Loss of Motor Skills in Full Contact?
Hey first off, hope this is in the right place. If not sorry in advance, I haven't posted on here in years.
I was sparring with some buddies last night and we filmed it. Looking back on the video, I found myself saying "Well what in f*ck's name am I doing now, exactly?"
I've been training MMA for about three years (I had probably about five serious years of TMA before this), just got my blue belt from a reputable jiu-jitsu school recently, and do a fairly serious amount of training. I drill a lot, and am one of the pretty fast learners in all the classes. My boxing looks pretty good when we're doing combos, drills, and bag work. My Muay Thai is pretty solid too because I come from a TKD and Kung Fu background so I picked up some of it quickly after unlearning the bad habits. My MMA coach who is a professional fighter even wants me to fight in an amateur match, and wants to bring me in to train at Guy Mezger's gym nearby with some people more my size (a lot of the fighters at my gym dwarf my 140 lb frame). All in all, most of the time I feel like I'm on my way to becoming a pretty successful fighter.
The only problem is that when sh*t hits the fan and people start slugging me in the jaw, my motor skills go out the window. I start swinging like an idiot, my jiu-jitsu becomes white belt (I've heard that's to be expected though), I don't cover myself, my boxing goes to Hell, and I generally look like an idiot with no clue what he's doing.
I originally thought maybe if I just got hit in the face more, I'd get used to it and my motor skills would start to stay. Well, obviously since I've switched from TMA to MMA I've been hit in the face significantly more. I've sparred way more too, but I still can't seem to retain the skills I can pull off in class during sparring.
This has just been on my mind since I got beat by a much less experienced (though, in fairness, 60 lbs heavier and built) guy last night. I guess I just wanted some help with this, and I wanted to see if anyone else had this problem and what people did to overcome it? I'm by no means a natural brawler, but I feel with the amount of time I've put into training I should at retain way more of my good motor skills in full contact. What did you guys do?
Thanks in advance
That's kind of what happens when people get hit in the head. Don't know why you feel it's unusual. I think there's a Chuck Liddell quote out there on that matter but I can't find it. Essentially all plans can go out the window after the first punch or something. If you're worried about it you should check with your doctor and try bigger gloves when training striking.
Originally Posted by MrBadGuy
Fight more. Perhaps the adrenaline is hitting you hard, and it's going to take a while to get used to that. I don't know what else to say other than, if it's psychological, focus on the moment, be confident of what you know you have the skills to do and don't be afraid of failure.
This same thing happens to me when I go to judo tournaments. The best thing for it is to do more of it. The more judo tournaments I go to the less excitable I get and the better I deal with the intensity level and adrenaline. Same goes for you, also expect to make small unnoticeable gains until one day your sparring and suddenly you realize that your handling yourself much better then you used to. Least that's what happened to me.
Could be a combination of adrenalin dump and the basic psychological dichotomy between knowing what's going to happen (in drills) and being surprised/thwarted (in sparring). You can acclimate to the adrenalin dump as suggested above; IMO the best way around the other side of it is to spar with less intensity, but concentrating more on core skills (movement, balance, improvisation, breath control) to bridge the gap between drills and full-on sparring. In other words, if the problem seems to be that the moves themselves aren't working for you under pressure, spend some serious time concentrating on combat movement skills rather than "pulling off moves".
Have you done any grappling tournaments yet? That could help you figure out if it is nerves or adrenaline or some actual head trauma.
It's a quote from "Iron" Mike Tyson: "Everyone has plans, until they get hit in the mouth" which is basically ripped off of Moltke the Elder, "No plan survives contact with the enemy"
Originally Posted by Siniq
If everyone weighs more than the OP, it may just be a case of he is getting hit far harder than he should be in training... Based on the OP's description, his fighting goes to hell when he (@140lbs) is fighting someone much bigger (@200lbs). Even though he is well trained (with several years of MMA and several more of TMA), his opponent is not untrained and probably hits pretty well. I would imagine that the OP is at a reach disadvantage as well.
My suggestion is this: don't be too hard on yourself. Your coach seems pleased with your progress. He wants you to fight amateur, and if he knows his business I doubt he'll send you out to get killed. My question to you, OP, is what is going through your head when this happens? Are you thinking about "winning" the sparring match? Are you getting frustrated? Angry? These things can cause your training to go out the window as well.
About being knocked about: If you or someone else is out cold for more than 5 minutes, they're in deep ****.
It's normal to lose your footing or orientation if you get hit in the head, if you get a standing KO, or any kind of KO for that matter, you'll feel it in the morning and you might have short term memory loss.
If your bell gets rung enough, like every week or so, you might get "punch drunk". Essentially mild brain damage.
Best example: Forrest Griffin.
I've not read enough to know how exactly to avoid or treat that kind of stuff, but it's not impossible. Thing is if you stay in the sport long enough you'll develop a "Glass jaw".
I'm no expert tho, I've only gotten KO'd once during boxing sparring. Lesson learned: Move your FUCKING HEAD!
Technically a KO is a concussion, but don't quote me lol.
I'm surprised you don't know this kind of stuff already. It's part of almost any contact sport.
If people start slugging you in the jaw either: A) douchebag sparring partners don't know how to use moderation B) TUCK IN YOUR FUCKING JAW!
And please find some people your size to spar with.
Originally Posted by MrBadGuy
Joe's not the most respected guy in the sport, but a lot of times he's just right about stuff.
Originally Posted by MrBadGuy
Ok thanks guys I'll keep these things in mind. I've never been knocked out so I don't think it's any kind of head trauma or anything lol. But in response to WhiteShark, no, I've never done any grappling tournaments. I've been to a lot of wrestling meets, though. and to JohnKenner, I guess when I start to notice it's happening I just concentrate extra hard on going back to correct technique, but it doesn't last very long because thinking too hard about it makes it a lot harder to actually do the techniques in the fight. I definitely don't get frustrated, only after the match when I realize all the things I could have done better.
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