We have a great relationship at T2HQ with fight sports. The art and majesty of hand-to-hand combat is something we appreciate, marvel at and truly enjoy watching.
We are also in the privileged position to be training two different types of fighters.
Every week we host Luke Watkins (our boxer) and Craig Rawlins (our MMA fighter) for sessions in our T2 Elite programme.
The guys have a lot of similarities, but they also have some dramatic differences.
Introducing Craig 'BRAWLINS' Rawlins
Craig has just embarked on his final amateur MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) bout. This weekend, he fought in his home town of Swindon for the first time in over a year and victoriously defended his RagedMMA welterweight belt.
Craig has been ranked among the very best amateur fighters in the UK for quite some time and has fought on one of the world’s largest promotions, Cage Warriors.
One thing is for sure – if effort and work rate are any indication then success in the Pros is just around the corner.
We now hope he heads off to the bright lights of a very promising pro career!
So how do you train an MMA fighter?
In our training together we need to focus on a lot of different areas, such is the nature of the sport.
For anyone uninitiated in the world of MMA the sport features a massive range of martial arts.
In years past, you would see a Judo player stepping in against a kickboxer to see which the most effective form of combat was.
The MMA scene has advanced beyond that now to the point there are very few out-and-out specialists competing in the sport anymore.
Sure, you may come from a boxing background, or started out as a wrestler, but it is doubtful you don’t carve out time in your training schedule for Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai as well.
Due to the diverse nature of the sport, our sessions with Craig have to cover a lot of bases.
We need to ensure he has the explosive power to strike with the best of them, the cardiovascular endurance to sustain round after round of intense, total-body effort, and all of the intermediate areas in between these two extremes.
We are lucky that Craig has that aforementioned work rate as this means he has no issue taking control of his skill work, sport specific drilling and sparring, leaving us to focus on his strength and conditioning only.
One thing is very clear when it comes to fighters… there is very little you can throw at them in training that will test their will as much as being elbowed in the face, or kicked in the shin.
Our only real problem is telling Craig when enough is enough and sending him home!
We are thrilled with Craig’s recent victory which was well deserved. We’ve learned that going to his fights isn’t for the faint hearted but we can’t wait to continue supporting him on the exciting next steps he takes in his career!
If you're an aspiring athlete and would like more information on our T2 Elite programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, if you dream of becoming a Strength & Conditioning coach for competitive sportsmen and women, check out our Strength & Conditioning course.