Training Philosophy: Physical vs Technical

Russian Sambo courtesy of SystemaSpetsnaz.com
[Russian Sambo image courtesy of SystemaSpetsnaz.com]
If you read my first article, “Strength and Conditioning in Competitive Martial Arts” then this next installment should help to elucidate those concepts even further. If you did not read that article, I hope that this one can stand on its own. Rather than outline specific exercises or routines, I want to continue to lay the conceptual groundwork for a solid training philosophy.

One of the ideas that I encounter in martial arts frequently, specifically among practitioners in the US, is the idea that strength training is somehow anathema to fighting, or even counterproductive. Hardly a BJJ class goes by without someone complaining that their partner “just used his strength”, and has “no technique”. To a certain extent, I am sure that this is an extension of Helio Gracie’s idea that strength is not the only component of combat, and that strength can be overcome by superior technique. Everyone can agree on that. It is incorrect, however, to take this to its extreme and make the claim that strength does not matter. This is something that you are much, much less likely to hear in a top collegiate wrestling program, or at a sports club in Russia, and that is because it is an empirically proven fact that stronger athletes perform better. If your opponent is stronger than you, your appropriate response to the problem should be developing your own strength. If they are larger than you, then you should consider bulking up or cutting down. It really is that cut-and-dry.

Every time I begin to work with a new athlete, especially fighters, I find myself burdened with the task of convincing them that strength and conditioning work is of equal importance to skills. Udo Quellmalz, one of the best competitive judoka of all time, was a product of the Soviet model, as he competed for East Germany before the Wall fell. He continued to train, of course, after the USSR dissolved, and was quoted as saying that “the East German approach was much more professional than that of the West. The volume and intensity of training was so much higher” . He also described his preparation for the 1995 World Championships as a single “ten-day conditioning camp in the Austrian alps. We hardly did any judo, it was just endurance and strength training”.

The government-subsidized coaches and scientists that oversaw his training recorded the empirical data of these sessions in great detail, including lactate levels, VO2 max, recovery time, etc. The modalities that worked were kept and developed, while the others were scrapped. One of the bits of data that piqued my interest the most, however, was the simple recording of hours spent training. Quellmalz spent 20+ hours a week training, as opposed to the average 10 hours spent by elite Western athletes. The volume of training is impressive, sure, but the detail that I am focusing on here is that there is not a distinction made between the hours spent on physical preparation, and those spent on skills work. It was one and the same.

I challenge you, the readers, to record how much time you spend on physical preparation vs skills work over the next week. Then, add the two numbers together. This should give you a real, tangible representation of how much time you are spending on becoming better at your respective disciplines. We will pick up again next week with training specificity under the Soviet model, as an extension of the ideas expressed in this article.

References:
1. Mark Law, Falling Hard: A Journey into the World of Judo (Boston: Trumpeter Books, 2007), 173.
2. Mark Law, Falling Hard: A Journey into the World of Judo (Boston: Trumpeter Books, 2007), 174.

Twenty Four Seven Entertainment Presents “AMERICAS MOST WANTED” Odessa, TX June 30th

Twenty Four Seven Entertainment brings to us another stacked Fight Card in “AMERICAS MOST WANTED” 11 bouts of what are set to be some epic battles. 11 bouts of extreme Mixed Martial Arts Action! Event will be in Odessa,TX. If you’re on this Fight Card or are attending, please share this with your friends and let’s keep Texas Fighting!!

-Main Event-
Luis Luna / Seminole, TX vs. Mitchell Hale / Abilene,TX. 155lbs

Co- Main Event
Jarrett Jones /Odessa, TX -vs- Alejandro Siller /San Angelo, TX 170lbs

Plus 9 Exciting bouts:
Anthony Tatum / Odessa,TX -vs- Aldo Davila  / Austin, TX 170lbs
Desmond Hill / Odessa,TX -vs- Jon Cook / Amarillo,TX 165lbs
Samuel Trevino  / Odessa,TX  vs- Caleb Hudson / Midland,TX 185lbs
Matt Hobar / Dallas,TX vs. Aaron Cerda / Abilene,TX 140lbs
John Voth / Amarillo,TX  -vs-  Evan Martinez / Dallas, TX 135lbs
Jeff Fraley / Odessa, TX  -vs-  Jesse Moreno / Lubbock, TX 170lbs
Neal Ewing / Dallas, TX  -vs-  Armando Herrera / Plainview, TX 185lbs
Dusty Mason / Midland, TX  -vs- Gino Davila / Lubbock, TX 135lbs
Jeremy Valderaz / Lubbock, TX  -vs-  Jonathan Lopez / Plainview, TX 125lbs

