Martial Arts Testimonials
Bill was the sport psychologist for the big-screen Hollywood movie on MMA, The Hurt Business:
He's been the mental game coach to numerous combat sport athletes over the years. He's coached US Open competitors, members of US National Adult and Junior Teams, and state, regional, national and world-class competitors in martial arts. He's trained fighters in multiple MMA associations and leagues, including Strike Force and Bellator and a Black Belt BJJ competitor who went in to win two US Open Championships.
Bill has been a guest speaker at the Annual National Boot Camp for the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Association.
"Bill Cole is one of the leading performance psychology experts in the USA."
Blitz Magazine, Australasia's #1 Martial Arts magazine
Some combat arts forms Bill has coached in the mental area:
- American Karate
- American Kenpo
- Collegiate wrestling
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)
- Krav Maga
- Kung Fu
- Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
- Muay Thai
Here are a few comments from our Martial Arts coaching clients.
"I have followed
Bill Cole's outstanding work in mental game coaching for many years
and have been privileged to have him as a Guest Expert on our international
coaching web site for martial arts practitioners and coaches, and
military and police professionals.
Bill regularly provides amazing peak performance insights and leading-edge
ideas and principles to the world of martial arts across these performance
arenas. He has helped us understand and apply the concepts of mental
toughness, mental training, concentration, focus and mental readiness
for sports competition and law enforcement and military applications.
Our clients must have mental toughness to be able to operate in
these very difficult, and often dangerous environments. Bill gives
us the mental tools we need to navigate those challenging assignments.
In this regard, Bill Cole is a mental toughness master. He's our
mental game guru.
While many sport psychologists offer standard peak performance theoretical
concepts, Bill goes far beyond that, and knows what actually works
in the real world. He teaches new ways of looking at old problems,
with expert mind game solutions that really work. His understanding
of the mind-body processes in peak performance and how to manage
them, in learning, and pressure performance situations is simply
uncanny. His background as a top athlete, researcher-writer, teacher-coach
and businessman blend together to create innovative and highly practical
success strategies. His teaching system for mastering the mental
game is beyond compare.
I have studied the mental game extensively over the years, and have
worked closely with other international sport psychologists, and
it's clear that Bill Cole is a major thought leader in sport psychology.
We are fortunate to have him as our Guest Expert.
Bill Cole is a world-class mental game coach who gets world-class
results. If you are considering bringing Bill in to speak, coach
or consult, I know you will be thrilled with the results he brings
to you and your organization."
Rodney King, Performance Enhancement Coach - Johannesburg, South
Founder and Director of the Street Tough World Alliance, represented
in 15 countries around the world and leaders in innovative e-training
martial arts solutions for business and life.
Voted one of the top 20 martial artists in the world by Black Belt
"Working with mental game coach Bill Cole
was a life-changing experience. Bill helped me tremendously with
my mental game. Fighting might be one of the ultimate mental sports.
Bill showed me how to access my mental toughness in training and
in competition. His mental game coaching system allowed me to access
my greatness from within, unleashing incredible powers of focus
and athleticism. His mental training program helped me win world
Bill helped me understand myself more as a person and an athlete,
which helped me navigate the stressful training period before my
world championship fight. He taught me the finer points of the zone,
and how to enter it, and stay in it. He is exceptionally calm and
straightforward. He was very patient in understanding what I go
through before and during a fight, and he came up with mental strategies
to deal with everything I needed.
He was excellent at grounding and focusing the chaos that can come
into my mind. I especially found him helpful in giving me mental
techniques which helped to keep my mind focused. It was great to
have something solid, positive and productive to focus on. As a
very physical person I tend to function and perform better when
I have asks to set my energy into, especially my nervous energy.
