How to Get the Most Out of Your Martial Arts Training

Here’s Coach Charles Martinez discussing the effective mindset of learning martial arts techniques. How you learn can be as important as what you learn, take two minutes and listen to some advice about how to get the most out of your training.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hey, this is Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena, and today I wanted to talk briefly about how to get the most out of your learning. Now, sometimes in a class setting, maybe there’s multiple things being taught. They might not all specifically apply to you in your game right now. But in a class, I feel like when I’m teaching, I usually feel like I’m teaching to the middle of the room. Some of the technique is above the head of a new person, but it’s a little too simple for the advanced person. As you’re learning things, maybe you could be attracted to certain technique more than others, and maybe that’s… It could be a body type, it could be where your skill level is currently, so when you’re taking in information, this is kind of the information age for martial arts. Everything is out there. Fundamentals are fundamentals across the board, but then after you learn basic fundamentals, you want to start developing your own game.

There’s this Bruce Lee saying of, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and then add what’s specifically your own.” I think that’s important, but first… You don’t know at first what’s going to be the most useful for you. So when you’re taking in information, try and take it all in. Maybe there’s a piece today that you can apply today. Maybe the bare bones of what’s being taught today is important for your fundamentals of your game. Maybe one of the moves, or one of the versions of the move, just doesn’t make sense to you; you just don’t get it. And that’s fine. Maybe it’s not applicable to you today, but it could be. It could be as you get older, whereas maybe you have an injury, or maybe there’s an easier way of doing it. When you’re young, you have the tendency of behaving one way. When you’re older, maybe you find a path of least resistance a little bit easier. So the technique often is taught across the board, to everyone in the room, regardless of tall, short.

A good coach, as you start to develop, if you’re training specifically for yourself, you can start to tailor and decide what’s best for your body type, and your game, etc. But first you have to have the basis to build that on top of. Sometimes the technique is just not for you; maybe it’s just not for you ever, maybe it’s just not for you right now. I think when you have that mentality as you’re learning technique, it will be a lot easier to develop what is your own, but also have an open mind of other technique that could be applicable down the line, or it could be applicable against a different opponent, or a different body type. I think once you have that, you can draw something useful out of all technique, rather than being like, “I like this. I don’t like that.” Maybe you don’t like it right now because you don’t understand it right now, but down the line, you might be able to really draw something from it that benefits your game. That’s your tip.

Elite Wrestling Coach Ricky Lundell Teaching at The Arena

Elite Wrestler and Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Ricky Lundell came in a while back to work with our MMA fight team. We are always looking to expose our members to the highest level of instruction and positive people. 1% better every day!


Coach Charles Martinez:
Today, we have Ricky Lundell coming in to work with the fight team. Ricky’s a super high level wrestler, a super high level Jiu Jitsu guy. He’s been training his whole life. He was a really early black belt. Then, he went and wrestled under Cael Sanderson, who was probably the greatest college wrestler of all time.


In addition to all that, Ricky just has a great mentality for teaching. And I’m always trying to expose the guys to people that can expand their mind and open their eyes about training with a purpose, and trying to improve themselves in small increments, and kind of accepting that every day you got to try and get a little bit better. And I think Ricky kind of embodies that. So, it’s great to have him come in here, show his take on very small details. And he’s just really, really good instructor, and that’s the kind of people we’re trying to bring in here.

New MMA Training Room and Schedule at The Arena

We’ve added more classes with the expansion of our new MMA / Wrestling room. Come in today to train with us.

Monday – Thursday

-530pm Technical MMA

-630pm MMA Fundamentals

-730pm Wrestling


Coach Charles Martinez:
I am Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena. I just want to talk about our new MMA and wrestling room. We’ve always had a big MMA program but we just expanded the gym, put a bunch of money into expanding into this back room. Basically matted the whole room, wall padded the whole room. The floor is brand new Dollamur roll mats on foam blocks. It’s a little bit more shock absorbing.


We’re basically expanding our MMA program. Our regular team practices at 4:00 every day and that’s pro and amateur, all MMA fighters. Now we’re adding a 5:30 technical MMA class, a drilling class to help build the overall level of knowledge of the program up. Then 6:30 is going to be fundamental MMA and that’s going to be Monday through Thursday. 7:30 will be wrestling. We’ll have 14 MMA classes a week and 4 wrestling classes a week. Now that we have our separate space, we can really build everybody’s level of knowledge up a little bit more.

The Arena Amateur MMA Fighter Jefferson Creighton

Jefferson Creighton joined the Arena at 17 years old with a wrestling background and a desire to fight. Under the tutelage of MMA Coaches Vince and Chuck, he’s been working his way up the amateur ranks and been a great representation of what we stand for at The Arena.


Jefferson Creighton:
My name is Jefferson Creighton. I’m 21 years old. I fight out of The Arena. I started off wrestling in middle school, ended up going to tryouts, ended up falling in love with wrestling, wrestled all the way up until my senior year of high school. I lived for the competition. I wanted to compete again, so I decided to check out The Arena and start training. I’ve started my career here and I’m planning on ending my career here.

