← Back to blog

Have a Good Poker Face

This is just this week’s reason. I have plenty of others that will be more significant to me some other weeks. And also on rare weeks, I’ll give you a reason why I hate it.

I love it for the mental battles.

The very best spars you’ll ever have will be draws.

When the buzzer goes off at the end of the round, there’ll have been positions exchanged, techniques attempted, near misses, but neither of you will have comprehensively won. I had that on Saturday with a friend.

There was a point in a round, after 3 previous rounds of nip and tuck, where I thought I had an advantage. I was looking for that thing I spoke about last week- the point where your opponent takes a deep breath, to show a little fatigue, and you know you have him. The thing was, I’d fought so hard for that small advantage that I actually needed him to take that breath so I could recover.

He didn’t. He got up to his knees and started a scramble. Now it was my turn to not show fatigue. The great bluff every fighter must learn is that your fatigue or pain has to be invisible to your opponent. You have to have a poker face.

I think that skill is transferable. It spreads to the rest of your life.

That’s why I love grappling (this week).

See you on the mat,


Want to read more?

Fill out the short form to subscribe to our mailing list