Cockfighting is a very popular sport in the Philippines and cockers all over are looking for ways to improve the fighting style of their gamecocks. Some do it by looking at the genetic side. They try to identify which genes should be combined or highlighted in a gamefowl to bring out the desired fighting characteristics. But there are also those who believe that bloodline is nothing if there is no training given to the roosters to fight more effectively. Unfortunately, there seems to be a misnomer when it comes to conditioning and training of gamecocks. There is a tendency for cockers especially beginners to believe that roosters need to be trained when in fact they were referring to the conditioning stage.
Training versus conditioning
Fighting cocks do not need to be trained to fight because they are already fighters to begin with. It is already a major part of their being to fight every rooster that they see. Call it territorial instinct, macho image, dominance or whatever. They will try to fight even if they are sick, injured, and even to the point of dying and they do not need to be trained for this.
What cockers are actually doing is to condition gamecocks to reach their peak levels both in strength, stamina, speed, and even gameness. The so-called trainer is not actually training the rooster but conditioning them. With conditioning, the rooster is given the opportunity to develop muscles to give them more power, agility to make them a difficult target to hit, and many more preparations to make sure that they stand a chance when they finally reach the pit.
Unlike human beings such as boxers, gamecocks cannot be taught how to duck, how to strike, when to strike or how to kill an opponent. It is already in their system and they will continue to fight the best way they know until their dying breath or until the opponent is no longer moving. Just like other animals, they cannot be taught to do fight tricks inside the fight arena in the same way that you cannot teach a snake to bark like a dog when threatened. When they see another rooster, pure instinct takes over and it is only the conditioning given by its owner that can help it survive the fight most of the time.
It is genetics plain and simple
There are people who claim that gamecocks are bred precisely to fight making it appear that without breeding intervention they will not develop the will to fight or the desire to eliminate their own kind. There is something wrong with this view because breeders only breed what is there to begin with. The only thing breeders are doing is to breed and propagate what is already here for thousands of years. They cross-breed different families of gamefowls to bring about certain qualities like color, height, gameness, and especially fighting styles. These characteristics and qualities are already there and not invented out of nowhere.
It is their natural instinct to fight so training is not needed
Gamecocks may not be looking for a fight but it is their natural instinct go at it and fight when they see another rooster. This is the reason why they have to be caged separately or corded in the ranging area. With proper distance preventing them from getting near each other a fight is prevented. When there is a chance, they will fight whether someone is watching or not and they do not need to be trained for the fight to happen.
So as to the question whether a gamecock can be trained to fight, the answer is a big NO. What you can only do is to condition them to become better fighters. Breeders breed fighting cocks that can be good fighters. They risk a lot in breeding because it is not sure whether they can produce an ace gamecock bloodline or not. Breeding is just part of the equation to produce fighting cocks. There is also proper growing and maintenance, and the last and very important part of the equation is conditioning. Training is just not part of the equation because there is no need for it.