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Time Bombs and Puzzles.

"No seriously, it's just like that," I tell a cute brunette in a bar. She gives me that look that is a shaken, not stirred blend of curiosity and incredulity. 
"I think you're just saying that so I think you're clever and sleep with you." I am, but she was going to do it anyway. Especially once the 3rd round of martinis arrived. Still, my ego compels me to restate and clarify exactly what I'm trying to express.
"Well it's like this," I say as I pop an olive in my mouth. "It's not so much a fight to me as it is a puzzle. I have 9 minutes to figure out how this person in front of me works and shut him down, or else he shuts me down. It's really that simple." 
She gives me that look but with a little sparkle and a small flick of her tongue around her cherry lips.
"Much like I have until midnight to get you home before you turn into a pumpkin. It's 11:50 and I live around the block."
So maybe the conversation did not go exactly like that, but that is a variation of a conversation I used to run on girls when explaining boxing to them. I do mostly think like that, but I wouldn't considering boxing THAT cerebral (even for me). 
Funnily enough though, I was just down in Cincinnati for a boxing tournament and I was explaining a similar idea to a fellow boxer that just took a loss. I wasn't trying to get him into bed, so I found it a bit of a shock when I referenced this conversation thread I made up just to get laid.
"Look man, no matter what a guy does in there, you gotta figure out how to beat him. It doesn't have to be pretty, but it does have to make sure that you are fighting the next day and he isn't," is what I told him. He went on to explain that he had 
already fought the guy before so he knew some of his moves. This made it harder to fight him. Then my brain went into create mode and I came up with this poignant analogy.

More in the full entry:
Edward Latimore's picture

Chicken Soup For The Fighter's Soul

StandThemUp.Org's Ed Latimore not only has a fantastic knack for writing but is a nationally recognized amateur heavyweight who is currently competing for his shot at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Before you read what very well maybe something that changes your outlook on competition and fighting in general, I wanted to give you a quick update on his status of the "Last Chance Tournament". 

Eddie won his first fight against the representative from Ohio (Ricardo Walber) by 17 points, which is about as wide as a margin that the athletic commission will allow.   Eddie is now re-matched against a previous foe (Colorado) which he beat in the national tournament earlier this year.  The bracket for the 27 man tournament is on the right and you can expand it by clicking the image.

The Worst Case Scenario presents:
Chicken Soup For the Fighters Soul

I can't tell you how important your cardio is. You hear it all the time, but I can't think of one other thing that will decide the outcome of most of your early fights than who is in better shape.

Film everything about your training if you can. Then go back, study it and see what you're doing wrong. One objective viewing of yourself shadowboxing is worth more than you know.

Technique is essential, but perfect technique is over rated. Effective technique is under rated. What's more valuable: A pretty hook that almost never lands or a less than "perfect" one that has an 80% KO percentage?

Pain is the great equalizer in fighting. No matter how much better than you someone is, if you can cause them pain, you stand a chance.

The first ball shot is free. Use it wisely.

More insight after the jump:

Amateur MMA Rules in PA: Thanks, But No Thanks…

This Blog piece was promoted to the front page.

Amateur MMA Rules in PA: Thanks, But No Thanks…

By: M.Honcho

With the popularity on Mixed Martial Arts on the rise, people often ask me questions about training and fighting. One question that always comes up is “where do you guys fight?” My answer, painfully enough, is Ohio… and without failure the next question is almost certainly, “why don’t you guys ever fight in PA?” Since this conversation replays itself over and over, like an annoying outtake from the mid-90’s classic “Groundhog Day”, I have two general answers that I commonly give, depending mostly on the mood I am in at the time; the short answer is always “because PA sucks”. To anyone who is familiar with MMA and the local rules and regulations, “PA sucks!” is a perfectly acceptable answer.  However; the majority of the masses, you know, the people who don’t know the difference between an
arm bar and a Snickers bar*, have no idea that in an attempt to “make safe” amateur MMA, the state of Pennsylvania diluted/sissified/raped (choose whichever adjective you like) the sport to a point where the true essence of MMA is no longer evident. Allow me to explain…

Check out the rest in the full entry:

Edward Latimore's picture

Myth of Talent

Today I'm going to blow the lid off of something you've been conditioned to think from the moment you started to fight. It is this pervading myth of talent. Well I'm here to tell you that there is no such thing as talent. There are no gifted fighters, no prodigies, and no reincarnated masters of the 7 fists walking around. That's the truth.

