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How to not quit before fights? Dealing with fear and sticking to your word. And how to fight consistently without losing your mind.

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Posted (edited)
Im a 32 yo amateur mma fighter. Im a wrestling/bjj guy. And i have to admit im a noob at striking. So it s great to be a part of this community where you guys talk about hooks knees and leg kicks and how great they feel when you hit them. Lol it s a whole new world. 
I have some problems im trying to grapple with i hope you guys can help cuz im sure muay thais way more dangerous than mma. 
Problem 1. I said i would fight in a tournament and didnt. And this is becoming a habit. 
Problem 2. How do i fight consistently and deal with all the pressure on a regular basis.  
I dont want much from life im prolly never gonna make it big. But i do want to atleast fight like the thai guys and have around a 100, 200 fights 
Yesterday was a good opportunity and i threw it away. I usually read sylvies blog about accepting fear a few times the days before my fights. The fear got me this time. 
Here's the back story, I've trained for three years now. I first fought in march 2021 in an amateur mma nationals tournament. Had in a bjj comp in july. Told my coach id compete in another bjj comp later that year. Pulled out. Told my coach id compete in another tournament that year and pulled out AGAIN. Then had a sanda comp in september 2021. Started reading sylvies blog on fear and accepting it before the sanda tournament. And it worked well for me.
At the time i was dealing with a lot of personal shit too and i took a break from competing. I trained regularly but still felt miserable cuz i felt like im off my path in life without fighting. 
Fought recently on beginning of april after months of nothing.  Then again in the end of april and i wanted to keep the momentum going. Was supposed to enter this amateur mma tournament in may. Day of the fights, i text my coach pulling out. Now i feel worthless again cuz i fear im gonna go back to not fighting and feeling like im off my path in life. 
I used to think i was a person that kept his word but ive developed a habit where i dont. That upsets me a lot. The only thing that upsets me more is not fighting and being off the path. 
And i want to fight again asap even as i pulled out cuz i read sylvies post in these forums somewhere where she has a reputation of fighting often and fighting anyone. Id love to have such a reputation.  And also in one of her fights she talks about how it s just another tuesday at the office when youre fighting in thailand. Id love to develop this mental state. 
I dont trust myself at this point. I fear ill quit again if i take a fight etc. Want to talk to my coach about fighting again but why should he trust me at this point. Not sure what to do.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you for reading.
Edited by oldman
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First focus on mental Drill. Mental practice is the mental stimulation of a movement without the occurrence of the physical ability. To put it another way, it's the mental rehearsal of a skill or a group of techniques. Most BJJers have had BJJ daydreams or may even conduct mental drilling while sleeping. "According to neuromuscular theory, visualization activates the same motor pathways as if the skill were physically done, albeit at a lower level." Use the best gi's like venum, Fuji, Elite for your inner satisfaction. This activation, which is equivalent to actual movement but at a lesser level, has been demonstrated in studies utilizing EMG equipment." Mental drilling has one advantage that I like: it can be done almost anywhere and at any time. You are not bound by space or geographical place. You also don't have to worry about injuries or weariness with mental drills. This is especially useful if you're recovering from an injury and can't physically train. It's just you and your thoughts with mental drilling!

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I think it's David Goggins who says that quitting becomes a habit. You're experiencing that, you've made pulling out or not following through "habitual," which is the same as practicing it. So it gets stronger, easier, the pathways are grooved and the more you do it the deeper the grooves get. So, you know how to train, you know how to practice, you have to PRACTICE not quitting and following through. Start with small things, like getting to training or sparring more rounds than you want to. Wear new grooves, make following through a habit.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the replies guys. I fractured my collarbone during training and cant wrestle/grapple for some weeks now. Worried I might not be able to train again at 100 percent etc. I'm probably just being dramatic. Anyway, more shit added to the pile. I feel like competing is a luxury now which I didnt appreciate before lol.

I doubt I'll be competing often even when i do heal cuz I still dont think I can trust myself. I gave sylvie's reply some thought and realize I do have a habit of quitting a lot in life. Jobs etc. But that was always cuz I was looking for something better and I wasnt happy with where I was. I have to think more about this. Hopefully come out of this state of mind soon. 


Edited by oldman
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On 5/14/2022 at 9:14 AM, oldman said:

I do have a habit of quitting a lot in life. Jobs etc. But that was always cuz I was looking for something better and I wasnt happy with where I was. 

Are you sure that's the case or are you justifying it? Not judging here, just asking for your sake. 

I think Sylvie's right. Start by not quiting while training. Prepare for a little more than you're use to and make sure you power through. Good thing for this is Sylvie's knees challenge. I think it started as a advice from Yodkhunpon to do 1000 skip knees on the bag everyday. 1000 might be too much or enough. But maybe try to set a goal of finishing every training with 500 or 1000 knees and keep to it. 