I found that the techniques he gave me were perfect for coping with
the pre-competition jitters. They helped me gain a focused rational
mind more easily rather than riding the wave of my emotions and
nerves as I used to do. This in turn set the stage for the experience
of "The Zone." And I know that each and everyone of us, if we could,
would live in The Zone. It is the perfect place to be. You feel
no self-doubt. You experience feelings of perfect balance and complete
power, effortlessly. You are aware of everything yet you're fixated
on nothing. It is a long list of dichotomies.
Bill was also very good at reminding me about mental strategies
and approaches I already knew. This especially resonated with me
because I believe we all have innate powers of strength, focus and
wisdom, which we sometimes forget, that need to be woken up. Bill
certainly helped me to waken my "sleeping giant." I want to thank
Bill so much for all his expert mental game assistance! It is wonderful
to have him as part of Team Miriam ."
Miriam Nakamoto, five-time world kickboxing champion. She became
the first U.S. woman in history to hold the WBC Muay Thai World
|Five-time World Kickboxing Champion Miriam
Nakamoto, after winning the WBC World Kickboxing Championship,
in China, becoming the first U.S. woman to hold the WBC Muay
Thai World title, and her Mental Game Coach, Bill Cole, MS,
|The WBC World Kickboxing Championship belt
Miriam won in her title fight in China.
"I am so grateful
that I found Bill Cole!
I had just a few short months to go before grading for my black
belt in kempo jujutsu. I was at my wit's end with my training. I
knew that I needed something drastic to pull myself out of the slump
I had fallen into. I suffered from constant choking-the kind that
was paralyzing my performance. I was really entertaining thoughts
of quitting. I took the 'mental game of sports assessment' on Bill's
website and realized that my underlying problem was that I didn't
really have a "mental game" at all. Right then and there, I made
the decision to do coaching with him- and I am so glad I did.
Bill helped me put together a plan of action that got me out of
my slump and back on track in martial arts. He made his techniques
easily accessible to my style of learning. He frequently drew parallels
between other areas of success in my life that I had missed.
Because of the sessions we did together, I performed VERY well at
my black belt grading. As we say in my dojo, "Mizu no kokoro", which
means heart and mind like water. I am no longer under the trance
of negative, rigid thinking about my sports performance. I have
a newfound awareness and fluidity of thinking about myself as an
I now have a strong mental game and I am looking forward to future
success in my sport.
Domo arigato. Many, many thanks to you Bill!"
Kempo Jujutsu Practitioner-Black Belt
"Bill Cole spoke
at our Annual National Boot Camp for the Ernie Reyes World Martial
Arts Association. I have listened to many motivational speakers
over the years, but they mostly talked about sales. I love that
this applied straight to my Martial Arts business and psychology.
I think that this was the best sports speaker that I have heard
yet! I really want more from him!
I really enjoyed the concept about mental time travel and how to
stay in the NOW. I have always thought about that in my own mind,
however I could not put it into words until now and now because
of Mr. Cole I am able to express to my students what I've always
thought how to stay in the ZONE, and turn their brain off... being
in the NOW. Martial artists live in the now as well as many other
professional sports, and this hit the Nail on the head and drove
it past into another level! I wish we could have had more time on
the 'time zones of the mind' and more stories about winners! I thought
that it was too short... I wanted more of everything! "
Master Shawn Hugh, Owner and Master Instructor,
Kim's Academy of Tae Kwon Do, Roy, Utah.
"MMA is a very
mental sport, particularly once you step into the ring. In a contest,
the importance of the mental component might be well over 80-90%.
A fighter needs strong reserves of mental toughness, focus and the
will to win.
My MMA coach and I realized I needed to raise the level of my mental
game, so he found the best trainers, coaches and consultants around
to work with me so I could prepare optimally for my televised fight
coming up in three weeks.
For mental training, he called Bill Cole, The Mental Game Coach.
I can't thank Bill enough for all his help.
The mental game training I did with Bill Cole on my mental preparation
was an important part of my overall training program for my win
(second round TKO) at The Awakening, the World Combat Sports Challenge
(WCSC) MMA event in San Francisco. I won the WCSC California State
MMA Middleweight Title in front of a crowd of over 5,000 people.
