Asian ONE ultimate fighter Toni Tauru: new strength in the ring.
Serenity is usually not the first thing that comes to mind when talking about Asian ONE ultimate fighting – a sport in which two men beat each other until one of them gives up. “Serenity,” however, describes the feeling of 32-year-old Toni Tauru well, one of Finland’s toughest ultimate fighters, when he is entering the ring.
“Before the match I put my earplugs in, close my eyes, and concentrate on mentally going through all of the possible situations which can occur in the ring and then how to react to them. After this visualization exercise, I can enter the ring calmly, knowing that I am prepared for everything,“ he says.
Tauru competes as the only Finn in the Asian ONE, the world’s second-largest MMA organization immediately after the UFC. Asian ONE has taken Tauru around Asia from Autumn 2015 and onwards. Before that, Tauru represented Cage Warriors in Europe, where he also won the world championship.
ONE usually only has four matches a year, so there is a lot at stake.
“The closer the match gets, the more life begins to focus on one decisive moment. There is no life after the match, everything is only aimed at the match,“ he describes.
The serene moment before the match is primarily due to persistent hard work, which Tauru does to ensure he is fit and ready for anything. Likewise, serenity comes from knowing that your opponent has completed the same hard work and preparation as you.
“Any aggression is not required when you respect your opponent as an athlete,” he continues.
Instead, you must trust in your own body. It is the only weapon you have available in the ring. It is no wonder then that ultimate fighters tend to train very hard – often too much. Tauru also has experience of this.
“When I went pro in 2011, I lost my first matches. It got me to step up and train harder, which quickly began to produce results,“ Tauru recalls.
Therefore, the life of a successful ultimate fighter involves a lot of training, drive, and winning matches at a rapid pace.
“So, in the autumn of 2012, I was so out of shape that I thought I would not make it. I did not sleep for two weeks, and my heartbeat was constantly high. I lived in an apartment building and had to rest often while walking the stairs,“ he describes.
His training had stopped completely for several months, after which his whole attitude towards training had to be changed.
“To reach the top you have to train a lot, but the more you train, the more systematic it has to be,” he realized.
Tauru has a degree in physical education. After experiencing being out of shape, “smart” and systematic methods of training have become more of an interest for him.
“Until this spring, however, I did not have any separate physical program. I did a rather traditional gym workout at my gym, deadlift and squats, as well as, a strongman workout during the summer, such as atlas balls and tractor tires.“
In March, Tauru went to learn about new workout trends at the Tampere Fight Expo, where he ran into Method Makia. “I talked to a Makia representative at the expo, and my interest awoke. I had for some time been looking for outside help in physical training.“
The encounter at the expo remained in the back of his mind, and Tauru phoned acquaintances he knew that were training with Method Makia. The more he heard about the training, the more he became interested.
“A couple of days after the expo I contacted Makia and asked if I could get a trial program. After a couple of workouts, I was completely sold. At first, I was skeptical how your body weight can be utilized for a proper leg workout, but after crawling on all fours homeward, I no longer doubted it. “
Now others in Tauru’s gym are training using Method Makia as well.
“While training with Makia, you notice how quickly you develop, making a move which at first seems impossible is mastered in the next week.”
Method Makia develops physics comprehensively. Additionally, Tauru also mentions the exercises aimed for wrists and compression grips, which are present in, for example, ring exercises. “Wrists are under hard pressure while wrestling and boxing so they need to be strengthened, but I have also utilized the wrist warm-up movements in kettlebell classes I’ve held.”
Method Makia is therefore strongly present taking Tauru towards the next match and in ensuring that Tauru can enter the ring serene in the future as well.
Therefore, Method Makia is taking Tauru towards the next match and in ensuring that Tauru can enter the ring serene in future matches as well.
“The spirit in Asia is a bit different from that of Finland. One match can have more than 20,000 spectators, so the noise when entering the ring is deafening. You must be able to concentrate on the essentials – to what the sport is essentially about,“ he describes.
“In my opinion, Asian ONE ultimate fighting is the best: head to head you figure out who is better. With the help of Method Makia I can be sure it’s me.“