Yes, there are some incredible fighters out there--much better than you will realistically ever be--but it is almost certainly not genetic or a gift from God. Further more, there is a slight to moderate possibility that you can become just as good as anyone that's ever done this. In fact, as you will soon learn, there is a pretty good chance that you'll become just as good as anyone that's ever fought. How is this possible? Am I smoking crack? Have my own bitches turned on me and started smacking me around? No, no and HELL no. What am I talking about then?

There are two books you should read: The Talent Myth by Larry Gluck and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Since you probably won't, I'm going to sum up the message of these two books for you. Basically, there is no such thing as talent.

Everyone that is really good at something got that way because they:

  1.  Practiced doing it correctly for 10,000+ hours
  2.  Spent way more time than you looking stupid while doing it incorrectly
  3.  Maximized their strengths and minimized/ignored their weaknesses while doing steps 2 and 3

Allow me to elaborate point by point.

1) Practiced doing it correctly for 10,000+ hours

Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice does. There is a study cited in Outliers where students from a music school were broken into 3 groups. Group A were students that were so good they were certainly going to be able to make a living performing. Group B was not so talented, but they could end up as backups or teachers. Group C students were more than likely going to be serving coffee somewhere instead of making a living from their music. After analyzing the group of students, you know they found to be thing that separated the three groups?

The students in Group B practiced more than the the students in Group C, but the students in Group A practiced a LOT more than the students in group B.
If this all seems obvious so far, it should even though these were scrub beginner musicians. These were musicians that were ALREADY good enough to get into the best music school in Germany! However, this next fact should hammer the point

Upon further analysis, there were no students in groups they didn't belong in. In other words, there were no students that practiced like A group musicians in C group or vice versa. I don't need to elaborate on the importance of this in your
training. Gladwell, the author, says that to get to expert level at something, it takes about 10,000 hours of practice.  Whether this number is true or not, consider the following break down:

40 hours a week of correct practice, it would take you a little over 5 years to get to the expert level. This is the real reason why child "prodigies" emerge. Kids don't have little things to worry about like bills and a social life so they can live in the gym, in math books, at the chess bored or on an instrument. Everything else is taken care of. You probably aren't so lucky to have that advantage if you are reading this, but you can always do more. If you ARE so lucky as to have that advantage, what's your excuse!?

Check out other myths and strategies in the full entry:

Breaking down the UFC's hypemachine:

Step1: An introduction

Jake Shields  challenges perennial champion and martial arts superstar Georges Saint Pierre this weekend in Montreal for UFC 129.  This leaves the UFC with a distinct problem, Shields looked terrible in his UFC debut against Martin Kampmann and  he is virtually unknown to the UFC’s casual audience.  Couple this with Georges low finish rate and what is perceived to be a boring style and you have the makings of a real bomb at the box office.

To combat these two problems the UFC went out to the shed and started up the old hypemachine, oiled and gaged perfectly for these type of messy jobs.  The Primetime series is the UFC’s main vehicle when selling the value of a fight, the other would be a coaching slot on the Ultimate Fighter, and has worked flawlessly in the past.   Because both fighters have rather bland personalities and GSP is recently coming off of the show against Josh Koscheck,  Primetime is the platform of choice to push this particular  event.  The Ultimate Fighter platform is used to boost appeal for a fighter who does not talk alot  by matching him with a over the top shit talker outspoken antagonist such as Hendo/Bisping, Penn/Pulver, Chuck/Tito. Jake Shields isn’t as clever or interesting in front of a camera and GSP will not even so much as mutter a fuck you when threatened and/or chastised publicly. Good for the sport, probably, good for TV..? Not so much.  Enter Primetime, smooth camera angles, powerful voice overs, training clips, interviews with coaches  and you virtually take the fighter out of it.  This allows Zuffa to tell you what your seeing and control the environment with character/plot building and even strategies are laid out. This approach has a humanizing and equalizing effect and soon enough even the most assured are second guessing (including yours truly).

Gifs and instructions on how to use the machine in the full entry: