Monday, August 26, 2013

Gym Warriors

Not sure which is worse, gym warriors or keyboard warriors? Then again they usually go hand in hand. Gonna hafta say that the keyboard warriors edge this one out because at least the gym warriors, at minimum, are in the gym actually doing something. But those same people are often those who sit around on their computers bagging on real fighters who are actually out there day in and day out giving their lives to their art.
You know who they are, the ones in the gym boosting their egos by beating the hell out of all the new, less experienced, or smaller people. Put that same person in the ring, or even into sparring with someone of equal size or experience for that matter, and watch the bitchassness come right out.
Now rarely have I ever seen a true fighter do this, although I’m sure it happens, usually it’s someone that either has never fought or that has fought a handful of times (which usually didn’t go so well) and thinks that makes them the baddest person on earth. It’s the big fish in a small pond mentality. As long as you stay in your gym where you are safe then yeah, I’m sure you can be pretty tough and feel like you’ve made it. But hey, I guess that’s better than the person that sits at home critiquing fighters yet has no clue what it actually takes to get in there.
This is more of a rant than a suggestion, because getting through to these people would be like talking to a wall. Usually delusion goes hand in hand with gym/keyboard warriors, so what’s the point in trying to reach them?
I’m sure this crosses over to all sports and disciplines; maybe that’s just human nature in a lot of ways. Anyone can talk about it, I mean often from the outside it does look easy, particularly when elite athletes are performing so it can be hard not to. I guess the athletes or the ones to blame, ha.
Now granted if you are at a decent gym these types of people will get weeded out rather quickly because the real fighters that are there won’t let something like that go down (and/or the gym owners) for very long. But there’s only so much we can do.
I guess to some, well most, mediocrity is good enough and they are proud of it. For me however, I will always set my sights on those at the peak of whichever sport/profession/etc. that I am pursuing. That’s why I hate watching all my fights and training videos, all I see is where I need to improve and the mistakes I make. Right or wrong it’s what keeps me pushing.
If you ever get to a point where you feel like “I’ve made it” or “I’m the man/woman” than you have truly become an egotistical douchebag. There’s always room to grow, always someone better and there’s always more to be done. The journey has no end!
Rant over… for now.
-El Presidente

Hard doesn't mean good...that's what she said

Can’t tell you how many times I have to stress to people the importance of slowing down and just focusing on their technique. It’s always the same excuses ‘Well if I use proper technique then it ends up being too hard” or ‘If I try and go light then my form is bad’. Just because you can hit harder does not mean you are going light!!! Then there will be times you try and show them the correct form they say “Well I can hit really hard on the pads”.
The problem is yes you can hit hard, anyone that can throw a punch, kick or any other strike and moderately knows how to do so can properly generate force, especially if they are a larger individual. The real issue though is can you do that when it matters, IE when you are in a real fight and someone is trying to seriously damage you, or when you are tired or hurt? All that ‘I can hit hard’ nonsense goes right out the window. Or the guys that refuse to defend anything in sparring and just look to club their partner and they will say ‘well their punches/kicks don’t hurt me so I just take them’. Of course they don’t hurt you, you guys are just sparring, not to mention the fact that the guy you are going with weighs about 50 pounds less then you. Get in the ring with a guy your weight, small gloves and no pads and then show me how much you can take. Did you come here to learn or did you come here to teach. Cause if you came to teach I’ll just take a break and watch. Ok vent over, here’s my point…
Just because you can hit hard does not mean you are good. Just because you can beat people up in the gym, or even in the ring for that matter, does not mean you are good. Even good people aren’t good enough, there’s always room for improvement I don’t care how good you are or think you are. Everyone is always looking for short cuts and everyone has a million and a half excuses about why they do it differently than what their trainer has told them. What I always say ‘If you can’t do it correctly slow then you sure as hell can’t do it correctly full speed”, especially when it truly matters.
It’s very difficult to pay attention to how your body is behaving when you do things at full speed so this is when we tend to not realize how awful our technique really is. I am constantly telling people, including myself, to slow down, pretend you are under water. When you put the brakes on everything you can really pay attention to all those minute details. Of course there’s a time and a place for full force strikes but for the majority of people training, especially brand new people, you need to slow your ass down if you ever plan on getting any better. Or keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll check back in with you in ten years only to see that you haven’t improved and more than likely are worse than you were before. Hard doesn’t mean good... that’s what she said!
-El Presidente

Home Towned

 I don’t think that there’s a fighter out there that hasn’t been a victim of a hometown/home-country decision. At the same time I don’t think there’s any that haven’t also benefited from this same thing. It happens, I’m sure there isn’t anyone that thinks it’s fair but it just comes with the territory. It’s so easy for someone to say “oh they just don’t know how to score correctly over there” or “if this was in Thailand I would have won”. Maybe you’re right but guess what, it wasn’t in Thailand, or wherever you may have mentioned.
Right or wrong the problem with this, just like anything else, is it’s a weak excuse to try and save some dignity from a loss. Like it or not when you go fight in someone else’s hometown you need to keep some things in mind and fight accordingly; how they tend to score, what things score higher, do they like to see a more aggressive style, do they give more credit for the fighter pushing the action, etc. Another thing you need to keep in mind is if it’s a close fight, or sometimes it doesn’t even need to be close at all, more than likely they are going to give it to the home town person. Complain about it all you want but you knew this going in, it shouldn’t come as a shock.
I know when I go fight anywhere else in the world, or another state for that matter, I need to make damn certain that the judges know I won that fight, beyond a shadow of a doubt. And even when I’ve done this, even when there’s no way they could have scored it differently, there have been times I’ve still been on the bad side of a home town decision. But, that being said, I never bitched about it, I was never in shock about it, I knew going in that it was a possibility. If you don’t want to risk this then just fight in your backyard your whole career and see how that works out for you. Granted yes, it would be a whole lot easier if there was a uniform way of scoring across the world and there were some kind of robots that could score all fights equal and without bias. But, we are all human and are far from perfect. I’ve judged fights, and tried to be as unbiased as possible, but at the end of the day you will always give one of the fighters a little more credit for certain things than others. Trying to be perfect at judging is basically impossible, so it is easy to criticize. If you want to make excuses fine, but you know the deal going into a fight, like they always say “Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges”. Clearly none of us ever want to leave it to the judges, maybe if we were all Mike Tyson’s this would be a lot easier. But the second the fight goes to decision you have to realize that your job is done and now you’ve put your fate into someone else’s hands and have given them complete control. If you want to complain then complain to yourself about how you should have done better.
On a side note one of my biggest pet peeves is when people say kicks score higher than punches, now this is completely accurate, but, if I land a hard 4 punch combo that even the people in the back can feel your organs shift and you land a little tip tap body kick come on, you gotta give me the nod on that exchange. Little weak front kicks and slapping kicks do very little damage compared to a hard head, body shot, let’s just all be honest, regardless of how we think fights should or shouldn’t be scored. It’d be a lot easier if fights were scored according to who won the “fight”. If you want to run away and just jab, front kick me to death and win fights that way, go for it. I for one will always go for the fighter that brings it win, lose or draw.
These are just my humble opinions, let the hate begin.
-Kevin Ross