I have heard from successful fighters is nothing replaces actual training in the sport… once your weight training gets in the way of actual training for fights or competitions, it’s time to revaluate your plan.

Ricardo Arona (picture above) Interview- a lot of good information here from a solid competitor and a definite threat for the Pride GP crown.
Q: How did you hurt Sakuraba so bad in this second round of the GP?

Arona: Actually I got scared about his face just like everyone else in the gym. I was kneeing his head and his face was down so I could not see it. When the round was over and I saw his face I just couldn’t understand what exactly happened. I’m glad the doctors stopped the fight at that point.

Q: What about the yellow card? Did you attack Sakuraba’s eye?

Arona: I got really upset w/ Pride’s attitude giving me a yellow card. I was in Sakuraba’s guard and he was dominating my neck and I needed to open space to free my neck and also punch his face. At that point my corner said he was bleeding. When I pushed his face my only goal was to release my neck to keep attacking him w/ punches. I had no intention of putting my fingers in his eyes or using my finger to opn his cut ? first, because I consider Sakuraba as a warrior and I respect him a lot and second, because I was clearly dominating the fight. I would never have this kind of attitude.

Q: Who would you like to face in the next phase?

Arona: As I said before I want to face Wanderlei Silva, but people told me they should put me against Shogun. I also heard Alistair Overeem challenged me, but I don’t think they will make this because they want to avoid a friendly fight between Shogun and Wanderlei in the semifinal. So I think they will put one from Chute Boxe against me and the other one against Overeem. I’d rather face Wanderlei but after this defeat of Rogerio, I also would love to face Shogun. Actually, I don’t choose opponents.

Q: What will be your strategy against each one of them?

Arona: The same. Train a lot of boxing, ground and wrestling. I’ll do a complete training regimen so when I get there, I can choose my strategy during the fight.

Q: Who is the favorite for the title?

Arona: I believe in me. I thought Rogerio and I, but he lost to Shogun. I’m in doubt between Alistair and Shogun. I don’t consider Wanderlei as a favorite to take this title.

Q: Why don’t you consider Wanderlei as a favorite to take this title?

Arona: Wanderlei’s game is working because he’s too aggressive and with one blow he can define a fight. But he’s just counting on it, to hit a blow and define the fight. I think a fighter must be a little better than that. If the fighter becomes tight, the fighter may have to develop it (switch tactics) and I think he can’t. His ground game is not so good; he doesn’t know how to take the opponent down; and on the feet, he is just counting on a merciful blow. He’s less complete than me, Minotouro, Shogun and Alistair. Alistair himself improved a lot, improving on his ground skills and conquering the ADCC European Trials

Q: You don?t train like the other fighters do, going to BTT headquarters everyday. Sometimes you disappear and BTT people make jokes saying that you?re training w/ Neptune or trying to submit sharks. On the other hand, your teammates also recognize you as a ?phenom? because whenever you return you always give everyone a hard time. What?s your secret?

Arona: Nowadays, I work other particularities as a fighter, improving my mind and my physique. For this kind of work I don?t do it there. I go to BTT to train jiu-jitsu and wrestling. I train Muay Thai here in Niteroi under Toniko Junior? supervision, and I do my physical preparation with Marcel Saroldi. That?s why I don?t go frequently to BTT and people say I?m training with sharks. (Laughs) I?m not 100% right doing it, I know I have to go more often to BTT. But I care a lot a bout this other kin of training I do. Good vibes is something very important for a fighter and that?s why I came to live here in Itacoatiara between the mountains and the ocean. If I had to drive everyone day one hour facing huge traffic jams to Lagoa (BTT headquarters), I wouldn?t train well and in my opinion having a good mind is very important for a fighter?s performance.

Q: And what about Pride GP final round? Do you intend to train harder than you usually do?

Arona: For sure, I?m going to have to face two tough opponents in the same event. Of course, I?ll have to train more with my teammates. I really don?t like to spend one hour in a traffic jam to get to BTT headquarter, but for the next phase I intend to go there more frequently. People from the team had the idea of renting an apartment for two months close to the gym and that could be a good possibility. Darrel Gholar is also going there to sharpen our wrestling skills. It?s going to be amazing.

