7 lessons from Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg
Aaaarrrgh!! So who doesn’t want to say something about this INSANE championship fight last Saturday?? Demetrious Johnson is with 11 wins on one of the longest winning streaks in history, right after Anderson Silva. And that arm bar, what a sick way to finish a fight. Then, Ray Borg, being in the cage with Demetrious Johnson, proud and focussed. Straight up animal this guy. Well, I DO want to say something about that!!
The 7 biggest lessons I saw in this fight as a Yoga for Martial Arts and Combat Sports coach.
1. No matter how big of a World Champion you are. Stay focused and keep on listening to your coaches and take their directions. That's what their job is. Being humble enough to value and follow your coach's advice is a huge deal. And Demetrious Johnson sets a clear example by paying full attention between rounds and actually following the directions he's been given.
2. Know your worth. Respect yourself enough to have no doubt about whether you are where you belong or not. Ray Borg displayed this self respect a 100% las Saturday. While some say this was a mismatch (not getting into this discussion guys), what I see is someone fighting his battle like he is exactly at the place where he belongs. Ray Borg's standing his ground like a man who knows his value, without a doubt. He refused to let DJ intimidate him. He acted like he belonged in this championship fight and absolutely nothing less.
3. Learn breath control, and be like Demetrious. Seriously guys and girls, can’t say this often enough. In round 3 we saw cameras zooming in on DJ who's on Borg's back, with his back against the cage, breathing in and out with each movement he made. If controlling and using your breath is where you find yourself struggling, I can get you to start out by trying these 3 exercises here.
4. No matter what happens, lesson number 4: nothing can destroy you. Ray 'the Tazmexican Devil' Borg knows it and hangs in there, not for a second considering giving up. He endured this fight for almost 4 rounds, even when the gap between their number of hits got bigger and bigger. DJ might have systematically weakened his body bit by bit during the fight, Ray Borg's presence, spirit and sportsmanship, did not get destroyed.
5. Practice Frog Pose. No joke. This is how we call this position in yoga. Did you see how many times during the fight DJ was in insane side control with his base as low as it possibly goes? Hips, groins and thighs are the Base Bosses, and in Yoga for Martial Arts and Combat Sports we work on this with poses like, amongst others, frog pose!! By the way, in round 3 DJ is even kneeing Ray Borg in the side from this position..!!
6. Pick your partners, teachers and coaches wisely. When you aim for the highest, you need to be selective. Only surround yourself by people you can learn from. Look at these stats: Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1) vs. Ray Borg (11-2). Ray Borg, a 24-year old fighter, sharing the ring for almost 4 complete rounds with the best mma fighter currently walking on this planet, and not backing down. That’s effing amazing and imagine where his career can take him in the next years if he continues to spend his time amongst the greatest.
7. Keep your shoulders mobile and flexible and stay injury free through particular shoulder exercises. When clinching and wrestling gets nasty the shoulders are sensitive targets. Did you see how long Ray Borg was hanging in there in the end?? This guy already endured a lot of ish on his shoulders during the fight, but he just didn't want to tap!! Guess his shoulder must be hurting like hell, but his mobility and flexibility are clearly on point. Lots of fighters wouldn't have done this the same way.
This is why we watch and learn guys!! Please drop me a line in the comments or on firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what you thought of this fight, and what you want to read about next!!
I'm out..!! Oss, Namaste, fighters.
PS. the next blog post will be about shoulder mobility, and I'll give you some exercise techniques you can apply right away. Sign up and get notified when it's online.