Never Forget Your A Game

I had the chance to compete at NAGA in Cincinnati yesterday. During my finals match in no gi, I realized something tragic: my wrestling has gotten really sloppy. For me, wrestling used to be a very great strength. I was an assistant wrestling coach a couple years back and did all of the drill work with our team’s heavyweight wrestlers so I kept things pretty sharp.

However, in the middle of competition, I began a takedown and froze for just a moment, not really remembering how to finish it. When my opponent sprawled on me, I went to do an arm drag to escape the front headlock position, but even sort of forgot what I was doing there. It ended up costing me the match as my opponent, who did not forget his wrestling, scored his takedown points and continued his game from there.

At times, I think we become too confident in some of our skills. When we become too confident, we forget to put in the work that we need to in order to stay on top. In my mind, I had become too confident in my wrestling. I assumed I would score the takedown and I didn’t really bother to game plan my stand up at all.

It happens to many competitors. Sometimes we just assume that we’re excellent in one area and so we stop working on it and focus on other things and it costs us. We’ve seen all sorts of amazing grapplers and mixed martial artists fall from grace after seeming unstoppable. If the greatest can fall, what makes us immune?

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t branch out and focus on other skills that we need to develop. My advice is only this: don’t forget your strengths. Or as 6x world champion Joel Blanton says, “Never forget your A game.”

Keep it strong and work hard.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here