MMA – Head to head

Ultimate fighter Toni Tauru resorts to Method Makia for new strength in the ring.

Serenity is not the first thing that comes to your mind when talking about ultimate fighting – a sport in which the two men beat each other until the other gives up. “Serenity”, however, describes the feeling of 32-year-old Toni Tauru well, one of Finland’s toughest ultimate fighters, when entering the ring.

“Before the match I put my ear plugs in, close my eyes, and concentrate on going through in my mind all the possible situations, which can occur in the ring and how to react to them. After this, 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 UFC. ONE has taken Tauru around Asia from autumn 2015 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 a lot is 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 work, which Tauru does to ensure he is fit and ready for anything. Likewise, serenity comes from knowing that your opponent has done the same hard work.

“Any aggression is not required when you respect your opponent as an athlete,” he continues.

What is needed instead, is trust in your own body. It is the only weapon that you have in use in the ring. No wonder then that ultimate fighters tend to train hard – often too much. Tauru also has experience of it.

“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.

So a lot of training, hard drive, triumphant matches in 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.

Training stopped completely for several months, after which the whole attitude towards training had to be changed.

“In order 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. Especially after experiencing being out of shape, “smart” and systematic methods of training have become more of an interest.

“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 sniff 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 were training with Method Makia. The more he heard, 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, doing 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 a 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.

“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 be able to concentrate on the essentials – to what the sport is essentially about, “he describes.

“In my opinion, ultimate fighting is the best: head to head you figure out who is better. With the help of Makia I can be sure it’s me. “