Introduction to guest:
Mittmaster Matt is a martial arts student of 35 years and an instructor, author and creator of the Mittmaster Pad Training system, a complete pad training system with over 500 drills.
He first started pad training more than 25 years ago in Jeet Kune Do (JKD), Kickboxing, & Muay Thai, under Anton St’James.
He later studied under Bob Breen at the infamous Breen Legacy Academy (Hoxton Academy) where he met Erik Paulson, the first person he witnessed that could strike and grapple with equal skill.
Matt travelled to LA several times over the following years where he would train with Paulson, often three times a day. This is where he started his professional MMA career, retiring three years later, undefeated.
He then travelled to Thailand to train at Tiger Muay Thai when it had little more than two rings.
Returning to the UK, Matt started looking for new ways to train stand up striking and met Phil Norman just as he was creating his elusive “Ghost” striking style.
Matt trained to become one of the first UK Ghost Instructors and has practiced it ever since.
In this podcast we delve into the lessons Matt has learned on his long journey in martial arts, technical training strategies, supplemental training advice, mindset and preparation.
Key quotes and takeaways from the show:
Record your training sessions.
Don’t worry about looking stupid – put your ego aside.
For improvement and facing your fears, take small incremental steps.
“You can’t go 100% all the time during training. Something will break!”
Care! – Everything else is secondary.
Your training needs to include an element of speed, timing and resistance to test its functionality.
90% of self-defence is awareness.
“I reread my entire library every year!”
Question of the day:
What advice do you give to people who are in a performance plateau?
Links to podcast sites:
The full podcast:
Geoff Thompson was mentioned several times during this podcast – a formed bouncer and self-defence expert, Geoff talks to us about his personal transformation and the most valuable martial arts systems for self-defence.
To be notified on future podcasts:
Why would you want to do this?
- You can watch upcoming podcasts live on Facebook.
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- You can send in questions for upcoming guests.
If your question gets answered and you miss the live show, you can watch it here later.
In order of first mention:
- 1:03 – Matt’s life story.
- 03:04 – An introduction to the Mittmaster system.
- 04:04 – Matt’s opinion on the most functional martial art styles.
- 05:30 – Martial arts that suit Matt best.
- 06:02 – The most practical form of self defence and situational awareness.
- 07:55 – The big lessons Matt learned from mentors during his life journey.
- 12:11 – Can you train yourself to endure pain?
- 14:33 – Dealing with the ego of high level martial artists.
- 17:57 – Advice for people who are in a performance plateau.
- 20:58 – A beginners mindset and what to expect in martial arts/combative situations.
- 25:09 – Matt’s perspective on confidence and fear.
- 36:45 – How Matt prepared for fights.
- 39:25 – Matt’s experience of training with Erik Paulson.
- 40:27 – How to sustain training into old age.
- 46:04 – Matt’s reflections on his fighting days.
- 47:15 – Stoic philosophy and Taoism.
- 48:53 – Fighting as an art.
- 49:42 – Flow state.
- 51:01 – Matt’s exposure to meditation and breathwork.
- 53:00 – Gaz’s fun fact about Wanderlei Silva.
- 54:26 – Training a fighter is hard work!
- 55.36 – What makes a good coach?
- 56:58 – The Ghost Elusive Combat System.
- 01:01:36 – Brain damage in combat sports and the risk of wearing gloves.
- 01:06:40 – The dynamics of a powerful punch.
- 01:10:45 – The importance of “aliveness” in testing the functionality of a martial art.
- 01:15:00 – Group attack scenarios, awareness, avoidance and the use of martial arts.
- 01:20:23 – Business advice for martial arts instructors.
- 01:28:04 – Books Matt revisits the most.
- 01:32:31 – Matt’s final words and where to find him.
- 01:33:53 – The odds of us being alive are unimaginable – There is no excuse not to be passionate!
People and resources mentioned:
- Bob Breen
- Erik Paulson
- Liam Harrison
- Tiger Woods
- Michael Phelps
- Ghost Elusive Striking
- Phil Norman
- Jigoro Kano
- Fight Club (Brad Pitt)
- David Goggins
- “Geoff Hill” (Gaz meant Geoff Thompson)
- Saving Private Ryan
- Hardcore Histories by Dan Carlin
- David Blaine (floating trick)
- Joe Rogan Podcast
- Amir Subasic (Thai boxing coach special forces from Bosnia)
- Conor McGregor
- Robbie Lawler
- Tim Ferriss
- Wanderlei Silva
- George St-Pierre
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- David Toney
- Jet (Gladiators)
- Saenchai (Muay Thai)
- Steve Maxwell
- Nick Diaz (Matt meant Nate Diaz)
- Dominic Cruz
- Floyd Mayweather
- Peter Consterdine
- The PowerKube
- Mikey Wright (The PowerKube)
- Francis Ngannou
- Russian Systema
- Mikhail Ryabko
- Vladimir Vasiliev
- Matt Thornton (Straight Blast Gym)
- John Wick
- “Krav” (Krav Maga)
- KFM (Keysi Fighting Methods)
- Russell Jarmesty
- Bruce Lee
- The 4-Hour Work Week
- The Way of the Superior man by David Deida
- Tao of Jeet Kune Do
- “My Life In Weeks” or “4,000 weeks” poster
- Wait But Why
- Tim Urban
- The Tail End