Well hello there blog fans. According to wordpress statistics, about 1000 less people viewed last week’s post, a fact I’m attributing to not posting a link on facebook. I’m sure in no way did it reflect the fact that I was crabby and moany last week and extremely irritable. I’ve thought long and hard about what I’m going to say this week and I’m in a positive mindset, just a little hungry, but ready to rock this week and punch out a high quality blog post to keep you all amused.
The first bombshell.
I’m no longer teaching beginner’s MMA classes. They are gone, kaput, finito. I am finished with them. They are done. I will no longer do them, neither will informed performance. They are no more.
I think that gets the point across sufficiently.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t coach beginners. I’m just looking for a different type of beginner. Let me explain. The bulk, and by bulk I mean approximately 70%, of people who come in to train in mixed martial arts never stay. This is because I teach from the ground up. I teach positions and movements before submissions and punches, and I teach footwork and pummelling before boxing and throws. When I teach shooting, it takes an hour and if you’re lucky, you get to do a double leg at the end. I don’t accept bad technique and I try to teach every movement the way it should be performed so that you don’t develop bad habits. This makes people who want to fight not like my style. People want to come in and do the cool stuff like what that Brock Lesnar lad does, but don’t want to learn how to crawl first. That’s their prerogative, I suppose. There are a lot of places training in MMA now and if you’re one of those guys who wants all the cool stuff and none of the fundamentals then by all means, look elsewhere. Informed Performance is not for you and that’s fine. I’m not bitter, I’m just prioritising. While I have been trying to coax people into training MMA and getting them to “see the light” so to speak, I’ve had to take time away from training my team mates in MMA and BJJ. I’m not doing that anymore.
So from 2011, I am forming a new multi-streamed fight team to replace the MMA classes at Informed Performance. The format will be quite simple. We will accept beginners to the team at any stage but they must accept that when they join they are joining a team, and like any team, they will train with their team mates in scheduled training sessions, and they will be training with the goal of competing sooner or later. There is simply no excuse not to compete in Ireland, there is a level for everyone. Here are the formats:
MMA League- this is a no headshot MMA. In other words, you get to compete but not get hit in the head. You win by submission only and it’s a great opportunity to have a go. www.mmaleague.com is the website and it runs quarterly in Dublin and Galway.
D class Amateur MMA- We run our own Irish Amateur Combat Championships in our gym 3 times a year. It’s an excellent day out and involves no headshots on the ground, headguards (optional) and shin pads. More details are further down in this blog
C class MMA- this is a new class of MMA for Ireland with 3 minute rounds and larger gloves. You can strike to the head on the ground and knee to the head standing. This is the entry level for larger shows.
Pro A and B- these are the top level professional match ups and on larger shows.
So as you can see, there’s a variety of divisions in which people can compete, from the raw beginner (training circa 3-6 months) to the experienced pro (training circa 18+ months). There’s no necessity to jump into the cage and everyone finds the best level to compete at.
The level you first compete at depends on a number of factors. The main one is time. The more time you commit to training, the faster you will improve. I know that seems obvious, but it’s very surprising how many people misunderstand this. Yes there are people who seem to get it faster, but you’ll find they haven’t started from a standstill and either had a higher level of fitness or had a bit more confidence or were more predisposed to getting hit (some call that toughness). Every fighter I have who has done well trains a hell of a lot.
So from the new year, there will be two new teams in informed performance, the amateur and pro teams. There is a meeting on this Thursday where I’ll lay out the plans for how this will come into effect and to explain what will happen in 2011. Membership of the pro team will obviously depend on experience, however membership of the amateur team is open to ANYONE who wants to fight, raw beginner, seasoned boxer or grappler, out of shape people (we’ll sort that out), and even those who’ve fought before and want to come back. But when you join, you will train and be trained. We will set your goals and we will have you fighting. This is what we’re good at.
I’m really excited about 2011 and what it means for the gym. 2010 has been good. We’ve built on the success we had at KO Martial Arts and we’ve picked up some good wins. We’ve pioneered a new amateur format that’s now been accepted around Ireland and we still have The Fight Before Christmas III to finish off the year with 5 of our fighters taking on some tough opponents. We can hold our heads high as a team who has produced high quality fighters across all divisions in the domestic game. You can’t win them all, but you can try.
Oh yes, and I’m actively recruiting here. Everyone who is interested in what I’ve said above should come to the gym on Thursday at 7pm, regardless of whether you’re currently a member.