Fight to Win “Super Heroes” 12 MMA Cage Fights

MAIN EVENT 155LB TITLE FIGHT

CHASE HACKETT (4-1) FACTORY X VS ADAM SCHINDLER (10-3) AUSTIN MUAY THAI

CO MAIN EVENT 17OLBS

JOSH CAVAN (4-1) TEAM WILDMAN VS STEVEN SIMMONS (4-6) TOP NOTCH MMA

145LBS PRO

JOSH HUBER (7-3) EASTON BJJ vs BRIAN WOOD (3-3) SLEDGEHAMMER MMA

185LBS PRO

ADAM STROUP (1-0) FACTORY X VS TODD MEREDITH (1-1) FUSBOXE

265LBS PRO

GABE BEAUPURTHUY (7-7) ALTITUDE MMA vs ANTHONY ALIREZ (2-1) SLEDGE HAMMER MMA

145LBS PRO

VELLORE CABALLERO (6-4) EASTON BJJ VS JOHNNY TORRES (5-3) 303 TRAINING CENTER

165LBS PRO

MATT SIMMS (3-2) ZINGANO BJJ VS ALVINO MONTOYA (0-0) BATTLEGROUNDS MMA

150LBS PRO

JUSTIN HOUGHTON (4-1) GRUDGE TRAINING CENTER VS JEREMY MARTINEZ (4-6) ALAMOSA MMA

185LBS PRO

JOSH GOLDBERGBER (1-1) COLORADO BJJ/TEAM WILDMAN VS MICHAEL MATTHEWS (0-0) FREEDOM FIGHTERS

———————————————————————————————

115LBS AMATUER KICKBOXING TITLE FIGHT

LAUREN SUGIHARA (5-0) MUAY THAI OF COLORADO/3D MARTIAL ARTS VS CRYSTAL PARRISH (3-3) 8 POINTS MUAY THAI

145LBS AMATEUR TITLE FIGHT

J KEVEN HERNANDEZ (4-0) ZINGANO BJJ VS DOMINIC GARKO (5-2) FREEDOM FIGHTERS

125LBS AMATEUR

NICK DEFOIRE (2-0) TEAM WILDMAN VS GABE FLORES (1-1) SLEDGE HAMMER MMA

“I want to represent the whole State of TEXAS” Javier Obregon Jr. interview by: sPidA

Saw this young man fight his heart out at Element Fighting Championship and instantly became a fan, bout to step into the Cage again come April 28th in Plano, Texas / Dominion Warrior ” EVOLUTION” Here we go!

sPidA : How long have you been training in Mixed Martial Arts and how long after that did you decide you wanted to compete in the sport?

Javi: I have been training  since the age of 16, training for  7 years now. Ever since i was a young kid my cousin and I would always watch the cage fights.Both of us wanted to become pro fighters and make it to the UFC.. but a few years ago my cousin was in a car accident and passed away. I told myself that i would do this for the both of us

sPidA :So sorry for your loss bro, what other sports were you involved in growing up,did any of them encourage you to get into Mixed Martial Arts?

Javi : I played every sport in high school.  I also did boxing but the sport that carried me into becoming a better mma fighter was wrestling. i wrestled in Iowa and also went to wrestle for a College  in Minnesota.

sPidA: I was at the EFC event when you fought against Borzoo, how close do you feel that bout was? (loss to split decision)

Javi: The fight between me and Borzoo was a great fight for me. To be honest it was a very close fight but i thought i did enough to get the win just , i mixed it up  and was able to take him down more than 6 times. We both fought back in forth on our feet. but the loss was good for me because it made me a better fighter and i learned from it.

sPidA : If called back for a re-match,would you take it or just take the experience and keep going?

Javi : If they would called me back for the rematch i would jump right on it and take it. I’m a guy that likes tough fights cause those are the one that make me better.

sPidA : Everybody is trying to make it to the big leagues in MMA (UFC/BELLATOR etc..) Is this your goal as well, what do you feel will take you there?

