When Centr’s own Elsa Pataky needs a sparring partner to take her training to the next level, there’s one name on her speed-dial: Jorge Blanco, aka The Spaniard, whose mixed martial arts (MMA) workouts have to be experienced to be believed. Elsa’s not alone, either. UFC Light Heavyweight champ Rashad Evans and Team Canada captain and Olympic gold medallist Sidney Crosby have also stepped into Blanco’s ring.
A former member of Spain’s national boxing team and a Spanish National Kickboxing Champion, Blanco believes that the art of fighting is to conquer your opponent, although who that opponent is might surprise you. “Your biggest opponent is yourself. All the time,” he says. “If you are able to control yourself, then there's nothing that can stop you.”
Blanco’s life has taken him all over the world, with character-building stopovers in careers such as law, which means he’s well placed to provide training knowledge to a wide range of boxers, from superstars looking to shape up for an action role to everyday people who long for the strength and mental agility to do their jobs.
“To me, it's extremely rewarding,” Blanco says of his training practice. “At times, in a session, I find myself being as – if not more – excited than the person or the student that I'm coaching.”
It might seem a surprise that someone engaged in such swift and brutal combat has such a big smile on his face, but Blanco hopes his love of fighting will come across to those trying his workouts for the first time. “I want to be able to inspire people and help them to be better and healthier and try to just overall just better themselves.” So how does he do that?
While Blanco spars with some of the biggest names in professional fighting, he believes that one of the keys to great fighting is not what you do with your fists or feet, but with your lungs. “What I like teaching is the breathing, the breathing in fighting,” he says. "Breathing is something that helps you be centered, and then if you are centered and you are aware, then I believe you can perform.”
So whether you’re getting into the ring for real, or just powering through 20 minutes, Blanco has this advice for the aspiring fighter: “Center yourself, find instruction from your coach, and then get out and implement it. “If you are not centered, then you're gonna get your ass kicked,” he laughs.
Jorge Blanco is a Spanish National Kickboxing Champion turned MMA coach to UFC legend Georges St-Pierre. From his base in Toronto, he works with NHL players, performers, fighters and more using his tailored Spaniard training system. Jorge makes MMA accessible to all, revving up cardio, sharpening reflexes and sculpting physiques.
Get Chris Hemsworth's team of the world's best trainers, chefs and well-being experts in your corner.