Originally, I was born here in Laguna Hills. My dad was in the Marine Corps, moved around a lot, Virginia, North Carolina, ended up coming out here to California when I was 16 years old and been here ever since. I walked into the arena when I was 17 years old, and I was asked to do the first team practice, which I learned very quickly that fighting is a lot more than just wrestling and that I had to get way more well-rounded in all aspects of the game. So I took about two years to just work on striking alone, and now I’ve kind of turned from wrestler, turned into striker.

My MMA record’s is 4 and 3. I’m also 2 and 0 in Muay Thai and kickboxing. I’ve taken a couple L’s in my amateur career, but I’ve learned a lot from them. I’m always training, but when I have a fight coming up, I usually train twice a day in the morning from 9:00 to 11:00, which consists of grappling and striking, and then I go to school and then come back at 4:00, do team practice and strength conditioning. So usually when I have a fight coming up, I’m here at the gym four hours a day.

Basically, we’re just one big team. We all have the same goal and working as one unit. I would say my inspiration to fight is actually my mom. My mom is having her own battle right now with breast cancer. She’s a fighter through and through, and I’ve always just been inspired by her strength and her determination. I’m fighting May 11 at Hotel Irvine under Roy Englebrecht Promotions. I don’t know really who my opponent is and neither do I really care. I just get in there and fight whoever they put in front of me and just go out there and perform.

Chris Leben Stability Ball Drills For MMA

The Arena MMA Coach Chris Leben teaches some simple MMA and Wrestling drills you can do at home with a stability ball to keep in shape during this lockdown. Check it out.


Coach Chris Leben:
What up, everybody, Chris Leben. And here’s a few drills you can do on your own just with the yoga ball. Working on your sprawl.

Work my shadow boxing on the ball, focusing on my balance. I’m trying to sit up high, forward on my knees so my core is activated and just throwing punches.

Here’s one for your clinch game, just driving it in, drive it into the wall. Switch your shoulders about midway, switch your feet, switch your shoulder, drive, switch, drive, switch, drive.

So here’s a good drill for top pressure. Just stand up, just working my circle, circling the ball, circling the ball, use your legs, circle, circle, switch your direction, circle. Pressure for your top game.

So there’s some simple workouts using yoga ball, no partner at home. Get through this.

Baret Yoshida and Andre the Giant

Here’s a fun clip with The Arena’s Jiu Jitsu and Grappling Coach Baret Yoshida discussing his recent fascination with The 8th Wonder of the World, Andre the Giant.


Coach Baret Yoshida:
When I was like nine years old, I used to stay at my grandpa’s house. He had Japanese channel, so the best thing is to watch were the samurai movies or pro wrestling or Sumo. So I always be watching that, and I would just fascinate on The Giant and the pro wrestlers, I mean, how big they were. They were like monsters. You know what I mean?

Recently, I just got really into Andrea and I watched his documentary. I read his books. Then I started buying his T-shirts and obsessing over Andre the Giant. So Vince was messing around and he found a picture of Andre, and he put the Baret Submissions logo on top of Andre’s T-shirt. They just fit perfectly. He just made a couple of shirts for fun.

When Andre was young, he was a superb athlete as well. He used to do back flips. He would exercise with all of the pro wrestlers and they kind of just recruited him from there, and then he essentially built the wrestling because he was the anomaly. Wherever he would go, the stadiums would sell out. At the end, he was all beat up, but when he was in his prime, I think he would tear people to pieces. I just figure he was probably the greatest grappler that ever lived. You know what I mean?

Chris Leben MMA Drills Using a Wall

In this video, MMA Coach and UFC Veteran Chris Leben shows some simple movement drills you can do at home using just a wall. These will help keep you flexible and mobile for Wrestling and MMA.


Chris Leben:
What up guys? Chris Leben here and we just want to show you guys some drills that you can do at home to keep your MMA game up to speed.

What up guys? Here’s a pretty killer workout you can do at home, great for setting up your throws, great for your core. Very simple wall walks. So I’m just going to start here, doing a backbend like I’m doing a throw. Walk my head all the way down to the mat. Walk myself back up. Walk my head all the way down to the mat. Walk myself back up.

Great for your core. Again, great exercise when you’re used to popping those hips and getting that flexibility to drop people on their head.

Here’s a real simple guard retention drill you can do at home. All you need is a wall. Lie down. So right here I’m going to start with my head against the wall. My hands I’m going to push up, bring my legs up, regain my guard, spin around, head against the wall. Push up, legs come up, regained my guard. Spin around, head against the wall, extended up, pitch up, regained my guard. So great for the abs. Great for keeping you loose, keeping that guard flexible, simple drill you can do at home.

About The Arena

The Arena is the largest gym in North America for Combat Sports and Martial Arts instruction.

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3350 Sports Arena Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110 USA

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