Hello everyone. Today I’m going to write about life lessons I learned from MMA(mixed martial arts). In case you don’t know what is MMA, here is the definition. Mixed martial arts is a full-contact sport that combines different fighting styles, including karate, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, Vale Tudo, Muay Thai and brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Maybe you think that there are not much things to learn instead of techniques, but you can’t be more wrong. It’s not all about the fight, it’s something more, it’s something deeper than that. It’s a lifestyle of the warrior. You need to be tough as hell to be a good fighter. You need to have a strong body, good endurance, and you have to be tough in your head. There are a lot of fighters but only few of them are the real warriors. Respect for those warriors.
I will share with you the most valuable lessons I learned from MMA training. When I’ve started to train martial arts I had a good background in standup because I had trained karate and kickboxing before. It’s a good start when you have some background, but it’s not necessary. I was really bad at jiu-jitsu and wrestling. I could say that I was the worst there but I was really committed and focused to learn jiu-jitsu. Here is my journey.
1) There is always someone better than you
“Don’t be cocky. Don’t be flashy. There’s always someone better than you.” – Tony Hsieh
No matter how good you are, no matter how skilled you are, remember that there is always someone better than you. You can be a professional in some field, you can learn everything from some field but you need to keep in mind that there is always someone who knows one thing more than you, there is always someone who uses skills more efficiently. It’s really hard to be the best of the best at something. We live in the information era today and we have access to so much information like never before. Anyone can read, watch or listen about any field.
2) Hard work pays off
Hard work pays off. Period. You can be the most talented person in the world but if you are not working hard your talent is almost useless. If you want to achieve something, if you want to be great at something you need to work for it. Only work is not enough, you need to work your ass off to achieve greatness. Don’t count on your talent because hard work beats talent.
„Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.“ – Kevin Durant
So much truth in that quote. I’ve seen too much talented people who are simply lazy. They didn’t get anywhere because they didn’t work hard. It’s a shame. You need to have a dreams, to have a goals you want to achieve. You need to be 110% focused and committed to those goals and dreams to accomplish them. There is no shortcut for the hard work. (Read this: Never Settle For Anything Less Than Greatness)
3) Respect your opponent
Please never be a disrespectful piece of shit. I mean never. I’ve seen too many fighters who are really good but too disrespectful. They won’t get too far. There are a lot fighters who have a decent amount of skill, a decent amount of experience but they lost the fights because they disrespected their opponent. That’s not easy to watch. I really hate those people who are disrespectful. Respect your opponent because you know how hard is to prepare for the match. You know how much hard work you need to do. You know how much sacrifices you need to make. It’s not an easy path. There is no easy path. Give respect to those people, to those warriors who deserve respect.
4) You can learn something from every person
I wasn’t aware of that for too long but it’s true. There are more than 7 billion people on the earth and every one of us is special. Everyone of us is unique. When you think about that for a moment you will realize that you can find something good in every person. You can find something valuable in every person. Be aware of that. No matter how good you are, you can always learn something from person who is might not as good as you are.
Here is an example: I was really good at standup fight, I was one of the best in my team in that field. There were the fighters who didn’t know how to fight with the fists and legs but there were also the fighters who knew how to wrestle really good. We made some sort of the pact. They were teaching me how to wrestle and I was teaching them how to box in exchange. That was the win-win situation. You can always learn something valuable from everyone but you need to open your eyes for those opportunities.
5) No matter how tough the situation is you can always win
Never lose a faith in you. You should always believe in yourself. Life is tough but no matter how tough it is, you can always win. You can always get out of the situation as a winner just don’t lose a faith in you.
Here is an example: I had a fight with a far better fighter than me. I was a beginner and he had a decent amount of fights behind his back. I believed in my abilities and I believed that I could win that fight. I was wrong but who cares. He beats the hell out of me but it was a really good fight and really good experience for me. He was a winner but I learned one really valuable lesson. He was in the huge lead but I didn’t give up so I almost took his lead. I was a winner in my head because I didn’t give up and I almost made a reversal of the fight. I will remember that fight for whole my life.
No matter how tough the situation is you can always win.
