Archive for UFC

The Education of Conor McGregor

Posted in Fighters, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, Philosophy, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2015 by chencenter

Conor McGregor 2

In the mixed martial art world, people are still buzzing from Conor McGregor’s phenomenal 13-second victory over featherweight, undefeated champion Jose Aldo in UFC 194.  Some people may still be mumbling under their breath with distain, others may be scratching their head in confusion, but talent truly shines and at the moment, Irishman Conor McGregor is the beacon of mixed martial arts.  Currently he is 19-1-2, with his last defeat being 5 years ago/14 fights ago.

“…I see these shots, I see these sequences and I don’t shy away from them.. (if you do this) you are creating that Law of Attraction and it will become reality… I knew he’d (Jose Aldo) over-extend and I knew I’d catch him.”

But as crafty, confident and technical he is – there’s a higher level of skill that is being seen by all.  Easy to quote, easy to grasp (an understanding of), but hard to possess, is this melding of confidence, self-assuredness, courage, visualization, movement variation, and adaptability (to name a few).  So many people have put the mental aspect of fighting aside from “the game.”  The MMA world is full of fit and conditioned bodies, all striving to climb the ladder of success.  Few fighters strive to be different, try different things; some lack the courage or belief.  Perhaps with the growth of this 27-year old fighter from Dublin, the level of competition will reach an even greater height.

“If you can see it here (points to his brain) and you have the courage to speak it, it will happen.”

Bruce Lee said, “The way you think is the way you will become.”  He also said, more famously, “…Be (like) water.”  If you internalize what many of these teachers have said, believe it, and strive for perfection – success will come.  This is a lesson for all of us and something applicable to many factors in Life like; relationships, business and (in this case) sport & performance.

“Doubt is only removed by action.  If you’re not working, that’s when doubt comes in.”

Belief is not enough.  Anything that we require in life requires work.  But even when you’ve got belief and put in the work, how many of you continue to visualize failure? How many people continue to harbor the stressors that come with thinking “What if…”?

“…winners focus on winning. Winners focus on what they can control.  …Losers focus on winners.  People ask, did you learn anything (from Ronda, etc)… although I learned from watching the contest, the technical aspect of it… I already felt like the top before tonight.”

One thing that many people saw from the video that the UFC put out prior to the Dec. 12th event, was the huge amount of psychological warfare that Conor placed on Jose.  By watching the video (posted below), you can see the eagerness and tension building between the two combatants – but Conor, the aggressor, remains calm (if you want to call it that).  It’s the same taunting and prophesizing that helped give Muhammad Ali the legendary status he has today.  The only problem is you now have two fighters vying for the title “Greatest of all-time”  (Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor).  Floyd has a good argument as to why he should be (and we’ll explore that in another post), but with Conor, time will tell.  Even in an interview, LA Media Scrum (by MMAfigtingonSBN), Conor’s girlfriend wrote on his water bottle, “G.O.A.T.” Conor believes it, Conor’s girlfriend believes it, and in due time the world will as well.

But somehow it seems destined with Conor “Mystic Mac” predicting outcomes so precisely.  Here is what he said in UFC 194 : Exbedded on FOX (timestamp 3:10) –

“We’ll collide at that first exchange and that will be it.”

There have been many fighters to predict rounds, but how many have predicted one to the amount of exchanges?  It’s quite alright if you want to chalk it up to luck, that for someone who speaks so much will stumble on some truth – even a broken clock is right two times a day… but at some point, it goes to show you that mentally, if you open up and fully embrace this formula of success and are prepared to put in the hard work, the universe will manifest itself to you.

“Precision beats power, timing beats speed.”

When I heard this last quote,  I immediately thought of Bruce Lee.  Then I remember thinking, did this just come from a 27-year old fighter?  Because it sounded like it came from a physicist, or movement coach trying to boil things down to a simple understanding.  I was told that it came from Goethe.  Whoever said it first doesn’t matter.  The mark it makes does; and now it’s on the lips and minds of many.

conor-mcgregor-vs-hafthor-julius-bjornsson-of-game-of-thrones-fame-as-the-mountainBut the more I thought about this, the more I loved this quote because of its truth and relevance to the 13-second fight I just witnessed.  In Conor’s training we saw him playing body shots with The Mountain (aka. Gregor Clegane – real name, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson), from Game of Thrones (6’9, 400 lbs.), movement pattern work with Ido Portal and even snuffing out the flame of candles set about the room, with his punches (and kicks).

