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Hold me back.

It’s rant night and I’ve so much to rant about it’s not even funny. I could let go at the colossal cock up that is the so called unified ruleset for irish MMA and the insane clusterfuck that is fast becoming. Or I could let fly at the people who think they know more about what they should do to fight; oh man would I love to let go at that. I could have a crack at the parking attendant who stuck a sticker to my car at 16:22 on Saturday when my ticket was expired at… 16:22. I arrived back to my car at 16:26 by the way. But I’m going to say nothing about all that. Nothing. I want to be positive today. I’ve had a good day’s training and a good afternoon with my two boys so it’s time to be constructive.

So without further ado, let’s talk training. It’s been a while.

I’m currently preparing 5 fighters for The Fight Before Christmas III, a show that I’m promoting in December. To a man, they’re all stepping up a level for this show, so it’s new territory for them. That being said, I have high expectations for how they’ll do. 4 of the guys will be fighting in the new C class format of rules- don’t get me started- which I think are the way of the future for amateur competition. These are 3x3min matches where competitors wear larger gloves and can strike to the head when grounded. So much like pro rules bar the larger gloves and timing. The key differences between this level and B class should be the skill level of the fighters involved, and it’s a big step for someone to go from being relatively safe on the ground to being punched in the head while attempting to submit their opponent. Training in IP is generally geared towards pro-rules anyway, regardless of what level you’re at. For me it’s much easier to tell a guy not to hit another guy in the head than to try to coach him out of bad habits he might have picked up because he never had to respect his opponent’s ability to strike him in that range.

Okay, I give in.

Last week a guy came into the gym and proceeded to tell me how I was going to train him. You see, he’d watched loads of UFCs and done a bit before so he knew just what he wanted. I got the list, the full list, starting with the date of his debut fight (if he starts this week it’ll be February apparently) and then proceeded to tell me he needed more wrestling and that I probably wasn’t a good enough wrestler to coach him.


I had said “hello” I think at this stage.

He carried on to tell me that he didn’t need any of the strength and conditioning stuff we do as he already has a mate who is a powerlifter.

Lucky him.

Then he went on to tell me how awesome every other gym in Dublin is. This, by the way, is a sort of name dropping exercise. They do it all the time these little visitors. After that I just got bored and have to admit I zoned out and stopped listening until he looked at me in the way someone who has just asked a question would. I waited for a sec until I was sure he wanted an answer then I said,

“Em, Yes”

Which seemed to satisfy him because he carried on regardless telling me about his mate who does MMA somewhere else who is awesome and is fighting for an Irish title soon (I didn’t know his name, which surprised him because he’s “well known”) (he’s not).

So why didn’t I get mad and kick him out? Because I’ve heard that same tune about a hundred times before. What would be the point? He’s yet another little man coming to the gym with a chip on his shoulder masking his lack of confidence with bravado. The vast majority of people walk in the door with a sense of humility and ask questions, share their opinion and converse. But every now and again you get someone in who just wants the world to know how much he knows.

Every single day I get a little closer to walking away from mixed martial arts. I’m so sick of some of the people I meet through it. Role on Cage Contenders at the weekend where I’ll get to talk to real fighters and coaches.


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