Archive for MMA Training Tips

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conditioningtimelinefbadI’m going to share with you a big secret of mine.

Something that I believe gave me the ability to fight through some crazy circumstances:

1) It helped me take it to my opponent and make him verbally quit after eating a MASSIVE HEADBUTT that knocked my two front teeth out and nearly ko’ed me.

2) It allowed me to remain standing (with no noticeable tells to my opponent that I was rocked) when I took a shot that turned my vision to black for nearly 6 seconds. I was then able to keep fighting like nothing had happened.

The secret is the way I run my final sparring session.

So challenging that it’s always harder than the fight itself. A workout that makes me truly believe in myself; one that forces me to dig deep when I feel like I can’t give any more. One that has literally made me cry twice (no joke) in my career because I was so tired during.

It’s so true, Train hard and the fight is easy!

Here’s what I do:

Don’t Forget today is the last day you can pick up the Combat Bundle.

It’s a pretty crazy deal! and after tonight it’ll NEVER BE AVAILABLE AGAIN…

The Combat Bundle, a set of 72 resources packaged together to deliver the secrets of conditioning development, fat loss and strength building from the world’s foremost fitness, mobility, and nutrition experts. My “Monster in the Cage: Optimal Performance Mind Training System” Ebook is in it.

It’s a bundle that retails for $1,774.90! but costs only $39!

You can download it here -> The Combat Bundle: 72 Greatest Fitness Downloads Ever

The Combat Bundle features…

• 22 “Fit Like A Fighter” Fitness Programs valued at $532.55
• 16 Strength & Conditioning Programs valued at $329.74
• 8 Combat Skills & Martial Arts Programs valued at $200.85
• 5 Nutrition Programs valued at $78.99
• 5 Flexibility, Mobility & Rehab Programs valued at $154
• 6 Self Defense Skills Programs valued at $127.95
• 6 Women’s Only Programs valued at $167.93
• 4 Trainers Programs valued at $163.89
• 25 Discount Codes to Amazing Products

Total Value of the Combat Bundle is $1,774.90!

There’s a 100% Money Back Guarantee as well.

The bundle is definitely worth checking out.

You can download it here -> The Combat Bundle

Hard Knocks MMA Fighting Championships

Hard Knocks MMA Fighting Championships

I’m sitting here in out hotel room in Calgary, Alberta at the end of a busy day. Our pro MMA fighter Ryan Dickson made weight tonight for the Hard Knocks MMA event which takes place tomorrow night at a local casino. It’s going to be an awesome event!

Ryan is in the main event fight and is very excited to get in there and do his thing. Our friend Dr. Callum Cowan came with us for the trip and has been a huge help this weekend and over the two years that he has been working with Ryan as well.

Dr. Callum is a specialist in High Performance Sports Medicine and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to helping athletes perform and train at their best. He has helped Ryan train at a peak level during training camp and has assisted him in easily making weight for every one of his fights. With Ryan soon making the drop to the 155lbs division Dr. Callum will definitely play a major part in helping him get there.

Eric Wong and I are looking forward to interviewing Dr. Callum on our “MMA Training Show” podcast very soon. I know that he’s got some very helpful stuff to share with us and all of our listeners.

Check out this video where Dr. Callum describes one very effective method of weight cutting for MMA: The Epsom Salt Bath:

Also be sure to check out Dr. Callum’s website at

themmatrainingshowI got a call a while ago from my friend Eric Wong.

He asked me if I’d be interested in starting a podcast..

We got right to it and now  “The MMA Training Show” is live!

Today, it was accepted to iTunes! 6 of our episodes are up and ready to help you in your training.

It’s been a ton of fun doing them and I’m looking forward to talking about all of the MMA topics that you’re interested in hearing about.


Here’s what to do to get ’em:

a) Click here to visit our page on iTunes

b) Subscribe and download all of our episodes (there are 6!)

c) After listening to one, return to our iTunes page and leave a review

I’ve learned a lot more about strength & conditioning for MMA already,
just from chatting with Eric during the first few podcasts. I look forward to
connecting with you and helping you kick even more ass in the cage,
ring or on the mats.