(Regarding the candles) Anyone who has ever tried this knows that it requires expert precision and tremendous quickness in order to pull this off.  In fighting, timing/rhythm will greatly disrupt, or stop an opponent’s effectiveness in attack or halt the opponent’s ability to start an attack.  If your timing is refined to the point that it enables you to move (and in this case, move and counter) at the very beginning of your opponent’s attack, the quickness of your attacker becomes of little concern.  It brings me back to Bruce Lee’s clip on Longstreet in which he says, “This time I intercepted your emotional tenseness.  From your brain to your fist, how much time was lost.” {CC article}

“When you face me, it’s a whole other ballgame.”

The message that Conor delivers in this statement, punctuates his determinedness, skill, undeniable confidence and flair – at the same time, alluding to the fact that those that face him are better fighters afterwards.  It depends on how you take it (losing).  But win or lose, there is something to learn, something to gain.  But what you should know is that when you fight Conor McGregor, you getting the whole Conor and you better not come to the fight with a singular approach – because that is just not going to work!

MICHAEL JOYCE

MENTIONED VIDEO

RELATED ARTICLE

CONOR McGREGOR’S #1 TRAIT

BRUCE LEE: ‘THE ART OF DYING” {PLUS VIDEO}

CONOR McGREGOR vs. THE MOUNTAIN

Conor McGregor’s #1 Trait

Posted in Martial Arts, Mixed Martial Arts, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2015 by chencenter

“… I have an answer. I have an answer for everything.”

-Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor 1Speaking as a fan, as a martial artist, as an Irishman (albeit long since removed), I’m excited to see someone burst on the scene with such fervor.  Leading up to the fight between Chad Mendes and Conor McGregor in UFC 189, I educated myself on this man.  I honestly wanted to see what all the hype was about.

What I saw, even in just his interviews, was a man destined for greatness.  Some people can talk smack, as Conor often does, but I’ve never seen someone back it up quite like he does.  Plus, he knows it’s for show.  As arrogant as he may seem, it’s clear that he knows the game, knows how to get attention, and with it, how to get inside your opponent’s head.

Some people have been pretty vocal against this guy – Jose Aldo accusing Conor or taking performance enhancing drugs, and lately, famous comedian Bill Burr.  Bill, who admittedly says that he “knows nothing of the sport,” slams Conor on his tactics of intimidation and smack-talking.

The point that I’d like to make is a lot of fighters these days smack-talk- it’s a soundbite; sometimes it’s personal… most of the time it’s business.  If you’re a fight fan, how many times have you seen these athletes belittle and agitate their soon-to-be opponent, only to hug, give kind words and thank/congratulate them for a well-faught event afterwards?  If you’re a fight fan, we know this is true.  As a human being of the modern age; at this point at least, we should know what grabs people’s attention – drama, controversy and rivalry.

“Knowing the game” and “Talking the talk” may be good enough to bring in the numbers, but you have to be able to back it up… and back it up time-and-time again.  Conor has certainly done just that.

Conor McGregor 2It is undoubtable that Conor has an excellent training regiment, focusing on becoming not necessarily the best fighter, but the most adaptable fighter.  He does what it takes to win.

I am fairly sure that he’ll get beaten (at some point), as all fighters typically do – but as long as he listens to his body, keeps up with his training and continues to exude this extremely deep self-belief, he’ll continue to reign for as long as he wants.

While seated at the Bar & Grill with my fellow CombativeCorner crew member Brandon, I speculated on what the upcoming fight between Chad Mendes and Conor McGregor would be like and why I thought that (even with Chad’s tremendous wrestling skills) Conor would continue his glorious unbeaten streak (in the UFC).  “It’s about self-belief.  There is almost an inhuman amount of self-confidence in this guy. While most people might get hit and wonder this and that, Conor remains a confident, beast-of-a-fighter, that in most circumstances becomes even stronger against more stout opposition.  When you strike such a balance between your level of arousal and motivations for a fight, and you couple it with superb training and a monstrous amount of confidence…how can you lose?”

In his own words…

“Doubt is only removed by action.  If you’re not working then that’s where doubt comes in.”

