Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Being Well Rounded

It takes many years to have a solid base in one style or another. You hear the commentary say things like he's a Muay Thai Specialist, a wrestler, Jiu Jitsu or Judo practitioner. What they mean by this is not that they don't know any other form of martial art, it's that they have a solid base in one and are developing and learning other styles of fighting. They too, must evolve as the sport of mma has evolved. It is okay to do what you like, because that is what you are more comfortable with or how you are made up. However if you are competing in the sport of mma, at least learn the basics from each discipline to help give you some insight on what you opponent is trying to do, so that you can try and stay out of harms way.

Work on your weakness more once you become proficient in one area of your fighting.

There is no style better than another, each have their place in the combat sports arena. Continue to train and learn, EVEN WHEN YOU'RE NOT GETTING READY FOR A FIGHT !!! I cannot say that enough.
So many fighters today come in and try to get ready for a fight and haven't been in the gym learning anything new. When they get beat, they don't understand why. It all comes down to who wants it most and puts their time in, the fight is won during training. OSU !

Kelly Leo
Head trainer at Full Throttle Fitness -

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thought about something a coach had told me once and my path.

I was thinking today about what my first boxing coach had told me a long time ago. Asa Gordan was 80 years old (can't remember exactly his age at the moment) and I were talking about why he is still involved in boxing. I was just curious to know, he was very good about sitting down and explaining life to us long after we had finished training, many times we would go out to eat after and just sit and listen to stories and learn all we could from him, but back to the question, He told me that he had a boxing trainer who told him that he was a "Keeper of the Art" and to just keep teaching and passing the art on to the next generation. So that is something, he was doing and asked us ( Richard Trammell and I ) to please do the same. Richard and I have made the commitment to do so. Not only was he a very good boxing coach, he also owned a men's clothing store and ventured into many other successful business' throughout his life.
He would also talk about manors and respect, which is not being passed down. Looking back, He taught us how to be men. For that I am thankful for getting to train and have him as a part of my life.
Not only have we ( Richard and I) kept the promise to keep the art of boxing going that he taught us, We are also keeping to our roots as martial artist and keeping this art alive. We are also the "Keeper of these Arts" is which we have learned and trained in over the years, It is who we are. I was speaking to some young men last night about how long I have been interested in the Arts and remembered back in 1st and 2nd grade getting the same book at the book fair of Japanese Karate, it had a ton of pictures of  him kicking, punching, it also had in the top corner when you flipped through the pages fast of him doing a Kata, something about that just hit me hard and I knew I would someday be doing this. I loved watching "Sugar" Ray Leonard, Haggler, Hearns and many other martial artist growing up (yes, boxing is a martial art). God put me on this path to be a "Keeper of the Arts" and to pass it on. So I ask you reading this, to please be a keeper of the art and keep it alive, even if it's just to your child as long as it is passed on. Osu..

 Kelly Leo, Head Trainer and MMA coach at Full Throttle Fitness, North Georgia's Premier Combat Sports/ Fitness Gym.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Master the Basics

If you truly want to become the best you can in fighting of any kind, you must first master the basics and learn form someone who has done the same. When it comes down to it the basics are what will win the fight, from the ground up. Foot work, shifting your weight in you legs to generate power, using you back and hips for power, learning to snap punches (not swing them) throw with purpose not with hope that you land it. Work on head movement, sprawling, timing, positioning, angle's, basic kicks. Learn all these type stuff, before you try and move on the the flashy "highlight reel" stuff, that has such a low percentage of working and if not done so with proper technique can put you in an even worse position than you could have imagined.
 I have seen guys who are so hard headed that no matter how much you talk to them, show them etc... they always try to re-invent the wheel. they always look on the Internet and see some cool thing on "YouTube" or some other kind of mma or site. They will see if and might hit someone with it once or twice and think they have arrived, but when they try it again later on that same person in which they hit, they can't figure out why it doesn't work again. This is because he/she did not spend enough time learning the basics that is the foundation to the flashy technique or learned also how to set such things up.
As you grow as a fighter, yes, you do have to change the angle of a technique, or they way in how you deliver it. but not until you first learn the basics, so you can also reconize what your opponent is trying so do or set up. If you think you know your stuff and are self taught, go train with osmeone who has mastered their craft, you will be sadly mistaken. Botton line, humble youself and open you mind to learning, you will only benifit from taking a step back and learning new GOOD habits. this is the only way you can truly meet you full potentail. Trying to duplicate what someone does with out the knowledge is not how you do things.