So if you want to hear us talk MMA Training with some personal and
semi-embarassing stories mixed in from time to time, click this link or
search for “MMA Training Show” on iTunes, Subscribe and leave us
a Review.


Hope you enjoy it!

Here’s another jump rope technique that will help you move like a pro while warming up.


The Launch Sale for my Mind Training System Ebook for MMA Fighters, “Monster in the Cage”, ends in less than 24 hours!

If you’re looking to gain an edge mentally over your training partners and competition, “Monster in the Cage” contains the info that you need.

Everything that I know, and I mean everything, in terms of mental preparation for competition is in it.

Competing with even a small amount of fear or doubt inside is a recipe for disaster.

I’ve seen pro-fighters,with 40+ fights on their records, puking in the back of dressing room before their fights. Experience isn’t enough! It takes specific training on a regular basis to build your mind into a positively charged machine that will never break down under pressure.

For the discounted price of $27 you’ll receive:

  • The “Monster in the Cage” Ebook
  •  5 “Crazy Conditioning” Videos  (My toughest
    pre-competition solo and group drills)
  •  1 Video Training Workshop of your choice
    ($29 value on it’s own)

==> The Monster in the Cage Launch Sale (ends tonight at midnight EST)

After midnight tonight the price will be going up and I’ll no longer be including the Free Video Training Workshop
in the offer.


P.S I’m so certain you’ll find the “Monster in the Cage” System helpful in your training and competition that, like my MMA QuickStart Training program, I’m offering a 100% 60-day money back guarantee.

There is way too much to learn during martial arts training! Countless strikes and takedowns along with the defenses  to each of them; Thousands of submissions, sweeps, reversals, guard passes, drills along with an infinite amount of ways to blend all of the above together.  That’s not even counting the many different strategies a martial artist can put to use during competition. I’m going to share with you the most important training tip of all when it comes to progressing as a martial artist:

When you learn something that is useful, never forget it!

In fact you need to do more a lot more than that. You must become obsessed with blazing that information into your brain so that you’ll have it with you forever. Not some or most of the thing you want to remember; I’m talking ever single minute detail that makes a martial arts technique what it is. Always act as though you will never be taught that same thing again and that if you forget even the smallest technical detail, it will be rendered completely useless.  It’s going to take plenty of thought, lots of writing/reading, some listening and a crazy amount of repetitive practice to do so but like I tell my students:

“Champions put in overtime!”. 

Winners practice both when they feel like it and when they don’t feel like it. Nobody accomplishes great things in martial arts or life in general without doing way more than the people that come up short of reaching their goals. Fortunately, if you really love the sport then martial arts overtime is not as dreadful as the regular kind of workplace overtime. Well maybe it is, considering the bumps, bruises and lingering injuries you’ll sustain along the way. Regardless, it needs to be done if you want to become the best martial artist you can be.

Many martial artists today are spoiled and lazy!

They have access to so much technique but rarely take full advantage of it. They can learn skills at seminars, via online resources,  from their own instructors, by training with great training partners and a number of other places as well. But again, they often don’t take things seriously enough to improve their skills rapidly. They skip out on seminars, train occasionally, avoid training with people that challenge them and wonder why they aren’t progressing as fast as they would like.

When I first started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu back in 1994 there wasn’t one single BJJ instructor in the entire country! I learned the art –for the first 4 years– by studying the few BJJ Instructional VHS tapes that were available on the market at the time. After that, when instructors came up to Canada to teach seminars in the mid to late 90’s I attended them every chance I got. In fact I can still share with you the most useful techniques I learned at those events nearly two decades ago.

It’s pretty crazy that some students allow themselves to quickly forget what they practiced last week in class and are only able to flawlessly perform a small percentage of the techniques that they’ve learned since beginning their training.  Without a doubt a huge amount of valuable time and energy has been wasted especially by those looking to pursue professional MMA fighting as a career in the future; A job that essentially triples the amount of techniques one needs to learn in order to compete at the highest levels.

