Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How To Build Tiger Blood Confidence For Your 1st Fight.

Tiger blood. It keeps me warm.
I have to disagree with the phrase; "Fake it til you make it." I've seen people take that route and it lead them straight towards embarrassment and shortcomings. It might work great for that one pick up artist who wears big furry hats but, I would rather not lie to myself. Instead I recommend a realistic way for you to build your fight confidence. This method can be used by anyone regardless if you own a furry hat or not. If you're preparing for your first fight or have over 20 and want to pump your confidence with tiger blood, than this exercise is for you.

Never fought before?
Go hard or go home.
My girlfriend, Maggie, came to Thailand with intentions to fight but never fought beforeLeading up to her first fight she would ask me questions regarding the feeling of being in a fight and how to know if you are readyI told her "Just how at work you would prepare before an interview, an important meeting, or a big project. It all comes down to being prepared and doing it with confidence."

I confirmed her  about her training: "You train hard, have the strength and conditioning to last 5 rounds, know enough technique to cause damage and get you out of trouble." 
She responded with: "Anyone can look awesome hitting pads or look super relaxed and composed when sparring with friends. What about in a fight?" 

Unconventional tire training

Fight camp is no joke.

Mental highlight videos.
There are no short cuts to building confidence. You can start off with making a mental video highlighting your best performances. If you have never fought before you can use those training sessions where everything fell into place and you felt "ON". 
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  • Hit a new strength & conditioning PR (personal record).
  • Perfectly timed counters against your sparring partner
  • Your speed when hitting focus mitts or Thai pads.
  • Your technique, balance and footwork when shadow boxing.
  • Your power when giving the heavybag a pounding.
  • Top notch performances from previous fights or smokers if you have any

You can use anything relating to your fight training to help motivate you and build your confidence. You leg kick KO the MMA meatheads who only goes to the Muay Thai Sparring classes, you barbell curled on top of a Bosu ball with ease or you swept the star student of the gym. Think of or write down any of those A+ days where you felt everything click into place. 

Sweet and short

The Big Boss wrapping Maggie's hands
Since I have the attention span of a goldfish I would recommend to keep it short. About 10-30 seconds or up to a minute and as detailed as you can possibly remember. I prefer you imagine these highlight videos from your POV (point of view) but it's acceptable to see them from a 3rd person perspective.

  • A series of clips highlighting your best gym performances or previous fights/smoker events.
  • 10-30 seconds or up to 1 minute long.
  • From your POV or 3rd person
  • As detailed as possible.
  • Recall the feeling of each muscle being used
  • Focus on each small movement.
  • Recall your emotions during and after your performance.

Building confidence
The problem with "fake it til you make it" is that deep down inside you know you are lying to yourself and because of that your fictitious confidence might spring a leak. You build your confidence by repetitions not by faking it.

Maggie won her 1st fight by KO in the second round with an elbow. She now has added 4 more fights under her belt (with more 2nd round KOs and a few cuts and bruises) and is looking sharper and sharper at every match.  Just like working out your muscles your mental game needs hard training. Make great performances a recurring theme in your mind.  Let it replay in your head when you're feeling low or anxious about your upcoming fight.

About the author
Danny Millet, is a pro Muay Thai fighter and trainer at 5 Points Academy (NYC). When fueled by copious amounts of coffee, a blogger who breaks down and analyses fights. 

Danny decided to aim his life in a different direction and took the plunge by quitting his job of 11 years and donating his belongings. He moved to Thailand where he lived in a Thai boxing gym for 2 years, training full time along side high level fighters like Pornsanae SitMonchai, KongFah Aood DonMuang, Kanongsuk ChuWatthana, JomThong ChuWatthana and fighting in prestigious shows such as Rajadamnern, Lumphini, Petch Buncha, M150, and MBK.

After getting sliced open from elbows in his 1st and 2nd pro fight, Danny took the healing time to do his homework of studying and analyzing the training, tactics & techniques of high profile fighters.  If you're looking to improve your fight game contact Danny Millet to schedule a training session or check out his free training & fighting information on Youtube, and  Facebook.

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