Aspects of Coaching Mixed Martial Arts Part 1

January 10, 2012

This revival of the blog has been in many ways inspired by the new year, our imminent catastrophic deaths (2012 mofos) and a desire to be more productive. Playing the crap out of Skyrim has been a lot of fun but after 80 hours you realise that all your doing is chores for other people. Running around collecting their shit, cooking food and sending messages to people. Pretty much exactly what you were doing in real life but with less dragon slaying

I am currently a tiny bit crippled with an elbow that hates me and for the first time in many years I find myself not able to grapple, wrestle, punch or generally be a sparring asset for our fighters. Ive been pretty lucky with injuries and this is the first time anything potentially a bit dodgy has raised its nasty head.

So instead of self harming or closing the gyms fire door on my head I decided to throw myself into coach mode in a much bigger way. This got me thinking about what is an mma coach, what qualifies somebody to become an mma coach,  what makes a good one and what are their responsibilities?

What is a mixed martial arts coach?

For me this guy is the problem solver, organiser, policy setter and motivator of the fight team. Hes the guy that tells everyone whats going too happen on any given day of a camp. He  gets the fighters to the appropriate people and organises the appropriate sessions. Hes the guy that remembers to buy albolene in 100ml tubs because you only have hand luggage on the flight. Everything to do with the fighters and fighting is in some way his responsibility. The growing professionalism in the sport means this reguires even more work. You need databases with fighters passport numbers, records and addresses, you need to know somewhere to get bloods done , have access to a sauna 24hrs a day and knowing someone who can hook up an IV will make you a fighters best friend.

So we are looking at someone who has mad project management skills and thats before we even discuss stuff like technical ability in the various ranges of fighting, strength and conditioning knowledge and game planning ability.

I think the best definition is this: Hes the dude the fighters rely on to ensure that all they have to do is  train ridiculously hard and assualt a guy in a cage with very few clothes on. It can be a crap tonne of work and If your managing the same fighters its an even bigger ballache.

But when they compete you get to bask in the reflected glory and take a bit of pride in the fact that you did your part in helping an individual experience something that very few people have. Totally worth it.

And with the relisation that anything over 600 words will never be read by anyone ill leave it there. Part two will be on its way tomorrow, What qualifies someone as an MMA coach?


8 Responses to “Aspects of Coaching Mixed Martial Arts Part 1”

  1. Hi Paul,

    I tweeted you about a website I’m working on (Fight Scotland) but never heard back from you. The site is all about promoting MMA in Scotland and will be the online home for the martial arts in Scotland. Your blog is exactly the kind of thing that I’d like to have on the site. Would you mind us using your blogs moving forward? If so, could you let me know any time you add a new one and I’ll make sure it goes up.

    The site is still under development, but I need more respected / influential people like you to get involved to make the site a success.

    There’s still a lot of work to be done, but you can see what I’ve put together so far at

    I own the URLs and so I’ll transfer the site to there when it’s complete.

    Let me know your thoughts,

  2. Oh, and another thing – I’ve built the site so that the content is controlled with WordPress, so if you’re used to using that for this blog, contributing to will be easy.

  3. What do you think the root cause of this elbow pain is?

  4. Hi Paul,

    I tried adding a comment to this blog earlier, but it doesn’t appear to have worked. Basically, it said that I am currently in the process of making a website to promote the martial arts in Scotland. The site will be called Fight Scotland and will be the online home for Scottish MMA. The aim of the site is to let people know about places to train, upcoming events, training tips and make it as social as possible so that everyone that’s into MMA in Scotland can get involved. There are thousands of MMA enthusiasts in Scotland, but as of yet no real home for them. Most of the hardcore ones use The Cage Warriors forums, but that’s obviously not idea.

    I already had you on my radar to be an advocate of the site as you’ve done so much for the sport in this country and you are well respected. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind replicating your blogs on the Fight Scotland site? It’s powered by WordPress, so if you’re familiar with that then it should be a doddle for you.

    The site isn’t complete yet, but you can view what I’ve made so far at I’ve bought and, so I’ll transfer the site across when it’s done.

    Any feedback or comments would be appreciated.


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