At what level should one start when learning how to do something they are passionate about? Should you start at the shallow end of the pool and waddle your to the deep end or just jump in the deep, and sink or swim? For me personally, I've always jumped into the deep end. I won't say that it's is the best way to get started but you learn real fast. In martial arts/combat sports, I've never competed in the novice or intermediate levels. In sport Karate, when I decided to compete entered black belt competition (and the same goes for Judo). The first time I tried full contact Taekwondo do was right after competing in a point division. Afterwards we organized teams and fought. The guy that I beat in point, said "see you in the contact division". He gave me a grand welcome to full contact. When I started training in Kickboxing, there was maybe one other amateur in the gym. So, I got beat up daily for at least 2 years before I knew what I was doing. In amateur Boxing, I did not start out as a Novice, I jumped right into the Open division (fighters with 10 or more fights). My 5 professional kickboxing fight (BTW I only had 3 amateur Kickboxing fights before turning pro) was against an international champion with over 20 fights and the 6th was against a Russian Champion. By my 10th Kickboxing bout, I fought a 2X World Champion. My 6th pro boxing match was against an Olympic Bronze Medalist. So, I just went for it. Were some of the matches very hard, yes. Did I lose some, yes. But with high level training partners and competing against high level athletes. My learning cure was different than most. Now do I recommend this for everybody? No. But for the few who wish to take it is far as you can, yes. Find out where you stand with superior opposition. You will learn much faster than those who play it safe. Test your self against the best you can find. You will be able to take pleasure in knowing that you tried if you can't reach a higher level. Or, you will reach that higher level faster.
World Champion Richard Trammell shares his experiences, views and thoughts on fitness, martial arts and fighting.