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UnderGround Forums >> The Self-Taught Champion - Fact or Fiction?

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7/3/12 12:07 PM
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Underground Blog
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MixedMartialArts.com
 

This UBGB (Underground Blog Guest Blogger) is by David Avellan. Along with his brother Marcos, 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.

Everyone loves a rag-to-riches story.

Fighters such as former UFC Champion Evan Tanner had learned much of what he knew training on his own. Evan was famous for studying instructional books, videos, and even getting into bar fights to practice his techniques!

But that was over a decade ago before the evolution of MMA. Is that still possible today?

YES.

In fact, I would dare say that it would be easier now than ever before.

How come?

There are so many more resources available to the public now that in the past were guarded secrets. With the growth of the internet and MMA community, it is even possible to be trained online for free by world class instructors such as UFC sensation Alan Belcher, America's Jiu-Jitsu Coach Lloyd Irvin, and my brother Marcos and I.

If that is true, wouldn't there be thousands of UFC keyboard warrior champions?

LOL! The beginner's folly is to think that knowing enough technique is all it takes to become the best.

When I started competing in grappling, I didn't have a BJJ instructor. I didn't know how to do an Omo Plata, or how to sweep from the half guard. In fact, I didn't even train with the GI.

Yet, I was able to defeat BJJ Black Belt World Champions such as Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu, Alexandre "Xande" Ribeiro, Rafael Lovato Jr., and Rener Gracie.

I didn't have access to all the talent and resources that these individuals had, yet I still was able to defeat them.

How?

One thing, and one thing alone will decide your fate - your mind.

You can have all the talent, resources, and techniques in the world, but without the proper mindset you are doomed to fail.

Somehow, this all important fact is lost on 97% of people.

The most important thing I learned from my high school wrestling days was not a double leg shot, it was the principles of champions.

The first and most important of these principles is very simple. Most people know about this principle, but have never bothered to use it. They think they understand it, but they really don't.

If you want to be a self-made champ, you HAVE to follow this principle to the letter:

Written Goals
We all have heard about goal setting many times throughout our lives, yet I know very few people who actually do it.

To understand the importance of goals, let me give you an example.

Say we have the Guinness book of world records archery champion. The guy is so good that he can hit a grain of salt in mid-air. Now I blind fold him, spin him in circles and tell him to hit a target I never showed him in the first place.

You think he has a chance of hitting a target he doesn't know exists? Very, very slim.

You see, it doesn't matter how good you are. If you don't know what you want, you are not going to get it. This is why it is crucial to set goals and write them on paper.

If you say you understand the concept of goal setting, but that you don't need to write down goals - you don't understand the concept! Writing down the goals is important and makes the goal real.

Goals need to be written in specific detail. Just saying that you want to be the best is not enough. Think about:
•Exactly what you want to achieve
•When you want to have completed your goal
•How you will feel obtaining it
•The price you will have to pay to succeed

Once you have thought through this and KNOW exactly what you want, then you must write it out. It is good practice to write your goals as if you already have achieved them. Think of it as if you are in the future, writing down a journal entry just after completing your goal. Insert as much emotion into the writing as possible, as emotions are the strongest motivators to action that we have.

Next, you need to read your goals out loud to yourself every day. Each time you do this you are programming yourself - reaffirming your belief that you can achieve your goal. When you read your goal, it is important that you do so with a positive state of mind. If you just read the goal without emotion, it will do very little to help.

Finally, I go an extra step and tell everyone what I plan on doing. That way, I'm now accountable for my actions. Most people feel uncomfortable doing that, but as you will learn later, being uncomfortable is crucial for growth.

I will post more principles over the next few days and give you time to digest the material. Remember, just reading this is not going to help you. Many people say that knowledge equals power, but that is false. Applied knowledge equals power. So go and apply this principle!

Believe and Achieve,

David Avellan

P.S. > Do you write goals? If not, what is stopping you? Let me know, as I want to know all the reasons (good or bad) why people don't do it.


7/3/12 12:15 PM
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Kirik
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Man, I have been exposed to the ABCs of goal setting and their relatinship to sports at least since I was 19 (a guy in track I knew had a whole book he made of it).

