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      The warm-up process before your fight

      The warm-up process before your fight

      The following is a template Coach Marlon uses for his competitive youth team.  We call it the 5 bout rule to getting warm for your competition match.

      5 bouts before your bout

      Get up and start start "dynamic" warm up. This is where you get up and start moving your body. No need to shadowbox here, just get up, walk around, arm circles, criss-cross your arms & hug yourself, tap your face, open jaw etc. You want to just get the blood going but take it easy.

      4 bouts before your bout

      Get your heart rate up by skipping or any body weight cardio exercises like mountain climbers, squats, jumping jacks etc. 

      3 bouts before your bout

      Shadowbox and fight visualization. This is not the time to strategize a new game plan or overthink anything. We use this time to visualize how we want to fight, practice your bread and butter combos, visualize your defensive move, your counters, your attacks.  Let your mind relax.

      2 bouts before your bout 

      Gear up and get ready for pad work with the coach/cornerman.  Warm-up with haste.  You never know, there might be consecutive knockouts in those matches before you and you might be up fighting earlier than anticipated.

      1 bout before your bout

      Finish putting gear on, have a sip of water and walk to the staging area. If the coach needs to say something to you, this is where we may have a final pep talk.

      Feel free to adjust, add, and make it yours.  Give yourself some margin of safety with time so you don’t get caught going onto stage cold!

      Hope that helps.


      The music and hype is not real

      The music and hype is not real

      Nervousness kicking in for your big day of competition?  As a promoter, my job is to hype up our upcoming event, Project Mayhem.  I want people to think that this will be the biggest and most badass event.  Posters, highlight videos, and different marketing tools will be used to build excitement in order to sell tickets.  At the event, I’ll have the production team employ music, smoke, and maybe even fire to further entertain the audience and amplify the spectacle.


      That is not my job as a coach.  As a coach, I want you (the student, the developing athlete, the competitor), to see what a competition event truly is.  Take away the lights, cameras, hype, drama, music, and all the other theatrics; what you are left with are two athletes doing what they already do every training session, and that is to fight.  Everything else is just unnecessary noise and distraction.  

      The promoter will try to sell to the viewer and athletes that this will be the end all be all event.  As a competitor participating in the event, you must try to look beyond all of that and see it for what it really is, two athletes fighting while accompanied by a referee, judges, and cornermen.  Simple.


      I remember way back in my 4th muay thai fight when I let the lights and the intensity of the event get to me.  The event was hosted by my home club, TKO Fighting Arts and it took place at Elements Nightclub.  Big fancy spot lights directed at the ring, loud music, and an even louder hometown cheering your name - I let it all get to me.  I went out guns blazing and gassed in the 3rd round.  I was lucky enough to pull through with a victory but boy was I tired.  Moral of the story?  Embrace all the action, soak in the surroundings, and have fun with it but remember to keep everything in perspective.  Train the way you fight, fight the way you train. 

      Don’t make it out to be more than it ought to be.

      Two fighters, a ref, judges, and cornermen - F@&# everything else.

      This post was inspired by John Danaher's insight.


      Rituals to deal with anxiety from competition and sparring

      Rituals to deal with anxiety from competition and sparring

      What makes competition and sparring so scary?  Let me tell you, it’s the unknown.  Anxiety stems from the lack of control and anticipation over the situation and the outcome. So what should you do?!  Control what you can, and embrace what you cannot.  Pre-fight rituals (or pre-spar rituals) is one tactic that I use to help me calm my nerves before going into competition.

      A pre-fight ritual is a set series of tasks/activities that you do each time before entering the stage to perform.  


      Rituals work because amidst all the unknown associated with competition, rituals have the ability to ground you with the power of familiarity and therefore put the element of control in your own hands.  Familiarity is built by the consistent reenactment of these rituals over time so take the time to practice and get acquainted with them.


      Before every BJJ competition I go through a very specific set of rituals.  I usually arrive 1.5 hours before my bracket.  45 min before my 1st match, I like to leave the competition area and find a quiet spot somewhere away from the action.  I put on my headset, play some calming instrumental music and close my eyes for 25 minutes.  I focus on deep breaths and empty my mind.  At times, I even doze off.  I wake up to the sound of the alarm with 25 minutes to go; I start putting on  finger tape.  The process of wrapping my fingers is extremely important for my psyche.  I do not rush the process.  I stay in the moment with each wrap and soak in all my feelings.  Once all my fingers are taped, I get up and start my warm-up routine, which consist of a few sets of mouth clenches, jumping jacks, and burpees.   I head toward the mats 10 minutes before go time.

      What happens in a fight is unpredictable and chaotic, so I try not to make too many predictions nor do I try to control the outcome. I try only to control what I can, and that’s the pre-fight rituals which I do my very best to replicate the same each time.  This puts me back in the driver’s seat.     


      The set of rituals you chose should be specific to you.  Get creative and create your own routine.  Rituals can be done 30 minutes, 2 hours, or even a day before performance.  Just remember that you should try to keep the process as similar as possible each time you do it.

      Ideas for Rituals:

      • Listening to music (should be the same every time)
      • Meditating
      • Calling a friend, or loved one
      • Taking a nap
      • Taking a series of deep breaths
      • Going for a walk
      • Eating a muffin
      • Watching the same TV show or movie 

      Now go take what’s yours.

      -Coach Bao



      Awareness and starting with small goals

      Awareness and starting with small goals

      Sometimes you are going along a pathway, and you keep going even if it seems like that way is no longer right for you. Sometimes you feel that you have traveled too far to turn back so you settle on the journey you are on currently. A powerful tool is the ability to assess your current position. Assessment has a high pay-off if you commit to do it and do it well; that’s because it requires a self-awareness and honesty that part of the journey towards anything is stopping to ask yourself if you are going in the right direction.  Sometimes that requires the courage to reassess and admit that the direction you are going in isn’t really what you want. 

