Strength and Conditioning Program

Grandmaster Tobey Leung, a certified mixed martial arts (MMA) trainer, presents a comprehensive strength and conditioning program, through the Academy Spiritual Warriors, for those weekend warriors who want to chisel their body into fighting machines, just like professional MMA fighters, but aren’t really interested in fighting professionally and getting beat up inside the ring, cage, or octagon. Also, many people don’t have the desire and/or the time to body-build 6 hours per day, to develop bulky muscles (muscle hypertrophy), yet want to develop a fit and tapered body like a professional fighter.

Thus, this comprehensive training program will include muscle strengthening, muscle endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance exercises that simulate the training needs of professional MMA fighters. In addition, Dr. Leung will discuss the fundamentals of proper nutrition and supplements, and their role on health, fitness, and athletic performance. Dr. Leung will also discuss the cutting edge science of nutrition and supplements. In addition, the complex issue of different energy sources, such as aerobic and anaerobic, will be clearly explained in relationship to athletic performance. Applied biomechanics is essential knowledge for any fighter, whether the biomechanics of various striking techniques, or biomechanical leverage for take-downs, submission joint locks and ground control. The primary goal of this program is to assist every student to reach their highest potential of peak athletic performance in their chosen sport, with MMA as a template.  

The first UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) took place in the U.S. in 1993, and during its initial years, the UFC was often considered by many as more of a spectacle than a sport because of the minimal rules, tournament style (where a competitor would have several fights the same night) and absence of any weight classes. It was not unusual to have a 400-600 pound competitor fight someone around 200 pounds. In addition, it was initially designed to pit martial arts styles against each other, to see whether the boxer or the Tae Kwon Do artist would win, or a kickboxer and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stylist.

There were attempts to ban the UFC by medical groups, so the UFC adapted to the public outcry or demand by adding rules and safety precautions in these ‘no holds barred’ fights. Weight classes were introduced, tournament style was terminated, and certain targets, such as throat, back of the head, and groin strikes were disallowed. In 2001, the UFC changed ownership and underwent a new makeover in marketing to the general public, including free fight nights on Spike TV, archives of past fights, and the reality-based TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) series on Spike TV (which had the double benefit of not just promotion, but also recruiting new talent into the UFC), and the new UFC management acted like a very professional organization in its dealings with the different state sports licensing bodies, and subsequently MMA became one of the world’s fastest growing sports. In addition, there has been a growing number of women competitors in MMA fighting.

The competitors realized they would have to be well-rounded in stand-up fighting, ground fighting, and the transitions, such as clinches, throws, and take-downs, in order to be top contenders and title holders. Wrestlers were very instrumental in shaping the fighting style of many modern MMA fighters by introducing their highly demanding strength and conditioning programs, their elite athleticism, along with their outstanding grappling abilities.

Other smaller MMA venues brewed up, as UFC tended to favor heavier weights because the fans turned out primarily to watch the Heavyweights knock each other out, and thus WEC (World Extreme Cage) fighting provided venues for lighter weight fighters, such as Bantamweight, Featherweight, and Lightweight. MMA also became an opportunity for wrestlers to continue their careers and make a living when previously most collegiate wrestlers’ careers came to an abrupt halt after college graduation because they had nowhere to go to showcase their talent, unless they joined up with ‘professional’ wrestling organizations, which required athleticism and stunts, but not true competition, which many wrestlers crave and are driven by.

The bottom line is that the under-conditioned martial artists faded out and were replaced by highly conditioned athletes who competed in full-contact combat sports. However, not every MMA fan is capable of or want to be competing professionally, but many fans would like to train and carve out a body like the professional fighters. Thus, this strength and conditioning program will attempt to fill the gap for weekend warriors, amateur fighters (who don’t have the opportunity to train full-time because of personal obligations and professional responsibilities), and the numerous MMA fans who would like to become more fit and train like a pro, but just don’t know how.

Grandmaster Leung has watched every UFC since its inception in 1993, in chronological order, up to UFC 140 at the time of writing. Grandmaster Leung has trained in the martial arts since he was 5 years old and also specializes in neuromusculoskeletal medicine, including sports medicine. He has participated in all aspects of the fight game, as a fighter, fight judge, fight referee, and fight doctor.

Dr. Leung is a certified MMA conditioning coach and will design a training program that initially focuses on general strength and conditioning, and then gradually advance to sport-specific training routines, with MMA drills to get the average MMA fan into fighting shape (and body sculpting to look like a fighter) as quickly and safely as possible. 

Blog WebMastered by All in One Webmaster.