MMA Myth - Practice Makes Perfect...

by Marcos Avellan |

Marcos Avellan, along with his brother David, founded South Florida's Freestyle Fighting Academy (FFA) in 2001, and has trained fighters for the UFC, WEC, Bodogfight, EliteXC, Strikeforce, and dozens of other promotions. He is a writer for the website and is a leading expert in combat mental training.

An important idea to focus on when drilling is that each repetition is special. Each repetition is unique and needs to be hit with 100% ferocity. Too many times I see people get into a training rhythm, where they sluggishly push through a hundred reps, keeping a consistent pace that isn't a fight pace. When drilling technique, take a moment to appreciate what is about to happen, visualize you are in a fight, and fire full speed ahead! If you are drop dead tired - even better! If you feel a knot in your stomach and are dizzy, get up and visualize you are in a fight right now and that there is thirty seconds left in the fifth round of the title fight... and FIRE!!! If your goal with the martial arts is self-defense, then visualize someone has home invaded into your house with a knife, you managed to disarm his knife, you are exhausted, and this man is still pushing forward, trying to kill you and get to your wife and children behind you, who are screaming in the background... you need to finish this double leg with 100% ferocity! That sort of imagination is necessary with EVERY REPETITION if you want to see real gains in your technique.

You must treat every repetition as if it were the most important repetition of your life - and you must have utmost disdain for the less than awesome repetition. When counting repetitions, for every bad repetition I do, that erases ten good ones from my count... this way I can erase the bad repetition from my muscle memory and make sure that this form of punishment keeps my body and mind focused on each repetition. All it takes if for you to get lazy with one repetition... before you know it, every repetition gets lazy. Remember the old expression, "Practice Makes Perfect"... well, it is NOT true... it's PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! Think about that and what it means...

When doing drilling sessions involving several different drills, I recommend always starting with your weakest drill first. For instance, if you want to drill 100 double leg takedowns and 100 arm spin takedowns and the arm spin is your weaker takedown, I recommend drilling the arm spins first, then the double legs after. The more energy you have, the easier it is to focus on your technique. Furthermore, if you are like and like to drill both sides of a move, then I'll start with my weak side first. Going back to the double leg example, I would first shoot a hundred doubles with my left lead (my weaker lead) and the second batch of a hundred with my right lead (my strong side).

I can keep on going on this topic but we’ll stop here for now.  Come back to this site and stay tuned for my next article!  If you would like to learn more, you can visit my site at

Marcos Avellan

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Recent Comments »

tatooedMillionaire site profile image  

1/10/13 11:33 PM by tatooedMillionaire

that classroom video talking about the different ways you can strike and use techniques was amazing, wish I could find it again it makes me want to go back to boxingtbig fan of you and your brother keep up the good work

gooddoc site profile image  

1/10/13 11:28 PM by gooddoc

Well played

Marcos Avellan site profile image  

1/10/13 11:25 PM by Marcos Avellan

Thank you very much everybody for the comments, much appreciated!

El Brocko site profile image  

1/9/13 10:29 PM by El Brocko

This series gets better and better with every installment. Priceless reading material for any martial artist.

clem site profile image  

1/9/13 8:00 PM by clem

Atta boy Marcos!.i enjoy all your work. I have been killing sacred cows the last yr+ and this fits right in! WAR selfawareness!!

AstroGirl site profile image  

1/9/13 6:57 PM by AstroGirl

Great article! Thanks for posting. I say this quite often when I coach..."what sort of practise makes perfect? do you think bad practise makes perfect?, perfect practise makes perfect!" Train the way you want to fight.

newjack900 site profile image  

1/9/13 6:26 PM by newjack900

I dedicated a huge portion of my life to basketball until I graduated from college and then got into coaching. This motto of 'practice makes perfect' is just as myth in that world as well. I believe anything technique-oriented must be practiced w as much attention to detail as possible (w thousands of hours of repetition). I have never grappled, but much like other sports, I'm guessing size-strength-athleticism-natural ability-early success can often stray a student away from this attention to detail. BJJ can get this point across because it's such a humbling sport. I don't know if there are as many bs excuses heard in a BJJ gym as a bball gym.

juszczec site profile image  

1/9/13 10:28 AM by juszczec

I've heard this statement before and I agree with it.There's also a corollary - practice makes permanent. Don't believe me? How many TMA guys who've started cross training instinctively jerk the hand back to "chamber" after a punch?*raises hand*I gotta watch it. All the time. Practice makes permanent.

Jason Reinhardt site profile image  

1/9/13 10:24 AM by Jason Reinhardt

what a great article by an amazing martial artist...marcos avellan

WidespreadPanic site profile image  

1/9/13 10:15 AM by WidespreadPanic

This is NOT the problem. The problem is going from condition Green to Condition Red.All too often we end up being stunned witnesses, watching things go down right in front of us and being unable to ramp it up and fight back.Once you are fighting back, you keep at it and your training kicks in.But going past the social convention of entering the rage state is very DIFFICULT.