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JKD UnderGround >> World Class


1/24/10 11:09 AM
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Joe Maffei
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This JKD forum at times will address combat sports, which is based on competition and athletes. Some choose to do it for mainly fun while others want to go as far as they can to become world class.

Becoming a world class competitor regardless of whether it’s Combat sports or Tennis is a long an tedious road, more then the average person can fathom. It takes sacrifice well beyond what most are willing to do. You are gambling your life, betting on yourself and in the end you may come out the loser.

Only those who have become ranked in the top 3 truly understand. It’s very easy to SAY I know what it takes, but in reality you don’t, because you never have done it.

How many of you think you can attain world class status?
1/24/10 12:07 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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1/24/10 7:09 PM
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WidespreadPanic
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Edited: 01/24/10 7:14 PM
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 Joe, since you're a Mod here what you say goes.

BUT, I'd submit that becoming world class is only worth the money you make while reigning at the top.

1. Careers are short, injuries high
2. Who cares if you're world class? Just your opponent. World class MA get mugged and killed all the time.
3. It's really only about the average person elevating their skills, abilities, attributes, understanding and technique above what they had when they started. MA is almost totally about SELF-improvement.
4. If you think, you -need- MA for Self-Defense, hire a bodyguard, get a GUN or buy an attack dog and take it with you everywhere.
5. Many bad guys are predator-types. Most MA are college-educated people (civilians) who were bullied or who went into MA when they realized could not succeed in team sports.

$0.02
   
1/24/10 8:18 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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WP, I don't believe that athletes who aspire to Olympic level are necessarily looking for money. The drive has to be much deeper and more heartfelt to make the necessary investment and personal sacrifice.

 

1/24/10 9:15 PM
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WidespreadPanic
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Edited: 01/24/10 9:16 PM
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Paul Hopkins - 

WP, I don't believe that athletes who aspire to Olympic level are necessarily looking for money. The drive has to be much deeper and more heartfelt to make the necessary investment and personal sacrifice.  

Olympic athletes are among the genetically gifted. Yes, there are some who don't get big endorsements but many do. I really think there are amateur athletes who train as hard, but who aren't gifted. There are cyclists who haven't missed a day of training for 10-15 years and never got close to qualifying for the Olympics. There are amateur bodybuilders who never win a trophy but who train compulsively.

There are a lot of amateur MA who deal with injuries, no fame, no glory, never win a comp. who train hard, diet hard, but have to work a 9-5 job. There are those who cut back on work just to train. Their drive may be deeper than many gifted Olympics athletes. At age 50-55+ I train on the bike daily, watch my diet while most Olympic athletes have retired and gotten fat and lazy.

Also we're talking cage fighters, I thought. Many dedicated MA came along and peaked in the 80s and missed knowing how to train like we know now, doing a lot of TMA stuff and are now too old to do MMA.

Consider guys with little genetics, or even above average skill, who didn't know about BJJ, didn't have good instructors, and worked day jobs, yet still trained, still tried, did most of it all by themselves, discovering you need to do boxing, wrestling, never got a trophy or any money, or fame or notoriety. IMO they far surpass the 'roid using, genetically advantaged Olympic athletes in EVERY category, of dedication and self-sacrifice. Their ONLY motivation was internal.

 
1/24/10 11:30 PM
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laqueus
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I think I've got a shot at becoming world class at long distance running, as I've got a knack for it. BJJ possibly too. MMA, or anything striking based, hell no.
1/25/10 8:52 AM
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Joe Maffei
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WP you are right about many average athletes who are committed and devoted to a goal, train everyday and never win a thing which should not be overlooked and should be respected for their effort.

Then there are those who are gifted the 1%, those who are the best of the best. Not one who wins once, but those who consistently win 1,2,3 in their class. These are the folks I am talking about. The one's who have put it all together, It is difficult to discuss the subject if you have never put it all together to attain Champion status, sure there are those who have tried extremely hard, but somewhere along the line something was not right, talent, the training center, the chosen coach etc. Whatever it was that held them back, they still didn't arrive in the top when judged by their piers to become the top in the world. To attain this level everything must be done right, and doing it right is very hard to imagine.....:)

Laqueus, best of luck bro...:)
1/25/10 9:02 AM
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laqueus
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Joe Maffei - 
Laqueus, best of luck bro...:)


Thanks! Luck is probably as important as talent, hard work, and good coaching when it comes to that level.
1/25/10 11:29 AM
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laqueus - I think I've got a shot at becoming world class at long distance running, as I've got a knack for it. BJJ possibly too. MMA, or anything striking based, hell no.
You're running 13:15 3Ks in training? Ya know, even the women's WR is 14:11. If you're running anywhere near that you should drop the MA shite and run.


