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Standing over your opponent after years of training, knowing that your arm is about to be raised. There is nothing quite like the thrill of completion. The feeling of victory, to experience great sacrifice coming to fruition is one of the peak experiences in life.
Competitive fighting has many benefits but to compete at a high level it takes discipline, determination, tenacity, and much more. When you finish your work for the day and take off the gloves, many fighters just want to veg out. But the elite know that training continues even after leaving the dojo. Those who want to be great will leverage every opportunity available. Perhaps one of the most valuable things you can do away from the ring is to take time to watch film.
Most people watch UFC, boxing, and glory kick boxing just for the entertainment value of it. By never paying attention to the science and amazing techniques happening in front of them, they are missing out of something critical that could greatly boost their performance. Even martial artist and follow fighters are guilty of it.
Many amateur fighters watch videos of themselves to see what needs improving. They watch their opponents’ videos to see where he/she is weak. They also watch it to see what defenses they will have to build up. However, they don’t always look at their opponents’ videos to see what they are doing right. This is a mistake because there is just as much to learn by studying and trying to mimic your opposition’s strengths.
While watching video doesn’t take the place of physical training, there is a ton of information to be had by doing so. Scientist Daniel Glaser has studied both capoeira performers and ballet dancers while watching video of performances. What he found was amazing! While watching others perform, these dancers had neural activation in centers that were only active while dancing. This is evidence to support the idea that watching film can serve as a form of mental training that will accelerate a fighter’s development.
Even the great Bruce Lee thought so, even if the science to back it up was not available to him at the time. He studied footage of Muhammad Ali often and even incorporated boxing into his fighting style. The fluidity that Lee exhibited in his flawless application of what he termed Jeet Kune Do was shaped by studying Ali.
I can go on forever about how important it is to watch at least some video. But that’s not the point of this guide. The point is to help make you master of video observation. This is a major step on the road to becoming a master martial artist.
Let’s start with the Basics of Watching Fight Videos
I know basics are boring as hell, but they need to be learned. Without a solid base, you cannot advance beyond an intermediate level. Without further ado, here are the fundamental rules:
· Rule #1: Don’t let it consume you. Put a time limit so you don’t spend more time watching film than you do actually training. A good recommended time for beginning is between 15-20 minutes a day. Your mind is only fresh for so long and beyond a certain point, the mind cannot grasp the concepts when it is overly taxed.
· Rule #2: Try watch from a distance. Yes you want to be able see everything. At the same time, you need to protect your eyes. Watching from farther away is better for your vision.
· Rule #3: Try watching in intervals. For the same reason rule #2 you want to do so in small sessions, then give your eyes break. The mind can only take in so much, so you must be disciplined in your breaks.
Now that’s out of the way let’s start making you into a video analyzing master.