In the actual moment of a fight, how can you improve your performance? How can you fight better during the event itself? Surprisingly, the answer has little to do with fighting technique or fitness, but more to do with your motivational psychology.
Fighting performance can be seen as the sum of 3 components:
The First component is the sum of your fighting abilities, your mental, physical, and technical skills. To a certain extent these are fixed when you enter a contest or are fighting. While you can improve them, it will take additional time outside of an event.
The Second component is the variables within the fight itself. The challenge offered by the opposition. You can’t control your opponent’s strength or their style of fighting. You can’t control your environment or, location, even the weather. All of these factors will have a significant effect on your mindset.
Hence, the third is motivation. Consider fighting a person that is evenly matched in skills, technique, fitness and conditioning. The only thing that would separate you would be your motivation. What drives you to fight. This is something that you can control by shifting your focus of what drives you to fight, basically your motivation.
So what’s the Take Away from this? Well, firstly you have to manage the factors that you have direct control over at the moment in a given fight. Don’t concern yourself with what you can’t control. That time of preparation before the fight has passed.
Therefore, when the fight is at hand you are simply limited by your ability. Your performance on the day will come down to your ability. This is limited by how much you have learnt in the first place. If you haven’t learnt much, then you can’t expect to perform well in a fight as you don’t know what you are doing.
Having said that, there always glass ceilings on knowledge as you can’t possibly know everything. No one can. What you can do prior to your fight (or any fight for that matter) is be as versatile as possible.
Be prepared to adapt your skill set. In fact, have a number of different skill sets to draw upon with which to adapt to any situation. For example, have both a striking and grappling skill set which will allow you to adapt accordingly.