5 days. 5 days left until my MMA fight. 4 days left until weigh-ins. My body is beat. I’m hungry. I have 10 more pounds to lose. Yet I can’t wait until Saturday night to walk out, hear the music start playing, hear the crowd, feel the rush as the cage closes and the referee says “fight”. It’s the Word we train, sweat and bleed to hear. Our chance to show what we’ve worked so hard for. Our form of art.
I took this fight with a really short notice — only 2.5 weeks. Normally, we are in training camp for 6 to 8 weeks. However, it’s not like I hadn’t been training: I’ve been part of Chad George (WEC veteran) and Mac Danzig’s (UFC) training camps, who are/were fighting the week after me. (Mac Danzig unfortunately got injured and had his fight postponed.) Some fighters take quite a bit of time off between fights, but I always train — I love it! Thus, I was ready when the promoter gave me the call.
The hardest part for me is usually the diet and the weight cut — I usually cut between 20 to 25 pounds — but it’s been a walk in the park this time, despite the short training camp. What did I do differently this time compared to previous fights? I trained less. I trained smarter, not harder. What else is different? My hunger to win. In my last fight for Strikeforce, I tasted defeat for the first time in five years. Funnily enough, I didn’t enjoy it and I don’t want to have that bitter taste in my mouth again. And so I’m more motivated than ever, and I’m going out there to win.
My MMA fight is on June 4th for Respect in the Cage in Pomona. For all my fights, I will donate 10% of my purse to the Marni Fund, in support of cancer research. Get your tickets from one of our KMW Training Centers™ locations.
People ask me all the time: What’s the difference between Krav Maga and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)? Well, allow me to explain the fundamental differences between the two.
With MMA, you want to be a fighter, so you find a gym, you start training, and you start sparring. You bleed, you sweat, you hurt, and you smile. And then, the natural step is to get a fight. Once you have some amateur fights and turn pro, the hobby/fun/sport/martial art becomes business:
- You decide what weight you will fight at.
- You find a matchmaker or a matchmaker finds you — sometimes through your gym, sometimes through your manager. This matchmaker works for a promotion company, who will now be your employer, either for a fight or for several fights, if you sign a contract.
- The matchmaker finds you an opponent — usually a match-up that the matchmaker thinks is “fan-friendly” (i.e. a fight that the crowd will enjoy).
- You negotiate a purse. Not a Christian Dior one, but rather the amount of money that you will be paid for the fight.
- You go into training camp for X amount of weeks, where you train harder than you have ever trained before.
- You step into a cage and perform in front of paying customers/clients/fans/crowds, like a modern day gladiator.
So how does this differ from Krav Maga?
- In MMA, you fight for a living. In Krav Maga, you fight for your life.
- In MMA, you fight to win a purse. In Krav Maga, you fight to keep a purse.
- In MMA, you fight in a cage. In Krav Maga, you might fight someone who looks like Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona.
Thus, Mixed Martial Arts and Krav Maga serve two completely different purposes: sport versus self-defense.
For those of you who do watch MMA — or who have never seen it but want to experience it live — I went through all of the above and will be fighting on June 4th for Respect in the Cage in Pomona. I’m in my last week of training camp, and I’m ready to go.
For all my fights, I will donate 10% of my purse to the Marni Fund, in support of cancer research. Get your tickets from one of our locations.
Want to follow my fight preparations? Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/marcuskowal.
So, here we go. 5 days to fight night. 1 hard day left of training and then training camp ends. I currently weigh 145 lbs and need to lose 2 lbs more before cutting the last 8 lbs of water the day of the weigh-ins. I started this training camp weighing 160 lbs. People ask, “How do you lose so much weight so quickly?” It’s no secret: I burn more calories than I eat; all it takes is a lot of dedication and self-discipline.
I’m eating between 1,500 – 1,800 calories per day and training 3-5 hours per day. At this point, my blood sugar is so low that my head spins when I stand up. This morning, I caught myself being jealous of my dog when I fed him!
For those of you that don’t know, we are doing Strikeforce’s Open Workout with all the fighters (Babalu Sobral, Robbie Lawler, KJ Noons, myself, etc.) from 1 pm to 3 pm. It’ll be held at KMW Training Centers™ • West L.A.
For those of you that are planning to attend the event, make sure you get your tickets ASAP, because they’re selling out! Also, remember that 10% of all tickets bought through Krav Maga Worldwide™ will be donated to the Marni Fund and Stop Cancer. For those of you that don’t know Marni Levine, she was the highest-ranked female Krav Maga instructor. She was also the wife of Darren Levine (Chief Instructor, Krav Maga Worldwide™). She was a great instructor, a good friend, a mother, a daughter and a wife. She was such an inspiration and her spirit fights on, fighting the battle against cancer.
June 16 • NOKIA Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Call (800) KRAV.MAGA for tickets
One and a half week to go to fight night. “Are you nervous?”; “Are you scared?”; “how do you feel?”; are some of the most common questions.
No, I’m not nervous. Not at this point.
No, I’m not scared – I can’t allow myself to think about that.
How do you think I feel, on 1,800 calories a day and 3-5 hours of training??
The diet, the training camp, the sparring. At this point, I just want to get it on. It’s preparing for battle in its truest form. The diet is the hardest part. Cutting so much weight makes you think “why am I doing this again?”. Yet, it’s something within that drives – something hard to explain. Maybe the adrenaline rush? – I dunno, but it’s something I know we can all relate to as members and instructors here at KMW Training Centers™.
This is the main difference yet similarity between Krav Maga and MMA:
I’m preparing for a battle – the battle that we at Krav Maga Worldwide hope to be able to avoid. Yet, I’m doing everything I can to prepare so that I can go home safe.
147 lbs this morning – 5 lbs more before cutting the last 7 lbs of water the morning of!
I am happy and excited about getting a chance to represent Krav Maga Worldwide at such a big event as Strikeforce and hope to see you all there!
NOKIA Theatre, Los Angeles, Ca
Call (800) KRAV.MAGA for tickets
You’ve spent the last several months getting through Level 1 and into Level 2. You’re starting to feel like your training is FINALLY starting to really come together, and the principles of Krav Maga totally make sense now! Now you’ve got a full week out of town. In my last blog installment (Krav-atar), we talked about what to do when you’re in another city at another Krav Maga Worldwide™ Official Training Center.
This week’s problem is a little tougher to figure out. I’m off to Honolulu for my job (my day job, not for Krav Maga). I’ve got to figure out a few things to do while I’m there, since there’s no one teaching Krav Maga on the island as far as my research indicated. The good news for me is that I planned ahead. I scouted out the different hotels available to me while out of town. The hotel I chose has a pretty sweet gym with plenty of free weights and enough equipment to help me out.
The plan is to find the WOD available here on KMWTrainingCenters.com and use the equipment in the room wherever possible to give myself a killer KMW-style CrossFit workout. You may have to make modifications based on what the gym has available for you. Don’t forget going for a run, too! You can mix up some straight forward “Baseline” exercises (i.e. squats, push-ups, sit-ups, etc.) with 400 meter dashes. Care to guess what the odds are that I’ll do some of this on the beach? Yeah, I wouldn’t take that bet either!