Always Have a Strategy

“Always have a strategy and stick to it” – Ray Arcel

Ray Arcel was an American boxing trainer who was active from the 1920s through the 1980s who trained 20 world champions.

When training Roberto Duran he told Duran:

“There’s technique and there’s strategy. Technique is your every move, your every punch. It covers all of your short-term decisions. Strategy is your plan for the whole fight. It’s your long term. It defines how you apply the technique to achieve your major goal.

It’s ok if your technique fails for a beat, as long as you’re following the strategy”.

Your Strategy Is Your Long-Term Goal

Whether you teach boxing, self-defence, physical restraint, martial arts or any other discipline, if you want to be the best and have a business or a club that grows and that is sustainable you must have a strategy, a long-term goal.

This is commonly known as ‘strategic planning’.

If you just focus on learning or teaching technique, then you will always be thinking short-term, which means your business or club isn’t sustainable.

In the world for boxing, what separates great boxers from the rest is that they understand the importance of strategy.

Ali v Foreman – The ‘Rumble in The Jungle’

When Muhammad Ali fought George Foreman in what was known as the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in 1974, Ali understood the importance of strategy, and he used it to his advantage to beat a younger, fitter and undefeated world champion.

Foreman was feared for his punching power, size, and sheer physical dominance.

He had previously knocked Joe Frazier, the former world champion, down six times in two rounds before the bout was stopped.

He also demolished Ken Norton, in two rounds who was the only other man, besides Frazier at the time to defeat Ali.

At 25, the younger and stronger Foreman seemed an overwhelming favourite against the well-worn 32-year-old Ali who was rated as the 4-1 underdog in the fight.

During the fight Ali began to lean on the ropes and cover up, letting Foreman punch him on the arms and body.

This came to be known as the ‘rope-a-dope’ tactic, and it resulted in Foreman spending all his energy throwing punches without earning any points.

The ‘rope-a-dope’ tactic and loss of Foreman’s energy was key to Ali’s strategy for the fight.

In the eighth round, Ali knocked Foreman down and the referee signalled the end of the fight.

The fight highlighted Ali’s tactical genius which resulted in Ali, against all the odds, regaining the title against a younger and stronger Foreman.

How Does This Relate to Self-Defence or Physical Restraint Instruction?

If you wish to remain in your chosen industry sector for the long term, then it is critically important that you identify what your primary aim or goals are and then work out a strategy on how to get there.

If you only focus on teaching technique then you are only actually planning for the short term.

This starts with understanding your strengths and weaknesses as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.

This was something that Ray Arcel was a master at.

He also knew one very important thing that he drilled into his fighters again and again, and that was that a fight was 70-80 percent mental and only 20-30 percent physical.

And this is the same in not only every sport, but also in every business as this blog post I wrote highlights – The Pareto Principle – Success Is Only 20 Percent Skill [Video].

This is Why We Teach Marketing!

On our BTEC Level 3 Restraint Instructor and BTEC Level 3 Self-Defence Instructor Award Courses, we provide those of you who train with us lots of additional free information on how to market your business.

We also give you access to our private NFPS Trainers Community Group, that only NFPS Trainers can access. This group has been set up to allow everyone in the NFPS family to support each other.

What this means is that if you need support you can draw on the experience of everyone in the NFPS family, including myself and our trainers, to get answers to virtually every question you have to help you grow and develop your business.

Therefore, if you are interested in becoming a properly qualified physical restraint or self-defence trainer with an organisation that cares and supports the people we train, then click here to find out more about the course that interests you the most –BTEC Level 3 Restraint Instructor Award Course and/or BTEC Level 3 Self-Defence Instructor Award Course.

Best Regards

Mark Dawes

2 thoughts on “Always Have a Strategy”

  1. Very true. Strategy is where all of the insight is. You can teach technique but unless it’s routed in strategy it has no meaning or anchor. People don’t think in terms of technique when confronted by danger, they don’t think much at all but what little they can apply needs to be about strategy, e.g. I’m going to fight my way towards that exit, I’m going to smother this sudden attack and to give myself time to compose. Most of what you need technically, is instinctual. Strategy is what sets people apart, defines outcomes.

  2. Again a very true blog. We used this skill on the rugby field all the time. The game is 80 minutes long and only the points at the end are the ones that count .

Comments are closed.