What Type of Mind-set is needed to be Successful in MMA? A Guest Post by Raymond from ZenMyFitness

Raymond Ho is a legend – Fact. This man is my training yoda. If you enjoy going to the gym as much as I do, then his blog ZenMyFitness is a fantastic read. He mixes the spiritual and mental aspect of working out with the physical to give you a a complete and satisfying outlook on your training regime. Raymond is pretty new with MMA, but has an interesting, unique outlook on MMA.

Check out this fantastic entry…

Once you enter the Octagon there is no turning back!

Sounds very dramatic doesn’t it?

Don’t take it lightly nor should anybody else who decides to enter the ring without serious consideration of what might occur. Train all you like, have a few bouts but the cage is where your mind journey begins by acknowledging the outcomes and its consequences of this brutal sport.


An Essential Sport?

Yes, to us mere mortals it looks just like a brawl. However, to a fighter on stage it expresses not only a basic extinct to survive but as an MMA fighter they see it as an opportunity not to fear pain but to embrace it. Something not all of us possess but we can get a snap shot of how MMA fighters think.

Only the slightest twist of thoughts and we turn one of the fastest growing sports in the world into an Art. We could create analogies with respect to Lao Tzu’s “The Art of War” or give it a Zen spin of words but I think its best not to follow the obvious.

I prefer to have a different understanding of the possible outcomes and no better than to look out of the same corner of a “Cut-man”. A cut-man is a person responsible for preventing and treating the physical damage to a fighter during the breaks between rounds of a full contact bout.

The rules of full contact sports stipulate that these injuries can cause a premature match stoppage, which counts as a loss to the injured fighter. The cut-man is therefore essential to the fighter and can be a decisive factor in the outcome of the match.

These cut-men (not the ringside Doctor) typically handle cuts like swelling, nosebleeds and lacerations. A famous cut-man is Jacob “Stitch” Duran who has patched up many fighters in his time. His career experience ranges everything from Thai Boxing to the current MMA.

A quote from Stitch “… MMA is far bloodier than boxing. These guys will have multiple cuts to the middle of their forehead or their scalp. Head cuts bleed a lot. And the cuts are deeper, because of the elbows and knees. It’s bone on bone!”

So let’s look at some of the outcomes through Stitch’s eyes. In a match where Corey Hill broke his leg in two against Dale Hartt. Firstly, a cut-man could not do anything anyhow. All Stitch could do was comfort him.

Corey’s leg was literally separated in two, his foot going another way. It even freaked Stitch out, a veteran of the game. The psychology and fighters mind-set is extremely important to live and breathe every day for him to succeed. It’s not just something you turn off or on.

Corey looked at Stitch while lying there and says “Stitch, I almost had him”.

Now that’s the mind-set of a warrior and you need to carry that throughout a fighter’s life. Battle scars can be expected and even immortalised. Forest Griffin took a cut right between the eyes in a match against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Blood everywhere but Stitch waved his magic and the blood disappeared and enabled Forest to continue his epic battle. It was a great fight to watch, it got the point where they both had little energy left and barely could keep their hands up for guard.

Watch this video and you can see even though their attempts to bludgeon each other with hands, feet and elbows they still manage to carry this surprising respect for each other throughout the match.

An unbelievable frame of mind when somebody is trying to knock port holes into you.

In fact if you look at the cover of the video game “UFC 2009 Undisputed” it clearly shows that head cut.

Is MMA just a hybrid mixture of wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, boxing and kick boxing or could it really be an Art? Apply the right amount of philosophy and thought into it and not only is it a meaningful test of skill and strength but most importantly, you develop a modern day warrior’s mind-set.

The team here at MMA UK would like to thank Raymond for contributing such a fantastic article to the blog. You can check out more of his insightful views at Zenmyfitness



  1. […] This is a guest post I did recently for MMA UK Blog. […]

  2. MMA is great. It may be brutal, but it is also an art. It is so much more exciting to watch than boxing. I have great respect for the athletes and the amazing condition they get into in order to compete.

  3. Great post from Raymond! He really has a way with words and understands what it takes to be a successful fighter. I have been in many Tae Kwon Do matches and got kicked in the head with a few spinning hook kicks that dropped me to the mat. It isn’t as brutal as mma but you still need to be in the right mindset nonetheless or you will get your head kicked in!

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