Category Archives: Combat Sport

Thirteen Reasons MMA Fighters Need to Crosstrain in T’ai Chi

Mixed Martial Artists are always looking for a competitive edge. They’re constantly checking out the latest in sport nutrition and the first to explore a new workout or training routine. They need to be on top of all the trends in order to stay competitive in their sport.

Like its name implies, Mixed Martial Arts was founded on the idea of taking skills and training methods from all the fighting sciences and then combining them to create the best sport-combat strategy possible. They carefully select the most proven methods and use them in order to prepare themselves for the ring.

However, there’s one training method that seems to have been overlooked. -Or at least no one’s been willing to talk about it… until now!

I discovered this ‘secret method’ years ago while I was preparing to enter the ring for a kickboxing match.

My previous fight hadn’t gone very well and I was really tight and nervous. Before the fight, one of my trainers, Jerry Cheng, took me to an open room and led me through some T’ai Chi exercises that his father had taught him. He had me start by slowly circling my neck and shoulders, then proceeded with a routine that worked its way down my body; gently moving my arms, torso, hips, knees, ankles and feet until every muscle was stretched and warmed up. Even better, my mind began to relax and I was able to focus on the fight ahead.

I fought very well that night, easily winning by TKO in the second round. I felt loose, aware, and relaxed the entire time. To this day, I still credit T’ai Chi with helping me win that fight.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “T’ai Chi? You mean that slow-motion thing that old people do in the park on Saturday afternoons? How could that possibly help me in the ring?”

Well, here’s the deal, I know MMA looks a lot different than T’ai Chi. You have to hit really hard and really fast, while T’ai Chi moves softly and slowly. I know you practice grappling skill on the ground (Sometimes for hours on end), while T’ai Chi is all about standing and rooting in place. (So, it’s not the actual techniques but the training methods that make T’ai Chi so valuable to fighters.)

I’m not going to tell you that T’ai Chi can replace any of the bagwork, focus pads, or sparring that you currently do, but I can tell you that T’ai Chi can bring incredible benefits to your training. It’s the perfect supplement workout for anyone who’s serious about MMA competition and it’s benefits are something you just can’t afford to ignore.

Here are my thirteen top reasons why you NEED to crosstrain in T’ai Chi if you’re a competitive fighter…

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