Hey Champions. Welcome to my new blog, where I’ll be posting before my March 11 title defense against Jenny Huang at #OneChampionship: Warrior Kingdom.
I’m currently in Singapore, training with my teammates at #EvolveMMA. But I train year-round in Hawaii with my dad. He’s the one who taught me how to pull off the perfect twister submission.
Back in November 2015, I was having my third pro MMA fight against Natalie Gonzales Hill, when I recorded my first twister in competition. It’s something I was drilling for a while and was using in training.
My dad, who’s my head coach, and I had been practicing it in Hawaii and drilling it over and over. When I saw the opening against Natalie, it was just second nature when I got in the position.
Repetition is key when implementing new moves into a fight. I did the whole move, step-by-step, as soon as I got in a position to set up the twister. I was extremely happy that everything went accordingly and I pulled it off. It just shows that if you do things over and over in training, the repetition is gonna be instant.
While training and drilling is the best way to add moves and techniques to your game, in regards to the twister, flexibility is actually one of those things that people overlook in the sport, and in MMA, and in any kind of martial art.
I love to do yoga in my spare time: it just helps me relax and unwind. But for MMA and jiu jitsu, flexibility is extremely important. You put your body through so much stress that everything tightens. Stretching will make you more flexible and limber, and help your ground game.
However, even before I start to stretch, I always get a good warmup. For me, it’s really important to get a good warmup before you stretch and then after you’ve had your workout to also stretch, just to keep your muscles loose.
You can’t stretch cold; it’s really bad for you. A light jog or just skipping rope for 10 minutes is usually a good way to get your body a little warm, then go into your stretch. This is a great way to further improve your flexibility. And the more flexible you are, the better the chances are that you can pull of some complex jiu jitsu submissions.
I’ve also started incorporating strength and conditioning more into my training; however, instead of just bulking up and putting on mass, we try to do workouts that are effective for MMA, for our sport. My dad, my brother, and I do functional strength and conditioning with weights, but the exercises we do are specific to MMA because too much mass would limit flexibility, and the idea is to really add to our skillset, rather than take away from the grappling.
So whether you’re concentrating on jiu jitsu, wrestling, or striking, I think it’s good to be well rounded and to be training in all types of different exercises. In particular, don’t forget about yoga if you want to start pulling off twisters inside the cage.
Now go work on some stretches, make sure to follow me here, and stay tuned for new blogs.