Ben Edwards and the Subtle Art of Striking, Part One

Ben Edwards is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of Australia’s most exciting – and experienced – combat athletes. Few fighters are qualified to comment on MMA, boxing and Kickboxing: Ben has excelled at all three.

T.T: How did you come to striking? Was it through a traditional martial art? How were you initially taught? Did those elements of style change once you started kickboxing?

B.E: I used to punch the shit out of my punching bag when I was a teenager.

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The Ups and Downs: ‘Bangin’ Ben Edwards and the Vicissitudes of Fate

This article, originally printed in International Kickboxer Magazine, is republished here as an introduction to ‘Bangin’ Ben. He was recently interviewed for this blog on the subject of striking and the way it differs for MMA, boxing and kickboxing. Ben is a unique authority, having fought at an international level as both a boxer and a kickboxer. He also stands poised in the brink of international competition as an MMA fighter.

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Armstrong Versus Grossman: 2

What’s the difference between warming up for fitness and warming up for self-defence training?

One is psychological, the other is slightly physical. When I teach, I have three-tiered mindset: scared, angry and controlled mindset. Those are the three I play with. The warm up is about getting you into that frame of mind. Visualisation, self-talk. With fitness, there’s only a little bit of self-talk in that.

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Jim Armstrong Versus Dave Grossman: 1

Jim Armstrong, Dean of Raw Combatives, deals with the vagaries of combat described by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman in his seminal books On Combat and On Killing.

Grossman devised a scale to chart the way in which an individual’s motor control deteriorates when the heart rate becomes accelerated by the stress of an impending human conflict. While all accelerated heart rates result in a deterioration in performance, psychological stress is a different stimulus that brings a unique set of problems.

Do you have to train for the same activity differently, depending on the stress, even if the skills you employ are the same? Grossman says you do, the US military believe him and this is what Jim Armstrong thinks about it.  

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Introducing Sharif Long

How did you end up a trainer?

I started going to the gym about fifteen, sixteen years of age. I was getting into bodybuilding stuff then. I was playing around; I had no idea what I was doing. I began with two other friends – they weren’t even my friends at the time – and started training with them.

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