Now I know that smack-talking isn’t everyone’s cup-of-tea… and it certainly isn’t mine either.  Fighters like GSP, Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida are amazing sportsman, martial artists and gentlemen of the sport.  But everyone is different. Everyone has their path.  One thing is true; you have to respect the talent of this guy. You have to recognize that it’s because of this brashness, wit and his sharp tongue that he’s been able to turn people’s heads in so short of a time.  Would I like Conor more if he just shut up and towed the line? Nope, because it just wouldn’t be him… and to a certain extent, we all have to agree that personalities make fights.

What are you thoughts on Conor McGregor, and the fight from UFC189? 

Michael Joyce

ChenCenter.Com

Interview with Jeff “The Snowman” Monson

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Training, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2012 by bradvaughn

Brought to us by Section 8 MMA (and AMAA JiuJistu) in Welcome, North Carolina, the Combative Corner is pleased to present a special Q & A with veteran mixed martial artist Jeff Monson.  Combative Crew Member Brandon Vaughn was on the scene (above center).  For more information on Jeff Monson, please visit his page on Sherdog.Com.

In this interview, Monson answers some choice questions about his life and the mma industry.

To listen to the entire interview, click play on our YouTube video below.

INTERVIEW WITH JEFF MONSON

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This special interview was made available by the great people at Section 8 MMA in Welcome, NC & was attended by Combative Corner author, Brandon Vaughn (pictured on the right).  This is not to be Monson’s last trip to Section 8, so please comment below with additional questions!

Sifu Freddie’s Message To Shannon Lee

Posted in Fighters, Philosophy, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee said,

“My dad would have really enjoyed UFC, I think he was very into real combat, his art is all about being a complete fighter and being able to handle yourself in any situation you find yourself in. This (the UFC) is really the closest you can get to it.”

Ms. Shannon Lee I completely disagree with you.  You may be Bruce’s daughter by blood but that does not mean you know anything about true Martial Arts.  The spirit of the Martial Arts is not passed on by blood, but the understanding comes from within and it’s an individual experience. Yes, Bruce was into studying real combat but UFC is not real.  His art is not about being a complete fighter, his art is about being a complete HUMAN BEING.  And yes, he teaches to be able to handle yourself in any situation you find yourself in by learning “The art of fighting without fighting” (as he stated in his film, Enter the Dragon).  Bruce Lee’s movies, his writings (and interviews) speak for him.  Sorry Ms. Shannon Lee, you don’t have to speak for him… And UFC is NOT the closest that you can get to real fighting.  Real fighting only occurs in real life – away from the cameras.  In real life, real fighting occurs spontaneously, not in controlled environments designed for entertainment for profit.  Real fighting many times will involve real death and real jail time.

Bruce’s movies portray something much more real than UFC will ever portray.

Sifu Freddie Lee

Freddie’s Modern Kungfu

[Thoughts via FMK’s Facebook. 1//10/12]

“To me, ultimately, martial arts mean honestly expressing yourself… Now it’s easy for me to put on a show and be cocky and be flooded with a cocky feeling… but to honestly express oneself – not lying to oneself.  And to express myself honestly; that, my friend, is very hard to do.” 

(Bruce Lee, “The Lost Interview.  Aired in 1971)

Joe Rogan’s Sick Side Kick

Posted in External Arts, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Techniques, Training, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2011 by Combative Corner

Joe Rogan is not your typical stand-up comedian, actor and commentator, he’s a martial artist with some pretty devastating moves.  This technique, which he has been perfecting since his early days in Tae Kwon Do, is soo amazing that UFC Champion George St. Pierre, wanted to video it so that he could re-watch and perfect for himself.  What do YOU guys think?

The lines are open…. (comment below).

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Questions for Oleg “The Russian Bear” Taktarov?

Posted in Discussion Question, Fighters with tags , , , , , , on May 2, 2011 by Combative Corner

Oleg “The Russian Bear” Taktarov, a UFC Champion, legendary MMA fighter, and now, ACTOR (i.e. Predators), has granted us an interview!  As Oleg is one of my top five MMA fighters of all-time, I have several questions that are set in stone (Yes, I have dibs)!

However, we at the Combative Corner would love to know what you’d like to ask Oleg.  This will most likely be done via video and therefore we will post it on our YouTube Channel as soon as it gets edited.

So make sure you’re subscribed to our channel.  (Our YOUTUBE)

Post your questions below!

Roundtable Discussion 010: Bullying

Posted in Discussion Question, Roundtable Discussion, Self-Defense, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2011 by Combative Corner

The CombativeCorner authors toss this one out there:

     “Have you ever been the victim of bullying & how did you deal with it?”