Javi: Yes making it to the UFC or BELLATOR is my dream and I want to become a champion and at the end of my carrer i want to be a legend to be known as one of the best to ever stepped in the cage. I’m doing it for my family and me cause i love this sport. and for my son and daughter so I can give them things that I didn’t have as a child. I think by fighting the tough fighters and beating them will help me make a name in MMA and that i think will get me there.

sPidA : You are a family man, are you working full time if so how often do you train?

Javi : Yes i am a family man. i am a husband and a father of two kids. My son is 2 years old and my daughter is  3. My daughter lives in Iowa. I dont get to see her much. She is one of the main reasons i fight. If i make more money i could get to see more of her.My family is what keeps me going. I work full time and if im not able to go to a gym i will still workout at home.I get up early everyday for a run and after work I go train or workout. It gets hard sometimes but i know it will pay off at the end.

sPidA: Is your family supportive in you choosing to fight in Mixed Martial Arts?

Javi : At first my mother didn’t agree on me fighting for as a sport but she got used to it and she now supports me on my dream.My family is great on supporting me. and my little brother helps me train and my wife has been there for me since the beginning she has always supported me..

sPidA : Tell us a bit about your fight team and what City do you represent?

Javi : I fight out of Stephenville,TX  but when i fight i dont just want to represent a City I want to represent the whole state of TEXAS. The gym is great ,I have a great coach but he is also a great friend of mine. It’s a small gym but we have some very good fighters and we are like family we all support each other.

sPidA : Both your losses have gone all 3 rounds, conditioning isn’t a factor, what have you learned from these losses?

Javi : What I learned from those losses is to fight smarter cause not always will the better fighter win, the smarter one will.

sPidA : You’ll be fighting Derek Oneal on April 28th, does your game plan change for every fight or will you feed of your opponent?

Javi : Derek Oneal is my next opponent and yes I changed my game plan. I will keep the fight on my feet to show everyone that i am a good striker and bang it out but fight smart.

sPidA : Thank you for your time bro,hope to see you fight again soon, anything else you would like to add to this?

Javi : Thank you, I want to thank the lord for giving me the strength to keep going. I also want to thank everyone who has supported me in my carrer, Les Mayo my trainer and everyone who has helped me get ready for my fights. A big shout out to the people who cheer for me at my fights, thank you! And if there is any sponsors out there wanting some great exposure, contact me. (javierobregon16@hotmail.com) I would be very thankful.

 

Over 35 years of fighting and love for the sport. – Jeff Bonugli Interview

Jeff Bonugli is 54 years old and has been in martial arts for over 35 years.  He has fought all over Texas, Louisiana and even Mexico winning tournaments in full contact karate and American kickboxing. Jeff has experienced life through a fighter’s eyes and has seen the good and the bad: “Martial Arts got me through a rough patch in my life. It helped me get through my lowest point. If it wasn’t for Martial Arts and my mentor and Sensei Mr. Chris Lopez , I wouldn’t be here today.” He’s fought in Karate tournaments, Judo, Kickboxing and now for the first and last time, MMA.

Jeff is a humble man who came from a time when the sport was more than just fighting, it was a way of life. He lived and breathed it. A respect for the sport and his elders plays a big role in how he conducts himself. Many of today’s fighters, he feels, don’t understand that. It’s not always about being the biggest and baddest, it’s about discipline and honor.

Mr. Bonugli will be getting back into the ring come July 17th to face a man half his age. Jeff’s not doing this for the money, a boost in his career or anything a young fighter is in it for. He’s doing it to prove to himself that he still has what it takes even at age 54. He’s doing it for his two nieces who were killed, one in a car accident and another who was shot at point blank range. He’s doing it most importantly for the faith that he has gained in a belief of a Savior who died for us. This last one is what truly motivates him, not just to fight but what carries him and has carried him through out his life. This is who he gives all the credit to. Whether he wins or loses, he knows that Jesus Christ laid down his life for him and this is what motivates him the most. To give the glory to God.

In the video you’ll hear some brief stories about the good ole days of martial arts and what it means to him, as well as his final goodbyes to 35 years of fighting and a true love for the sport. Much respect is given to this man who, not only lived it, but plans to prove it once again in the cage.

Jeff will make his way to the cage on July 17th, 2010 in San Antonio at the Municipal Auditorium. A total of three, three minute rounds, win or lose, Jeff will give his all and leave the rest up to his Maker.

Interview by: Chris Lopez Jr.