      Some questions to ask yourself about where you are going: 

      • Do you still want it? 
      • What is the result you are searching for?
      • How do you want to feel? 

      While these questions seem relatively simple, they require you to look hard at how things are going. It will be surprisingly more difficult than you expect because most of us are unaware of our blind spots. If you think you don’t have one, ask a trusted friend. They are far more likely to notice negative patterns in your behaviour than you are because sometimes it is the very decisions we are making to keep us “safe” that are holding us back from reaching our dreams, or at the very least our current goals. 

      Paying attention to the things you do not want to pay attention to requires a willingness to shine a light on the things in your life that trigger you the most. Lasting transformation means being an objective witness on the parts of yourself that you hide from the most. While generally the most painful, they are usually the biggest catalysts for change. 

      Once you have gone through the difficult process of assessing where you are. Remember the most important thing: do not beat yourself up! We have all heard the cliched quote, “the truth will set you free.” Well, that’s an incomplete quote. The real quote is, “the truth will set you free, but it will shatter your illusions first.” Being honest with yourself is an incredibly hard and brave thing to do.  

      A link to a free workbook on how to deal with triggers when they come up.

      Part of making lasting change is to make small promises to yourself and keep them. Small promises are the things you know without a doubt you can do. As you keep these small promises, you build confidence and trust in yourself. It is easy to rush into things and throw ourselves into big lofty goals. Instead of making goals like I want to go to the gym, eat better, or you know throw a perfect swing kick every time (I’m so guilty! ), start small. Make one small promise to yourself daily and keep it. You will be surprised at how likely you are to commit to your bigger goals once you show yourself how you can commit to the smaller ones. 

      Link to habit tracker.

      Set a reminder on your phone.

      Write it somewhere where you can see it.

      Don’t forget to celebrate yourself when you do it.

      So, what is one small promise you will be making to yourself today?




      Samantha Mogulko 

      When not spending time with my family, you’ll find me on the Muay Thai or Yoga mat, or with my nose in a book. While my day is spent in corporate retail, I am a certified Reiki practitioner and tarot card reader. Life is about the mind, body, and spirit and I spend time strengthening that connection.



      2/5 Essentials: The value of PROTEIN

      2/5 Essentials: The value of PROTEIN

      Now that we have discussed how important water is, let’s talk about another essential nutrient. 

      Protein is one of the major building blocks of the body and is essential for the growth and repair of virtually every cell. It is a macronutrient meaning that our body requires protein in large amounts and because we do not store most of it, we need to eat it on a regular basis. This is especially important for fighters as it helps to feed and repair muscles.

      Although the quantity of protein differs for each individual, the standard amount is about 15-18% of your total calories. It is important to note that this number will vary depending on age, gender, lifestyle, and what feels right for your body. 

      To calculate your daily protein requirements accurately, multiply your weight in kg times the amount of protein in grams. For most non-athletes, 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram is suggested. Athletes require more protein, between 1.2 and 2.0 grams. 

      Here is an example of how to calculate your protein requirements:

      A 200 pound male fighter who trains regularly,

      • 200/2.2 = 90kg
      • 90kg x 1.2 = 108 grams of protein per day
      • 90kg x 2.0 = 180 grams of protein per day

      This means that the athlete requires between 108-180 grams of protein per day depending on the amount of training he is doing.

      So what do you eat? Lean animal protein such as chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, tuna, salmon, eggs, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt are great options. If your diet is more plant-based, then be sure to include quinoa, black and kidney beans, lentils, tofu, hummus, edamame, hemp and chia seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, rolled oats, and nuts.

      One of the easiest and quickest ways to get protein after training is a good quality protein powder. It can be consumed quickly and has the perfect balance of macros to be used by the muscles immediately. I have mine ready in my gym bag and drink it on the way home from training.

      Body Systems Barrie in support of Legacy is giving members 20% in store and a free protein shake for members who visit for the first time! Be sure to swing by and mention you are from Legacy so that the staff there, who are super helpful and are all educated in the health profession, can help you choose the right protein powder for you. 

      Your next nutrition challenge… Calculate your protein requirements to ensure you are eating enough. Add a few of these easy, high protein meals to your day:

      • 1 scoop plant-based protein powder + 1 cup soy milk = 30 grams
      • 1 cup Greek yogurt + ⅓ cup blueberries = 20 grams
      • 1 slice rye, pumpernickel, wheat bread + ¼ cup tuna = 16 grams
      • ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese + 1 cup raw celery or carrots = 12 grams of protein
      • banana roll-up: 1 small whole wheat tortilla + 1 banana + 2 tbsp almond butter = 11 grams
      • overnight oats: ½ cup milk + ½ cup rolled oats + 2 tbsp hemp seeds = 11 grams
      • chia pudding: ½ cup plant milk + 2 tbsp chia seeds + fresh berries = 6 grams
      • 3 oz of baked salmon in a large green salad + ½ cup edamame = 30 grams
      • lentil curry = 23 grams
      • tofu and quinoa bowl = 18 grams


      Michelle Stone
      I am a lot of things. I am a woman, a school teacher, a registered nutritionist, a fitness enthusiast, a partner, a daughter, a writer, a friend, a chef... But most of all I am a fighter. Yes, I train at Legacy Fight Club, but what I mean by “a fighter” is not just in the literal sense of the word which is “to contend in battle or physical combat”, or, “to engage in boxing”. It is to constantly put forth effort and determination in everything I do. So when I say I have been a fighter all my life, it is true.  You can reach me at for any questions or advice ot Nutrition and Lifestyle. My Services.