If you've ever seen Martial Arts, MMA or cage-fighting you know just how brutal and intense combat can be. It's physically demanding, absolutely exhausting and a rush of adrenaline like no other. Combat is laying everything on the line to potentially get the glory, and the committed ones know exactly how much that feeling is worth.
Training camps, and practicing to perfect multiple disciplines and different parts of each craft is very time-consuming along with being expensive, but most fighters find a way to work full-time jobs as well as balancing family life with training and preparing for fights. The amateur level of fighting is a beautiful thing, because you see not only their dedication but also where the athletes hone in during their training sessions - their favorite punch combo set ups, go-to takedowns or even catching a rhythm of movement or technique.
The elite level is so explosive and well-prepared for warfare, because they have a team/support system that helps getting them towards their goals of becoming the big stage champion. Between the two is a thin line, and even you reading this can take a step over that line. The difference in combat levels in fighters is clear, but the difference in what they do is micro-sized. The same punches, the same takedowns, the same submissions... All just crisp and in full control not just swinging for the fences and landing a KO blow. Also their mentoring and coaching is the most efficient for growth.
The product of combat sports, is entertainment. But the product of committed athletes is the Elite level of combat. If you are an aspiring UFC fighter or the next Bellator champion, do yourself a favor and take every minute of practice seriously. Every training session, tune in and focus to the task at hand therefore you're not just another fighter in a local promotion hoping to land the KO punch. If you are a combat athlete, be exactly that.
Don't spend 2 hours in the gym but only really be in motion and training for 40 minutes of that session, you're wasting time without realizing it. That's where coaching and efficiency play a huge role in athlete success. Secondly, don't go into Mixed Martial Arts cage fights without truly preparing for war. If you know you fight 3 rounds for 5 minutes each - you should train to where fight night you can compete twice. Conditioning; for exhaustion will make cowards of us all.
The biggest mistake you can make as a combatant, is not training every specific art with someone from that world. Yes you need an MMA coach to teach you to weave the game together, but box with boxers when you can. Roll submissions at your BJJ gym. Train takedowns/defense with a local Wrestler. All variables in the fight are controllable, down to the legitimate place you step with your feet.
Look at all of the big name fight promotions(UFC Bellator One etc), not for nothing....wrestlers are taking over. Teach a man to strike, he is dangerous. Teach a man to wrestle, he is unstoppable. Teach a man to combine the two, man becomes machine. Fight like a machine, not just a dangerous or unstoppable man.