The 3 Most Important Elements Of Fighting

Travis "Hapa" Browne


First and foremost, you need to be completely present. Since we’re all human this is one of the hardest things to do. We’re constantly thinking about what we have to get done around the house, what we’re going to eat for dinner or things coming up this week. In fighting, there’s no place for any of those things. Just like a golfer needs to be focused on hitting the ball every single swing, a fighter needs to be so dialed in that nothing else is on their mind except the fight.

Second is distance. For those people who have yet to be in a fight it’s important to note that your opponent isn’t like a heavy bag. They’re going to be moving constantly and that’s why it’s imperative that you gauge your distance properly. What this will do is help you to avoid being struck or taken down but it will also allow you to do the striking or get a takedown.

The third thing is level change. Going from the stand up to the ground game is what they call a level change but it’s important to know how to successfully make this change. You need to distract them and keep them guessing. Like in football, when they want to make a deep pass, they need to set it up first. They’ll run a couple plays right up the gut, pull the defense in and then make their move, throwing the ball deep. Fighting is the same way. In order to get a takedown you’ve got to throw some kicks and jabs, keep your opponent on their toes and then you can make that level change. Close your distance, drop the knee, drag it, arching your back and explode through the single or double leg. Remember, don’t do this naked (! Throw some kicks and jabs, keep them distracted and then attack.

A lot of people will argue that finishing should be on this list but that can’t be accomplished without these things. If you gauge distance correctly then you can connect and get that knockout. Changing levels & executing a successful takedown will put you in position for a variety of  submission finishes as well as a ground and pound TKO.  But if you aren’t mentally present for the fight, you’ve already taken yourself out of it.

If you liked this article, check out Clay Guida's video on Kick, Catch, & Takedown!