Erik Paulson’s new DVD and the quest for knowledge.

Eric Paulson just released a new DVD on conditioning for MMA competitions. Check out the sample clip:

What I really like about is that he gives you a almost 10min. worth of footage to preview the material. I mean, if you can’t make up your mind from that clip, then what do you need?  Beyond the amount of footage, the content looks pretty good too. There seems to be a wide variety of drills and exercises to get you into awesome shape while simultaniously ingraining good technique. My personal favorite was the speed drills using one focus mitt and a boxing glove. I’m going to try that one next class and see how much I can wear out my students with it.

As an aside: One of the projects I’m working on is a conditioning DVD. It’ll cover the drills and exercises I personally do and also how you can use them to generate more power in your techniques.  So my students are in for a rough ride as I test things out on them for my prep work… :-)

If you look at the other clips Mr. Paulson has on Youtube, you’ll notice a recurring theme: The drills and techniques are thought through. He doesn’t give you a combination and tells you to just practice it. Nor do I see him making his students do a drill and then leave it at that. Instead, he explains not just how but more importantly why you do the technique or drill.

In my experience, that’s the sign of a good teacher. The technical details of techniques and drills are important, no doubt about it. But the reasoning behind them, the strategy and tactics involved, these things are what leads a student to the most important thing: understanding. It’s not enough to just be fast or strong. It’s also not enough to be a fine technician. You need to know what you’re doing.You have to figure out why what you do works.  Once you do, you know the situations in which your preferred way of fighting is not the best choice. Which in turn gives you the chance to avoid those situations or prepare for them.

To make things worse, you are not the fastest, strongest or most technical guy in the world. There are thousands of others who train just as hard as you. Perhaps even harder. And they can beat you in all three of those departments. So what else do you have going for you if you face these guys? The answer: knowledge. It’s the one thing that doesn’t diminish. There is no limit to it. and it can give you one hell of an edge against opponents who are better than you.

That’s why I like Mr. Paulson’s approach so much: he’s setting his students up for the long term. They’ll be so used to looking for the “why” of everything that their progress has no limits.

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