We ask:  If you have a story that you’d like to tell, please let us know in the comment section at the bottom of the article.  If you have a question for us, or any particular author of The CombativeCorner, please send us an email at CombativeCorner@Gmail.Com.

George “Rush” St-Pierre on Bullying:

“I was bullied,” says St-Pierre, once a nerdy, studious boy who competed in chess tournaments. “I was not very popular.”
To protect himself, he learned Kyokushin karate from his father. That gave him the striking base he still uses today, he says. He discovered the importance of looking up to other experts when at 15 he watched Royce Gracie, a skinny Brazilian jujitsu master, tap out oversize foes in the early days of the UFC. “I asked myself, ‘How can this happen? How can this small guy beat all these monsters?’ ” he says.  And now St-Pierre has the answer.

“Because of the knowledge,” he says, “that every war is won by the strongest weapon.”

[O’Brien, Luke.  Men’s Health Magazine, April 2011. original article]

GUEST:  DEBI PURCELL

[Professional MMA Fighter]

I think every person has been a victim of bulling in some form or another – even the bullies – especially the bullies;  and I am no different.  I once had a fighter set out  to try and hurt my fight career in a very manipulative, vengeful way, because of their fear at the time.  At first I was shattered and kind of let it ruin me for a bit.  I then came to realize that the only person she hurt was herself, because although things happened that did indeed hurt my career, and life for a bit, it was ME that caused it for allowing someone to have that much power.  As soon as I stopped feeling sorry for myself  I was able to heal, & feel more compassion for the girl.

This ultimately led to me doing some different things and finding true happiness, and I would say to  anyone out there getting bullied physically or emotionally. Stand up for yourself… do NOT  be a victim in any way, including and most importantly feeling bad for yourself, or reducing yourself to their behavior.

If you can understand – they must be in a ton of pain for bulling you and try to have some understanding.  They are in such a bad place in life, and in the long-term it sucks more for them then for you.  As cheesy as this may sound, it’s true!  Debi Purcell, FighterGirls.Com


I did get bullied a little as a kid since I had two things working against me: I was one of the few Asians in the area, and I was most definitely one of the nerds. Now that I look back on it though, I realize that I had a few strategies that kept the bullying to a minimum. First, I avoided situations that would allow bullying to arise. Bullies like easy targets. Take away the easy bullying opportunities, and the bullies aren’t likely to go out of their way to harass you.

Then there’s safety in numbers. If you have friends across different social groups, you are more likely to have backup close by.  At the time, I was on good terms with a number of people, both students and teachers. I used my social circle for protection.

Of course, sometimes push comes to shove, and you have to shove back. I did once or twice have to push back just to establish that I wasn’t going to be an easy target. That took care of most of the bullies looking for easy pickings, but that didn’t take care of everyone. I was not the model of size and strength in school, so big bullies might still target me. My last defense was pure good luck. I just happened to be friends with a future football lineman. He was a big boy even when we were kids. I didn’t get bothered that much all through middle school just from that.

I’ve been a victim of bullying in the professional field, and this happened (recently) in the field of law enforcement. I tried to utilize the workplace discrimination, harrassment, and retaliation procedures but it only made things worse for my working environment. I was unaware of the EEOC laws at the time and did not find out about the laws until it had already gotten out of hand. What I advise for everyone is to be aware of the EEOC (more info can be located at the websie EEOC.gov). But either way – I have experienced bullying even when there are laws in place to try to stop such behavior.  The behavior still goes on. It’s a very difficult struggle.  I advise people to be aware of the laws, to stay informed of resources for help, such as the EEOC, and try to seek out individuals who have experienced similar incidents and seek help on how to deal with such situations. Sometimes it may be best to accept the way things are; other times it may be best to fight back the best you can with the laws that are in place. You can take action like Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi and fight back peacefully or you can be like Lao-tzu or Chaung tzu and just go with the flow and allow things to take their natural course.

