MMA Training Tip – Take The Pressure Off


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Keeping Things Fun – Take the Pressure Off of Yourself

I’m going to write about something very important. Specifically, a type of mindset that will allow you to have more fun every time you step onto the mats, spar in the ring or cage, when you are tapping out other people or when you find yourself tapping out to a perfectly executed submission hold applied by your partner.

I believe it’s the key ingredient to becoming the best mixed martial artist you can be. Here it is.

Do not take your training too seriously!

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t show up for class often or that you shouldn’t give your best during every training session. What I’m suggesting is that you view each training session as what its name implies, purely training. 

Many MMA athletes put so much pressure on themselves to be the best that they end up treating every rolling session and sparring round as if it is a competition. They care so much about winning that they lose focus of what the purpose of practice actually is. Instead of working on their weaknesses or polishing their newest techniques, which would be much more beneficial to them, they opt to dominate their training partners by using their strongest attacks.  At the end of class, the dominant student feels great. Most likely they were able to tap everyone out numerous times or bounced their partners around the ring –if it was a striking practice– like a pinball using their strikes. More often than not they did not end up in bad positions let alone take a good shot or get tapped out.  In their minds they had a great practice.


To achieve maximum gains in technical ability and to make sure that training is always an enjoyable experience you must not think in terms of simply winning and losing in the traditional sense. A practice that I would consider a win, would include one in which you landa few of your newest techniques or escaping a few situations against several training partners of varied ability levels. It wouldn’t matter if you had tapped out ten times while accomplishing those things.

On the other hand, a ground session that I would consider a loss could be one that you manage to go through without tapping out once but you never open up your game enough to practice the techniques and strategies they will help your skills improve. You may feel great because you’ve avoided every submission your partners attempted but you may fail to realize that you did not improve very much that day. You can see why this type of unproductive attitude can cause a major delay in a student’s progress if it’s not corrected early.

Next time you find yourself on the mats, in the ring, or standing in the cage remember to have fun by taking the pressure off yourself to win at all costs. Enjoy the game, try new things and remember that there are a lot worse things that can happen to you in your life than losing in your chosen sport. Consequently your will find yourself more eager to train which is great thing!

Categories : MMA Training Tips

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  1. I logged into Twitter this morning and saw a link to this post and came to read. It was interesting timing because I have training this morning and was feeling down. I had been reviewing training footage and was disappointed by some of my missed moves or bad form. Reading this made me realize that training IS learning. I should just relax and enjoy the experience, rather than put so much pressure on myself to prove I can do this. Great timing coming here and excellent post I won’t forget. Thank you!

  2. Mike "The Wallet" Haromszeki says:

    Thanks for an excellent blog, I have saved it for my son to read later today .

    Great words of advice, I will be reading what you have to say more often, found this on Facebook. Have a great day…

    Just a quick question if I may…do you still have your traditional Dojo going,
    with Kata’s, weapons, and point sparring?

    Thanks again

  3. Jeff Joslin says:

    Mutha – Great to hear and I’m glad it helped out. What kind of martial art do you train in?

  4. Jeff Joslin says:

    No problem Mike. We still have some weapons classes, point sparring and traditional kata class but it’s mostly children that participate in those. Our adults are opting more for boxing,kickboxing, brazilian jiu-jitsu and mma type training.

    Do you and your son currently train in martial arts?

  5. Jason says:

    Very well said Jeff.
    Now I feel better getting beat up and bloody all the time 😛

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