Your MMA is JUNK Training (Video Essay)

Your MMA is JUNK Training (Video Essay)

what kind of jump training have you seen in combat sports gyms I was inspired to write this after watching a video on the topic of jump training by Feroz Zahavi well there are some excellent ideas there I wish coach Zahavi would have given an itemized list of what he considers jump training to be but he only talked about jumping rope as an example so this video will focus on the specifics of what I consider to be jump training I can see anything becoming jump training if it is used as a substitute for real progress instead of a supplement to it when you unathletic guys are starting out everything makes them more athletic everything the very act of getting off the couch and doing something makes them better than they were but for a serious athlete maximizing the efficiency of how you use your training time is crucial so as not to waste a few precious hours that you have to hone your craft I've seen lots of guys devoting copious amounts of time to getting good at jumping rope working the speed bag hitting the heavy bag doing certain circuits or athletic tricks at the expense of progress as an athlete all of these things can have value if they help you win the fight at the end of the day but if you're devoting your time to looking awesome on a fun exercise when what you really need is to fix your ability to correctly respond to combat stress then you are going to have problems come fight time that being said I've also seen a ton of stupid time wasting exercises drills and techniques being peddled as the latest and greatest thing what have you seen let me know in the comments off the top of my head a few things are always junk training grappling starting from the knees any warm-ups that don't actually prepare you to move the way you need to move warm-ups that don't reinforce any important principles conditioning that doesn't involve real strength trained functional fitness that doesn't involve real strength training spending countless hours but scooting across the mat pretending to stretch at the end of class instead of actually stretching pretending to do anything going through the motions of anything on the road to mediocrity when you should be pushing yourself to excellence my full list of junk training would depend on who I'm training right now most of the people I train put in between 4 to 10 hours a week at the gym that is not a lot with training time that limited you have to be extremely careful not to waste it with junk training I do what I can to maximize the efficiency of the classes I teach however there's always someone who thinks they're better off doing whatever their particular training hobby is within their comfort zone instead of learning how to sit out and finish a double leg takedown when the other guy tries to sprawl on them for example and then they get all bent out of shape when they get squashed by everybody and have no clue how to respond the next time they show up to train the I can make it on my own guy is a prime example of junk trading that I hate to see they feel like they're doing the work because they're hitting the bag they're skipping rope or whatever and they're getting tired and they're getting sweaty but at the end of the day they haven't learned anything about fighting now if this guy wants to do his routine as a supplementary workout outside of class time then cool that can actually be highly beneficial however time and time again I see these folks who think they're too cool for school and or too lacking in the emotional maturity required to take part in the learning process which involves getting your butt kicked over and over year after year the I already know how to do that guy is another guy to watch for to watch for notable examples of junk training when the coach tells them to do an exercise with the intention of reinforcing an important principle this guy will miss the forest for the trees usually doing it once or twice and then sitting on the sidelines chatting for the remainder of the time instead of using the time to learn and develop attributes I've even had a few of the I already know how to do that guys pay me for private lessons specifically to learn a certain technique and then flat-out refuse to do any of the exercises required to master the technique because they already knew how to do them up in their mind but not in their body to which I responded I don't care what you know the other person in the cage trying to hurt you doesn't care what you know the people watching the fight don't care what you know nobody gives a damn about the ideas in your head it's what you do that matters now do it so basically hiring a coach or trainer as a personal accessory / status symbol / ego booster and not actually following through with their coaching is some major junk training the I'll be ready when guy and his close cousin D I used to could guy are both frequent junk trainers they will spend more time talking your ear off about what they did in the past or what they plan to do in the future if and only if the planets happen to align in just the right way then they will actually doing anything athletic then you've got the speedbag wizards the jump rope queens the heavy bag hobbyists the traditional martial arts trickers the reality-based self-defense guys the everything always comes back to my favorite technique guy and a whole range of one-trick ponies who like the idea of MMA training but they'd rather show off what they already know and add anything new to their skill set that is junk training shadowboxing shadowboxing without visualization is junk training shadowboxing with proper visualization is game-changing good stuff in fact shadowboxing is so important the Jack Dempsey my personal favorite boxer of all time considered it second only to actual sparring in terms of importance for fighters but how often do you see people shadow boxing at that level as opposed to simply working up a sweat before doing their bad work how often have you shadow boxed at that level instead of just working up a sweat before your bag work focusing on form over function is junk training and I see this a lot with the concept of drilling here's why I take issue with semantics drilling is training of width resistance with a very specific goal here's an example drilling mount escapes the guy on the bottom tries to escape mount why the guy on the top tries to stay on top that's a drill but going through the motions to learn in your move or to focus on details you might have missed on a familiar technique is called a sequence both are important both are essential but sequencing is sometimes abused to the point of redundancy for example in traditional martial arts classes where more value is placed on doing nice-looking kata and pretty forms than actually knowing how to fight that is junk trained a lot of junk training stems from traditions built up around myths and misconceptions about training for example the popular idea that fighters need to do an intense eight-week training camp to whip themselves into shape before the big fight it's an old boxing tradition and it's a stupid one because MMA fighters compete year-round they simply cannot afford to let themselves get out of shape at any time instead of relying on a pre fight training camp to get fighting fit a good fighter needs to observe the simplest tenets of always be fit to fight always junk training also comes from hero worship specifically emulating habits or training methods from popular athletes without understanding why the athletes had those habits in the first place I've made a number of videos about punching with weights and I'm not a big fan and I got a lot of backlash because people said well I've seen this boxer and this boxer and this world champion punched with weights in his training to which I asked do you know why another great example of this is Taekwondo in the World Taekwondo Federation the kind you see in the Olympics a casual viewer will notice right away that many Taekwondo players spar with their hands down at their sides which seems to leave their heads completely unprotected and this looks patently absurd and in a very real way it is high level Taekwondo players use this strategy as a feint to tempt their opponent to throw a head kick so they can more easily time a counter mastering this style of fainting is quite difficult and it takes a great deal of time and practice meanwhile low level taekwondo players don't see the faints and counters instead they simply see their heroes dropping their hands so they do the same thing without the proper tools to back it up and that is most definitely junk training I could go on an additional tirade about all the specific myths gimmicks and ineffective time-wasting training equipment out there elevation training mask Syme looking at you asked me why in the comments but I'm more curious to hear your thoughts leave your ideas about junk training in the comments below let me know what you've seen at your gym or other gyms around you let me know what you've done what you've done in the past and what you're doing right now to fix that thanks for watching now get out there and train for anyone who stuck around this long I had to post this in that last Mount escape video I made I got quite a bit of backlash from people saying what if the guy posts up on one leg well remember your day one jujitsu shrimp hip escape just like Karen did right there if your opponent posts up on one leg when you are mounted that is a window to escape use it again thanks for watching now get out there and train


