The Relationship Between Age And Fighting With Teddy Atlas
The aging process can be a big fear for some people. Particularly those in combat sports, where the thought of the body not doing what you want it to becomes a real possibility. It is a scary thought, especially for all the people who have shaped so much of their lives around martial arts.
The art of fighting demands a lot from the body. No matter which particular martial art it is, fighting in general requires rigorous discipline from the body. With that being said, have you ever noticed how some athletes within the combat sports community seem to get better or stay great as they age?
Teddy begins the video by posing the million dollar question, “why are some fighters in this great sport able to be successful at later ages, where other ones are not”. This is surely thought provoking, and Teddy began to ponder it himself.
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As Teddy was thinking about this, some of the more obvious reasons came up such as genetics, personal habits and how you generally take care of yourself, as well as styles of fighting that one trains. While all of those are factors, the factor that kept consistently popping into the mind of Teddy was technique.
He began thinking of some fighters who have been able to be successful as they age, compared to some who have not been able to stay successful. He gives the examples of Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins, both of whom fought into their 40’s and 50’s. They were both extremely successful and the common denominator is good, solid technique.
In thinking of some fighters who’s game has diminished with age, he gives the example of Roy Jones. A great fighter in his prime, he had talent and skills but he relied on things such as reflexes, quickness, speed, and anticipation, but was lacking technique. As he got older, those things he relied on dissipated and he started to get caught later in his career.
What ends up happening to some of these fighters is their technique starts to betray them. Not to say there weren't once great fighters, but when they were young and in good shape they were more able to rely on parts of their game other than technique. When some of that skill started to fade with age, they didn't have enough proper technique to fall back on.
Teddy also brings up the example of the Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin fight from this year. He says that without knocking Whyte, he was betrayed by his technique in that fight. Teddy explains that when he had Povetkin at the end of his jab early in the fight, he wasn’t doing anything else after the jab. In terms of landing a solid combination Teddy states, “if you set the table, go and eat!” which Whyte did not do. Doing this allowed Povetkin to survive and although Whyte did drop him twice, Povetkin was able to get back up and Whyte could not finish him due to a lack of technique.
Whyte also allowed Povetkin to get too close, failing to keep him at a distance even with a height and reach advantage. Because of this and because of the technique of 41 year old Povetkin, he was able to get the win with a fifth round knockout.
Teddy says that the reason Povetkin won aside from the “championship heart” from getting up off the ground twice, was because he was taught that after you throw a jab you move your head because you might get hit with a counter. So what he did was he threw a jab, moved his head and Whytes straight right counter missed, making an opening for an uppercut from Povetkin to get a knockout and win a title at 41 years old.
Teddy shares that at the end of the day while there are many factors in the relationship between age and fighting, the reason why fighting is called the “sweet science” is because of technique.
Teddy Atlas has been training some of the greatest fighters out there for decades, and is one of the most sought after striking coaches around. He has cornered legends in world championship title fights, and has devoted his life to coaching others in this sport that he loves so much.
Teddy has and continues to compile all of his skill and knowledge into instructionals to share with the world. There is so much packed into each of his instructionals, that it would be hard to find a better and more valuable deal anywhere else.