 Kelly Leo, Head Trainer and MMA coach at Full Throttle Fitness, North Georgia's Premier Combat Sports/ Fitness Gym.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Experience teachers, trainers etc...

All to often today there are many people who start a fight team, gym etc...with little to NO experience. They have been in a couple of bars brawls, may have had 1-2 years wrestling in middle school had about 3-4 mma bouts ( lost most of them) then decide to open a gym, start a fight team and really have no clue what the heck is going on. Yes there is always room to improve and get better, that's the magic behind Martial Arts.
 I had been training in sports combat for most of my life and thought I had about everything i needed, then one day I was introduced to a 5'8" Korean who said do anything you want to try and take me down. He was friendly and knew I needed to be humbled a bit ;-)
So the bell rang and I tried everything I could think of, I failed miserably and all he did was laugh and throw me all over the mat, lol. His name is Master Kim ( MORE ON HIM LATER). He had a small but nice dojo and he taught Judo and Kendo and knew Tae Know Do and boxing. Well, I was hooked, I didn't get to go as much as I would have liked to, but every chance I got I met with him and learned all I could from him. He had answers to about any question. He told me that to be a great teacher you have to learn, train and compete for many years in order to understand how to teach someone else and have answers to help them become better. In Korea you did not teach until you turned 40 years old. I know in the USA it is not that way, but from what I see in today's, everyone wants things like a fast food restaurant. They go and get a little bit of experience, come back and beat up all their buddies and they are considered a GURU. There is not much we can do about these posers and wanna bees but just hope and pray they don't get someone seriously hurt or killed. Saw some junk on a site today and it just made me think about how I am glad to have had all the great teachers, trainers, training partners I had to tell me the truth and lead me in the right direction. Just do your research and take your time in the art of sports combat, not someone who is just trying to cash in and get a quick buck at your expense.

- Kelly Leo, Head Trainer and MMA coach at Full Throttle Fitness, North Georgia's Premier Combat Sports/ Fitness Gym.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Training and why

  Many people get into something and go as hard as they can, because it's new and they really enjoy it. At first they are 100% dedicated and never miss, eat all the right things and so on, they cannot seem to get enough. However I also see in more cases than not how once the newness wears off, they start missing and slipping back into old habits because they burnt them selves out, trying to race to the finish per say. Fitness, fighting, training never a destination, it's is the journey that keeps me coming back for more. The people I meet, the people I help, the progress I gain, even if it's very little, if any. Yes, I am human and get burnt out too, just slow down or try another angle to keep moving forward. If you just can't find the motivation to train hard, just keep moving, you will find your drive again.  Life will throw us curves, such as life, training is one in the same. Always remember why you started doing what you are doing in the first place. Even if you are older, more busy, etc...find away to give to yourself too. Do what you do because you love it, not to get rich or famous. If that is the only reason you got into something, you will not last, if those things come along in your journey, take it in stride and ride the waive while it last, but in the end it should always go back to loving what you do.

 Kelly Leo, Head Trainer and MMA coach at Full Throttle Fitness, North Georgia's Premier Combat Sports/ Fitness Gym.

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Shidokan Karate" - Blend of many styles

This is my good friend Richard Trammell. He never lost in Shidokan. In my opinion and many others he is the best all around Martial Artist to ever compete in The "Triathlon Rules" tournament and come out of the United States. Richard is a very disciplined Martial artist and it has been a pleasure and Honor to not only train with him for many years now, but he is just as dedicated as a friend and teammate.

