Mixed Martial Arts Game Master

One of MMA's best coaches, Greg Jackson, had us in his guard.


Spike TV’s new mixed martial arts reality show, Fight Master: Bellator MMA, debuted last summer. It featured MMA legends Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, and Greg Jackson, who has coached Rashad Evans, Jon Jones, and Georges St-Pierre to championships.

Muscle & Fitness: What intellectual attributes make for a good fighter?

Greg Jackson: Curiosity. Staying fascinated and always wanting to learn keeps you growing.

How did martial arts influence your growth as a person?

Everything good in my life has come through martial arts. As a child, it gave me a sense of artistic fulfillment, a means of survival, and a confidence in myself. To become an adult, you should learn how to handle yourself in all violent and nonviolent situations.

Mentally, how do you deal with pain?

To deal with pain, you must accept that things hurt and then learn to ignore it. In order to learn to master pain, you must make suffering a daily part of your training. If you are used to going through pain every day, it becomes less of a big deal.

How do you deal with fear?

You have to remember that it will pass. Your legs can feel weak, you can lack confidence, but when the fight begins, you will do the right thing. All you focus on is the opponent in front of you.

Can you train mental toughness?

You absolutely can. Every person has a line where they break. Your job is to push that line so far back, your opponent can never find it. Just like microtears in your muscle will make it heal larger and stronger, breaking yourself mentally will allow your mind to grow bigger and stronger.

Are fighters violent people by nature?

No. Because fighters have a positive outlet for their aggression, they are usually very kind and laid back. A real martial artist learns discipline with his power.