This was a great article well worth the read. You'll recognize that a lot of the same lessons can be learned through your BJJ/MMA/Muay Thai training. Here are a few of our favorites but check out the whole article here.
1. No one on the outside will ever understand (or care about) how hard you work.
I wanted to give up on the second day of the first intensive wrestling camp I went to. I kept thinking, “This is so hard, I can’t do this anymore.” My first instinct was to call all of my friends, my girlfriend, and my parents and tell everyone how hard the camp was. A few days later I started feeling stronger and more confident and I wanted to call everyone again to tell them how hard I was working—in a good way this time. As I talked to everyone on the phone, I could tell that they were listening to me but they weren’t hearing me. No matter how much time I spent explaining things to them, they just didn’t seem to get it, which was really frustrating. Eventually, I realized that no one will ever understand how hard I worked at those camps, unless they went through one themselves.
The same is true in life. People have their own problems and challenges to deal with—they don’t have time to be incredibly impressed with how hard you’re working. Plus, everyone thinks they work hard, even people who don’t. If you’re really working hard, you don’t need other people to validate you. Just keep working hard and let your achievements speak for themselves.
12. Encouraging others is the best energy boost.
I was only worried about one person at the first intensive camp I went to—me. I thought that isolating myself and focusing on just me was the only way to survive. Something was always missing though. And keeping to myself wasn’t conserving my energy levels as much as I thought it would. At the second camp I went to, I started encouraging other people. I was amazed at how much this energized me. The more I built others up, the more I built myself up. The key was being sincere in my efforts. Empty platitudes weren’t energizing. But real encouragement—the kind that I meant deep down—drove me forward too.
15. Looks deceive but actions never lie.
Some of the kids at camp were stacked. They were giant and ripped and looked like they could power clean a truck. Then you’d wrestle against them at the end of a tough practice and they’d feel like jelly—weak and sloppy. Other kids came in and looked like studs and superstars, they had the newest wrestling shoes on and the most expensive gear and looked like they had been wrestling since birth. Then they’d quite after the first day.
When it comes to how tough someone is, looks don’t matter. The only way to tell how tough someone is—the only way to tell who they really are—is to watch what they do. How do they respond under pressure? Who do they hang out with? How do they treat other people? Forget what people say and watch what they do.
16. Take on the toughest kid in the room and everything else will seem easy.
I was always amazed by how easy the rest of a practice seemed after wrestling with one of the college counselors. When I first started wrestling, I would always look for the easiest kids to wrestle against so I would win and look good. Then I wondered why I never got any better. One day I decided to change things up—I decided to wrestle the toughest kids in the room. This had a weird effect on my perspective. Whenever I was done wrestling with one of the tougher kids, the rest of my matches seemed easy. Wrestling tougher kids also had a weird effect on my performance— it made me much better much faster. The more I challenged myself—the more painful I made practice—the more I improved. Life is the same way. Putting yourself in challenging situations day in and day out fast tracks your performance and development as a leader.
18. Enjoy where you are now because the next level is always harder.
I used to hate the counselors at these summer wrestling camps. They were jerks who just showed up to yell at us and make our lives miserable. “What a great life they must have!” That’s what I thought. I imagined them playing video games and eating candy bars and the strolling to practice and cracking jokes about how much they were going to beat us up. Then, I became a counselor.
After I graduated high school, I worked as a counselor at intensive camps for 7 years straight. That’s when I realized that counselors and coaches had it way harder than the campers. For starters, they did all the same workouts that the campers did plus extra counselor-only workouts. And they didn’t sleep in between practices—they prepared workout plans and motivational speeches.
It’s easy in life to think that getting to the next level is going to make everything fall into place. You might think, “If I could just arrive, life would be a cakewalk.” Wrong. The next level is always harder and more time consuming. Too many people work insanely hard at something they hate to get promoted to a position that requires them to work even harder at something they hate more. Enjoy where you are now. Keep moving forward but realize that there is no arrival. There’s just right now.
20. You always have more gas in the tank—always.
It’s amazing how strong the mind is compared to the body. During one of the Washington Intensive camps we were woken up in the middle of the night to do the annual midnight run. We woke up, ran up a mountain, looked over the city, and then went back to bed. But then something different happened. Right as we fell back asleep, the counselors banged on our doors again to wake us up. Yes. They woke us up again.
