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Old 12-20-2008, 10:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The "athleticism" thread

I think the word athleticism is being thrownb around way too much. "He's a batter athlete than that guy", "That guy is so athletic" etc.

How should we define athleticism with focus on MMA?

Literally speaking, since winning an olympic gold medal means you're the best athlete in your sport, it would for instance mand Hidehiko Yoshida is a better athlete than allmost any other MMA fighter, since he's (was, at least) a #1 ranked athlete in his respective sport.

So I think we shouldn't use the literal definition of "being a better athlete", because then we'll just compare what fighter A and B has accomplished in various non-MMA competition.

Also, does Explosivene = athlete for you? Because I think John Fitch and Randy Couture are great athletes (for resaons I will motivate below, but they are more strong over a long time than they are explosive. SO we shouldn't put too much weight on that definition either IMO.

Should we incorporate technique in being an athlete? I think so, becasue if athlete isn't just a definition on your body type, what your bran is capable of has to count as well.

So what is my suggestion of a decent definition of athleticism with focus on MMA? I think it's a combination of having a body with great capabilities and being able to learn new aspects of MMA quickly. Having capability of becoming very good at say, striking in a pretty short time when you are really a BJJ ace or a wrestling champ says a lot about your athleticism IMO.

As for the bodily abilities of a truly athletic person, the body should be able to continue to develop and develop different kinds of strength simultaneosly so that wrestling, grappling and standup can all be used effectively.

So basically I define a great MMA athlete as someone who has a great potential in all aspects, or at least most aspects, in MMA. Which doesn't mean that he has to be good in the aspects to begin with, just able to develop them.

So let's talk about some MMA athletes:

GSP is a great example of being athletic: With primarily a striking backgound, he has been able to still develop arguably the best wrestling in MMA and some sick grappling as well.

KOS, is also very athletic because he has quickly learned very good MMA-striking as well as submissions.

Per this definition, we'd have to say Brock and Randy are both terrific athletes as well.

FEDOR have to be one of the greatest athlete in MMA, since he has developed so much in MMA since his RINGS fights, pack the best HW striking arguably, some of the best Judo/Sambo clinching and very slick submissions. At the same time he keeps himself both explosive and strong over a long time. Plus he's gotta be the best SAMBO practitioner in the world at the same time!

He's pudgy, you say? He isn't ripped? That has NOTHING to do with athleticism! (which is many people's mistake when they talk about being athletic).

I also think, and here people are gonna start disagreeing with me, that Anderson silva is a terrific athlete. My motivation is because he's avtually very hard to take down from the clinch, he's a superb striker as well as a VERY good grappler! And what makes him athletic is that he's DEVELOPED all of this. He get's better constantly,because a lot of what he have now he did absolutely not have in PRIDE. (If anyone wants to hate on his wrestling, he took Nate Marquardt down and GnP'd him into oblivion in an instant. In the Lutter fight he had some serious knee injuries, so he was kinda stiff there).

I actually also think Nog is a great athlete, because he's developed so many skills and is such a complete MMArtist now compared to just being a BJJ guy. He may lack eplosiveness, but that's about the only thing he lacks!

Mir IMO, is NOT that good of an athlete IMO, he basically only have his explosive submissions and some pretty sloppy striking and wrestling, as well as horrific cardio and he's shown no sign of wanting to change that. That doesn't cut it for my definition. Which is one of the reasons I found it so laughable that he said he was 200 times tha athlete Nog is.

Mark Coleman was a great athlete in the sense that he performed very well in wrestling, but as far as MMA goes he was NOT a good athlete. He didn't develop anything, it seemed, his cardio was not that good and against Nog he got dominated even in the clinch due to his lack of standup.

BJ Penn is a very special case, becuase his mind has to be like, the best MMA-athletic mind ever, but his body, apart from being flexible and him ahving heavy hands, is pretty average. Same goes for KenFlo: He's developed a LOT in all aspects of MMA, but it's not like it's his spectacular physique that wins him his fights. So we could go with them being talented athletes more than being just athletes.

So, thought my definition sucked and that you have a better one? Can think of any more fighters who by mine or your atandart has to count as athletic? Any fighters who are athletic but are never given credit for it? Post here. Let's sort this "Athleticism " word out.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I love Big Nog, but he probably has the same athletic ability as Sylvia, but that may be due to the years of getting beat on so badly.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think athleticism is the integration of heart, natural physical ability, discipline, mastery of the mental game, and aggression.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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For me, athleticism is a combination of explosiveness and conditioning. Kevin Randleman was a great example in his prime.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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laugh if you will, but in terms of athleticism and endurance, Dan Severn takes the pie
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i always thought athleticism had more to do with natural ability than anything... some guys can just pick up a sport and in a few days time it seems they have been doin it forever..
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ryano1985 View Post
i always thought athleticism had more to do with natural ability than anything... some guys can just pick up a sport and in a few days time it seems they have been doin it forever..
I fully agree with you! Also physically, a wrester type who gets good punching power and vice versa.

But IMO Randleman is actually not a good MMA-Athlete: He hasn't developed at all! He most certainly does not have this "Naturl abilty" when it comes to submissions and technical striking!He was a good wrestling athlete but hardly a good MMA athlete.
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joppp View Post
I fully agree with you! Also physically, a wrester type who gets good punching power and vice versa.

But IMO Randleman is actually not a good MMA-Athlete: He hasn't developed at all! He most certainly does not have this "Naturl abilty" when it comes to submissions and technical striking!He was a good wrestling athlete but hardly a good MMA athlete.
I believe you are talking about talent, not athleticism. Technique development has to do with talent. Strength and speed are measures of an athlete.

My brother has trained in Kyokushin for a couple of years before switching to Judo. He was never explosive or very strong. Yet in both Judo and Kyokushin he has shown very good technical prowess. He is talented, he is not an athlete.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freelancer View Post
I believe you are talking about talent, not athleticism. Technique development has to do with talent. Strength and speed are measures of an athlete.

My brother has trained in Kyokushin for a couple of years before switching to Judo. He was never explosive or very strong. Yet in both Judo and Kyokushin he has shown very good technical prowess. He is talented, he is not an athlete.
So athleticism in your opinion is all about physique? Because in my oppinion a talented person is someone who just learns everything fast and effortlessly, but an athletic person canTRAIN to get good at almost any sport, but it may not go that fast. And that includes technique IMO.

Because just casue, say Randleman is one of the the most EXPLOSIVE guys in MMA doesn't mean he's pne of the best athletes. Or does it? I feel like I don't get this straight...
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