Sparring Methodologies: To Spar, or Not To Spar, That is the Question (Part 2)

Ciaran O' ReganAll Articles, Blog Posts, Combat Sport ArticlesLeave a Comment

[IMPORTANT NOTE: As the title implies, this is Part 2 of a series. This piece can be read in isolation but a much better overall picture could be gotten by first reading Part 1 which can be found here. ] The Dark Side of Hard Sparring I wasn’t fucking around when I chose the title of this series; “to spar or not to spar, that is the question”. I did so for a very specific reason. The original line that I was playing off is of course perhaps the most famous line of all of the Shakespearean literature: “To be, or not … Read More

To Spar, or Not To Spar, That is the Question – Part 1: Intro to Sparring & Brain Trauma

Ciaran O' ReganAll Articles, Blog Posts, Combat Sport ArticlesLeave a Comment

Destroying Your Meat Vehicle Vs. Developing Your Human Potential I think I have a not-so-common lens through which to view martial arts training practices. Academically, I have a degree in sport and exercise sciences. Athletically, I started boxing just over 6 years ago, quite late in boxing terms, as a 21 year old. I have been lucky enough to have spent time training in gyms from Holland to San Francisco, Ireland to Boston and so on. This has primarily been practising boxing but more recently it has involved dipping my toes into the MMA world. And so this is where the … Read More

Never Waste An Injury: The Psychology of Setbacks in Combat Sports

Ciaran O' ReganAll Articles, Blog Posts, Combat Sport Articles2 Comments

LET US IMAGINE A SCENARIO… You are progressing on your martial arts journey and greatly enjoying the process. All the pieces are falling into place. Your growth curve is beautiful. Every day at training you are picking up new skills and identifying new areas to work on. You have the momentum of a boulder rolling down a hill and you are excited about your progression. With the rate at which you are improving, you see the sky as the limit for your skills. Life is good. Then… BOOM! Some body part, that just seconds before in your mind was as indestructible as steel … Read More

5 Conor McGregor Traits You Can Apply To Your Nutrition

Danny LennonAll Articles, Blog Posts, Combat Sport Articles2 Comments

  Coming off the back of Conor McGregor’s phenomenal 1st round finish of Dustin Poirier in Vegas on Saturday at UFC 178, it’s impossible for anything else to be in my head at the moment. He went out and delivered everything he said he was going to do. There can be no more doubt, he’s the real deal. But he’s so much more than a skilled fighter. He has a different aura to him than anyone else. He goes about his business differently. And the rate at which he’s reached the unprecedented level of success that he has, makes him … Read More

Making the Cut, Part IV: How to Cut Weight for a Fight (Properly!)

Danny LennonAll Articles, Blog Posts, Combat Sport Articles20 Comments

[This is the 4th post in a 4-part series. You can find the others here: Part I, Part II, Part III] In part II we discussed how “Cutting weight” refers to the process of weight manipulation in the few days leading up to, and following, the weigh-in for a fight. It does not refer to losing body fat, per se. Weight cutting is a process we use to allow a fighter to compete heavier than the limit set by his/her weight class. So for example, a fighter that is competing in the 77kg division may begin fight week at 83kg, … Read More

Making the Cut, Part III: Supplements for Combat Sport Fighters

Danny LennonAll Articles, Blog Posts, Combat Sport Articles4 Comments

Supplementation. This could be a 4-part series in itself. However, I’ll skip on some details and cut through a lot of the crap that’s out there to get to: which supplements actually work which don’t and which are actually worth investing in. A brief point to consider before I go into this: If you don’t have the foundations discussed in part I in place, don’t worry about supplements. Sort yourself out first. The best supplement regime you can put together will be worth f**king ZERO if you continue to sleep 5 hours a night and eat too few calories and no carbs. Ok, … Read More

Making the Cut, Part II: How fighters should eat for fat loss (without destroying training performance and health)

Danny LennonAll Articles, Blog Posts, Combat Sport Articles1 Comment

This is part II of a 4-part series. You can catch part I here. Can a fighter get lean without absolutely tanking performance in the gym or making themselves feel dreadful throughout the leaning out process. Without doubt, YES! But to do so there are things that need to be considered. Cutting Weight vs. Losing Weight One thing to clear up for those of you who aren’t involved in combat sports and perhaps not familiar with cutting weight is the difference between cutting weight and losing body fat. It should seem logical that having a fighter as strong as possible … Read More

Making the Cut, Part I: The Fundamentals of Combat Sport Nutrition

Danny LennonAll Articles, Blog Posts, Combat Sport ArticlesLeave a Comment

Below is Cian Cowley. Cian’s a pro Muay Thai fighter and came to me about his nutrition early in 2014, through his strength and conditioning coach Jason Kane. Now, a  few things to bear in mind: The guy is insanely talented. He was (and still is) on a winning streak and was already pretty damn lean. However, after digging into what Cian had been doing nutritionally up to this point, we needed to implement some extremely important changes into his diet. He had been falling into some of the same traps a lot of fighters out there are falling into. Over … Read More