When I train, I love to take time off and fly to the Natural History Museum or an exhibition. I just love that. When you know your past, it will help you with your future... That's why most of my friends are not fighters. Most of my friends are nerds like me. That's why I have a hard time finding a girlfriend. I need someone to talk science with. I'm married to my work right now. But you never know. One day I could wake up and just do something different. Life is so unpredictable.
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You don't get better on the days when you feel like going. You get better on the days when you don't want to go, but you go anyway. If you can overcome the negative energy coming from your tired body or unmotivated mind, you will grow and become better. It won't be the best workout you have, you won't accomplish as much as what you usually do when you actually feel good, but that doesn't matter. Growth is a long term game, and the crappy days are more important.
People think athleticism is just physical, but it's not. It's connected to the brain and how the brain can learn to execute and see a movement or not. Especially at high speed. Being athletic is not just jumping and running and being powerful. It's the nervous system that guides the body. The muscles don't decide anything. The brain decides and makes things happen.
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Dinosaurs were huge and powerful; they could not adapt and they died out. And so the big difference between dinosaurs and cockroaches is adaptability: one is able to adjust, while the other, apparently, couldn't... The same analogy applies to fighting, and probably any other sport. It's not always the strong that survive. It takes brains, guts, tolerance and forward thinking. We've seen this since the beginning of mixed martial arts.
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Think about climbing a mountain. If you decide you're going up Everest, you don't start with a sprint. You'll never make it out of base camp if you do that. The secret is two fold: make sure your approach is consistent and steady so that you can maintain the progress you're making as your journey continues.
People often say, 'Ah, ultimate fighting is so violent,' but it's rooted in martial arts. Martial arts incarnate respect. You can't walk into a dojo and say to your sensei, 'Hey, salut tabarnac!' After every one of my fights I go and shake the hand of my opponent. I don't need to hate the other fighter to fight him well. It's a sport.
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Humanity's true purpose is not to become stronger physically, it's to become more intelligent-from armies, who increasingly fight with specialized units rather than regiments and tanks, to garage owners, who use a lot more than jacks to fix your engine. As intelligence prevails throughout humanity, maybe there'll be fewer wars and better cars.
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I'm a shy guy... I don't enjoy being bothered but I never say no to a fan. I say yes to everybody... even though sometimes you have some days where you don't feel like it, but it's your duty as athlete to do it. Because the fans that pay it's going to make you live, so you have to do it. So I force myself to do it all the time.