Jiu-Jitsu Letter

Technique Lasts

Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.

Recently, Mike Tyson boxed Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition bout. It was officially ruled a draw, but most observers would say Tyson was the winner.

Tyson’s power is natural. He was born to knock people out. Something about his height, weight, arm length, etc., made him very powerful with punches. Add to that, he had legendary trainers in Cus D’Amato and Teddy Atlas that taught him how to box. The natural gifts he was blessed with to give him that power, don’t go away with age.

Jones was fast and had unusually quick reflexes. These attributes do go away with age. Jones got away with “poor” technique because his physical attributes bailed him out. He was able to turn his unorthodox style into an advantage for a couple reasons:

  1. His opponents weren’t used to it.
  2. His speed and reflexes made up for poor fundamentals. (I’m sure he knew how to fight like a classic boxer, but he found his own way and perfected it. And it worked.)

During his prime, Jones’s unique style was amazing to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADOgjevCMDk

Unfortunately, speed and reflexes decline with age.

Train for good technique.

If you want to train forever, remember that you can’t rely on speed and strength. Only technique lasts. Invest there. Focus on technique, and you’ll have a good chance of sticking with jiu-jitsu forever.

Teddy Atlas, from his recent podcast episode about the event:

Technique doesn’t get dissolved. The ravages of time do not obliterate technique. You could be eighty, and if you’re taught technique, you can still exhibit that technique. That’s where Tyson had the big advantage over Jones.

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