  1. In regards to the elevation training masks:

    Let me preface this by saying: if it gives you the result you want, then that's the right way, even it's a placebo.

    (1) It does not emulate elevation training (2) even if it did, real elevation training does not deliver what those manufacturers of those training masks claim it does.

    Those masks simply reduce the amount of air you can breath. If you have had issues with hyperventilating, sure, it might help you learn to unconsciously control your breathing, especially in a combat sports scenario where so many people find themselves hyperventilating and running on fumes. But that's not even remotely close to elevation training. If wearing the mask motivates you to work and push yourself in ways that you did not before, then there's the answer- it's a placebo. But like I said before, if the magic feather helps you to fly, then fly away!

    I spent almost three decades living and training at high altitude in the Rocky Mountains before moving to live at sea level in Shanghai. According to what the folks selling those masks say, I should have been a virtual super-man when I moved to sea level. But the truth is, the effects were adverse, I felt like I was sucking swamp water for the longest time, and it took me about 3 months to adapt to the negative changes.

    In all the studies I've read about elevation training, all the alleged potential advantages from high altitude training are lost within 3 days of returning to low elevation.

  2. Regular jumping jacks.
    Static stretching beforw a workout/warm-up.
    Kata without visualization and attempting to improve technique.
    I would say also Kung-fu wooden dummy practice, but I have never used one, so I don't know.
    Any form/technique that isn't effective in and of itself.

  3. Hey Ramsey, in this video you talk about how bad shadow boxing (without visualization) is junk training, but how good shadow boxing (with visualization) is essential. I would love to hear more about, good shadow boxing and what pitfalls to watch out for when doing shadow boxing. Thanks!

  4. In my karate days, my instructor would spend 20 mins on our forms and moves, then say, pick which parts you like and moves that work for you, and we all spar full contact. With the mindset that you arent shit if you arent fit enough to pull them off full contact. and the moves arent shit if they dont work well.

