Too often do people focus on the physical, on the material, realizing that truly the mental aspect is the most important part of any game that you’re playing. What separates the Pros from the Joe’s, the successful from the unsuccessful and the learners from the losers is the state of mind.
While often only seen as a purely physical sport in this article I will cover why MMA is just as much a mental sport.
To quote the great Joe Rogan, “Mixed martial arts is high stakes physical chess, with dire consequences.” Truly, nothing can be closer to the truth, due to the fact that MMA requires Intelligent strategizing and mental fortitude.
It is undeniable that mixed martial arts require thorough game-planning, whether you are the coach or the fighter. Due to the fact that so many disciplines are mixed and matched, because each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses, a fighter and his coach are constantly having to polish and sharpen different facets of their game. Taking into consideration that there is no offseason for MMA, fighters are constantly at the lab (gym) strengthening weaknesses and adding to the game plan.
In addition, this complex game adds more layers when a fighter gets scheduled to fight and finds out who his opponent is. In no other sport is it more crucial to study tape on your opponent than in mixed martial arts. This will allow you to shape up your defenses where they are weak, and sharpen your blades where you are strong. Let’s take for example the classic matchup of striker vs. grappler–at any given moment, both camps are desperately trying to play catch up with the other one skill set, in hopes of giving their fighter the best chance possible of victory. The most successful fighters in UFC, are the fighters that are the most dedicated to studying and researching their opponent. A great example of this is Matt Hume and Demetrius Johnson.
A higher level of retention is also required in this sport. One only needs to take into account the fact that 1 day of training could have somebody doing up to 5 different classes in 5 different disciplines.
Mental fortitude also has a huge part to play MMA training, In fact, that is more important than the physical. When it’s the last 30 seconds of the last round, and your body’s reminding you just how tired it is, it’s up to your mind to make the decision of whether you going to rise to the occasion and give it your all or listen to the minor physical annoyances. All of this boils down to attitude, all champions, both past, and present, have one thing in common. They respect the value of hard work and stay positive win lose or draw.
This article served its purpose of clearing up why mixed martial arts Is just as much a mental sport as a physical one.