Fighting Secret #1

I recently read a very interesting newsletter written by Mart Hatmaker.  He was discussing the so-called “secrets” or shortcuts that people involved in MMA and street skills acquisition are constantly seeking to get the edge.  Is there truly anything new under the sun?  I would tend to agree with Hatmaker, in that there really are no secrets, and the search is an exercise in futility.  Having said that, I am a firm believer in continual growth because it helps me learn more about me and what my possibilities are.  I believe in personal excellence, and I generally follow the principles of Jeet Kune Do in order to discover my own potential as a martial artist.  There is a distinct difference between finding what works for me and my abilities, and searching for the magic bullet.

Hatmaker goes on to say that one of the things that truly separates the wheat from the chaff is how much gas one has in the tank.  This is true in the ring and on the street.  If you are exceptionally conditioned, you have a distinct advantage.  I recall a disturbing video I watched earlier this year: an interview with a prison inmate with a life sentence for murder (and no chance for parole).  He talks so contemptuously about overweight cops and prison guards and discusses his typical day of doing pushups and burpees in his cell. . .ALL DAY LONG.  What else does this guy have to accomplish?  He brags about his ability to run circles around cops due to his superior conditioning because, as he puts it, “I’ve got wind!”  In light of his life sentence, his value for human life is diminished, and he is just itching for a guard to screw up and present an opportunity.  His whole mission in life is to stay fit and kill another human being because what is one more life sentence?  I am certain there are more people with this mentality living outside the pen.  I ask myself a serious question: do I have the capacity to fight this guy for my life if he targets me?  I hear the words of boxing trainer Ross Enamait echoing in my head: “Conditioning is King.” Whenever you are deep in it, and you have to fight for your very existence, you want to hit hard, fast and relentless until the threat is conquered.  You’ve got be fit to finish the fight, however long it takes, even if that means you go mano y mano with Burpee Whacko.  As Hatmaker points out, there are no weight classes and no rules out on the street, so we have to train to overcome our weaknesses which, for many, includes proper conditioning.

Mark says there is another “secret” to fighting, if you can really call it a secret, and I will discuss that one in a later post.  He is an exceptional writer with an interesting perspective.  I highly recommend you check out his site and at the minimum, sign up for his free Legends newsletter!



  1. Actually, he might be training to protect himself, rather than just waiting for a guard to mess up. He never knows when game-time comes, when some crazy leaps to earn a rep … he’s living in a personal war zone and he trains hard.
    Just my experience 🙂

    • I know exactly what you are saying, and I would agree with you. He did express those kinds of thoughts, and he had tatoos all over his neck with racial epithets that would certainly incite other inmates. But back to the issue in the post, he emphatically expressed over and over in the video that he had the desire to kill a cop. The video was taken by pscychologists studying criminal behavior–not the kind of thing that would be broadcast on television. I believe, based on all his commentary, that he is a sociopath. Just my thoughts!

      Thanks for reading the blog and taking the time to comment!

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