the future of combatives is now… adhd training protocols suck

Whats wrong with this picture?

ADHD culture really has seeped its way into every aspect of our lives. Our desire to have everything, all the time NOW has reached fever pitch and this is nowhere more in your face than when watching how people train in the gym.

I’ve been in the same gym now for about 18months and have watched people “hamster wheel” through their training protocols trying to do everything, all at the same time and flitting from one “mens health fitness” training regime to the next, often not sticking to any plan for more than 2 weeks.

(the clue that its “mens health” is in the reliance on fitness balls and cables and really high reps that mean they take up important bits of equipment in the gym for what feels like the passing of an Aeon)

Now I’m not a PT like the gentlemen in this video but I’ve been around gyms for a while and I’m pretty sure nobody’s body will adapt to much inside of 2 weeks. Its just not long enough or strong enough of a stimulus to elicit a response.

What is the one thing this kind of ADHD, thrill -seeking, boredom-phobic “energy dissipation” style of training guarantees?

Crappy results.

I see exactly the same thing happening in martial arts, self defence and combatives training as well.

If you are lifting weights month by month for over 6 months but not getting stronger or changing shape, then bro, you are doing it wrong.

If you are in the gym or dojo training to fight month by month for over 6 months but not getting fitter, faster and more confident, then bro, you are doing it wrong.

No exceptions. Its on the person doing the training.

Its not their “fault” per se,  after all you have been bombarded with conflicting information by unscrupulous folks trying to push their varying agendas onto you.

But it is their responsibility.

Turning up to the gym or dojo is not enough.

So whats the essential problem?

As I see it its theirfundamental lack of willingness to commit to developing a few simple skill sets and attributes over time.


Because of the superego injunction/ stronger desire (pathological demand?) to have their training to do EVERYTHING THEY WANT, all at the same time… in under 20 minutes… so they can get back to the important stuff.
Like watching videos of kittens falling off skateboards on their smartphone and laughing out of their nose like a goofbag.

Another hugely important factor in all this talk of the  psychological effects on the individual of living in a heavily consumerist culture comes down to three simple words:

“too much tv”.

People have never in any time in recorded human history been bombarded with as much advertising and ideology as they are now. This makes folks very naive.

Really? Some will ask.


Just look at the product titles: “4 hour body”, “4 hour workweek”, “7 minute abs”, – in the self defence world we have less-than-totally honourable folks promising to teach people how to disarm gangs of armed attackers and “break their bones” within a 2 day weekend seminar.

Bitch please.

How would these things not simply be laughed out of court let alone be profitable if people were not mind numbingly naive and over marketed to?

My response to all this get rich, get ripped, get strong, get chicks quick nonsense when people ask me about it is simple:

” Grow the fuck up”

Nothing of any worth has ever been achieved without hard, consistent work over time. Or without risk, or without danger, or without pain. We humans have been dealing with it up until now and we’ve done ok.

My response tends to be of the “Suck it up princess” school of philosophy.

What I would say to the guys in this video were they to ask me, which they didn’t so I wont offer ( nothing is more annoying than unsolicited advice) is the following:

If you want to do padwork, then do padwork.
If you are training for fitness and hand to eye coordination, fine, follow tried and tested boxing protocols, no need to reinvent the wheel.

Want broader scale use of your bodies natural weapons? Follow a muay thai protocol. The path is laid out for you and very well trodden indeed.

Want a more street focussed padwork protocol that adds elements (a few, small, tightly defined elements) of ambiguity, stress, preemption, aggression and working from awkward positions? The information is out there.

I just released a street focussed padwork protocol video a few weeks ago that shows you how to integrate certain key elements into your training to make it more street-relevant and combative psychology focused without it going the way of the ADHD energy-dissipation trap

Want to train for strength, then train for strength. Do not try and train for strength, fat loss, fitness, coordination and combative attributes all at the same time. You will look silly and will suck. Hard and heartily.

Remember when training for “reality self protection” we don’t need to go crazy doing weird, exotic back handed chops and clawing the pads and screaming in rage in order to make the training “street”.
We don’t need the padman to be poking us with a wooden knife whilst we respond with boxing punches. We dont need to be disarming a plastic gun, leaping through a flaming tyre, rolling over broken glass and doing flying tornado kicks into a bob dummy dressed like the mugger from an 80’s action movie.


Simple, tightly defined drills that allow us to develop a few reliable skills over time.

Go deep, not wide.

What this means is you choose a few things you want to get really good at and drive them deeply into your mind and body through repetition, stress and simple NLP state management drills that allow you to access some cold controlled aggression.

WYDALO : whatever you do a lot of… you will be getting good at.

By doing drills like the one shown in this video clip you will be getting good at precisely nothing at all. Its not good cardio, its not good skill development for your striking, its not a good context specific stress drill… its an exercise in hamster -wheeling, ADHD indulging, boredom-phobic, energy dissipation.

It might be relevant if your walking briskly in the park and one of your friends says something rude and you want to playfully slap them in the arm. But I feel confident I could do that sans highly repetitious training, don’t you?

And after a few  years of  anyone training in this ADHD way the people will have gotten not one step closer to any of their objectives and will be coming to me looking for some NLP psychology “mind hack” (I gag with revulsion at the phrase and all the slobbish nerdiness it implies) to “make” them feel confident.

Here is my NLP psychology insight on this issue of “training but not feeling confident” for anyone that wants it (Warning, unsolicited advice ahead):

If a person doesn’t feel confident about doing a thing, it might be a message from their unconscious that they suck at doing that thing. Whether its tennis, business, public speaking, singing, driving whatever. If the person gets better at doing that thing, their unconscious will release the “confidence juice” and they will feel good about doing it.

I feel it might be important to remind ourselves and our students nowadays that not every element of the training will “feel good” or be entertaining.

Some of it may even be dull, repetitive and uncomfortable.

I released a videocast about this about 6 months ago called “dont run from pain”.

The massive upside of this is that in todays competitive market, in any field, if you are willing to go a little bit further than the next guy and be prepared to put up with a bit more discomfort and do a few more things that you’re nervous about doing than everyone else is in a “pain averse” culture, you can succeed surprisingly easily.

In terms of our self protection training it might help to keep reminding ourselves of certain things:
To get to the point, to start with the objectives clearly defined and that activity is not necessarily action.

Simple, intelligent, precise.

We’ve all  heard the phrase “success leaves clues”.

People who succeed in any field tend to follow similar principles to each other, we can model their beliefs, attitudes, habits and behaviors and move towards creating similar results in our own lives.

Train intelligently, safely and with a solid work ethic and you will get the results you are looking for.

About The Author

richie grannon

Richard Grannon is a martial arts instructor and psychology coach.

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