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Testing. What does it mean to “Test” in the practice room? Let me go on…

Gaining the high level skills being used by UFC level fighters isn’t rocket science. What it really comes down to is a lot of testing. Testing different techniques to see what works, and what doesn’t.

This is a secret that makes the great fighters great. They never stop trying out new things in the dojo. You’ve got to test stuff out all the time because in the grand scheme of things, it’s one of the best ways to learn.

The goal when testing stuff out is that over the course of time, you build a style of Mix Martial Arts (MMA) that suits you. Your body type, age, physical abilities, gender and needs.

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Danny Ives during a training session in 2013. Lots of testing went on that night. This was during the BJJ class.

The testing game isn’t always fun, I admit this and I’m not trying to paint a false picture for you. Many things you try are going to fail, sadly. But again, the only way you’d have known it wouldn’t work is by trying it out in the field.

The whole process of testing takes time. I mean, just look at me. I’ve been training and teaching MMA for 20+ years. I’m still testing daily. I test different techniques and tactics to see how things work. I never stop. Ever.

Even when I’m not training at Ivey League, there’s a good chance you can find me at home on youtube studying. I like to watch the great fighters to see what they’re working on. If there’s a new technique out there you better believe I do my darnedest to know it.

The right way you go about testing is to try new techniques out in “live” training sessions. Live goes for BJJ, Muay Thai, MMA or Wrestling. An easy way to explain this is you need to be able to use your techniques against a resisting opponent. This is more often then not a good training partner. You need someone that can help give you as they say in football, “a look”.

This type of testing should be accomplished during sparring or rolling training. It’s hard to test things out drilling only. You don’t 100% get the feel needed.

Go into the practice room and play with new and different techniques on as many opponents as possible. It won’t take you long to find what works for you, and of course what doesn’t. Don’t let failed techniques get you down.

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Competing can and should be another place to test your techniques. It doesn’t get more realistic then this! Pictured is Danny Ives at the NAGA

Most people are shocked when I tell them that 80% of the moves I test fail me. At least in the beginning they do.

Keep in mind that just because a certain technique doesn’t work at this point in time doesn’t mean it won’t always work. I’m always surprised when I use a technique out of the blue that didn’t work for me at all before.

Keep an open mind and ask lots of questions! The best fighters use each and every training session as one big science experiment. I suggest you do the same.

Okay that’s my rant for today! Feedback is welcome, good or bad 🙂

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