  5. I have a deep down feeling that this advise should be used in anything you want to achieve in live. Eliminate the junk and work on the things that will make it work or that will it make happen.
    Thanks for the inspiration

  6. i used to learn taekwondo and a bit of kendo in korea by a kwanjangnim(korean sensei). i didn't get to learn a lot because of the limited time i had before moving back to the states. the things i did get to learn were stuff that got me through school without any bs. however, that does make me wonder how far i would have actually gone with it. i didn't get to learn here in georgia because i lacked the ride and money for learning. instead, i practiced what i learned(again very limited). non of my friends knew any martial arts and weren't willing to try sparring with me. so i had to use the heavy bag and a foam padding i made with specific targets. i don't know what percent of it was junk since i'm an amateur and had to figure it out on my own. with that said, because of this limitation, i am much more proficient with a "wee pointy stick" than my punches and kicks lol

  7. Really enjoyed watching yourself and other people doing the training really inspirational

    Really enjoy your philosophy but I was struggling in this video to grasp your message

    This is my understanding of the video

    If you're training to fight/or just prefer martial arts as patterns

    You practice your technique to improve and you add new techniques to improve your overall style be firefighter or class martial arts artist

    But if you use other training which overtakes the foundations and the basics it becomes counterproductive waste of time and doesn't improve your technique

  8. Ramsey Dewey you need to Write a Book and Publish that Shit!
    I feel like I become a New Person everyday listening to You !

  9. Thanks for this Ramsey … you're an absolute inspiration! My story is a typical traditional martial arts one – imagine receiving a black belt in Shotokan Karate without ever having to do free-fighting, or display what a single move in a kata meant? Because this is what happened to me (I've made some significant changes in the years since). All the best from Germany 😀

  10. I went to a jujitsu school today. My 10 year old nephew was working out. Another parents screams out come on do this that choke him. My brother is a black belt and I have several black belts anyway my nephew calmly chokes the guys son out but the kid wouldn't tap fearing his phyco dad. I ran at the same time as the instructor to stop it. I felt bad for that kid. We train our children to be calm focused young men not phyco killers.

  11. Doing sit-ups or other forms of real strength training are not junk. But waiting 1/2 of your class on it is less than useful

  12. Earlier this year, I was visiting my old school and was surprised to see that they had completely changed the way that they trained (for the better). I was training at a new school in a different city, and I assumed that it was a good school because it was similar to what i used to do.

    But during my visit, i asked about the changes and the reasons for them. They worked to remove the junk and replace it with good fighting drills and sparring. This made me realize that I was attending a junk school.

    I now train at the MMA gym in town and it has shown me how wasted my years of "training" have been.

  13. What about grappling in the gi? I'm personally starting to feel negatively about it. I wouldn't call in junk training. More like training from a homerun derby using a wiffle ball and bat. I ask because I spared nogi for the first time ever and I felt like a fish out of water. Grips didn't transfer well. Just everything felt different. I really don't want to train gi anymore after the experience.

  14. I offer this w/ the greatest respect for you, but I think you're shooting the messenger here. From what I've seen of your vids and editorials you know your shit, but here's the real problem most instructors don't know their shit or figured out they went down the wrong path after it's too late (they've invested a big part of their life, spent much $$$, opened a school, and have presented themselves their persona in one way to their students-the one's that pay their bills). So Joe Snuffy known nothing student has to navigate the cesspool of online/youtube and corner Martial Art Studio BS. But how can he/she w/out some knowledge? And where do they go for the knowledge? To those same dumb-ass instructors. It's a vicious self-perpetuating cycle. Anyone reading that's willing to listen first figure out your goal. You do that yourself w/ research. Take your time. Really know what you want. Don't give anyone any money, and don't just go w/ the sound bite. Once you've truly figured out your goal then start researching instructors. This should be like choosing a Doctor, Therapist, or Lawyer. Do they teach to your goal? How long have they been doing that? What's their credentials/history? Is it just something they put on the sign in the window of their school or do they really do it. I also wouldn't get locked into some big long contract w/ auto debit and buy a bunch of uniforms.

  15. Man, I really wish I could join your gym. Gym's as good as yours are so hard to find. But I'm from another continent lol, cause I would have joined your gym. I did traditional karate and boxing and I can relate my trainings to a lot of your videos about the bad parts of most of the gyms

  16. What sorts of things do you see as very good training?

    I'm a 'shadowbox against impossible monsters' if I can't spar sort and get a lot out of it, but definitely could use more good options.

