Sound Off: Staying True

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Author: Chad “Robo” Robichaux

Title: Staying True

What’s on their mind:

What does it mean as a martial arts competitor and stay true to the martial culture?

I feel really blessed at this point in my life and career; my family, friends, my team, and great opportunity. I have been a martial artist since I was 5 years old. That gives this old guy over 30 years on the mats… In that time I’ve seen and learned a lot. I place a lot of my successes in the military and in life based on things I’ve learned in those many years on the mats. One lesson continually learn is you can find out a lot about who someone really is by the way they train and interact on those mats; it’s like a window into their life.

I have been asked a lot recently, regarding my upcoming bout in Bellator, “Where are you going to go train for it” “Who are you going to work with”. To me, this question brings up one of the biggest problems in our sport today… for this question to even come up shows many of us are off the mark of what it means to be part of a team.  So I want to share my theory on this topic.  From my position, I say why would I trust anyone to train along side of me for this match outside of my friends and teammates who got me to this point in the first place? Cross training is one thing, but who cares about me more to take care of my safety in training, who knows my game more in strengths and weaknesses, or who cares more if I win or lose than the guys I’ve sweat with daily for years? Does every team have the very best in each area of MMA? No, of course not, Greg Jackson himself will tell you the same! However, I put a higher value on the whole, what we can achieve as a group, day in and day out, elevating one another!

Would the Green Bay Packers Quarterback go to train with the Vikings to get ready for the Super Bowl? Of course not! It’s ridiculous… Then why should we be any different? When we do this we hurt our team, the team we in turn would depend on and depends on us. It’s the law of Camaraderie… It’s how we win wars, and achieve great and impossible feats. It’s based on loyalty and integrity, a character you can’t put your finger on, but you know it’s bigger than yourself. This is how greatness is achieved… it’s not done alone; it’s done by investing in others and them in you. Any other way and in the end you will stand alone. It’s the willingness to humble yourself to learn from your teammates. When did MMA Fighters become too good to keep learning martial arts? When I see an athlete prioritize sparring sessions over growing their skill sets in fundamental training, it really disappoints me in knowing they limit their potential over ego and shortsightedness. Everyone is in a rush to be on top, but it seems few are willing to make the sacrifices to do it right. I once heard a quote, “the elevator to success is out of order, you’ll have to take the stairs” fitting for many who are flooding into our sport today!

So, who will I train with for my next bout? My team and family at Gracie Barra! Who else? The ones who have invested in me, and care about me, and if we can’t win with the training that comes from within our walls, at least we know we fell short together and I know that my brothers will be there to pick me up and prepare ourselves for the next battle. And… our opponent will know he didn’t face one… he faced a brotherhood of committed and dedicated martial artist who stood together.

-Robo