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|THE WOLVERINE SPEAKS: This can't be 'just a hobby'|
|Written by Ben Pherson|
|Wednesday, 20 February 2013 00:04|
For quite some time, we've been looking for a fighter to take over a "journal" segment here at Minnesota MMA News. Recently, a brave soul stepped up.
Damion "The Wolverine" Hill is one of Minnesota's top prospects, and he has agreed to give Minnesota fans an inside look at his life as a fighter. This is the first installment into our regular looks inside Valhalla and the day-to-day life of a fighter. We've given Hill a wide-open slate ... he has the green light to tackle any topic!
My name is Damion "The Wolverine" Hill. I've been training MMA for 3.5 years at Valhalla Combat Sports (formerly Crystal Fight Club). I am 21 years old with a background in Taekwondo and wrestling. I'm coached by James Clark, Thomas Jones, Tyler Marsh and Josh Hanie. I'm 7-2 as a pro fighter. I like to collect comic books and have a really good collection going that holds a Star Wars No. 1, a The Thing No. 2, and Wolverine Nos. 1-8, just to name a few. I lived in Wisconsin and moved to Minnesota in fifth grade. I enjoy playing baseball, watching fights live and Michael J. Fox movies.
Cagefighting isn't for everyone. As cool as it is to watch or do, it is very dangerous. If you're going to take an MMA class for fun or a hobby, that's great; but before you decide to take a fight inside the cage, it can't just be a hobby any more. You've got to take it serious because you could get yourself hurt. The last thing I want to see is a guy get hurt in the cage because he was matched up with a guy who wants nothing else in this world but to fight, and it was just for fun for the other guy. There are guys out there who believe they are the next best UFC fighter; you do not want to fight those guys if you're not ready.
Training isn't enough! You need a solid team, not just a bunch of guys who you get along with. You need a team who will push you, guys who want to learn, guys who don't mind teaching. Last but not least, you need guys who will give you "negative feedback." I'm sure you can feel when you do something well, but maybe it could be done better. You need teammates who will tell you to tighten things up. You need the people around you who will tell you the truth, regardless if it will hurt your feelings or not. When all you hear is positive feedback, you're either not getting better or are too good for them and need new partners to train with.
If you ever did get to the point where you do everything "perfect" two words never go out of style: HARDER and FASTER. You can always improve strength and speed, no matter how good you are.
You need to prepare yourself mentally/physically and detach yourself emotionally. Mentally you must believe you're good enough to win, not just thinking the other guy is
bad. But believing he's good, but you're better. Physically you need to be in shape. By that, I don't mean buff ... I mean your cardio, muscular endurance and timing must be up to par.
Emotionally detach yourself before you fight. You can't take everything personally. If a guy beats you, he's going to celebrate and he has the right to celebrate. Just know the celebration gets "worse" depending on the way they won. Most guys aren't talking crap before and after a fight. Even though it might seem like it when they talk about how well they performed or when others talk about it. You can't get wrapped up in it. You could have just fought a perfect fight, but when you put your talents on display for everyone to see, people will share their opinions. Not everyone will have positive things to say, some people might be cruel and negative. You got to be ready to handle that.
Before you step foot in the cage, you've got to ask yourself, "Is the team I'm training with making me better?" "Have I prepared myself in every way possible to win?" "Can I handle being made fun of?" "Can I handle a loss?" If any of those answers are "No," you're not ready. Always remember the guy you're fighting could be training to be the greatest in the world, so I suggest you rethink things especially if it's "just a hobby."