Falcons Incorporate MMA Into Training

Discussion in 'Atlanta Falcons' started by DixieDestroyer, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. DixieDestroyer

    DixieDestroyer Hall of Famer

    Jan 19, 2007
    This is a good idea to help cardio & core strength..

    Falcons incorporating MMA into offseason workouts (noooo!)

    12:28 pm April 16, 2010, by Jeff Schultz
    Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Falcons' workouts. Wait a minute ...

    A behind-the-scenes look at Falcon workouts. Wait a minute ...

    As an Atlanta resident who covers Atlanta sports teams, I can admit to stepping outside the lines of objectivity and wanting to see three things when it comes to the Falcons:

    ♦ 1.) Have an exciting product that ignites the city and their fanbase.

    ♦ 2.) Win a Super Bowl.

    ♦ 3.) Don't let Matt Ryan get his head ripped off by Brock Lesnar, Randy Couture or Chuck Liddell.

    May have to settle for two out of three.

    The Falcons apparently have become the first NFL team to begin an MMA training program. The story was given a big spread on FoxSports.com, which isn't surprising considering the company running the workouts, MMAthletics, was started by Fox's Jay Glazer and an Ultimate Fighting champion, Couture.

    I'm sure the workouts are torturous. When Herschel Walker was training for his first bout recently (click link to watch the video), he referred to it as "the hardest thing I've done in my life."Â

    But you know what the difference is? If Walker got knocked out, he would've just gone back to being a 47-year-old millionaire looking for something to do. The Falcons need to keep Ryan, Michael Turner and Roddy White out of the ring and away from any "armbars."Â

    OK, maybe this won't be so dangerous. The story indicates that sparring is not included in the three-hour workouts. And the words "octagon"Â or "submission hold"Â aren't mentioned. So that's a start.

    A dozen Falcons currently are in the training program as part of their offseason workouts. General manager Thomas Dimitroff is quoted: "This was something we were comfortable with as far as conditioning but even more importantly the idea of having MMA help the players with their leverage, hand quickness, and things that could help them within the trenches taking on blocks and battling inside."Â

    Yes. But please â€" no head-strikes, groin punches, eye-gouging, hair-pulling or biting. There's a season to play.



    Atlanta Falcons turn to MMA for offseason training

    By Maggie Hendricks

    The Atlanta Falcons went 9-7 last season and didn't make the playoffs. After their surprisingly hot season the year before, this disappointment didn't sit well with the team. To change up their fortune, they've turned to MMA training.

    Jay Glazer, a fixture on the fight scene and football reporter for Fox, teamed up with UFC Hall-of-Famer Randy Couture and UFC veteran Frank Trigg to create MMAthletics, a group that helps professional athletes incorporate MMA training. They've worked with individual athletes, but now they're working with the entire Falcons franchise.

    Linebacker Curtis Lofton says that though the workouts have made him want to vomit, he already sees how they will help him come this fall.

    "There's a lot of carryover to what we do on the field. We do some Muay Thai [for core-muscle and hip development], wrestling, working on our hands and getting guys off you. We work on body leverage, too, which is important. Whoever is the lowest man controls the other man. ... It's really intense. This is our second workout for the day. Some of this is just pushing it to do whatever else you've got to do to get better."

    The Falcons want their athletes to pick up more than just the physical skills that MMA will bring. They also want their football players to pick up the mental mindset of successful fighters.

    "When you're in that cage and you break someone's will, you can actually hear it," said the 47-year-old Couture ... "It sounds like a twig breaking. We're trying to get our guys to have that same mentality when they go into a game â€" impose their will and try to break the will of the players they're facing."Â

    Plenty of football players have turned to MMA to help their gridiron skills. Matt Leinart worked with Glazer in Arizona, while Jared Allen credits his MMA training for making the difference in his career. Before he started with Glazer, Allen averaged just over nine sacks a season. With MMA, he's averaging just under 15 sacks a season over three years. In fact, Allen is so enamored with the sport that he will be in the corner when his good friend Alex Karalexis fights at WEC 48 on April 24.

    The crossover between MMA and football doesn't end with training. Former football players have tried MMA in retirement. Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker won his MMA debut in Strikeforce in January. Rex Richards, once a lineman with the Indianapolis Colts, says fighting is safer than playing football. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Marcus Jones lost his UFC debut before retiring from the sport.


    Edited by: DixieDestroyer

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