Like the pillars of the ancient latte stones which continue to stand tall today, the success of a Mixed Martial Artist and Brazillian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt like Frank “The Crank” Camacho is braced upon four proverbial pillars— raising him up, and effectively reaching the high expectations he has set for himself.
In a candid video recording available on his official youtube channel, Frank tells us the four pillars to being successful at Mixed Martial Arts.
PILLAR #1: THE ATHLETE.
A Mixed Martial Artist is not just a brawler. Brazillian Jiu Jitsu is a combat sport and lifestyle in itself, derived from a philosophy of discipline and defense which combines the sheer physicality of an athlete—– which is why Frank emphasizes: one of the keys to success as a Mixed Martial Artist is recognizing that Mixed Martial Artists are athletes, first and foremost.
“Being an athlete, you have to eat good. You have to make sure recovery is on point,” he humbly explains, as he demonstrates this important mindset inside the Kessler Family Wellness Center in Southern California, home of OC Fight Docs: a reputable physical therapy and sports rehab center, “You gotta take care of your body. You gotta treat yourself like an athlete. Get the amount of sleep that you need, eat the right foods, and make sure your rehab and recovery is on point.”
Due to the physical demands of combat sports, injuries happen more frequently compared to the majority of other sports. In fact, in MMA, a number of studies have found an injury rate of up to 29 per 100 fight participations. For this reason, it is crucial to recognize the limits of the human body, even when it is perfectly healthy and physically fit.
Frank understands the importance of maintaining peak physical condition in order to be worthy of being a combat athlete for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
PILLAR #2: THE FIGHTER.
The second pillar to becoming a successful Mixed Martial Artist seems simple enough, at face value: be a fighter.
But these three words possess more context than most people expect. It is often said that warriors are born, not made. UFC commentator Jon Anik had this to say about Frank “The Crank” in his UFC Fight Night 153 bout against Nick Hein, in which Frank emerged victorious from the octagon: “He fell in love with the brawl. It is who he is.”
Being a fighter is who Frank is. It is a part of his identity. It is his passion. Frank embodies the famous sentiment: do what you love, and you won’t ever have to work a day in your life.
But work is work, even when you love it. It is still work, and Frank works hard, saying, “You’re gonna wake up every day, and you’re gonna have to love it. There are times when you’re gonna have to dig deep—- you’re gonna be taking shots, you’re gonna be tired as hell, but you just gotta have it in you; you gotta train yourself, train your spirit. You just gotta be a fighter, love it, embrace it.”
PILLAR #3: THE MARTIAL ARTIST.
We have already covered the fact that being a Mixed Martial Artist is not only about fighting; it is not for angry brutes with temper tantrums. To reiterate, it is a lifestyle, and a physically demanding sport. Becoming a Mixed Martial Artist requires commitment, and humility.
When Frank finally achieved his lifelong goal of becoming a Black Belt in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, he had this to say: “I’m really just a white belt that never quit.” Similarly, in his video, he states that it is crucial to always hold the perception of a white belt—– always bear the humility of a beginner.
“You should be thinking about self-improvement versus victory and winning all the time; approaching the art like a white belt, constantly learning. There’s always something new. You could always learn from someone else,” Frank admits, as genuine as ever, “The discipline aspect of being a martial artist is going to play a huge role in the success of becoming an MMA fighter.”
A martial artist’s priority is perfecting the art itself, for themselves. It is a pedagogy, which refers more broadly to the theory and practice of learning, and how this process influences, and is influenced by, the psychological development of learners.
Martial arts is about enhancing your mind and spirit, not your ego.
PILLAR #4: THE COMPETITOR.
In the world of Mixed Martial Arts, competition is definitely healthy. Having a competitive drive allows Frank “The Crank” to develop, improve, and work hard under the pressure of knowing that MMA is, above all, a competitive sport. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is not a game, and it is not a hobby.
There are well over seventy fighters in UFC’s lightweight division, and Frank knows that he will have to face off against many of his fellow athletes, as his natural opponents.
Frank explains: “At the end of the day, it’s a sport, a competition. You have to go in there knowing how to win, and doing everything you can to win—- of course, staying within the rules.”
Having the competitor’s mindset is about being proactive: creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened. He adds, “You need to have the strategies of winning— in the fight, in the competition, during MMA fights, during Jiu Jitsu matches; having the competitor mindset in action.”
The athlete, the fighter, the martial artist, and the competitor—- these are the four primary aspects of Frank “The Crank” Camacho; these are the four pillars of success by which he was able to overcome many obstacles, and reach his greatest achievements—- from becoming the Brazillian Jiu Jitsu World Champion, to fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, to earning a Black Belt in BJJ. And now, he is sharing these four pillars with his fans.