 
1/25/10 11:41 AM
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Joe Maffei - Then there are those who are gifted the 1%, those who are the best of the best. Not one who wins once, but those who consistently win 1,2,3 in their class. These are the folks I am talking about. The one's who have put it all together, It is difficult to discuss the subject if you have never put it all together to attain Champion status, sure there are those who have tried extremely hard, but somewhere along the line something was not right, talent, the training center, the chosen coach etc.
I don't get the purpose of this thread.

There are some monumentally STUPID world class athletes who could not train someone to be in the top 1-5%. They just do what their coach tells them and rely on genetics.

In fact there are world class athletes who do all the WRONG STUFF and still succeed.

AND, most world class athletes from Mary Decker to Carl Lewis (to Bruce Lee for you JKD guys) have done PEDs. How can you even put them in the same class as an amateur who raced or trained clean?

MANY coaches know exactly what it takes to be world class (they'd better) and MANY people who miss the team (less gifted but train harder, maybe) know more about pulling it together - they are just not consistent enough. The 1 percenters are gifted, and lucky and have all the advantages. Big deal.

A lot of athletes don't really know the sport that well until they retire, being young and inexperienced and riding the wave when they made records. They become coaches. Bela Karolyi? He's not a women's gymnast, but he's got the right stuff to coach them to the top.

Also, if you have to be WC to understand the topic, how does the OP, understand it? So why discuss it further. So far I don't see any 'in depth' info, just platitudes, no offense.

1/25/10 12:27 PM
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Joe Maffei
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The purpose of this thread is to help anyone who aspires to take there sport to the top level, hopefully others might chime in who have already done this, maybe a few stories on what they did or the sacrifice they made so that an upcoming champ may compare his/her lifestyle to those who have managed to climb to the top and the newbi's can do a self assessment.

What this thread is not for is to create accuses why a person may not climb to the top of there sport.

WP, perhaps you have no ambition to be the best in the world and you are content to be the best "You" can be. That's cool. But there maybe others, perhaps some young bucks who want to be the next Dan Gable, Michael Jordan, GSP, and they might like to have a heads up to what these champs had to give up and endure. . This is where I would like to see this thread go...:)
1/25/10 8:06 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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 First and foremost comes desire. There are countless stories of people who have overcome physical and/or mental obstacles to come out on top.

Just as there are some with handicaps or disabilities who refuse to accept defeat so to we find others who squander their genetic gifts of speed, strength, intelligence or what have you.

To me a champion is one who never gave up.

Although you may die trying, "never reach the top", if you have a mission and you set your mind to it there is no one or no thing that will turn your attention aside.


1/25/10 10:35 PM
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Joe Maffei - The purpose of this thread is to help anyone who aspires to take there sport to the top level, hopefully others might chime in who have already done this, maybe a few stories on what they did or the sacrifice they made so that an upcoming champ may compare his/her lifestyle to those who have managed to climb to the top and the newbi's can do a self assessment.

Well, then in my opinion this thread is a massive fail and will remain so. The 1% who are at the top or know do NOT post on forums - they train and are probably going to be obsessed.

BUT you don't have to be a 1%-er to know what it takes. You can read biographies (Lance Armstrong, Bruce Jenner), you can research on PubMed and read up on it.

AND, no 1% with 'secret knowledge is going to tell anyone how to get that edge on a public forum. They'll either sell their wares or lecture after they retire or keep it a secret. They will not want their opponents to read their performance tips and gain an edge.

I do think there are a lot of amateurs who have valuable tips and can talk about the 'HOW' of training. How you get up in the morning and train, how you monitor your progress, see your peaks, HOW you taper. These basics are FAR more important and elucidating than some 1%-er's tricks, imo.