I’m going to share with you one of my secrets to learning things fast and remembering it very well. Putting this information to good will help you on your way to  becoming a master at whatever martial art you have a passion for. I’ve used it to develop striking, wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skill as well as abilities outside of fighting such as acting, bo staff skills (watch video) and other fun things as well. I’m sure you can do the same!

Step 1 –>Pay Attention to Details!  

When you first learn something, make sure that you pay good attention and focus every single detail. Ask the instructor every question that comes to your mind. Never assume things, always ask and take advantage of your instructors experience. Remember any answer that you receive because many times the instructor will only give it to you once. Some of my most effective techniques are things that an instructor showed me off to the side, once, after I asked about a certain situation.

When watching a technique being physically taught, make mental notes as to where each of the instructors hands are, as well as what their feet are doing during the movement; notice the posture of their body and where they seem to be distributing their weight. Those are some of the very important details that make a technique work well. Never focus your gaze on the same place during each of their physical demonstrations. Every time they show the technique, look for details in various places and if you feel as though you missed something politely ask your instructor to show  it again either in front of the group or off to the side. When possible ask the instructor to execute the technique on you so that you can feel where they put specific pressure. After that, while practicing the technique on your training partner, move slowly while trying to mimic the instructor’s movement exactly from start to finish.

If you need to see the technique again, you can ask to see it again if you feel comfortable doing so. Another option is to watch the instructor as they move throughout the gym correcting others. Sometimes, by listening closely while other students have their questions answered you can pick up additional details that you’ve haven’t seen yet.

Note: If you are very new to the sport, I suggest simply practicing what the instructor shows the class. It’s not the right time to ask many questions about “WHAT IF” situations. Instructors can sometimes get annoyed by the new student that constantly questions everything they show with a “What if the guys does this…”.  Instead, ask questions that directly apply to the details of the technique you are practicing. Master the basics first and many useful questions, that you can ask in the future, will begin to form within your mind.

Step 2 –> Write Notes ASAP! 

On the same day that you learn a technique or multiple techniques, write down everything that you can remember about them.–Which will be everything because you did such a great job analyzing and drilling it in class, right? :). It will take some time because I want you to be ultra specific with your description. Specify what your LEFT and RIGHT hands and feet are supposed to do. Clarify the action order of each movement and note where you should place your body weight and/or pressures. Be sure to note which position you start in and finish in and why your applying this specific technique in the first place (ie. because he’s playing the spider guard). Add anything to your notes that you think will help you practice the techniques perfectly in the near future. As long as your notes make complete sense to you that is all that matters. You don’t need to write them so someone else will understand them. That’ll take way too much work. Know that your note taking ability will improve with practice so just keep at it.

Once you’ve created them, read through your notes often. I use a great application called “Evernote” so that I can read my notes on my phone, computer or tablet anytime I choose. Also, when I edit a note, it updates on all of those platforms instantly.

As you read through your detailed description of a specific technique, take your time and visualize yourself performing that specific technique with precise detail. For more effectiveness, Envision yourself performing each technique multiple times before moving onto the next one.

Skim through your notes before training as well and work hard to pull off those specific techniques during your rolling/sparring sessions. When you run into a problem while attempting a technique, go back to your notes after class and check to see if you were missing a detail or two during your execution.

Practicing on your own time, when the mats are free is essential; Get together with a training partner and after reviewing your notes, drill/practice your noted techniques with that person. Pay strong attention to every single technical detail. You must become your own instructor when one is not present so be tough on yourself and make sure you’re doing things right. Every time you drill, pick a few techniques to practice instead of way too many.  I usually drill 3-6 techniques in an hours time.

Away from the gym, always keep your notes close at hand and anytime you have some free time, slowly read though them while visualizing yourself performing the movements they describe. You’ll be surprised at how useful visualization can be. It’s nearly as effective as actually practicing something. In a short amount of time the techniques you’ve been practicing, visualizing and reading repeatedly will be yours to use forever with very little effort or thought.

