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‘Endurance?’
Monday with Michael Collins: Dateline 3/7/21
So one question I have is how do you gain wrestling endurance?
At first in wrestling practice, I always got tired from matches within the wrestling room. But then these became easier, but the dual matches or tournament matches always exhausted me. How could I wrestle for hours in the room but gas out with only 1 match at a tournament?
- Michael Collins

Michael, what you are describing is stress-induced adrenal release which toxifies your system and simple tightening of your muscles and shorting of breath due to an unrelaxed state of mind.
If you want to know how your conditioning from training translates to survival situations, then competing is a good way of measuring this. For normal people, whatever endurance they have in a situation they are used to and familiar with, is reduced ten-fold, from let say 3 minutes to 30 seconds, when under unusual pressure.
Not long ago I trained with Jason, who had twice my fitness and half my years, yet fatigued before I was sweating. This was because he was doing something new. With high quality men this tends to be pronounced as they put much pressure on themselves to excel. Jason, who has a quick learning curve, came back for a second workout and put so much pressure on himself to improve that he was sweating bullets. As Paul Vunak once said, “You put yourself in a bad situation [in training] and from there you grow.”
Another man I trained with last Monday was doing fine with his relaxation in sparring in about our tenth session over a year, when a crowd of mothers and children came over to observe us sparring and became excited about our activity, enthusiastically observing as there were know boomer faggot or gen-X sissy, or millennial queer dads to drag the boys away. This negatively affected his performance, which is normal.
For people like us, who got into combat arts to defend and improve our selves as men, our biggest enemy is our own self-critical judgement. Put the pressure on yourself to participate. Then withdraw the pressure and enjoy the training experiment, have a good time, let your ego die and be recreated in the process of the activity.
While I have only two years of folk wrestling experience, and understand the extreme physicality requirements, it remains true that in ever sport and especially in combat, that a relaxed state of mind is the key to performance endurance.
God training to you, Michael.
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ShepMar 31, 2021

Great advice James! When I was doing no-gi grappling, I found that "forcing" myself to smile prior to a match helped me to loosen up. It's hard to remain tense when you're giving yourself non-verbal cues to relax and be "happy". (Also, I think it helped unnerve my opponent: Everyone else was either stone-faced or mean-mugging, and I could almost see the wheels turning..."This guy's crazy! What does he have to smile about?")
Michael CollinsMar 16, 2021

Everything you said rings true. What about hunting with close range weapons, like a spear? I think the act of killing would help me learn to relax.

Take care James!
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