If you’ve started martial arts training, it’s probably because you want to learn how to fight.
Whether that’s to improve your self-defense skills or to fulfill a childhood dream of throwing roundhouse kicks in a black belt, becoming a better fighter is almost always the end goal.
Just because you’re doing the training doesn’t mean you’re automatically destined to magically floor your opponent. In fact, there’s nothing magical at all about becoming a better fighter.
Improving your skills will rest solely on how hardworking and dedicated you are, and trust us, you’ll really have to put in the work to get there.
Don’t let that put you off, though. If you want to up your game and bring your best technique to the table, keep reading to discover our top tips for becoming a better fighter.
Perhaps this seems like we’re pointing out the obvious, but consistent training is important. To become a better fighter, you’ll need to put in the time and effort to train at least once or twice a day.
You’ll need to improve your skills and build your fitness level to improve your technique. One of the best ways to do this is to train every day.
However, training more than twice a day can make you more susceptible to injury, so stick to the two-a-day training session limit, and control the intensity of each workout.
Your mind and body can only handle so much, and pushing yourself past your limits won’t do you any favors.
Warm-Up Before You Workout
You’d be surprised how many people skip the warm-ups before launching into a fight. Let’s be honest; fighting is exhausting. You’ll be putting yourself through your paces and exposing your body to intense physical exercise.
If you don’t warm up sufficiently, you won’t be a good fighter.
Take at least 15 minutes to slowly warm-up before a fight. Loosen your joints and muscles, increase your body temperature, and get the blood pumping. Not only will this improve your fight game, but it will also decrease your risk of injury.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few quick and effective warm-ups you can try before your next fight:
Knee Hug And Twist (10 Reps Per Leg)
- Raise your knee toward your chest
- Hug your knee with your arms, then step forward to perform a lunge
- Now, twist your torso slowly toward your front leg
- Once complete, switch to the other leg and repeat
Shoulder Stretches (10 Reps)
- Start by grabbing a bar or pipe that’s big enough to move over your head. It should also be able to touch your buttocks.
- Now, slowly raise the bar or pipe over your head and in front of your body until it touches your thighs. Repeat this for ten reps.
Hanging Knee Raises (10 Reps)
- Make sure you have a bar attached to your wall or workout space. Place your hands on the bar, and hang.
- Now, start to slowly pull your knees up to your chest, and hold it for a few seconds.
- While you do this, lift your hips with you to avoid any extra strain.
This should be a no-brainer if you want to be a better fighter. It’s also essential for living a healthy, happy lifestyle, so please, make sure you’re eating well!
Food is fuel. What you put in your body will impact your general health, energy levels, and fitness levels. If you’re working out frequently, eating the right foods and maintaining a balanced diet is essential.
Protein and carbohydrates should be at the center of your diet. Protein builds and repairs muscles, and it’s an essential part of building cartilage and skin.
It can also be used as an energy source. Eating enough protein will ensure you can process your energy, and it’ll keep oxygen circulating throughout your body.
Carbohydrates are a great source of energy. While you shouldn’t be eating carbs during exercises like some athletes, carbs before an intense workout can ensure your muscles receive enough energy, which will come in handy during the later stages of a workout or fight.
Good sources of protein and carbohydrates for your diet include:
- Whole wheat pasta
- Whole-grain bread
- Rolled oats
- Plain yogurt
- Sweet potatoes
Be Mindful Of Your Breathing
Focusing on your breathing is so important, but it’s something that often gets overlooked. Being mindful of your breaths can help improve your stamina and reduce your stress levels – something you’ll definitely be needing during a fight.
Being aware of your breath can also help you get stronger, too.
Getting the right breathing technique can improve your movements and prepare your body for your fight or workout. It’ll also help keep your heart rate in check, which can prevent you from burning out too quickly during a fight.
Controlled breathing will also regulate the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which control our fight or flight responses, sexual organs, urination, and digestion.
Nose breathing is the most preferred technique. Breathing out should be done through a partially closed mouth, or even better, back through the nose.
It’s also been said that forcefully holding your breath and expelling air during a kiai (non-vocal and vocal), can help prepare the body for combat and unite the upper and lower body for fighting.
You should also focus on practicing abdominal breathing rather than chest breathing, which can help counteract the effects of increased adrenal production.
The Bottom Line
Becoming a better fighter isn’t just about practicing the fight. This is an integral part of the process, but you’ll also need to focus on much more significant factors, such as your breathing, diet, and warm-ups.
Improving your fighting technique won’t happen overnight. Instead, you’ll need to be prepared to put in the work and train hard. However, with some time, patience, and dedication, you can learn to improve your technique and bring your best fight to every match.