Q: And what of Darrel Gholar?s wrestling teachings?

Arona: I didn?t work with him for a long time. He left BTT, then returned, then left again and had some health problem? but I worked with him a long time ago and for me, he?s the best wrestling trainer. He prepared all the BTT fighters. When I won my first ADCC title, I still hadn?t worked with him. I had agility to try the takedown, but with no technique. But later we started to work together and he sharpened my wrestling skills. I love to work with him and I?m sure he can help me a lot to win this event.

Q: You had to withdraw from the ADCC Superfight to keep fighting in the Pride GP. How did you handle this decision?

Arona: It wasn?t easy and I?m still not very happy with this decision because for me, Pride is as important as ADCC. There was a clause in my Pride contract that I could fight ADCC, but I think there?s not enough time between two competitions. Pride didn?t want me fighting due to the risk of being injured during the combat. In the Pride GP 2003, I got injured some days before the first round and I was replaced by Murilo Bustamante. This time, Pride asked me not to fight and I agreed with them. I?m not happy with it, but I?m sure that in ADCC 2005, probably in Japan, I will be back fighting in my weight category starting everything from the beginning. I?ll do everything I?ve done before to take back my belt. I?ll not fight this time because I have to battle for a title that I don?t have.

Q: Let?s talk about your training routine?

Arona: I do Muay Thai with TOniko Jr. three times a week, I spend three days a week training my ground skills and also three days training wrestling. I also do my physical preparation with Marcelo Saroldi for three days a week. I do everything intensively, so I need time to rest. Resting time is as important as training time. Fighters need to sleep well, to rest well. Sometimes you need to take a day off to recover your body from training. You only achieve a good result when you respect a good schedule. Next to the day of the fight, I try to keep it all right: to sleep well, to eat well, to wake up well. When fighters arrive in Japan usually they are overweight and they have to lose three, for kilos (eight to ten pounds), so it?s important to sleep, to eat well, to avoid any kind of problems, (so you?re) losing weight without weakness or becoming tired.

Q: You said one of the most important things in your preparation for a fight is your psychological clockwork. How do you do it?

Arona: I always had a good mind for challenges. I?ve been working on it since my youth. I think you reflect to other people what you are inside. It?s important you be very confident in yourself to overcome your challenges. I never gave up on my challenges. I always faced tough fighters, since I started fighting with the gi. I never had an easy time. At my first ADCC tournament, my battle started in Brazilian trial where I beat my teammate Amaury Bitetti. In Abu Dhabi, I faced Tito Ortiz, Jeff Monson, Kareem Barklaev ? all wrestling champions and I was the underdog. I always had to make sacrifices to take what I wanted. Fighting jiu-jitsu, I beat Marcio Pe de pano (Ribeiro da Cruz) [with a brown belt at my first State Championship, I had just gotten my brown belt], Rodrigo Comprido (a two-time Absolute world champion), Fabio Gurgel, Gabriel Napao. All these kind of things prepared me to be where I am. I?m the result of the work I?ve been doing a long time. A fighter can win without having this background. But sometimes this good head will be required or he?ll lose. You need more than a good star to become champion.

Q: You live in a paradise?. How does this paradise help you in your preparation?

Arona: Actually, I?m very influenced by energy. I?m the kind of guy who arrives in a place and feel it?s energy, whether this energy is in favor me or not, and here I found an intense energy for fighting. Here there are mountains to climb on, a great sea to work out in. I?ve peace and calmness I don?t find anywhere else. I?m restless by nature. So, I think I have to work on it. If I lived in a place like Rio de Janeiro, I think I would not adapt my self with that confusion, that traffic problem? I have to live in an isolated place, focused on training, watching fights and leave here just for fighting, leave my paradise just for fighting, doing the best I can to return as soon as I can. This is very important for me, because bad energies don?t reach me here.

