ByBas Rutten, writer at
Official Creators profile of Bas Rutten. Retired MMArtist, entertainer, host for the podcast
Bas Rutten

There are a lot of guys trying out crazy new stuff, like when he jumped out of the pool, trying the perseverance jumping at Muscle Beach, on the little balance ball while working the heavy ropes…the list goes on and on. From these examples spring the imitators trying to do the same thing. Yes, it’s a good drill, but I know what I’m talking about when I say that this is not smart to do.

Let me tell you my story. I had a great vertical leap, like I could stand in front of something, and if that something was as high as where my neck starts, I could jump from the spot I was standing and land on my feet.

I did this one time to show off, but it had rained that morning. This happened about ten days before a Thai boxing match I had. I stood in front of a wall that was about four inches below my jaw and jumped on it. My friends went nuts, so I did it again. This time, my left foot slipped off and I landed on my left shinbone; ripped the skin off to where we could see my shinbone through a hole which was about 1.5 inches round because the skin had pulled back. It was crazy because it didn’t bleed. It wasn’t healed when I fought, but with a bit of makeup, I was able to hide it, so at least I got to fight, but I learned my lesson.

All these crazy exercises that are “cool” to do are okay to try out, but do them after your fight. New core drills where you balance on a ball and are working with heavy weights or ropes are dangerous and cause serious injury with just the slightest misstep, so please don’t. It’s not controlled and something might happen, and when it does, your fight might be in jeopardy. A good personal trainer can imitate the same exercises for you in a much safer fashion.

Safety first, guys and gals. It’s of critical importance.

Cut your nails on both your feet and hands. This is important because they can cut people. Just ask Mike Winkeljohn who lost sight in his eye because he got kicked in the head with a toe that had a long toenail.

If you train on a judo mat, use socks when you roll and even when you are sparring because you can’t lock your feet up when you plant them and go for a takedown using upper body rotation. This particular move is the cause of a lot of knee problems. Why? Because when you wear wrestling shoes on a judo mat (it’s okay to wear them on a wrestling mat), your feet are locked up and there is too much traction, so when you rotate your upper body, your feet stay planted and your knees twist. When you do this while taking a person down, there is going to be a lot of weight and rotation on your knees and you might blow one out.

Socks will take care of that problem plus you mimic the cage since we all know it’s a little bit slippery in there. This way, you get used to it, and when you roll, you won’t get mat burns either.

At least three weeks before a fight, we start to get more controlled with the things we do. This is when you should use more protection, maybe even use some body protection when sparring. Also, you have to tell your partner when you are hurt and especially where you are hurt. There is this whole ego thing going on where partners don’t want to show they are in pain.

When your legs start hurting from drilling low kicks, and you have a fight coming up, tell your partner to take it easy, otherwise your opponent is going to have a blast fighting you. Ego needs to be out the door!

No more hitting heavy bags, and I mean real heavy ones, because it will damage your tendons, ligaments, etc. Stay away from them and do focus mitts and Thai pad training instead.

Stop lifting heavy about 2 – 3 weeks out from your fight. Watch out though, because when you grab a lighter weight, many times you don’t respect that weight. You might pick it up while leaning over, and many injuries come from this, as well. It almost never happens with heavy weights because you pay attention, but with smaller weights, you don’t.

I know a camera guy who picked up his lighter weights and couldn’t come out of bed for two days, so watch out!

Around 10 days out, I only do stamina training, no more weights, just stretching and stamina, two times a day.

I’ve always liked cold weather, and I have done my exercises in a cold pool (the coldest being about 55 degrees). This helps great with your recovery as well, but you do need a suit. I have a “2mm short sleeved summer suit” that keeps my core warm, but 40 minutes is about the maximum time for a workout in that temperature. Thankfully, you can do a lot in 40 minutes, especially in the water. I do 12 different exercises, and I do every exercise four times and I complete 25 reps every time.

That workout in a weight room will cost me 2 hours. That’s the great thing about the pool; you can go from one exercise to the next and stay injury free.

I’ve never tried cryotherapy, but I only hear great things about it, so I assume it works great.

Hyperbaric chambers with oxygen work wonders, as well. When the body is put under pressure and is given more than the regular 21% oxygen we have in the air, it starts storing it in the cells of the body. In the chamber they can give you 100% oxygen.

If you try to mimic this with scuba diving (which you can), be very careful of how deep you go, because 100% oxygen can be deadly at just 20 feet. If you have your scuba license, you already know this.

That’s all for this blog session, but I’ll be back with plenty more tips soon. Hopefully this helps a little to keep fighters safe.


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