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  • Writer's pictureMark Casserly

If I could go back, What would I tell myself as a young up and coming fighter

Updated: Jun 12, 2018

Leas Leg Counter against a dangerous aggressive fighter
Tough Fight against Ally Smith,former World Champion

Breath , Focus , Act-React

Is what I would tell myself !. Above is a picture when I recall being in one of my first states of flow against a great fighter (and guy). As a young Thai fighter in my early twenties (and still going) I was fueled by pure energy ,the exuberance of youth and the short lived benefits of self manifested aggression.Why .... simple , aggression and the WILL TO WIN is the primary currency of the modern day pugilist. Was this wrong ??? No ! , however by blanketing myself with just aggression I did not achieve my state of "Flow" (the ability for my mind and body to work together to achieve an outcome in a stressful and variable environment). So why was this short sited. When we focus solely on a pathless emotion

(aggression without direction) we render strategy obsolete. So what happens when you are met by a bigger , stronger harder hitting adversary?,there is good chance we will lose.The preparation to create flow starts in your camp 8-10 weeks prior to your fight. The minute you walk into your gym focus on the process, like you will in your fight. "Rehearse , Replicate , Execute"

1. Put your wraps on like your just about to enter the ring, slow and precise.

2. Warm up & Shadow Box your faceless opponent focusing on possible outcomes.

3. Just before you hit pads , switch to Fight mode, treat the Pad man like your opponent.

4. Between rounds do as you will do in your fight, 3 deep breaths , stretch , rehydrate etc.

5. Focus on the Padman and Coach throughout your training session. Become reactive to their instruction and your execution.

The ability to become more conscious , self-aware and reactive is a product of practice.We train our bodies and muscles vigorously however how would you rate your ability to handle your nerves , stress in and outside of the Ring as well as other extrinsic factors that will present themselves as your demons . My point being,you have to mentally rehearse your fight daily in training , imagine the worst and the best case scenarios and your responses. Managing your Fear and Stress more constructively is the goal ,not expelling them. In the void left by your decreased all consuming fear and doubt, we now replace that with strategy , process , we replace it with the aspiration of Flow state, that is your Goal !......................NOW ADD YOUR AGGRESSION and let the magic happen.

Mark Casserly

Head Coach: Champion Martial Arts


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