Why water is so important to your training.

Water is essential to your training, always ensure your drinking enough.

It is a common opinion that to be a tough guy you must not drink water while training. I’ve heard it many times, martial arts discipline means not taking water breaks.

The issue we have here is on your ability to perform. The issue for us as trainers is we simply do not always know peoples lifestyle choices. We don’t know if you e had anything to drink at all before training or after. Perhaps you’ve only had a soft drink all day at work and cycled to training for 30 minutes and gone straight on the mats.

Personally I always offer water breaks and recommend training while hydrated as well as possible.

Recommendation from our friends at Mask Health & Fitness is to drink 0.033 x your body weight in kgs. So for the average 80kg person recommendation is to have 2.64 litres of water per day. A minimum of 2 litres, and this is not including if you are training.

Are you drinking enough?

I’ve asked our friends at Mask Health and Fitness to give us their professional opinion and thoughts on the dangers and risks of training without water. See below.


During intense exercise it’s recommended that you consume approximately 200-300ml of water for every 10-20 minutes you train.

If you look at elite level marathon runners, they constantly top up with water during their 2 hour race.

We do this to avoid dehydration which drastically reduces athletic performance from 2% dehydration onwards. At around 5% dehydration cramping can begin and loss of concentration, muscular contractile ability and loss of coordination follows. Now, imagine losing coordination whilst sparring…quite simply you will get hit more. This is then more dangerous as dehydration reduces the amount of fluid around the brain which is there partly for protection.

It’s not tough to go through sessions without drinking…it’s actually foolish, dangerous and detrimental to performance gains. This is one of my Martial Arts bug bears…old school thinking which works completely opposite to how the human body was designed. Keeping hydration levels topped up will ensure that you get the absolute best out of your training and recovery whilst staying safe.

To gauge your individual typical fluid loss from training, weigh yourself before training, then again after training. 1kg weight lost equates to 1 litre of water lost. For every kg lighter you weigh after training aim to drink 1.5litres of water due to the fact that you won’t absorb the full 1 litre as some water is lost in urination.

Furthermore, make sure you are adequately hydrated before you go training. Easiest way to check is to look at the colour of your urine. If a pale straw yellow, then you are optimally hydrated. The darker the urine gets, the less hydrated you are. Chronic long term dehydration places unnecessary strain upon the kidneys and the bodies thermoregulatory system within the brain.

Train hard – train smart! Sips of water every 5/10 minutes is the best way to go. Even more important for children.

Stay safe 👍

Marc Golland 5th Dan Blackbelt.
BSc (Hons) Sports Sciences
MSc Exercise Science
Level 5 nutrition


The struggle of Tyson Fury has been very well documented over the past few years but I believe he stands for so much more than a man that was struggling with his mind and came back to the top of boxing through his grit and determination to succeed.

Tyson after his amazing performance against Wilder.

The fight was an amazing show of skill, I’m sure most people thought Tyson would not be able to walk straight at the supposed Mike Tyson of his era and pressure landing big shots and essentially bullying the bully. I believe Wilder will be back but I don’t believe the 3rd fight will be any different and I expect it will only lead to Wilder being defeated quicker a very tough guy that deserves respect but I simply do not see him winning the rematch. Next for Tyson is surely a Great British showdown with Anthony Joshua. AJ is great and a fantastic roll model for our country but I think Tyson will defeat him aswell.

The pose of a winner

Tyson has shown us that although we will often stand up and say we are fine, we are strong, we can handle the pressure sometimes we simply cannot. He is a figure of confidence that can step into the ring with the toughest guys and compete in one of the hardest sports where you must never show weakness to your opponent. With all these pressures he has come back from the edge of suicide and is today recognised probably as the greatest heavyweight boxer out of the UK and is probably sitting pretty smug in his hotel suite after his absolute clinic defeating Wilder.

Mental wellness is a current topic that is in the mainstream on a regular basis. We are all effected by it in some way. We must insist on helping our fellow martial artists, friends and family. Be someone to lend a ear to your struggling friend and do not sit back on what is the easiest choice.

I believe martial arts is a great way to handle the stresses of life I have met some of the most amazing people through martial arts. It has an amazing pull for people that enables them to come together and build through a real sense of team and belonging. Martial arts is a great stress relief and can help improve confidence and self belief. Learning a new skill is empowering and if you have a martial arts facility near you or any sport get in touch. Learn something new feel fitter, stronger, build that confidence and work out that stress.

Starting your fight life with nerves.

The start of a fight career is varied and difficult, the desire to enter the cage or the ring is sometimes overshadowed by the need to train and to achieve the level required.