6) Never give up
That lesson was one of the most powerful and also tough lesson I’ve learned in my life. No matter how hard the situation is, no matter how bad the situation is, never under any circumstances give up. We all have some dreams. Who we want to be, what we want to accomplish, how we want to live this life. I see a lot of people who give up on their dreams because someone else told them that they can’t achieve those dreams. That’s really sad. Believe in yourself. Believe in your abilities. You can accomplish whatever you put your mind on. Never let others discourage you and your dreams.
Here is an example: I was doing some grappling match with a huge guy. He was far stronger and huger than me. So many thoughts passed through my mind. He took the big lead in the match. I was thinking about giving up but then I said to myself: „I won’t be a loser and give up, he can kill me but I won’t give up“. Maybe it sounds ridiculous but it is what it is. That is the mindset of the winner. Winner never quits, quitter never wins. I won that match in the extra time. I learned that day that I can accomplish anything if I strongly believe in that. If you refuse to give up you will be the great man, you will be the winner. If you always give up when something is hard, do you think that you could be a winner? Of course not. Never give up on your dreams!
7) It’s better to try and fail than never to try at all
“It’s not the critic who counts; Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit goes to the one who is actually in the arena; Who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great devotions, the great enthusiasms, and spends himself in a worthy cause. Who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and, at the worst, if he fails at least he fails while daring greatly; so that his place will never be among those timid and cold souls who know neither victory or defeat” – Theodore Roosevelt
There are so many successful people who had fail after fail but they are successful now. How is that possible? Those people were trying. Those people are the warriors. Warriors take every chance. Warriors don’t wait for the perfect chance or the perfect moment. Perfect moment or chance never comes. You can spend a whole life waiting for something good to happen but the odds are small. You have a lot opportunities, a lot of chances but you need to open your eyes and you will start noticing those things.
Take your life in your hands because you are the creator of your own destiny. If you try something and you fail, it’s not the end of the world. You can always learn something from your mistakes. That can be the great experience and the great lesson for future. What can you learn from not trying? Nothing. Open your eyes and look for the opportunities. Some opportunities come once in the lifetime. Don’t miss those opportunities.
8) You are what you eat
I see a lot of professional trainers who are repeating that statement. You are what you eat. At first, it sounds funny but when you think about it for a moment, it has a perfect sense. Imagine that you are a guy who eats junk food only. How does this idea sound to you? You will be unhealthy, unmotivated, overweight and low energy guy. Sounds good? Of course not. Don’t be that guy. Eat healthy and drink a lot of water if you want to be a real man.
Here is an example: When I started with MMA I didn’t pay attention to the nutrition. I ate whatever I wanted. Usually it would be some sort of junk food with some rare healthy meals. I didn’t have an energy for the training and I was always tired. My trainer noticed that and he asked me about my sleep schedule and nutrition. I got 7-8 hours of sleep per night so that was not a problem. The problem was my poor nutrition. He gave me some tips, some advises and nutrition plan. I stuck with those information and guess what. My energy improved. I wasn’t feel tired all the time anymore. I was motivated like never before. My health improved drastically. I was feeling really good.
Pay attention to your nutrition. If you are not eating healthy right now you should start to eat healthy. You will feel so motivated, will have so much energy for the important stuff. You will feel really powerful. It’s one of the most valuable lesson I’ve ever learn in my life. Start today, it’s never too late.
9) Don’t compare yourself with others
Never compare yourself with other people (Read this: How To Be Happy). You are unique as you are. You are a beautiful person right now so you really don’t need to compare yourself with others. If you are not satisfied with your life right now you need to realize that there is nothing wrong with the people or the world. The only person who can change everything is you. If you are not satisfied with your life, don’t complain. Change yourself. We are all different. We have a different goals and dreams so there is no point of comparing. You can’t be happy with your life if you are comparing yourself with others. Stop doing it and start living your beautiful life.
10) Find your role model
It’s good to have an idol. It’s good to have a role model. It’s not crucial to have one but it’s always good to have someone to whom you can look up. You can always learn something valuable from your role model. The role model can be your guide in the tough situations. My role model is my grandpa. He was a real warrior. He was a hard worker and he never gave up. I learned those things from him. He was a real man. Try to pick one or more role models, live with them, learn from them. You can always learn something new and valuable from every person. Be the best version of yourself!
Your life is your battlefield and you are the warrior on that battlefield. Give your best to win that war and never give up!