So, as I was working with Fergal on the nuances of his kick, I noticed an alarming trend starting to creep into his training. He had his hands down and when I asked why, he said he was focused on getting the leg right for now and that he would start taking care of his hands as soon as he was happy. I don’t agree with this sort of practice, and went off on one about the process of repetition.
You and by extension, your style, is the result of endless repetition in the gym. If you never turn into a kick, or move a hand to block or whatever it is you let yourself get away with, that’s a habit that will take hold and sink you, sooner or later and here’s why; The human body is an expert at streamlining its systems.
What this means for you, is that the more times you do something right, the less you have to concentrate on doing it right in the future. This is how the body learned to conserve critical energy during lean times, throughout our evolution. It is this mechanism that forms habits. The more you do something, a certain way, the more likely you are to do it that certain way, the next time.
What this means for you as a fighter, is that when you get tired or angry or sore and you let yourself off with half a kick or whatever, your body soon learns that when you reach a certain point of exhaustion a slipping in standards is acceptable, if it gets you back in the comfort zone sooner.
So whatever your bullshit is, that’s what’s going to cost you your fight. The fighter in front of you might not be able to see, but his coach sure will. And if he lasts long enough to get some face time with his coach, your next round may be awful.
Take your time. Drill the technique until its perfect. It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, it matters how much of the technique is correct. As a coach I am trying to see how well you can go around a corner, not how fast you can crash into the barrier, to use a racing analogy. (Watching the Nicky Lauda story) You are always practicing, good or bad, and every repetition either makes you a better fighter, or a worse one. So take your time, do it once more, and slower this this time.