Bill went to work with me right away. I worked with him almost daily
over that time. He coached me on simple and easy to use mind techniques
I could apply right in the gym, at home, in the locker room before
the fight, on the walk into the arena and even once my foot hit
Just as you need to be dedicated in the gym, in running, in eating
right, and in training all aspects of the MMA game, you need to
cover all the bases by training your mind. A fighter can lose the
contest before they even step foot into the cage or the ring. They
can defeat themselves mentally before the contest even begins. Ignoring
the mental game is old school now for anyone who wants to excel
at the fight game.
Just like you train your standup game, your wrestling, or your Jiu
Jitsu, you need to train your mind. Mental game training is an area
that many fighters talk about as being important, but few know how
to train for, other than working with intensity and dedication in
the gym. Having a strong work ethic will get you to a certain level
of mental toughness and confidence, but the mental game is far more
than that. A well-prepared fighter needs focus, relaxation under
pressure, killer instinct, control over his thoughts, and control
over his emotions. Bill helped me take all these things to the next
level in my game.
Now I have a focused and extremely effective pre-event mental readiness
system that gets my mind, body and spirit ready to fight. He helped
me bring out the mental toughness and focus I needed to achieve
greatness in a pressure situation.
MMA is very much a mental game. Bill is an indispensable part of
my training arsenal. If you want to see what improving your mental
game can do for you as a fighter, I strongly suggest you give Bill
a call. He is a great investment."
Winner of the WCSC California State MMA Professional Middleweight
Bill Cole, MS, MA and Jesse Gillespie,
with Jesse wearing the Championship Belt, just after winning
the WCSC California State Professional MMA Middleweight Title,
in San Francisco, CA, May 30, 2009.
"In July 2014, Bill Cole spoke at the Annual National
Boot Camp for the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Association, which
this year was held in the city of Campbell, in Northern California.
The audience was made up of a wide range of ages and professions.
During Bill's presentation, all 150 martial artists were spellbound.
Bill went over concepts clearly and coherently. Everything he said
was practical and useful immediately. He is charismatic, and his
voice is strong and energetic. I was amazed at how approachable
he was afterwards, and he was genuinely interested in people asking
questions. Everyone wanted him to keep talking because what he said
was so relevant to us. If given a chance to hear him speak again,
I will drop everything and go. He is totally awesome.
The gap analysis that Bill taught us is incredibly useful. I used
it right away on my vision of testing for 5th degree black belt
in 2016. Being part of the Mastery Team brings with it a lot of
pressure. I wanted to know where I fell on the scale of 1-10. Then
I asked myself what I could do to close the gap. The second way
I used the gap analysis is in a course I teach at San Jose State
University. The course is very difficult, and students are insecure
on the first day. I did the gap analysis with them and then asked
them what they could do to close the gap. I was amazed at their
answers. The gap analysis was a huge success, and I will continue
to use it every semester. (I credited Bill Cole for the gap analysis.)
I also liked the time travel activity. I will continue to use it.
We all just wished there had been more time to hear him talk. He
has so much to say, and the time went too fast."
Dr. Linda Mitchell, Fourth-Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor
in martial arts at the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Association,
and Professor, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA.
From left to right: Master Tony Thompson,
Co-Director of the Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Association;
Dr. Linda Mitchell, 4th-degree black belt; Bill Cole, MS,
MA; Master Ernie Reyes.
Master Ernie Reyes, Sr. has been honored as "One of the Greatest
Martial Arts Masters of the 20th Century", and was inducted
into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, and was awarded a "Life
Time Achievement Award" by the National Association of Professional
Martial Artist, for 25 years of excellence.
Ernie Reyes Sr. biography at USAdojo.com
Ernie Reyes Sr. in the International Movie Data Base
Master Ernie Reyes school
Martial arts participants at the 2014
Annual National Boot Camp for the Ernie Reyes World Martial
Arts Association, held in Campbell, California