Q: When did you start to admire tigers?

Arona: In my first contact with this kind of animal, I realized they?re like us fighters; very focused, living just for hunting. I identify myself with him. When I took my first ADCC title, before the final bout against Jeff Monson, I met an Arabian who told me ?you?ll win because you have the eye of a tiger.? I thought that was great coming at the right time, one day before the decision. I had that inside me and I didn?t realize that. I discovered it in a foreign country where nobody knew me and with a culture different from Brazil. Since then, I started to see the tiger in many different ways and I realized it had everything to do with my lifestyle. I love to be alone, to train by myself, to do everything by myself, as tigers do. Tigers love the night, I do love night, not to go to a nightclub, but do everything by night in its calmness, under its fresh air. Then I Started to notice the tiger?s movements, its jumps, lunge, its determination, how it looks, it walks, and I took it to my game fight. To be waiting for the right time to attack, to put the opponent against the ropes. There?s that mysterious thing, that you know the tiger is looking at you, but you don?t know exactly what?s happening, what he wants. It?s that surprise? I?m very identified with tigers and I try to follow its philosophy: hunting, eating, sleeping and being careful all the time, being all the time focused on hunting, on victory. It?s a spiritual thing.

Q: How do you use the nature in your training routine? Do you train climbing up mountains, develop your strength walking against the ocean current?

Arona: I developed some exercises using nature in my training program and under the fighting time of 20 minutes. The sea current is very intense here in Itacoatiara beach. So I count twenty minutes on my watch and, during this time I fight against the sea current, trying to return to sand. I enter with water around my neck and I start running with the sea current pulling me back. Besides my strength, this also works my adrenaline because I know I can be pushed out to sea with the big waves. Here I also found a steep mountain, where I could do traction work together with power work. I can exercise my body together with my head, but always under fighting time, training to do the best during the fight time.

Q: Some people accuse you of trying to take the fight to the ground and stalling. What do you think about that?

Arona: Every time I faced an excellent grappler, I did it. I couldn?t do anything different, because they wanted me doing a ground game, looking for submissions. When I fought Ninja I had to do it. Ninja always won when his opponents did their game, looking for submissions? Nobody knows if Dan Henderson trains jiu-jitsu or not, but he?s a very smart guy and a slippery guy, so I had to hold him on the ground. Against Guy Mezger, we spent 15 minutes striking and only five minutes on the ground. This tie thing (tying up opponent) is associated to the fighter who I?m fighting against. I?m from a MMA school where we didn?t do that ground game. On Carlson?s time, we didn?t have to pass the guard, put the knee on the belly, looking for submissions. If you?re on the bottom, you?re to put your feet on your opponent?s groin, pulling him to bring the fight back to the top. If you?re on the top, you?re to punish your opponent wherever you are. If you?re used to it, it?s difficult to change your game during the fight, under the adrenaline. Minotauro (Rodrigo Nogueira) submitted almost all his opponents. But he comes from a different MMA school (De La Riva), that prefers fighting on the bottom, pulling to the guard. Unlike me, you don?t see him on the top punishing his opponents and he also submitted almost all his opponents because they didn?t know how to fight on the ground. They just looked to take him down and punish him. When you face a guy like Henderson or Ninja, it?s more difficult to do it. So, when I tied (up) the fight, I was aware of what I was doing. This also happens in a BJJ fight. There are some fighters that if you don?t hold, you?ll lose.

Q: A Chute Boxe athlete fights better when he sees his opponent as an enemy. What about you? Do you prefer to face Wanderlei, who is clearly your enemy, or Shogun?

Arona: I don?t know against who I would fight better but I know who I want to fight: Wanderlei. When people asked me who I wanted to fight in the quarterfinals, I said Wanderlei and Sakuraba. When Sakuraba was defeating all BJJ fighters, being called a ?Gracie Hunter,? I wanted to face him, but I couldn?t. I knew he would have a problem against my fighting style, different from what he was used to facing at that time. I?ve been looking to this time for four years. And with Wanderlei, we had a thing three years ago, when he didn?t prove to be a countrymate. We met for breakfast at the Hotel in Tokyo. I complimented him and he wanted to fight me. I couldn?t believe his attitude, and since then, I started to dream of the opportunity to fight him in the Pride ring.