Also "I dont want much from life im prolly never gonna make it big. But i do want to atleast fight like the thai guys and have around a 100, 200 fights 

I mean, maybe you want to start by setting more realistic goal. How about, I want 10 fights. Then reset another goal if you make it. Unless you go like 5 years in Thailand, you will never get 100 fights. It depends where you are, but if in north america or Europe, it's hard to fight more than 4 fights a year. Maybe six. At 5 fights a years, it will take you 20 years to fight 100, just saying. They are reason for this. 1- there are way less fights and tournaments. In Thailand you can basically fight twice a week if you're motivated and don't care about travelling a bit. 2- Besides the news 3 rounds shows and all, fights in Thailand are usually less damaging on the body than in the west. Reason being the scoring and the fight culture is different. In Thailand winning but looking like a fool throwing off balance bombs and trying to take the other guy's head off is not encouraged. Muay Thai is supposed to be about form, balance, domination etc. In the west, KOs are seeked, encouraged and seen as the "real" victory, does not matter how bad you look if the other guy is unconscious. So, at least, in my experience, fights in the west are more damaging, less technical and more injury prone. 

Also, how the hell did you broke a collar bone training? Supplexed ?

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I was kind of like you. I trained for 4 years before I had my first kickboxing fight. No knees, just leg kicks and boxing. I never pulled out of something I decided to do but I was very fearful of competing. All the people, the lack of self confidence and the freedom of not having to worry about committment. I loved training but Prepping for a fight? whole different thing. By nature, fighting is a self absorbed sport.

You have to ask yourself, do I really want to do this? or do I want to get to a place where I DO want to do this and be like the other guys who seem on a different wave length and level. Am I afraid of it all?

Till your answer is YES, I want to fight more than anything else you shouldn't worry about it. The more you train and spar, the more confidence you will ahve. Age is going to catch up to you. IMO you either want it or you just enjoy training. Some people know from the beginning they want it and others just enjoy training. There is ZERO shame in accepting which person you are because we all have situations in our life that affect our desire to fight. Family, work, etc. 

If it's fear, I used to tell my fighters, You need to accept fear of losing from the start of your preparation and allow yourself to concentrate on the feeling of fear, the embarassment including what others would think of you etc. what would happen in your mind and if you would continue. Absorb these possibilities in your truest feelings, then bury them and train like hell with the attitude that you do not fear the outcome and really love the training and the fight is the reward. Winning is the bonus.The test. You can't get over the fear of something till you do it. You will find the more you do something, the less you fear it. I got to the point in the ring where I did not fear the result, only performing under my ability. 

One of my fighters fought Anderson Silva for the Cage Rage world title. Curtis Stout. it's on youtube. One of the fights we had in cage rage, he told me, now I know what it's like to fear winning. There is also a fear of winning because then expectations come, especially if you do very well.

You need to decide if you want it and deal with all the possibilities, then bury them. If you just want to train, do that. Some of the best pad holders are never fighters. Some of the best fighters are horrible teachers. It's gifted to be a great fighter and teacher. I hope that helps.

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On 6/14/2022 at 6:47 PM, Joseph Arthur De Gonzo said:

Are you sure that's the case or are you justifying it? Not judging here, just asking for your sake. 

Also "I dont want much from life im prolly never gonna make it big. But i do want to atleast fight like the thai guys and have around a 100, 200 fights I mean, maybe you want to start by setting more realistic goal. How about, I want 10 fights. 

Also, how the hell did you broke a collar bone training? Supplexed ?

Thanks for your thoughts joseph. 


1. You're probably right and I might be justifying me quitting things. They've always been impulsive decisions cuz I wanted to either find a better job or I felt like I was too good for the place I was working at. I wanted to work in animation and i was working a lot of odd jobs along the way. After i got my animation job, i found martial arts and things changed. I quit my animation job to pursue mma. So the quitting habit is definitely something im still figuring out. 

2. Yes, 10 fights seem way ideal. I do get carried away with delusions. I just admire those thai guys and want to be like them. 100 fights just sounds so cool lol. I appreciate the breakdown of fights in thailand vs the rest of the world. I've got a lot of things to consider.

3. I got mat returned. But i dont think that broke it. After the mat return i instantly hit a granby roll and my training partner who's significantly heavier than me stuffed it. It was a weird situation i think, cuz when he stuffed it my body folded and my knee hit my face and i think the collar bone broke during the stuff. Cuz after i got stuffed etc we wrestled for a bit then i stood up and he got a russian tie/ 2 on 1 tie and i realised my clavicle area was hurting.



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On 6/23/2022 at 2:08 PM, Old Guy said:

You have to ask yourself, do I really want to do this? 

I appreciate your reply. I'll keep coming back to it cuz there is a lot there to absorb. 

I feel like i do really want to fight because if i dont then ill hate myself for not trying. I do have a lot of fear issues too i think. Including the fear of winning and losing. I read sylvie's blog to make sense of it before fights. I'm definitely gonna also come back to your post cuz theres a lot of stuff there i feel is helpful. 

Also, I enjoy training a lot too. so it's not just about fighting i think. I just love everything. Getting better at techniques. Idk if i love fighting tho cuz theres a lot of fear and weird mental shit that goes on in my head. But after a fight i feel so good. I'm going to figure this out more.



An update on my circumstances btw. The clavicle doesnt hurt anymore but it also isnt glued back perfectly i can still feel it kinda sliding. But it doesnt hurt so ive been training again.

I've had to move cities so I'm thinking after i find good training partners or a gym, I'll get myself a fight soon. This is a whole other thread i suppose. How to train for fights with very few training partners and no gym structure etc. I dont wanna spam so I'll be going through some similar threads or start one if i need to in the future. Appreciate all you guys taking the time to give advice. Thanks again!


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