But I never embraced it, until I read this.
7/3/12 12:50 PM
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rampageforpresident
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Between this and the cuban boxing blog yesterday, the avellan bros. are dropping knowledge.gracias gentlemen.
7/3/12 12:55 PM
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AJS19ad6
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sub Phone Post
7/3/12 1:18 PM
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TJits73
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7/3/12 1:24 PM
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Logan131
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7/3/12 1:24 PM
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JM
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7/3/12 1:35 PM
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Mixed Martial Farts
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 Ahem, Rich Franklin....
7/3/12 1:42 PM
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antoniomontana
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ttt
7/3/12 2:12 PM
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The Engineer
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Standard info in any goal setting book. Still true none the less. More people need exposure to this kind of info since our public schools are now shit and don't teach life skills like this.

Good job UG, keep it coming.

No better community to lift up than the MMA community!
7/3/12 2:37 PM
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paw
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 nice post
7/3/12 3:14 PM
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The Wallabee Kingpin
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With the black belt psy webinar and hearing keenan cornelius story...i think they're on to something that can't be ignored ino Phone Post
7/3/12 4:38 PM
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Evilzpet
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Hard to take all this seriously after seeing what a poor sport he was over losing to Paul Harris.
7/3/12 5:59 PM
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DavidAvellan
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Kirik - Man, I have been exposed to the ABCs of goal setting and their relatinship to sports at least since I was 19 (a guy in track I knew had a whole book he made of it).

But I never embraced it, until I read this.
Thanks Kirik! Means a lot coming from you.

It's true that this is not new information.

It is hundreds of years old. The problem is that very few people actually do it.

Developing your mind is the most important and most neglected subject. This should be taught in school to children as soon as they learn how to read and write.

I always make it a point to communicate this to my students and athletes, because the only thing that separates a champion from the average joe is what is between his ears. Phone Post
7/3/12 6:21 PM
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HoldYerGround
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So you're telling me all your students are wasting their time at your academy as long as they have the right mindset? They can just learn in their garage using online resources and become champions?
7/3/12 6:39 PM
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BonquishaBLOOD
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I really enjoyed this thanks David! Phone Post
7/3/12 6:49 PM
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DavidAvellan
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HoldYerGround - So you're telling me all your students are wasting their time at your academy as long as they have the right mindset? They can just learn in their garage using online resources and become champions?
I never said that, and the tone of my article in no way reflects that opinion.

It is always wise to be mentored by someone with talents you wish to learn.

However, not everybody has direct access to such resources.

If you live in an area with nobody who can mentor you or perhaps you wish to surround yourself with more positive influences, then that is where the Internet, books, and videos can be of service.

The more people and things you have around you that coincide with your goals, the more likely you will succeed.

Think of it this way: If you are taking a college physics course, and you wish to get the best grade possible, would you just rely on attending lectures?

Of course not! You would do the homework, form study groups, get tutored by a grad student, attend office hours with professor, and read extra material on physics.

You immerse yourself in the world of physics and get as many like minded people around you. Phone Post
7/3/12 6:50 PM
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Twstd
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HoldYerGround - So you're telling me all your students are wasting their time at your academy as long as they have the right mindset? They can just learn in their garage using online resources and become champions?


Come on buddy leave these shitty comments for the vast sea of useless threads. The point is that you can teach yourself a lot of things, period. You can workout on your own but you get certain benefits from a personal trainer. I can teach myself Digital Animation off fucking youtube for gods sakes but I get certain benefits from school. Don't dig too much into whats being said here.
7/3/12 6:51 PM
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BonquishaBLOOD
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Didn't Cro cop teach him self a lot of kick boxing Phone Post
7/3/12 6:58 PM
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Archangel
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Good stuff I hope I actually put it to use. Thanks
7/3/12 7:00 PM
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Beastisk
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7/3/12 7:08 PM
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Duke Powerhand
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ttt
7/3/12 7:23 PM
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JDOKLR
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 TTT......... For Master Dave !!!!!!!

PS: HoldYerGround sounds like a total DICKHEAD !!! If Dickheads could talk.
7/3/12 7:25 PM
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wrx08sti
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This article and the cuban boxing entry are very good reminders of why I love training at the freestyle fighting academy Phone Post
7/3/12 7:35 PM
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shb
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4l

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