Q: What do you intend to do if you take the Pride GP belt?

Arona: If I win it, I want to fight for the MW belt against Wanderlei.

Q: You have just two losses on your record, one from Quinton ?Rampage? Jackson and another one for Emelianenko Fedor, present Pride HW champ. What have you learned with your loss to Rampage?

Arona: Once in that fight I was on my back on the ground and I kicked his face. He fell on me unconscious, mumbling something as he rolled his tongue, and I had the good feeling to call the referee to tell him he was unconscious. But doing it I lost the right time to finish that fight. After that, he didn?t hit me. I was very comfortable and I knew I would beat him. I was convinced of it due to my striking and ground performance. But then he slammed me. It wasn?t that slam that took me out of that fight. I?ve suffered a lot of slams during the training of the Carlson Team time and I never went unconscious for it. What really knocked me out was that head butt. That blow broke my nose, my tooth and opened a huge cut on Jackson?s forehead. How had he opened that cut? I blacked out from that head butt. What did I learn from it? Well, after this Pride president Nobuyki Sakakibara told me, ?Ricardo, when you step in that ring it?s to kill or get killed. Please, no more compassion.? But I also learned that I need to be more determined and I can?t stop during the fight. I got more mature and I think it was the best way to lose a fight. He didn?t hit me after eight minutes. I consider this loss as a victory I missed. It?s better than losing and being punished.

And against Fedor?

Arona: Against Fedor the decision was very controversial. Fedor knows it. I had an excellent fight against him. I didn?t know who I would face till I arrived in Japan. Three days before the fight, I received some Fedor fights on a tape, fights in which he knocked his opponents out in less than one minute. I saw that monster punishing everybody? he was heavier than me. Not stronger than he is not, but bigger. So, I fought the fight to take him down and I did it eight, nine, times. I mounted him twice, I took his back once, I tried an armbar, but he?s very strong and escaped from it. We exchanged a lot of bows. I kicked him, I punched him. During the entire fight he only hit me with one straight punch to my nose. I think I lost that fight because I tried a double and he always attacked by guillotine. But with no tension! Then, I took him down, passed the guard, mounted him and started to attack him. But the referee thought he put me in danger with that guillotine. After that fight I realized that I lost not only due to the guillotine. The winner of that fight would face Tsuyoshi Kosaka in the second fight of the day, disputing a place on the King of Rings Tournament, and Japanese producers wanted a Japanese fighter in the final tournament. They called Fedor victorious and the Japanese audience booed the result. I ended the fight without damage, while he got his nose broken and ended up with a huge cut on his forehead. Nobody had done that with him yet. Then he stepped in the ring to face Kosaka and after twelve seconds the referee stopped the fight, pointed to Fedor?s face and said that Fedor wasn?t able to keep fighting. Kosaka won that turn just fighting for twelve seconds against Fedor because the Russian was damaged. Damaged by me! For me, they though ?Arona can?t beat Fedor, because he will defeat our fighter (next). We?ll have to end this fight at this moment.? I lost just to the judges. I?m sure I won that fight. Actually, I lost twice, but they don?t seem to like losses. I was not punished by anybody, I didn?t tap out and I wasn?t even put in danger. In the first one, I was beaten by judges and in the other I lost to an accident. I don?t accept those two losses.

Q: DO you think you?re the best middleweight nowadays?

Arona: Each fighter has his strongest point. One is better doing takedowns, the other one is better striking? I consider myself as a complete fighter, but I have to improve my skills as much as anyone has to do. Fighting is a lottery. Even not knowing whether there is a fighter better than me or not, accidents can happen and a fight can end suddenly. It?s hard for me to chose a champion for this Grand Prix, I don?t know whether I will decide it or not, but I really want to fight for this belt. [/i]