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The Ax Forum
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Marco S
Posted: 2013-05-17 10:19:55
Hey, this is just something I've found made a remarkable improvement to my training over the past while and I figure it may be helpful to post about it, others may be able to benefit from it etc.

It began a couple years ago whilst I was on the way to the gym and was losing the will to live even thinking about the training cause I was so fatigued.
However, I was still keen to train cause I felt I had energy somewhere.

At that point, I was unable to step into the gym without pushing myself as hard as I could during training, that was just my mentality at the time.
What this meant was that, I would try and throw everything as hard as possible (during pad work, cardio etc), go as hard as possible.

During that very session, I was considering how I might improve my feeling and attitude toward what I was doing.
At that very point, we were doing sprint/interval training on the bad/pads.

Whilst I was hitting the pads and feeling the fatigue, I was thinking about my intensity.
The intensity that I was training with.
I was thinking, it was obviously too high and, that was obviously contributing to my fatigue.

I just thought to myself, "control it, control it", and the words "control intensity" just started repeating themselves in my mind.

This is no exaggeration.

Immediately my speed basically doubled.
I had eased off on the power ever so slightly, but my heart rate was normal, not excessive, and my speed, like I said, had basically doubled.

It was kind of funny actually but, I remember my coach at the time just starring at me like he couldn't believe this improvement that had come about, basically instantaneously.

Translated into sparring etc, I found I would rarely get tired, and if fatigue was approaching, I would basically gear myself in such a way as to not get burned out or lose breath.

"Control Your Intensity", simply consciously being aware of that made tremendous gains to my training and performance.

And most importantly and perhaps most remarkably, I lost my nerves.

I used to get, what I would say could be called "chronic" nerves before a fight.
For the most part, they went away with this awareness.
I believe the reason for this was because, my fear of becoming excessively tired also went away, given that I was now consciously aware of using my energy efficiently, done though "controlling my intensity".

This might sound a bit hocus-pocus nonsense kind of thing, but, for me personally, it lent itself to tremendous gains, not to mention a new found motivation and love for what I was doing, because it also allowed me to mitigate a lot of the negativity such as fatigue, burn out and excessive nerves.

Later on, I also began to focus more consciously on my Movement, which began to translate as much improved technique, form, and execution of strikes etc.

And after that, another conscious focus on Speed, as, whilst I wasn't aware of it myself, coaches would often say they felt if I could become faster, it would improve my effectiveness substantially.

Again, this mind sound bizarre, but for some time now, before training, I'll often write the initials for them words on my forearm, to make sure I'm consciously focused on them at all times.

1) Movement 2) Control Intensity 3) Speed

This awareness has really, as I said, helped me take what I'm doing to the next level, in terms of performance, progression, and enjoyment and love for what I'm doing.

I haven't seen him post here in a while but, there was a poster here before - Mark L - that was definitely an advocate of greater degrees of consciousness and awareness, and in relation to training, this has definitely paid huge dividends for me.
Marco S
Posted: 2014-06-13 16:14:01
I'm just going to make a curious addendum to this post, something that may have been apparent to the more astute readers (shame Mark L. doesn't post here anymore).

Most thai boxers are a little fanatical I guess, about the sport (or are they? I always kind of assumed they were).
A lot of my early coaches said that about me.
Guys who are "students of the game", tend to follow the sport a little more closely etc.

I don't see it as bad thing necessarily.

But, I was recently diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (may be a little personal to disclose this on a kickboxing forum but, it's something I'm interested in, and, I figure, in light of the above - something which, to my awareness, no one else does, regarding conscious focuses during training - may be a point of consequence).

Though, I don't present ANY typical OCD tendencies (light Jack Nicolson in that film, by example), I don't do any of them crazy things, but am extremely fastidious, about the area of "obsession".

Like I said, in light of the above post, it's just something I found interesting, something I'll dwell on and may post about further, but something that may be interesting for other readers too.
Marco S
Posted: 2014-06-22 16:03:30
I also just found out golfers do this ALL THE TIME too.

Repetition of certain words consciously to keep them focused on a certain aspects of their game (cause apparently golf is all about focus).

They call them "swing keys" - obviously relative to how they swing the golf club.
Marco S
Posted: 2015-12-14 11:36:08
lol - this thread has a few hits so, I assume some of you guys have actually read it.
Not much feedback, but that's cool.

Again, I have yet to meet someone who tells me of using these type of conscious focuses during training but, perhaps different people have different means of implementing them focuses.

By example - when weight lifting, my focus or "swing key", in a sense, will always be "breath".
Now, I know a lot of weight lifters focus on this also- their breathing, of course - but whether they implement it on such a conscious level - I don't know....


Anyways, what I mentioned previously regarding what conscious focuses I use myself during training...

