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Raising Champions: Five of The Best MMA Trainers

2. Firas Zahabi, Tristar Gym

The Canadian-born Lebanese is a multi-titled Muay Thai and BJJ practicioner and the lead striking coach of the Montreal-based Tristar Gym. He mixes traditional boxing techniques into his Muay Thai to a degree of success.

Like all the best trainers out there, Zahabi firmly believes in his own methods of training and also integrates a little mathematics behind it.

“We don’t do anything bizarre,” Zahabi says on the notion that they might be doing something super secretive. “We just do kicking and punching drills on the pads.”

He also feels, the quality and not the quantity of training hours is the most important aspect of training.

“If you train for two to three hours, the intensity level can’t be the same as somebody who trains for one hour,” he says. “So, the first 20 minutes of the training is warm up. We’re not really working out; we’re just stretching and getting the body warm. Then, we do only 40 minutes of work, but at as high a quality as possible, and by high quality I mean very intense.”

He stresses the importance of hard work, and while talent may have something to do with it, nothing makes a fighter better than sweating it out in the gym.

Just ask George St. Pierre and other rising stars like Rory MacDonald and Francis Carmont.

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