Below is an article I wrote for my Patreon site. Enjoy! Feel free to share, with credit to the author (me), if you like.

Training Hard to Guarantee Failure at Fighting

Here are some secrets to guarantee continual losses in fighting. Whether on the mat or in the street following these examples will ensure you embarrass your “fighting” style. Enjoy!

One Hit Henry

Henry has trained decades in a traditional martial art from x-country. He breaks stacks of bricks with ease. He has one strike that is so powerful that he could certainly kill any man or beast when it lands. Yet, Henry gets his ass handed to him on a regular basis in fights. Unfortunately, Henry doesn’t know how to set up his awesome killer technique with combinations. He just waits for that defining moment when he can send his opponent to la-la land with the full fury of his strike. Yet, the opportunity never arises, because Henry never learned a set up for the technique. Rule One: “No combinations, no Hulk Smash”.

No Footwork Freda

Freda trains hard. She is quick and has good reflexes. Her punching and kicking ability are amazing to watch as she hits the heavy bag or does her forms. Yet, Freda can’t hit a moving target. If only her **** opponents with stay in one place. Her opponents always move out of the way of her train-like linear attacks and strike her from the angles. Freda forgot she is not fighting on a beam high in the air and never learned footwork. My how the side of her head and ribs hurt after she spars. Rule Two: “Fighting with no footwork is like skating in a frying pan, you have nowhere to go”.

No Guard Gary

Gary is the pride of his gym and martial arts school. He always looks like he just finished Marine boot camp. He has chiseled looks and has spent many years in iron body training. He opponents look a bit worried as they step across from him to spar. When the fighting starts, Gary tenses his lean, mean body and begins to launch a furious assault at his opponent. Then, Gary wakes up to the sweet aroma of smelling salt. Gary is comfortably lying on the mat, but his head feels like a sack of sand. When Gary left for the tournament that day, he forgot his left guard. He didn’t think he would need to keep his hand up and cover his head. Who would dare strike his pretty face? Rule Three: “There is no iron body training for your melon”. Now you might counter with “But Shaolin monks break iron bars with their foreheads.” True, but trained fighters do not punch people in the forehead.

No Stamina Sally

Sally has the moves! She can bob and weave. She can circle step like a Square Dancer. She is toned and has a good guard. Sadly, Sally always ends the fight in defeat. Her first round, she is amazing. Sally is far ahead of her opponent. In the second round, Sally is a bit slower with her hands and footwork, but her skills are still apparent. Now it is round three. Sally moves toward her opponent and wonders if her Shifu tied sandbags to her hands and feet. She feels like she is walking in quicksand. It is hard to keep her arms up to show everybody her magnificent guards. Unfortunately for Sally, she is fighting Sprinter Sasha. Sasha isn’t quite as good as Sally. She hasn’t trained as long as Sally. But Sasha LOVES cardio and trained for the fight by running sprints. She knew she would need multiple bursts of quick energy. When she steps up to fight Sally in the third round, her makeup is a bit smudged from the hits she took in rounds one and two, she still feels fresh as a daisy. Sally is not happy, because Sally has run out of gas. Sasha mercifully puts Sally to sleep to end her pain. Rule Four: “If you can’t cross the finish line, it doesn’t matter how far ahead you were at the beginning of the race.”

Moral of the Story

These are hard won lessons I have learned over five decades of training, sparring and uninvited challenge matches. I have been or met every one of the fighters. So, take an old guy’s advice. Don’t make these mistakes in your fighting. Unless of course, you just choose to be a form’s fairy or you never go anywhere you may have to actually use your “fighting” skills.