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Monday, April 27, 2015

Elite


Saw this thanks to William Schultz of PTK-SMF RI.

The breakdown of the mechanics of the sweep is definitely interesting, but there's more the clip than that.

I've had the good fortune to train with some really high level athletes during my career. Not necessarily the best of the best, but pretty damn close (including one guy who made a run at a UFC title).

Honestly, it's pretty terrifying.

The elite of the elite? They are better than you. They are better than you at a level that is virtually impossible to describe. It's not a minor difference in skill...it is orders of magnitude difference.

And really, that's part of what's happening here.

The "Muay Thai legend" in the clip is Sakmongkol. This is man with well over 200 professional Muay Thai fights, who fought (and beat) some of the greatest fighters of his time. He started training when he was six years old. If there is someone out there who fits the definition of "elite" it is Sakmongkol. They don't make them any better.

The karate guy didn't stand a chance.

Seriously. This isn't a Muay Thai vs. Karate thing. This is an elite athlete thing. These guys really are just better than you. Look at the way Sakmongkol moves in this clip...the only doubt about the outcome is how he's going to finish it, because he isn't in any danger. He's controlling the fight from the beginning to the end, and his opponent, skilled though he may be, doesn't have a prayer.

Why does this matter?

If you believe in staying humble, this ought to help. Spend some time around an elite level athlete, and you will quickly realize how far you have to go. If you think you are elite, and you are not on this level, you're probably not there yet.

On the flip side--you should also recognize that comparing yourself to an athlete at this level is something of a futile endeavor. Yes, they can be inspiring, and yeah, maybe you can get to that level...but if you haven't been training since you were six, you have a lot of catching up to do. nothing wrong with that, but know where you are starting from.

1 comment:

bjjcontemplations.com said...

This is so, so, true.

After 34 years of training, I think it's safe to say I'm an above-average martial artist.

But I have friends who can easily kick my ass.

And I've met people who can easily kick their asses.

And I've seen people who can easily kick the asses of the guys who can kick the asses of the guys who can kick my ass. The difference between their ability and mine is rather greater than the difference between my ability and that of a brand-new white belt.

What's really humbling is that some of these people have been alive for less time than I've been training - and they're still that much better.

Tony