Enjoy these clips. He is fighting Ma tee from Thailand, who has well over 100 Thai fights, so we decided to fight him with what Richard does best and not fall into Ma tee's game. OSU !!

1 -Pt-11

2-  Pt -2

3- Pt -3

Glad to be part of this organization !! Shidokan Karate now available at Full Throttle Fitness in Oakwood

Osu !!

- Kelly Leo, Head Trainer and MMA coach at Full Throttle Fitness, North Georgia's Premier Combat Sports/ Fitness Gym.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Old School Training - a.k.a. Karate

I hear many "new" MMA gyms talk about all they know all they have done etc...they make fun on other ways people and styles do things. When many of them fail to realize that it's all good and all has a purpose. I read where someone was saying karate people just kicking and punching the air won't teach you how to fight. I knew then this person has never taken a karate lesson in his life or he sucked at it, because he didn't learn a thing. Let me ask you this, How many boxers "Shadow Box" for several rounds. it teaches technique, foot work, balance etc...Old school karate is done the same way. They learn the technique kicking and punching the air. It's also done for safety. Then like any other pugilistic sort/art, they will hit bags, pads shields, even spar. There are many great benefits to Old School karate, it gives you a foundation to start with and you build  you arsenal from there. I started in Karate and went on to do many other things. I was successful in what ever i decided to try because of the foundation that was layed before me. I still to this day approach my training to whatever sport I am training in at the time the way it was put before me. you can't go straight to the fancy/ flashy stuff without knowing the basics and being very good at them. When it comes down to it, the basics are what you will always fall back on. In BJJ, boxing, kick boxing, karate etc... It is all good.

- Kelly Leo, Head Trainer and MMA coach at Full Throttle Fitness, North Georgia's Premier Combat Sports/ Fitness Gym.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Growing as a fighter

The time you get better, stronger and learn better technique is not training for a fight, but training between fights. Slow you training down and take time to learn some new things to add to your arsenal. if you have missed on numerous time with an upper cut, work on the timing and spacing etc..., through pad work and light sparring. If in your last fight, you feel as though your opponent was a little too strong for you, well hit the weights. Get you a lifting regimen and hit the weight room as your regimen says. If you feel your stamina is not where you would like it to be, add more cardio, maybe some interval sprints, run hills etc. Work on foot work, angles etc.. there are countless things you can do to continue to grow and maintain you fitness level.
When you are training for a fight you then work on being sharp for the fight. Working on fight strategy, push youself to an even better fitness level via, hard cardio, bag work, conditioning drills, sparring for timing and hitting a little harder to have your body ready for the shots you may take in a fight. Not 100%, but about 65-70% full speed. I will touch on this more later.
 Fighting is a craft and if you don't continue to work on it, some one else will.

- Kelly Leo, Head Trainer and MMA coach at Full Throttle Fitness, North Georgia's Premier Combat Sports/ Fitness Gym.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Training around an injury

Many young martial artist today when they have an injury use this as an excuse not to train. Unless you have a total body injury, then it's simple work around it. If you have a foot or knee injury, use that as time to ficus more on your upper body strength (push ups, pull ups, Shoulder Press, Dips, Curls, etc...) there are many different ways to keep training. As a Martial artist, Sports Combat competitor, fighter etc...You owe it to yourself to find a way to keep improving yourself. Cause the ones you keep dodging and find ways not to fight because they are tough fighters ARE doing just that. They are constantly working to better themselves. It's a mind set, you can either let the injury defeat you or you can say NO, I will NOT lay down and let this slow me down.
You watch YouTube and read about all these UFC fighters, Boxers, K-1 fighters. I will guarantee most of them are fighting with some kind of injury. They worked through it and made it to the fight, because they ( fighters) want to fight, those who are not true fighters makes excuses. I have a young man training right now with a sprained knee and he has been in working his butt off, because he wants to fight for a Title in this fight. Mind over matter.
Yes, sometimes there are injuries that need to be handled and looked and handled different. However, there I am talking about some minor injury that can be worked around. That's the way of the "Warrior Spirit" OSU!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Training for a fight full time or part time for fighting?