As someone who was a victim of bullying through most of his school years, the topic of bullying is one of my hot buttons. Just the idea of someone being picked on because of something as stupid as their appearance, how they speak or where they’re from makes me angry. Being bullied was the reason I started martial arts in the first place. I wanted to be able to stand up against anyone who would ever try to mess with me. Little did I know that along with learning how to do roundhouse kicks and punches I would also gain the confidence to walk down the hall with my head held high and the self-control and self-discipline to know that they’re other ways to deal with bullies then with physical force. I still got picked on, some confrontations I chose to walk away from, and others I faced head on. Sometimes I look back and think “Man I should have just fought all those guys that used to mess with me.” but I know that would have gotten me into some serious trouble not only in school but at home as well. Besides all it takes is standing up to one bully to show the others that you’re no longer a target. As a martial arts instructor I see a lot of my students dealing with the same bullying issues that I faced when I was younger and I feel an overpowering urge to help them stand up for themselves like I learned to. No one deserves to be picked on, no one deserves to be demeaned.

I was a victim of bullying a few times in my life. I have always been very tall and I think that had a lot to do with why I was not picked on by others much at all when I was little.

When I was in the 6th grade I was attacked on the bus by 4 kids (all much older and bigger then me – at the time 10th graders) at once. I did what I needed to do and got kicked off of the school bus 6.5 miles from my home. This was also during a very strong snow storm we were having. I was called a dirty, wild Indian by the school bus driver as he pulled away. So I am standing on the side of a dirt road on the Reservation in sub-zero temps and I started walking. Just when I did not think I could make it another step. A car rolls up and it is my uncle who said “Get in here!!”

From that point I was bullied at that school. I was told I attacked the 4 attackers and I would be put out of school for 3 weeks. So my mother pulled me from that school and I went to a private Native-run School. That was what I needed.  I never treated anyone mean because of their race or anything like that but many are stuck in the past and still think that way.  I would not changed how I responded to bullying looking back on it. I take no pride in having to hurt others to stay safe but you do what you have to do to make it out alive.

I was very fortunate growing up.  Loving, somewhat “normal” family, and lived an a very safe area of a friendly, mid-sized city.  I was also fortunate that I sprouted quickly, being either the tallest or second-tallest person in my grade-school classes.  I was also very athletic and played a wide variety of sports (as I still do).  But with all this on my side, I was not immune to bullying in middle school.  For some reason it seemed that noone was immune.  There was one memory that sticks into my mind quite vividly:

I lept off the school bus on what I remember as being a beautiful day.  As I made my way to my driveway, a low-riding car drove slowly past and the driver “shot me the bird”, laughed and drove off.  Without a drop of venom, I spun around and gave him a view of my middle finger as well.  It wasn’t that I was “feeling tough,” I just thought we were exchanging a high-five (or sorts).  I walked to the back of my house, to find that I was locked out.  No big deal, my mom was probably just on her way back from the store.  I sat out my homework and started on my math assignment when 4 teenagers, led by a white, tough guy with a faint moustache and sideways baseball cap came stomping up to me.  “WHY DID YOU GIVE ME THE FINGER, PUNK?” he asked me.  (He was nearly chest-to-chest with me) and I firmly explained, “I did it because you did it to me, sir!” (I was maybe too polite)  He came back with “YOU CALLING ME OLD?”  To which I stupidly said, “No, Sir.”  After some pretty harsh taunts and me just standing there and taking it…. he grabbed my favorite Pittsburgh Penguins hat (right off my head), ripped the bill off of it and tossed it in my yard.  They left without throwing a punch.  But they scared me emotionally.  As soon as I was able to get inside, I remember shaking, crying and then getting really mad.

Many years later, I look back on this situation and marvel at how great I handled it.  I stood up to them without looking weak.  I was mentally prepared to act, if needed… but no such boundary was crossed.  I took with this an understanding that strength comes in different forms.  And just because someone appears strong, doesn’t mean that they ARE strong.

I have always been smaller than the average bear. When I was 9 years old, I tipped the scales at a mere 45 lbs.  I had one or two physical altercations with bullies in grade school, but it didn`t get really bad until grade 5. I was the new kid in school, and I was frequently (maybe twice a week) ambushed by a group of 4 kids 1 year older than me on the way home from school.  I never fought back, I just took it. My older sister at the time was friends with one of the bullies older sister`s, and when my sister found out about the bullying, word spread to the other sister – and then to their father. The bullying stopped immediately after that.

In high school I started taking Tae Kwon Do, and that is when my confidence started to grow, and my transformation started.

After that, I was never the victim of bullying again – mostly because of the way I carried myself and wouldn`t let people treat me poorly (without consequence that is).  If I were to go back in time, I would have made sure to hit hard and fast when being bullied, and then have told the authorities (teachers, parents, etc.) rather than keep it to myself.

If it worked for George McFly, it could work for me 🙂

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