Stepping into a fight is a wild ride of emotions, nerves and pressure. If anyone says they are not nervous stepping into an MMA fight I believe they are lying. If someone is truly not nervous in the build up to a fight they are either lying to you or perhaps they do not realise what they are getting into.

That’s not to say when someone steps into the cage they are not calm and calculated but the pre fight is often the hardest fight which a lot of people try to avoid talking about.

The important part of competing is understanding your body, your mindset and how to deal with them. You will question are you fit enough? are you good enough? will you lose? will you be embarrassed?

There is a real misunderstanding that as people gain experience they do not get nerves. I don’t believe this is true, all that really happens is you get more experienced in dealing with them and controlling the emotions and how to hide them.

I have worked the corner at so many events, full contact, light contact, amateur MMA, pro MMA, boxing, competitions at least 500 or more fights. Everyone has nerves some people just hide it better, don’t let this stop you taking those first steps.

Jamahl Golland – An inspirational young fighter.

At age three and a half Jamahl was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) & ADHD. His parents were told that he would never achieve academically and that he would never be an athlete due to the movement coordinations issues that he struggled with due to the Dyspraxia element of his Autism.

Jamahl attended a school for Autistic children from age 4 and also began in the Little Dragons programme around the same age.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, it took around 15 attempts before Jamahl was able to complete a full class as he kept running off due to severe anxiety issues related to Autism. Helpful, patient coaching was all he needed.

At age 11 he earned his black belt in Kickboxing from TMAC. At age 12 he won both the point fighting and light continuous categories at the WKU World Kickboxing Championships held in Killarney Ireland.

Jamahl’s Martial Arts has also helped enormously with his confidence and his ability to learn academically. At age 13, Jamahl was able to join a mainstream school and will be taking GCSE exams in the summer of 2021.

Jamahl is a perfect example of how Martial Arts can help people to achieve their own unique potential. TMAC has been a huge part of Jamahl’s life and he is now enjoying giving back as an assistant coach in the Juniors class.

Jamahl’s future in Martial Arts competition is very bright as he intends to become as good as possible. Jamahl has even hinted at a switch to Olympic style Taekwondo at some point in the future as he has set his sights on Olympic Gold.

To grade or not to grade…..

Gradings although not essential to everyone’s training are always a great indicator of your level.

Some people find taking gradings helps them to keep focussed and goal setting via the belts is a easily structured way to keep on track with your training.

This however doesn’t always mean you will simply stroll through the belt system and grade at every scheduled opportunity. The standards of belts is an important factor in most martial arts gyms, For example if you are under your Blackbelt before you are ready not just via your skills as a fighter but also your technical ability you will be treated as a Blackbelt wherever you go. Sometimes it’s hard to understand that your being held back for your own safety and your ability limits rather than any form of punishment. The Blackbelt and higher grades are an advert within the gym to show the standard of our gym and the hard work you have put in during classes.

Martial arts is a personal journey and you cannot expect to always progress at the same rate as your friends on the class.

Anyone can make it to Blackbelt but that doesn’t mean everyone does.

Power vs skill

Fighting is not all about the power shot.

We all enjoy the excitement the power punchers bring to fight sports, it’s why we watch the heavyweight fighters. The power in punchers such as Wilder is what gets us all watching, if we aren’t watching then who really cares. The victory for a big puncher can come at any point in a fight. They could get the knockout in round 1, round 5 or round 10. There are some amazing knockout artists out there. My favourite 2 examples are Rocky Marciano vs Jersey Joe Walcot, 1952 and also my favourite knockout is Chris Eubank Snr vs Reginaldos Dos Santos.

The skill of a fighter needs to Be measured on their ability to evade, to land multiple shots using timing and distance. The ability to slip the shots and keep out of danger. Fighting skill is developed through years of repetition, skill is everything in fighting.

Floyd Mayweather is the obvious example of a fighter who never used the power he surely had in both hand slate into his career as he used his advanced skills to frustrate and pick apart his opponents.

The fact is any power puncher can land a big punch and knockout an opponent but can they out skill opponent over 12 rounds avoiding the big shots and get away from danger. Tyson Fury frustrated Wilder over their whole fight and was able to get off the canvas everytime he got clipped but the age old question is Wilder could of won that fight if Fury hadn’t made the count. But Fury got up and was in my opinion the winner of the fight even though it wa scored a draw.

Imagine a skilled fighter like Floyd Mayweather with the power of a heavyweight such as wilder. Perhaps one of the best example of skill plus power is Mike Tyson. He was so dominant in his career.

If we don’t learn skills we can’t land with power. Power + Speed + Skill and a fighter will be a definite force to be reckoned with.