In an interesting interview by Ted Gruber this morning, it appears that MMA training has crossed over from a tool used by those in contact and/or combat sports into the national past time. While the MMA-inspired off-season training habits of football players like Clay Matthews, Patrick Willis, Matt Leinart, Mercedes Lewis and Keith Rivers have been well-documented, it appears this growing trend has moved on to the players who grace the hallowed diamond as well.
When pondered rationally, it makes perfect sense that the principles of core-strength, speed, coordination and timing that MMA develops so well would translate seamlessly into baseball. Perhaps it is merely the relative lack of contact in the sport that seems dichotomous. But clearly, the training is having an effect as Johnson repeatedly extols the virtues and benefits of his time in Las Vegas among some of the stalwarts of the sports.
What's next? As an avid proponent of the sport, I think the sky is the limit. Non-contact MMA training can benefit just about anyone, and more and more professional athletes are realizing it. In a few months, we may be seeing the first PBA bowler throwing an shadow boxing combination after a strike. Or a gymnast slapping out after a missed tumbling run. In the meantime, get into a gym and see what Johnson is talking about.
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