Andy Ogle: Embrace the Grind
More is more, less is more blah blah blah blah embrace the grind
A saying that team Kaobon lives by is ‘Embrace the grind.’ Definition of the word embrace: hold (someone) closely in one's arms, especially as a sign of affection. accept (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.
definition of the word grind: crushing or grating sound or motion. hard dull work.This quote means to the lads and I that we try to keep on going through the tough times. We try to enjoy our job even when things aren’t going right. At the end of the day fighting is my job and it is a tough one but I have to accept the bad days with the good days because you never know when a bad day is going to come around. It would be childish of me to not train when I’m having a bad day like a child that takes away his ball when things aren’t going his way in a game of heads and volleys. A bad day can tell you more about yourself than a good day. Plus in a fight we never know how we are going to perform. You known when you say to your wife/husband: “I had a bad day at the office, babe”. A bad day at the office for me generally means I got my head kicked in, live in front of millions of viewers, in a cage wearing a pair of spankies (tighties) for 15 minutes. So we embrace the hardness of our work. We constantly joke about pain and also trying to be the manliest in the gym, in a joking fashion. We do this because we aim to look at it as a positive and the best way to embrace hardships in the gym and keep on going is with a smile on your face. This is a tough sport like I’ve said already. We know what we are getting ourselves in to so when training is getting real tiresome on the body what better way to dig even deeper that tell everyone that you are not hurting and that you can push it harder and faster. Sub consciously you never know you might just find a new level at which your body can be pushed. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is the most demanding sport I have ever taken part in. when I say demanding I do not just mean physically I also mean mentally. I do not claim that MMA is the most demanding sport out of all sports played worldwide. I do not have a knowledge of the demands both mentally and physically of other sports. I feel that if I said MMA was the most demanding it would be disrespectful to the other sports. I do however believe that MMA, if there was a list of most demanding sports, would most certainly be amongst the top five in that list. MMA in the eye of the competitor is a combination of arts, which the competitor feels are the most appropriate skills used by themselves in order to take advantage of his opponent. A wrestler will try and utilise their take downs on a stand up fighter, a stand up fighter will try and utilise his knock out ability against a jiu jitsu fighter whilst the jiu jitsu guy solely wants to take the fight to the mat and submit his opponent. Ever since day one of training MMA I didn’t want to be in deep water anywhere. I love all areas of MMA. The modern day MMA fighter is well versed in all areas of the game. The MMA fighter doesn’t like to be beat anywhere. He is a very competitive person. If you overtake me whilst driving I must overtake you. In fact once I was running along the sea front and somebody overtook me near the end of my 5 mile. I kept on running and kept on their back foot for an extra two miles before realising what the hell I was doing. I had sparring the next day and the original five mile run was a fast paced run for fitness and a little bit of opening my lungs. It ended up turning into something else. So lets get back to the real point of the article. To be a top level MMA fighter you must train all areas of your game like there is no tomorrow. When training for a fight I never feel fresh. I’m constantly in pain because I train three times a day for five days then train once on the Saturday. My team mates and I sometimes say ‘embrace the grind’ or ‘yes, I love it’ or ‘this is our job’. The grind is natural in a physically demanding sport and putting a positive spin on it helps with the mental side of things. Hell we are fighters we don’t play tidily winks. So what embracing the grind means to me is that I won’t stop. They say 10,000 man hours in repeating a skill will make you great at it. MMA is so demanding and so packed with different skills that your only choice is to embrace the grind because you don’t have time to not. The guys at the top of their game in the UFC are generally around the age of 28+ because this sport takes a lot of time to perfect. Can you embrace the grind? This is a tough question. Many people I know can’t. I once met someone back home and they said after their first training session: “I thought I could be the UFC champion in like 2 years time. This is a lot tougher than I thought it would be.” I’ve also seen guys train hard for a week or two then leave the gym for a break for a week. Do this for two years like rinse and repeat. This kind of approach will not get you anywhere neither. If you want to get anywhere you need to live it, breath it, eat it, sleep it, rave, rave rave rave repeat……damn that shit song got stuck in my head for a second. When I first got started in MMA I got upset that I had to keep on telling my friends that I couldn’t come to this party and that get together because I had training. They kept on asking like good friends but then soon enough they stopped because there was only going to be so many times they could hear me say no and nobody likes to get let down. A year passed down the line like a blink of an eye and I looked through my phonebook one day and seen that like 90% of the people I had in there were MMA related people. Then another half year goes by and I look in the mirror and my ears look totally different, my nose is flatter than lord Voldemort’s and half of my clothes are for training. I found that when I was going to university I was thinking about MMA. I once jumped out of the university window during a lesson to get to training because I didn’t want to miss out. Yes that’s right I jumped out of a second story window just so I didn’t miss training and I was desperate to leave the lecture. This is no word of a lie. If you ask at Sunderland university of sport in order to see if my story is true just ask a few of the lecturers. you won’t have to go far to find out that this actually did happen. Why? Because, I couldn’t get enough of MMA and because I am awesome. The conclusion to this blog is that if you want something you’ll do anything to get it. Us at team Kaobon are at a good level in MMA right now but we want more. We are just at the bottom of a ladder that we are trying to climb. You could in fact want to be at the part of the ladder where I am at, right now. Don’t take no for an answer. Push your body through hell because anything worth having is hard to obtain. EMBRACE THE GRIND! Written by Andy Ogle (The 'Little Axe')
- Andy Ogle