    I have a hard time with speed bags, heavy bags, and the like because they become predictable (our cerebellum is amazing) and I really prefer the randomness, but don't see much out there that's like a punching bag that's constantly dodging you and surprising you.

  17. I want to train under you. I train Muay Thai mostly, and I love it. But sometimes, I feel stagnated. We spar a lot, and that's where I focus on working on making myself as ready for a fight as I possibly can be. I work on what I know, I attempt to implement what I learn, and I try to make sense of what I don't know or understand fully. I try and record myself to analyze what I do and then change, but I feel like I can grow better under another environment. I take my instructors lessons, I'm always ready to learn. I want what I take my time to train to matter. my city is small, and it's kind of hard to find a good place to train. My gym is moving locations as well, and that's really going to put a hamper on me. I'll have to move gyms.

  18. 1:15 I’m not a fighter, I know very little about combat sports and I’m the last person who should be armchair martial artist but meia lua de compassos are kind of my thing. If I may offer some constructive criticism I would suggest throwing it with knees and a trunk that are more bent. You seem like a tall guy. If your trunk is lower to the ground you will get more speed and torque. And if you stay low when the kick is completed your chin won’t be so vulnerable. this is a great example. Notice how deep between his feet he plants his hand before letting the kick go.

  19. When you realize you are the "only if the planets align" guy, need to get off my ass and do something. Ramsey do you think i could still become a professional mma fighter at the age of 22 with no real training so far?

  20. As a 'lard ass' I know you cannot do certain moves without the adequate strength, flexibility and muscle memory. To be become 'a fighter' I'd have to work to my current abilities. If I was paying for 'martial arts classes' I have to accept that if I'm not up to task and not doing the required preparation outside class, the teacher will have to waste their time (and my money) getting my body into the right condition instead of teaching me 'fighting' skills. To me Kata is a meditation. Coupled with correct breathing and technique it has value but probably not MMA value.

  21. Junk training is anything that doesn't have specificity towards advancing a skill- regardless of whether you're lifting weights, hitting the heavy bag, jumping rope, doing hill sprints, or even sparring/rolling, if you don't have a specific goal in mind beyond the general concept of an exercise, and merely include them in your regimen at an arbitrary level, while you might get better at the individual things those exercises are meant to tackle, you absolutely need to have a long term game-plan in terms of why you're doing them in order to either sharpen an already existing skill, or strengthen a weakness in your present skill-set. Lift weights to better develop a mind-muscle connection, hit the heavy bag to sharpen your technique, jump rope to improve footwork, do hill sprints to improve your cardio so that you can spar longer, and when you spar do so with the goal of increasing your situational awareness and "fight IQ"

  22. Hi, Ramsey. Love the channel. Question: What do you think of Tan Tui (springing legs) from Long Fist Kung Fu? Is it junk training?

    If you don't know them, they are 12 scripted moving combos that Long Fisters are suppose to drill constantly.

  23. Another great video i always learn something when i watch your videos as far as my personal growth i am finding the cause of my ignorance about alot of things i know i have bad habits im trying to break and some of those bad habits i have had has gave me limits that limit me physically i just hope i can overcome them

  24. Patterns/kata whatever you want to call them are useless without a full break down of what each move is is it a block an attack or an evasive manouver. The only time I have seen it being effective was when there was an attacker working with the defender working in tandem clearly demonstrating the what & why, then it makes sense (sometimes). Most black belts will do a 45-99 move pattern easily and make it look pretty good, then ask them what a particular move is for & then all you get is either a blank look or some vague bullshit. Like anything else if its not taught well then its useless. If you don't know what it is for either find out or take up knitting, In 30 years of taekwondo a spinning back fist, front , side spinning heel, turning kick are all effective the rest of its rubbish in a fight situation,Thankfully I mixed it up with boxing, kickboxing and now grappling to at least make sure its not been a waste of time.Throw away your belts guys they are a money spinner nothing more or less.

  25. Great vid, well reasoned and logically presented (as ever).
    I admire your fluidity and footwork, very impressive.
    I have a question that you might consider (not entirely germane but worth an answer, I hope?).
    Here tiz'…As you grow older, obviously your physical ability, suppleness and reaction times are going to deteriorate; so the question is, as you move into your 60's and thereafter, how do you envisage your training/practice evolving?
    (Now, I know that there are some people who just defy the norms for their advanced years, Dan Inosanto springs to mind, and while I wish the same for you, eventually the years will tell)

    So, do you have a plan/ any particular art in mind?
    Regards and as always, Pax Vobiscum Dude

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