Here's a fantastic fight testimonial I've received from Dave Garrett - thanks so much mate, and your fight performance was incredible!
"It has been 3 days since I won my debut semi-pro MMA fight and I find myself searching the forums for future events where I can experience the same success as I did on Saturday night. I attribute my success to the hard work that was undertaken by my Coaches, training partners and myself. The following testimonial highlights some of the preparation that was given by Gary Turner.
Professional: 13 years service in the armed forces (10 years as a Physical Training instructor and 5 years in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps as a rehabilitation specialist)
Sporting background: 19 years playing competitive rugby
7 years Martial arts experience (Training in aikido, Vale tudo, BJJ (Currently blue belt) and kickboxing.
I took the fight in June this year, which gave me 5 months to prepare. I had already spent the best part of 8 months Strength and Power training which had resulted in me gaining a lot of extra bulk (muscle and fat). I decided that there were 3 main priorities from the outset:
1. Prepare my physical fitness specifically for the MMA environment.
2. Lose the weight to fight at light heavy weight (93kg) - I weighed 108.5 kg.
3. Improve my martial arts skills to competitive MMA level.
Having a solid base in the grappling arts I decided that the majority of my focus should be on kickboxing, this was coupled with a groin injury which prevented a lot of guard fighting (an essential part of grappling).
July - August.
This far out from the fight, my focus was to finish my strength training cycle and progress to power. I also began private tuition under Gary to sharpen up my kickboxing skills. I already studied under Gary at his kickboxing class and had grappled with him on many occasions so knew he was a good coach, I was yet to find out that he had a whole other level of teaching ability in a 1 to 1 environment. The skills and conditioning sessions delivered by Gary here really picked my training up a notch and helped me identify areas to improve. I noticed a cross over into other areas of training...I started to flow and move more efficiently during sparring both in kickboxing and grappling.
September - October
With the summer out of the way I had lost alot of weight already and by September I had dropped to 102 kg. I had noticed that as the event drawed closer, I was getting anxious about fighting. It’s normal to experience nerves with a challenging event pending; only this time was different. I started to go into flight or fight mode just thinking about what was to come, this would also happen when watching similar contests on the TV and had started to affect my concentration and my sleep. I decided to discuss this with Gary who offered to do some sports hypnosis with me.
The hypnosis session lasted about 2 hours (although it felt alot shorter) and I remember much of the session. I had told Gary about my nerves, which I thought were related to some other situations. I spent most of the session laughing my anxiety away and left feeling alot more focused. Following that first session my anxiety returned to a normal level and my concentration and sleep problems were resolved.
A couple of weeks of preparation passed with this new level of focus and then some new problems appeared. I was stuck at 98 kg and also was concerned that my ability would be up to scratch. Gary offered to do some more work with me which I gladly accepted. This time I don’t remember much of what went on, it was on a Saturday morning and we had already done a little warm up training. I asked Gary if there was any way he could help me with: i. my weight loss, ii. tying together everything I had learned and iii. my adductor strain (which had gotten quite sore).
During this session I remember Gary asking my subconscious if it knew how to heal my adductor, to which the reply was yes and whether rehabilitation was required, to which the answer was no! Following the session my adductor no longer gave me trouble during training or indeed the fight. I also began breaking through the 98 kg barrier.
Following the hypnosis this time Gary wanted to trial some of the cue words he had installed suring the session, he asked me to strike his stand up dummy 'BOB' and promptly delivered the command 'continuous'. On hearing this my strikes began to flow naturally and continuously and I felt more relaxed, the next command that followed was 'pick it up!' This command gave me an uncontrollable urge to strike the dummy continuously as fast as I could. The strange thing was that I was getting tired and wanted to slow down...but couldn’t! It wasnt until Garys next command which told me to slow down that I managed to get a break (albeit a short one before the next 'pick it up!'.
I know about pushing myself to my physical limits, or at least I thought I did. It doesnt matter how hard you try and push, your body will always find a way of slowing down...with these new commands I had a way of pushing through my own self-imposed barriers. We retested the commands during our Monday night sparring sessions and they worked a treat, giving me the ability to relentlessly work on my sparring partners (who I must thank again for their support).
November - Pre fight
The week leading up to the fight I was asked on many occasions if I was confident, to which I replied 'I am just Ready!' I was as ready as I had ever been, for anything. On the Wednesday prior to the event I had another session with Gary to refresh all the work we had done, I had also undergone a couple of intense pressure testing sessions which really prepared me psychologically for the intensity I was going to have to work. The Thursday and Friday was spent cutting the last remaining weight (i had already practised losing the last 3 kilos in th Sauna but it turned out unnecessary). During these 2 days I felt no nerves and had a clear head, I hardly even thought about the fight! I made weight, replenished my body and had a normal Saturday before making my way down to Andover for the Into the cage 4 event.
Gary arrived shortly after me and helped me to warm up. We did some warming up and I felt some slight jitters on the initial couple of minutes which I think was due to my start up system kicking in. 30 minutes prior to fighting Gary did a final hypnosis session with me. Following this I got my gloves on and prepared to go out. From the moment I began my walk out to the moment I was stood in the cage apposite my opponent, I was in a state of complete focus. I had a job to do and it was as simple as that. As the fight started I heard my 2 cue words 'continuous...pick it up!'. My goal for the fight was to execute my skills exactly how I had trained which I achieved. Once I got into a mounted position on my opponent, I was able to sustain a constant work rate which caused the fight to end in 1 minute 18 seconds of the first round. The end of the fight felt exactly as I had visualised it, a triumphant end to months of hard work and preparation.
A massive thanks to Gary for all the time and effort he put in to helping me prepare for this fight."