The essence of the athlete: How the Ido portal helps Conor McGregor

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We recently saw a flood of re-posts on Facebook UFC fighter Conor McGregor trains with Ido Portal. These posts drew attention to free movement as training. The post linked above contains an important line for those who “don’t have a basic level of joint health then don’t just run away and start doing all this.”This point should not be ignored.

Joint diseases interfere with our ability to detect external and internal forces from the ground, the wind, the adversary, or our own inertia. Our ability to accept anything that happens in wrestling, grappling, combat situations, or any situation with a direct opponent is measured in the sport as a result.

The essence of the athlete is the ability to process internal and external sensory stimuli (inputs) into coarse or fine patterns (outputs).

The essence of the athlete is the ability to process input stimuli into output patterns.

Bad movement is not bad training

When an individual moves poorly (i.e. the result as a pattern is bad), this is often attributed to the way the movement is trained. It’s as if coaching is injecting something that will improve the work of the central nervous system to create movement.

However, if the athlete’s joints and tissues do not have the competence to take the right position, it does not matter what the coach says. This is also known as a wrist-by-wrist approach. A joint that tends to stiffness may remain motionless before the goal is reached. This means that the other joint must give up its stability in order to continue moving.

What Ido Portal does so well is maintain a level of joint health that allows it to take positions and apply movement skills. His approach provides many options for processing the central and peripheral nervous system.

How do we start moving better?

In a new movement that is a movement, progress is rarely about better coaching. There are three esteemed coaches from whom I have drawn this insight.

  • Account Sweetenham is an Australian swimming coach who has coached gold medalists at several Olympic Games. Like the Ido Portal, he seems to know how to train athletes to move well and often. I participated with him in the “More, Stronger, Faster” rally in North Australia in early 2014. In one of his conversations, he said, “An athlete who trains doesn’t listen to you. “
  • ?Frans Bosch, Olympic jumping and sprint coach for the Netherlands, professor of motor learning, running coach for Wales Ragby Union, a consulting coach at the English Institute of Sport and a global lecturer in running biomechanics, said something similar: “An athlete’s body will literally not pay attention to what you say.”
  • Well-known strength coach and physiotherapist Gray Cook inherited in almost the same way when he said, “Don’t change the coach, change the sign.”

So how do we start moving better? Fortunately, improvement begins with a healthier set of peripheral inputs – things that every amateur athlete, trainer and clinician can improve by using foam rollers, massage sticks, triggers, stretching or professional therapy.

Improvement begins with a healthier set of peripheral inputs.

Any effort to regain mobility improves the ability to detect subtle and not-so-subtle movements. Once athletes regain this movement, signs of skill improvement will be more effective due to increased sensory input.

Once athletes regain mobility, signs of skill improvement will be more effective due to increased sensory input.

How the Ido Portal helps Conor McGregor

Ido Portal and Conor McGregor seem to have excellent mobility in key areas (ankles, hips, thoracic spine and shoulders). This means that they will benefit from training in free movement and the natural environment.

Following this sequence results in improved readiness to display fine and coarse motor patterns.

Conor McGregor first demonstrates the value of mobility, followed by implicit signs provided by the natural movement of free form. Following this sequence results in improved readiness to display fine and coarse motor patterns – in other words, samples that land or avoid hitting at the right time.

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Photo courtesy of Andrius Petrucenia on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY-SA 2.0], by Wikimedia Commons.

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