1) Movement

2) Control Intensity

3) Speed

I find the order of implementation is also important as, in a fight situation by example, the primary focus will and should be on defense and offense.
Both of these being a product of "movement", so this should be the first consideration, there by, being the first conscious focus to be implemented.

Good "speed" will also be a product of the ability to "control intensity". That is to say, if the intensity is excessive, that will hamper the ability to implement good speed, so the focus of "controlling intensity", should precede "speed".


Pfff - getting there....

The ACTUAL point I wanted to make with this post was, specifically regarding the implementation of the conscious focus on "MOVEMENT".

Now, I determined this focus years ago.
I had just moved to Amsterdam to train at Mousid gym.
I was coming from a more traditional thai boxing training back ground, which focuses mainly on hitting pads.

The Dutch style approach, is more technique heavy, specifically on boxing and footwork.

I found there was a lacking of ability on my behalf when I started these type of drills.
To perform them correctly, it requires more than brute force and will power, as that can often times be the focus when doing heavy pad work.

Anyways - I was considering how I might better approach the drills, so that would feel more "natural" or flowing, in a sense.
So I actually woke up in the middle of the night one night, and went out for a quick jog.
I was shadow boxing, and considering the approach, and it occurred to me that, a focus on "MOVEMENT", would assist with that more "flowing" style that was necessary to perform the dutch style drills with more efficiency and efficacy.

And that was it.
I went to the gym the next morning, and there was an immediate improvement.

An overall improvement - with the conscious focus now being "MOVEMENT".

By example, I used to find that, throwing the left kick (me being orthodox), I'd often times come off balance.
With the focus being "MOVEMENT", that basically corrected itself.

The circular punches, hooks, turning the hand over correctly, body punches etc - they came a lot better, more technically sound.

And my footwork and... you guessed it, "Movement", came a lot better with the implementation of that conscious focus - "MOVEMENT".

Now - at the time - I think it was within a day or two of coming to that understanding; and I think this was like, 4 or 5 years ago, I posted almost immediately about it on this forum, and had a discussion about it with Mark L.

It's quite an old thread.
I couldn't find it just now, but I'll dig a little deeper and hopefully post the link to it.

I mention that cause, I don't want anybody to get the impression I'm plagiarizing these statements...


More recently, this focus on "Movement", has come into the public spotlight, with the emergence of Conor McGregor.

In fact, on one of the top MMA website, he's made front page news with the headline:

"Movement training the future of MMA...?".

This is what the highly successful McGregor has been preaching.
How his focus is on Movement.

Now, again, to avoid the impression that I'm parroting his philosophies, I'd like to link the thread where I posted this several years ago, long before the emergence of McGregor.

But ultimately, what I'm saying is, this focus definitely seems to be a progressive step in the sport itself.

Not only in terms of stand up and thai boxing, but I also transitioned into mma to some degree, and training wrestling also.

The focus on "Movement", 100% assists with that transition as, shooting for takedowns, or grappling for position - they are also completely movement based, so that focus is completely applicable in them areas too.

The other conscious focuses such as "control intensity" also crosses over as, in a grappling position, feeling ones opponents body weight etc - when in a frenetic state, it becomes very difficult to do this - and that's the base for wrestling.
"Controlling Intensity", allows one to apply the correct degree of force, without over doing it, maintain good energy levels, and applying techniques so much better.

Here's the link to the McGregor article.

Now, in that article, he's focusing on "movement", per-se. Like, unorthodox movements etc.
That's just a recent thing.
His long term philosophy has been on the application of good "movement", in general, when it comes to it's implementation in whatever discipline it may be.
Marco S
Posted: 2015-12-14 11:45:50

Just the link to the posts I made upon making that understanding them years back - 2010 it was.

Pfff - time goes by quick man....

Bit of a lengthy thread but, the posts starting with "movement" begin about 6 up from the bottom.
Marco S
Posted: 2016-07-13 05:34:21
I'm still applying these to great effect.
Fucking tremendous, if I'm being honest.

The application of "movement" is ever evolving, with the use now of consistently tensed core muscles, which give me more control over my body, reaction times, and I can take seriously heavy shots to the body where they used to put me down time and again.
One of my sparring partners markedly noted this during the week.

In addition to that, incorporating a more side ways stance with my lead hand outstretched, allows the use of my arms to facilitate movement to an even greater degree.
I find this comparable to running and sprinting technique where again, we use the back and forth motion of out arms to assist with getting our knees up and to propel ourselves forward.

And the final addition I made in sparring yesterday, was, instead of loading up on the lead foot whilst throwing a jab, to instead push off the back foot.
This provides infinitely more power and control in the jab, as well as mitigating the fatigue associated with constantly popping the lead hand out and attempting to get sufficient leverage into it to make it effective.
Marco S
Posted: 2016-08-09 06:41:37
Just gonna link here the thread regarding the determination of more taught abdominal muscles to produce greater punching power and control over ones movement etc.
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