I wanted to open this up for sharing. There is a lot out there...most of it good, some bad, all helpful. I get asked this by my students often and always turn it back to them with “what are your goals?”
My advice depends on their answer of course. Regardless, the following philosophy is what guides me and arguably applies to everyone. Everything else in my training world supports these two concepts. 1. Find a group of people you trust and beat the shit out of each other!
Simple, full contact sparring will teach you more than any class. Of course, it helps if you are a bit selective and invite people with different fight backgrounds like wrestling, jujitsu, Muay Thai etc... none have to be very good and experience shouldn’t be necessary. Getting punched in the face enough or choked out enough will teach you how to avoid those situations. Set some ground rules, agree on control and don’t take it personally. Just fight...forget about the taboo nature and societal pressure of what that means. Be a Spartan! 2. practice practice practice-if physically unable, visualize, meditate fight scenarios, and use your whole being to practice. I do this in my car, while running, surfing, etc...”I don’t fear the man that knows 10,000 kicks, but I do fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. Get perfect on a few techniches. Maybe a couple strikes, a takedown, and a submission, against a knife or gun. Perfect those and I mean perfect them. Think about that. You will be able to pull those off on 99% of your opponents in the street or in the ring if you are perfect. Once perfect add a few more and stop being lazy. I have lived by this philosophy my whole martial arts career and it’s never let me down. What are yours?