I remember being completely confused, like I was dreaming but not really dreaming. The counselors lined us up again and then took us out onto the University’s football field. Then they told us that we were going to workout of the rest of the night—”Until the sun comes up over those mountains.” We did sprints on the track, ran stairs, did bear crawls and buddy-carries, pummeling, live matches in the grass, on and on. From 2am to 6am we trained. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. I remember being so tired that I couldn’t even stand up. I’d fall down and stay down and then a counselor would pull to my feet and I’d keep going. Finally, the sun came up over the mountains and we were sent back to bed. I still can’t believe I made it through that night.
There’s no limit to what your body can do. It’s your mind that you have to convince. You might need help or more knowledge or more motivation, but there are no limits. Once you realize this—once you know that there’s always more gas in the tank—you’ll start taking on more risks. You’ll push yourself harder and harder because you’ll know that you always have more to give.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (July 7, 2014) – New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA), the Northeast’s premier mixed martial arts promotion, today announced the addition of a professional bantamweight title bout to the company’s upcoming “NEF XIV” event. The fight will feature reigning Maine State MMA Bantamweight Champion Paul Gorman (10-8) defending against Tim “The Terror” Goodwin (8-4) at a weight of 135-pounds. “NEF XIV” is scheduled to take place at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine on September 6, 2014 with a bell time of 7:00 pm.
Gorman, fighting out of the Academy of MMA in Portland, ME, has held the title since defeating Adam Toussaint (5-5) at “NEF V” in November of 2012. Shortly after receiving his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Academy coach Jay Jack (12-7) last year, Gorman successfully defended the bantamweight championship against Tateki Matsuda (9-5), winning a split-decision on the judges’ scorecards. The bout , which took place at “NEF XI” in November of 2013, was voted “Fight of the Year” by NEF MMA fans. Since that time, however, Gorman has been forced to the sidelines after continuous pull-outs by title challengers.
“It’s been difficult finding Paul opponents who actually show up to fight,” said NEF MMA co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo. “It’s been a real tragedy. Especially when we find these top-ten ranked guys and they pull out. I think a big part of that is that Paul is such a dangerous opponent and his challengers get cold feet. Tim Goodwin’s had the same problem down south in his region. That’s why we like this fight so much. It’s two guys who understand each other’s frustration and who are both going to bring everything they have to this fight on September 6th!”
“I’m happy to be climbing back into the cage September 6th against Tim Goodwin,” said Gorman. “Tim is another tough opponent, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s awesome to be a part of this huge card, and I will be looking to steal the show when I defend my title on the 6th.”
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Goodwin has also had difficulty finding opponents in his region willing to step in the cage with someone of his caliber. He is a veteran of national fight promotion Bellator. Goodwin has been on a roll of late, winning three of his last four, and he is looking forward to traveling north to compete against Gorman for the Maine State Bantamweight Title.
“I’ve been itching for a big fight opportunity and this is it,” said Goodwin when reached for comment. ”It’s been nothing but bad luck trying to find fights in the Southeast so it looks like I’ll be bringing my talents to New England. I am excited to be fighting for NEF and even more excited to take that belt and bring it back home to South Carolina.”
“This is the quality of fight NEF always looks to put on for the fans,” exclaimed NEF MMA co-owner and matchmaker Matt Peterson. “Paul’s fights are always exciting, and we scour the entire country looking for opponents who can provide that next ‘Fight of the Night’ for the crowd. Four title fights in one night, and any of these fights could be a main event on any other card. The fans are the big winners on September 6th.”
NEF MMA’s next event, “NEF XIV,” is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with a bell time of 7:00 pm. In the main event of the evening, Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia (31-9) returns to Maine to face fellow UFC veteran Christian Morecraft (8-3) for the Super-Heavyweight Title. Featherweight Champion Ray “All Business” Wood (4-0) returns from injury after a year of recovery against Brazil’s Gabriel Baino (6-1). Bantamweight Champion Paul Gorman (10-8) defends against Tim “The Terror” Goodwin (8-4). Plus, Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (6-7) and Jesse “The Viking” Erickson (3-2) will meet for the Lightweight Title, and John “First Class” Raio (2-5) competes in his final fight. Tickets for “NEF XIV” start at just $25 and are on sale now at www.TheColisee.com or by calling The Colisee box office at 207.783.2009 x 525. For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com. In addition, you can watch NEF MMA videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”
About New England Fights
New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (“NEF MMA”) is a Mixed Martial Arts promotions company. NEF MMA’s mission is to create the highest quality events for Maine’s fighters and fans alike. NEF MMA’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sportsmanagement, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.
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