Just needed to vent ;-) Read and enjoy, lol

One thing I see these days is young fighters (even young pro's) take fights last minute and only train 3-4 weeks max coming off the couch to try and get ready for a fight. One thing that happens is your body goes into shock going form 0-100 in such a short time. Another thing is they have not progressed and worked on anything new and become any better. If they lose they say, "I trained my butt off for this fight, why didn't I win?"
 They want the "W" without putting in the true work and commitment it takes to become a true fighter/winner/Champion. It takes a ton of sacrifice to do this. If you love being a fan and training for fun, that's cool, have fun and play with it as you have time.
It, however you want to be a Champion and be on the top of your game you have to train around any injuries, dates, parties etc...that may interfere with your training. It is almost as if you are in a relationship with your training. This is how you get better and grow, by training and putting your time in.
 I have people hit me up and say can you help me get ready for my next fight, when I ask when will it be, if they say in about 3 -4 weeks, I have to tell them no. for one thing it is simply not fair to the guys who are there every day in the gym getting better for some part time fighter to come in and want ALL my attention.
 If you want to fight, continue to learn and get better and push yourself to be your best. The fight is the fun part, but it's only won in good training.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Fighter TJ Harris - "Combat Sports Expo" 2011

This was a VERY close fight. Article is good idea of how it went, I will see if I can fight the video to add to this. Article via -

TJ Harris vs Travis Knight: 142 lbs
Travis lands some stiff kicks to the legs and one glancing head kick on TJ. Travis even does a little showboating and these guys are going at it. TJ misses a head kick and Travis picks a single-leg and drives him to the ground. Travis gets the mount and rains down blows. TJ explodes over but Travis grabs and arm and locks in a tight armbar. TJ has rubber arms because he bends at odd angles and manages to cartwheel over to escape the armbar. Travis ends up in top position and they are reset after some time against the ropes. They finish the round clinching with TJ landing some solid knees to the gut.
TJ pops Travis in the nose quick and they have a laugh about it. TJ executes a leg-kick straight-right combo that drops Travis. TJ works on top and they are reset again as they almost fall out of the ring. Standing, TJ lands some good strikes with many limbs. Travis hits autopilot and bodylock drives TJ to the ground. Travis work some strikes on top but TJ attempts a few submissions from his back. They end the round in that position.
Round 3 Travis initiates a take down again. When he can’t complete the single, he picks TJ up and drops him on his back. Travis works tirelessly to land flush strikes, but TJ is defending and moving on his back. after tons of pressure, TJ is able to put up a triangle. He is unable to sub Travis and they nearly roll out of the ring again. The ref is forced to reset them and they trade a pair of blows just before the end of the fight. This could have the makings for fight of the year already.

Travis Knight def TJ Harris by split dec.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Third opponent in the ring

I have been a fighter/martial artist for 25 plus years. One thing I have seen time and time again is seeing someone who is not prepared for their fight. They are more talented, more experienced, but can't bring it to the fight because they are not conditioned or have pushed themselves mentally for a battle. Thinking I will just knock them out early. This will only work if you are fighting bums.
To be successful in the ring/cage, tournament etc..always train for the hardest fight you have ever experienced.
I will add some things I used to do in some up and coming blogs to maybe help you with preparing for a fight and do away with the 3rd opponent ( physical and mental) fatigue.

Kelly Leo

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My first Blog

I am trying out my new blog page today and going to try and get used to the world of blogging. Looking forward to sharing my ideas and experiences. I hope to be helpful in the world of Martial arts and Fitness Training though all I will share with you.

Kelly Leo "The Lion"