Under-appreciated Traits of Combat Athletes

Can you get better, faster, by focusing on these neglected areas of fighter development?

You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended… So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.
– Sun Tzu

An MMA, BJJ or Muay Thai fighter, a wrestler and a boxer, all need to be strong and quick, powerful and in great shape to be successful. But what about some under appreciated traits that might help take a combat athlete from good to great?


This is a topic that I’m just starting to wrap my head around, but I think it’s interesting enough to share and get some feedback, so I can collaborate with friends and teammates on further exploration.


Here’s some traits that come to mind:

  • Quick recovery
  • Tough skin
  • Resilience/Injury resistance – joint and ligament strength
  • Anti-anxiety/stress coping
  • The ability to either stick to a gameplan, or adapt that plan mid-fight
  • Pain endurance
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Cold and Flu prevention


Do we ever try to improve in these areas? How would one go about methodically and scientifically improving joint health or pain endurance? I know that if I got sick less often in the wintertime, I’d lose a lot fewer training days.


The concept here is simple: focus on traits that others neglect.


This is basically the 80/20 rule. Focus on the 20% that will give you the most benefit. Because fewer fighters are doing the same, a smaller improvement in stress coping, for example, should lead to a larger gain in your overall development as a fighter.


Let me know in the comments what you do to improve in these areas, if you’re going add this gameplan to your training and any other traits that you can think of. And I’ll keep doing the digging on ways to improve our “under-appreciated” traits.




We’re going through all the entries in the Flow Athletics x BJJ Video Vault giveaway. There were some really amazing comments submitted and I recommend reading all 36 fan descriptions of the flow state here: http://bjjvideovault.com/flow-athletics-giveaway/


Unfortunately, not everyone followed the directions. If you didn’t click like on the Flow Athletics Facebook Page, you can’t win!


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