If past combat champions have taught us anything, it’s that going the extra mile can help ensure total domination. Want to be the best? You have to push yourself to the limits. Check out how some of the world’s best mano-a-mano warriors reached the pinnacle in their respective sports.
Olympic Gold Medalist, 1960
Not only did Blubaugh win the gold medal in the 1960 Olympics by beating the supposedly unbeatable Iranian, Emam Ali Habibi, he picked up the honor of World’s Outstanding Wrestler.
To combat arm fatigue during matches, the Oklahoma farm boy was renowned for walking the length of a football field on his hands every day. It’s also rumored he got his iron grip by milking cows. Don’t even think about making fun of this Doug’s last name.
Heavyweight Champion, 1919 –1926
Dempsey did more than unleash his infamous right hand at unwitting opponents. He was a jungle cat in the ring during the Golden Age of boxing, holding the heavyweight title over a seven-year period.
Just how did The Manassa Mauler prepare for a big fight? To toughen his skin, Dempsey soaked his face in beef brine and his fists in horse urine. In addition, to make his already chiseled jaw impenetrable, Dempsey chewed big wads of pine tar. Ladies love a man who smells like brine, urine, and tar.
Olympic Gold Medalist, 1964
Geesink was a beast of a man, standing 6’6” and weighing 267 pounds. He used his extraordinary strength to become the first non-Japanese to win a world championship in Judo. Geesink dispelled the notion that technical perfection always beat power. After his victory at the World Championships in 1961, weight classes were implemented in Judo.
To acquire his superhuman strength, the Dutchman ran up logging trails in the Alps with a felled tree on each shoulder. To break the monotony of log running, Geesink liked to push his car up the mountain. In the Netherlands, this is considered fun.
BE THE MAN
If you aspire to the ferocious greatness that these world champions assumed, take your workout regimen to the next level. It may involve some unique training methods, but don’t bash the taste of pine tar until you try it. Dempsey was only knocked out once in 83 fights. What’s your record?
CHANNEL YOUR INNER WARRIOR
Legendary warriors throughout history prepared for battle in many interesting ways. While these methods may not always be appropriate in the Octagon, give them a try at practice.
The Mongol warrior Ghengis Khan always prepped for battle by envisioning the sorrow of his enemies and their kindred. Nothing gets you in the mood to fight like visualizing the grief you are about to wreak on family members.
William Wallace preferred to shake his pasty Scottish privates at his enemies prior to making a mad dash toward them. If an axe and sword don’t scare your foes, a wiener might.
Native American badass Geronimo prayed to his fallen Apache brethren in the hope that his life might be protected under their spiritual guidance. When in doubt, prayer is always a good option.