HTH.
1/25/10 11:33 PM
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WidespreadPanic
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BTW, one of the world's best trainers and diet and nutrition gurus is Lyle McDonald. And though he is decent at his sport (speed skating) he is not even close world class - but he can recognize it and he can be a WC guru to any athlete that is serious about the specifics of nutrition.

He does not need to be WC himself, physically. Most coaches or many will actually specialize and top athletes have several coaches. A diet coach, a 'psych' coach, a sports specific coach and a general coach. Nobody can be world class at everything...or few can. Even Angelo Dundee employed specific trainers, though he oversaw everything.

Look at Helio. He was not really 'world-class' He was frail and had to use his mind. But he created WC players (his sons).

$0.02

1/26/10 12:04 AM
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laqueus
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WidespreadPanic - 
laqueus - I think I've got a shot at becoming world class at long distance running, as I've got a knack for it. BJJ possibly too. MMA, or anything striking based, hell no.
You're running 13:15 3Ks in training? Ya know, even the women's WR is 14:11. If you're running anywhere near that you should drop the MA shite and run.


 


I haven't timed 3Ks. I'm aiming for ultramarathons, so right now it's just about progressively doing longer distances without feeling worn out. Once I start hitting the 80KM range I'm going to look at upping my speed.

Running is definitely my backup plan, I've got a bad neck, so I might have to pull out of MA competition altogether.
1/26/10 12:15 AM
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laqueus
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Joe Maffei - The purpose of this thread is to help anyone who aspires to take there sport to the top level, hopefully others might chime in who have already done this, maybe a few stories on what they did or the sacrifice they made so that an upcoming champ may compare his/her lifestyle to those who have managed to climb to the top and the newbi's can do a self assessment.


Some of this is natural gifts. For instance swimmers, they all have a certain build. Michael Phelps has pretty much the ideal build - very tall, big hands, big feet. If you don't have that, you're not going to be a world class swimmer. In kickboxing, a good chin would come in as well - look at how far Mark Hunt got simply on account of his granite jaw (yes he trained hard too, but he wasn't on the technical level of Bonjasky or Hoost). The reason I'm thinking I have a shot at long distance running is also genetics, when my dad was in the army he always beat everyone else by a long margin in the 20k runs, I'm also able to do long distance runs with no training and not even putting a solid method into it, I'm tall, and I don't weigh much. That's a lot going in my favour for becoming world class. All I need to do now is train. Someone who's short, naturally big, weighing in around 220lbs, like Jeff Monson, just isn't going to be able to do what I do.

That's rather hard to get around - being world class is about identifying what your body is naturally suited to, and what your gifts are, and training that. If you train something you're not gifted in, you're not going to be world class. You can do this for almost any sport. Weight classes of course make it a lot easier for more people to be world class, but you're still looking at other factors. BJ Penn's flexibility lets him do things other people just can't. Nogueira's chin let him submit people even if his guard game wasn't quite good enough for someone without the chin.
1/26/10 8:35 AM
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WidespreadPanic
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laqueus -
Some of this is natural gifts. For instance swimmers, they all have a certain build. Michael Phelps has pretty much the ideal build - very tall, big hands, big feet. If you don't have that, you're not going to be a world class swimmer. In kickboxing, a good chin would come in as well - look at how far Mark Hunt got simply on account of his granite jaw (yes he trained hard too, but he wasn't on the technical level of Bonjasky or Hoost).
Good example(s). In fact, I sometimes wonder if sometimes a person gifted in a particular sport actually takes up the wrong one. I've heard of alpine skiiers hurting themselves - not a catastrophic injury but enough to hamper them, going into cycling and doing phenomenally well. If the person had not been injured, they'd have been a top pro skiier, but not a champion. But due to the injury, they 'find' their true calling and become a champion in a different sport.
 
1/26/10 1:19 PM
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Joe Maffei
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There was this young Athlete I new back in the day, very gifted the 1% who excelled in every sport he tried, extremely coordinated, stronger, faster, then most his age. The norm was competing with other kids much older and bigger in advanced divisions. From youth football right through high school he played both sides, punter, kicker, quarter back, captain, he was voted all around gymnast, voted most talented, the kid had it all, but there was one sport he really excelled at "skating".
Starting at age 7 this boy competed in every tournament his dad could find and fighting it every step of the way, eventually becoming the best in the state, then the best in the region, and finally competing with the top 26 in the country where he took 2nd place in the tiny-tot National division. The next year he moved up a division with older kids, he won the state, regional, and again taking a 2nd at the Nationals.

