Some Kind of Fighter Coach, former UFC fighter and MMA vet Tony Christodoulou, tells us how his approach on the game has changed since he became a full time coach and what things he would have done differently in his own career if he had the same knowledge back then. Check it out:
“Its funny. Since i have dedicated my time and efforts to coach instead of compete, I feel like my own personal game has advanced so much.
I can only look back on my career and think how i would have approached the game:
First and foremost, would be my single minded focus outside of fight camps. I would have spent all year training and focus mainly on technique and drilling.
I would have tried to run my body down less, especially outside of camp.
I would have stayed in the gym with no long breaks. That way i wouldn’t need 12 to 8 weeks of pure pain and suffering to get into fight shape.
I would simply need to up the intensity and add more physical training.
My nutrition would have been always on point, living a generally healthy life style with a more mature attitude toward the “unhealthy” meals.
No “gym wars” or only once or twice the week of heavy sparring in fight camps, and still i would try to delicate it…
I started getting more comfortable with my hands and other skills later in my career. One reason that i realized is that i never used them in a fight, because i never took the time to sharpen them on less experienced sparring partners.
I’m not advocating to bully someone, but you could, especially when your not getting ready for a fight, spar with someone not at you level, so you can try new tricks and strategies, at least till you feel comfortable to try them on advanced sparring partners.
When you try something new on someone too good, your punishment might mean eatting a hard strike, and a good double, which would dictate how you react in the rest of the spar.
Sometimes you might discard very doable moves, combinations, or even approaches after only one of 2 attempts on difficult opponent without having complete understanding of them.
Dont get me wrong, that doesnt mean i would not have my difficult sparring partners, or avoid them, not at all, sparring against quality competition is partly what shapes you as a fighter.
It’s just that i would use it as a tool, and understand that just like any tool you need different ones for different times. I m seeing with my athletes that this system is much more effective and creates less damage.”
Tony Christodoulou is a two time UFC, Kunlun, XFC, M-1 and CFA vet. He is also a BJJ black belt and a Greek champ. He lives and teaches BJJ and MMA in Athens Greece and Diamond Camp.