3 MUST READ Articles From Clay Guida

Clay Guida



There’s a lot of focus these days on the best way to approach a fight, but today I want to cover the opposite end of the spectrum and talk about the top 3 mistakes that you can't afford to make  when fighting.

1. The first mistake that you can make is to not breathe. When you’re put into a stressful situation such as combat it’s something that your mind and body aren’t really conditioned for and this can cause them to tense up. When they tense up, it’s natural to hold your breath and grit your teeth, try to avoid this as it causes the body to get fatigued much quicker.  By maintaining even breathing patterns you allow yourself to move much more swiftly while maintaining your natural level of endurance.

2. The second mistake is not keeping your hands up. Most people think that the point of this is to block your face but, in reality, you can take a hit to your eye, head or cheek. The 2 things you are really doing by keeping your hands up is protecting your "button" aka chin (which prevents getting knocked out cold) & allowing your hands to be in the best possible position to block head attacks & return counter strikes.

3. The third is a cardinal sin and that’s moving backwards. In fighting you want to make sure that anytime you move, it is in the form of shuffle steps either side-to-side or by cutting angles which keeps you in close proximity to your opponent to return fire. If you’re being attacked and you begin moving backwards all your opponent has to do is move forward with a little bit more pace and then you are vulnerable to be devastatingly knocked out or taken down with ease.



We set the tone for the night the moment We walk into the locker room by high fiving almost every individual, without interrupting others focus. Although we are amongst other athletes and training camps, that locker is Ours. 


The locker room is a sacred place, because it is essentially Our bunker before we go to Battle. I switch gears from the rock bands in my headphones such as Phish and Grateful Dead, and tastefully take charge of the Boom Box about 60 minutes before My Rock Concert starts. 

My Coaching Staff then takes charge of Our warm-up with pinpoint wrestling, and game plan drills. Seeing the puzzled look upon others faces while I casually put on reggae/rock bands such as Sublime, Bob Marley, CCR, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, and the Dirtyheads is priceless. 

I have a very cerebral approach to my warmup, which is the polar opposite from my fighting style. Anyone that has ever been behind the scenes with me before competition must think I'm similar to Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, or The Dude and The Glenn Danzig. Haha. 

With the Concert approaching quickly and the intensity rising, Our warmup is nearly at a full sprint, and the music has been kicked into high gear with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Alkaline Trio, Blink 182, Refused and the Foo Fighters. 

We finally get the Que that we've All been waiting for since we signed the contract 2-3 months earlier. 

Guida!!! 5 minutes!!!!!

And the Final walk begins.

The Proverbial "Stage" is set and emotions run high from the opening bands, aka "previous bouts,"...  but that ear piercing crowd, is there for Us. 
We approach the Black Curtain that leads to the largest, most intense stage on earth. "The Octagon" That is where I transform into Jimi Hendrix, Dave Grohl, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Trey Anastacio, Lars, Neil Peart, Travis Barker, Flea, The Lizard King, and John Bonham. 

Once that curtain opens, I flip the switch, and for the next 15-25 minutes I am the Front Man, the Drummer, the Sound Guy, the Tour Manager, the Light Technician, The Lead Guitarist, the Head Security Guard, and I am The Crowd Surfing, Moshing, Stage Diving Wildman. I'm every important moving part, that goes into a successful rock concert. 

When I'm rushing the Warpath to the stage, I'm head banging, high fiving, and hugging screaming fans, Family, and Friends that have traveled around the World to experience the greatest event of their lives. Each person in that arena is a key part as our energy reflects off of one another. I'm helping fulfill some of their dreams as I have chosen to go to battle with another man. 

Yet it doesn't seem like a fight, because I'm thoroughly enjoying My Stage, My Event, My Concert. Once We so anxiously arrive at the Gates of Glory, my Coaches squeeze me, then give me permission to come unglued and wreak havoc in the Octagon. They then unleash my brother Jason and his oversized Bear Paws to crack me countless times across my already numb face, which is heard around the entire Arena. 

Fans watch in awe and disbelief, as they've already witnessed a "Show" before the "Show." The referee attempts to stop me from bouncing wildly, as checks my guitar, drums, and microphone, AKA ... mouth guard, cup, and gloves before I take the Stage.  

Now the Real Fun begins. I don't think. I proudly walk onto My Stage and simply have fun and perform for My Audience. 

Once the bell rings, a whole new concert take place. 




Mental Shape-

There is no such thing as an "Off Season" in Wrestling or MMA. If you want to dominate the competition in your sport, then you have to keep your mind sharp at all times. If you're always mentally prepared for Any Challenge, then there is no such thing as getting out of shape. 

And I'm not talking about having to lose 20-30 pounds to step on the scale. I'm talking about so-called athletes that get "out of shape." Who knows what their definition of "In Shape" really is anyway. I personally don't care. It's a cop out for not being psychologically prepared, because most athletes are afraid of getting tired and embarrassing themselves on camera. It's actually pathetic for a physically trained individual to become exhausted inside 15-25 minutes, when almost 100% of wrestlers and combat sport athletes train at an intense pace for anywhere from 30-120 minutes at a routine practice session, numerous times during the week. 

It's an excuse for not being mentally tough. It's very simple ...

If you're always Ready, then you Never have to get Ready. 

If you actually get tired when another human is trying to throw you on your head, or punch and kick you repeatedly until you're unconscious, in front of your loved ones...  then it's time you found another sport or hobby. 

Physical Shape-

As far as physical training while an athlete is preparing for competition as opposed to after a competition. There are significant differences. 
I don't know too many athletes that train 3-4 times a day in between competition, like we do when we have a set date to compete. 
It's extremely taxing on the body and mind when you literally put yourself in a boot camp for 8-12 weeks, 5-7 days a week with strict dieting and rest. 

Because I am so physically active in and out of camp, I've actually noticed that my body gets sore when I'm not in the gym or working out regularly. 
I understand that every athlete is different both mentally and physically, and some individuals require actual rest from almost all activity in order for them to heal and be ready to compete again. I don't know what that means. I don't know "Not being active, or not being outdoors, or not adventuring." I was wired to where I can't, or choose not to sit still for long periods of time.
I realize this is not for every athlete or every sport. I rest while I sleep and that's plenty of rest for my body when I'm out of camp. Yes I make it a point to get to bed earlier when I have a date set for Victory. That's part of being an adult and being a professional athlete. 
And of course there is always the case of that rare athlete that requires little to no rest, and always performs at the highest level. They are what I like to call the 1%ers, and come around once every 50-100 years. 

In Camp training is pretty simple. In Camp, means you have a certain amount of time from the date you signed the contract or agreed to the match or bout, until the date of the actual competition. 
Whether it's 6-12 weeks, that is your window to intelligently fit in as much fight or match specific training in that time frame for a specific opponent, while preserving your body, and not "Over Training.

Out of Camp Training, is the time where individuals see a lot of noticeable gains and improvements, because they're not up against a clock with a certain opponent in mind. More less, you train a fraction of the daily sessions, but in All areas of the sport to improve on numerous skills. All the while, knowing another competition is just around the corner. 


If you liked these articles, check out:

Mental Toughness In Combat Sports

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