At such a young age it was difficult, he was made to go to practice before school then return to the rink for 6/10hr of practice after school 7 days a week, tournaments on the weekends, sleeping in cars and tenting in campsites, This was a hard life for a little boy especially with a father with strap in hand and who would not take no for an answer,(former Army)
In the old days it was not uncommon to catch a spanking or get the belt if you misbehaved or resisted. Fear was a great motivator.

Disappointed with the 2nd place this boy was determined and practiced harder then ever, supplementing his training with additional sports and music. He went on to win six consecutive U.S. National Championships, voted skater of the year and went on to be inducted into the Hall of fame. He was the only person ever to place or win in every single division from bottom to top.
The end came when he took 2nd place in the senior division against a man that had been his idol growing up. This man was the undisputed 3 time world champion. The young boy was befriended by the champ years earlier The boy would watch and try to imitate the champ's style and moves.
Prior to the boy entering the top division "senior" the champ told the boy this was his last year, he would be retiring and that the senior division belonged to the young kid. Unfortunately that was not the case, the next year the champ despite what he told the boy showed up to the nationals.
Disappointed and a little betrayed, the boy was excited to compete against his idol. The stage was set, the 2 best free skaters on the planet, "the young vs the old"

The boy skated a perfect program, his idol made a few slips. The boy lost by 1/100th of a point to take 2nd place and was very happy with his performance.
Later that night one of the judges told the boy's dad that his son really won, but they had to give it to the champ because this was his last year.
The rigid rod of reality hit, politics, unfairness, all crushed the boy's sprit and he never competed again and went on to rebelling and living a wild lifestyle.

Till this day I believe the now grown man regrets retiring from skating, but understands that the world is sometimes unfair and full of disappointments but the lessons he learned from his dad of total commitment, relentless practice, discipline, and follow through are what it takes not only to be a champion in any given sport, but to endure a balanced life.
Young Athletes engage in sports with high expectations of fortune and fame, there is a lot more to it then just wanting.

2% inspiration
98% perspiration
Edison
1/27/10 12:48 AM
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laqueus
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If it's really that, I figure if you take 100 kids and try to push them as hard as that kid was pushed, not even 10 of them would be as successful. Also, how many kids like that actually make it to the real top? They might be tearing it up as kids, but what about facing the adults?
1/27/10 10:50 AM
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Adam Singer
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Malcom Gladwell Outliers
1/28/10 9:51 AM
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Joe Maffei
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So Adam, what did you get out of malcom;s book?
2/1/10 11:05 PM
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WidespreadPanic
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 One thing that rankles me is that some world class cyclists will retire while still having incredible skill, able to win nearly any race they enter (such as various US races).

But because they can't win the top races (like the TdF) squander their talent, get busted for doing recreational drugs, and tarnish the sport and disappoint their fans. (Jan Ullrich is one example).

Many rec riders and even Cat 1 pros would kill to win some of the races but you have guys with talent out the wazoo who thinks various domestic races are 'beneath them'.

I thought at one point that Lance was going to be like this. But no, he came back and tried to win Leadville, came in second, trained harder and won the next year by 15 minutes. He even took up running marathons and got a sub-3hr time at NY.

He plans to keep riding and doing triathlons and even doing the Ironman. Yes he's driven to win but he also has a wider understanding and an appreciation of his own ability and even his limitations.

Also, IMO, the real winners in sport are those who never give up, even if they don't have great talent, such as the woman Ironman who finished with an artificial leg. (Sarah Reinertsen)

$0.02

2/4/10 9:42 AM
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Joe Maffei
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WP right on bro, Lance, is something else...?, disabled folks, who ever finds that obsession to push themselves over and beyond human capacity is world class, some of those folks who have survived beneath the ruble in Haiti for weeks are going beyond capacity. I started this thread do to kids with all the potential in the world who are lazy with training but think they are doing enough to get to the top. they still party, still drink, but expect to win, while there are those who are driven well beyond what most believe they can do.

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