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Lessons from the Cage

by Oli Flower

Cage fighting is a polarising sport. This talk isn’t about the justification or vilification of mixed martial arts, but about lessons that transcend the sport and are relevant to you as health care providers.

Firstly the concept of surrogate endpoints is discussed. Prior to the proliferation of mixed martial arts competition, there was great debate about which martial art was best. A vast array of surrogate end points were created to determine competence and superiority but only when one was pitted against another fairly were questions answered. In medicine, the dangers of surrogate endpoints have been demonstrated time and again, yet we still get fooled by exciting trial results that use meaningless surrogate endpoints. Beware the surrogate!

The next point is about mojo. This mojo in the context self-belief, ego and mental strength. We all have mojo. It waxes and wains and affects the way we perform. There are several strategies that professional mixed martial arts athletes employ to improve their mojo that we can learn from, to make us better health professionals.

Finally coaching is discussed. You probably remember the influential mentors that have helped you get where you are today. The elite MMA coaches take coaching to an extraordinary level and the teaching strategies they employ extrapolate very well to how we teach and can inform us of how we can lift our game.




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