Step 3 –>Record Yourself 

Lastly it’s time to create some audio files. I’ve been using this method for the last year and I feel that my skill set has improved drastically. Record yourself –I use apps on my tablet to record myself– breaking down each technique on your list. Share every detail that you have listed in your notes while speaking at a very slow place. Talking slowly will give you the time necessary to visualize yourself practicing each specific technique while you listen to your own instructions. You can also leave a second or two of silence after each description for extra visualization time.

I like to keep my audio files short –between 3 and 10 minutes– so that I can listen to the short ones when I have a limited amount of time and the longer ones –or multiple tracks– when I have plenty of free time. When I find that I’ve added a bunch of new techniques to my paper list, I create a new audio file with those techniques on it.

When should you listen to it?

I like to listen to it when I’m cleaning the house –wife gets a bit mad when I can’t hear her talking but sacrifices must be made to learn ;)–, cutting the lawn, before bed and most commonly when I drive. Placing your audio files on a mp3 player or phone will allow you to listen to your audio files –via headphones– anytime you have a free moment. That way nobody around you will realize that you are sharpening your ninja skills right in front of them.

Well, that’s it for now. Some details to help you learn faster and retain the important things that you learn.

I hope it helps you out in your training!

Train hard, train safe and most importantly have fun!

I had been wanting to film this technique all last week after UFC 150 but it wasn’t until last night that I finally had the chance.

This video breaks down the details of the upkick that Ben Henderson hit Frankie Edgar with at UFC 150. I also include some other details that you can use in your training to make the attack very effective.

Hope you can put it to good use!

Tonight, filming begins for my new video instructional training series covering the Guard Position for MMA.

It’s been a project that I’ve wanted to put together for a long time; The idea started after my fight against Josh Koscheck but it had to wait because I first wanted to put out a beginner MMA training program ( for all those people out there who wanted to learn the game but had nobody to teach them. Now that MMA Quickstart has been up & running for a while I’m ready and excited to break down the way I like to use the guard position in MMA.

I used a lot of guard work in the fight against Koscheck and afterwards received many email asking for guard training tips and techniques (especially the butterfly guard). The butterfly guard will be fully covered in the series but I’m also including everything else I use from the guard as well as ways to drill and develop your guard game for a real fight.

The technique count has surpassed 150 techniques and is still growing.

I’m not yet sure of a launch date but will post another update soon…



The Ultimate Beginner MMA Training Program

It”s now available..and on sale until Thursday at midnight.

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=> The MMA QuickStart Training Program (Click soon to take advantage of  the launch discount special)

Train hard, train smart and have fun with guys!


Thanks to everyone for your feedback on the fighting stance video. The response was great.

I’m really glad you liked it and I hope it helps you get hit less often during your training and of course your fights as well :).

A few guys posted and emailed to tell me that they like to keep their front foot facing forward instead of using my slightly inward style foot positioning.

What’s their reasoning for using that variation?

A few of them said so they can easily step forward while extending their jab.

They were wondering if I had any trouble jabbing from my stance.  If you watch any of my fights notice that the jab is one of my best weapons.

My stance is the main reason the punch works so well for me during training and in my fights!

It just takes some solid instruction and a lot of practice to master it.

In response to those questions I created a video to break down the basics of how I throw my jab and have also included some footage of me landing it against some tough opponents.

The instructional part of that video is one of the 100+ training videos that make up my new MMA QuickStart Training Program.

The program, designed specifically for beginners and those looking to master the basics is now available


It’s full of many great features and I’m very excited to say that it is ready to launch after more than two years in development.

Win a FREE Copy!

I’m starting a contest right now to give away 3 FREE COPIES OF THE MMA QUICKSTART PROGRAM.

==> Contest now closed <====

All you have to do is tell me — WHY YOU NEED THIS PROGRAM? (in 300 words or less). Post your answer in the comment section and I’ll pick the 3 winners this Saturday night.

Good luck!

Also if you’re in the Mississauga, Ontario area be sure to check out my striking coach’s school, he is the best! – ALL CANADIAN MARTIAL ARTS