The secret of my success

28 Jan

Love me or hate me, and I tend to evoke strong emotions and there are plenty in BOTH CAMPS, the one thing you can’t get around is the fact that since 1995 I’ve been consistently showing up at all sorts of events with fighters. People may not remember or realize, but we actually did a version of MMA first, THEN we did sanshou. For a period of time we did the Golden Gloves amateur boxing events and American style kickboxing. Ultimately I felt those were too far removed from what we were interested in and trying to achieve. We have done TONS of Muay Thai over the years, including having a US amateur champion.

We don’t always win. NO ONE always wins, “you can’t win them all.” However, my fighters always demonstrate good technique and they are always dangerous. Nor are we “predictable.” I’ve had kickers, boxers, wrestlers, you name it over the years

Now, at this point, I need to add something. I am not nor was I ever much of a fighter. I have never claimed to be. I have said matter-of-factly many times I was a very average amateur. My biggest fighting accomplishment was a state championship in full contact Taekwondo as a teenager. I have never fought professionally. So for many, they can’t seem to understand how I train fighters?

A few of my detractors have come up with elaborate, and frankly darn amusing, conspiracies theories of how people in my gym get trained for fights. The fact I’ve been doing this 20 years, that there have been consistently fighters in my gym, and that I consistently corner them doesn’t seem to register in theirs minds. But the defining aspect of conspiracy theory is that facts and common sense never figure in.

So, for the first time EVER, I am revealing the secret to all my success….. are you ready? Well, first, watch another fight!

OK, maybe you didn’t actually watch any of the fights, but here’s your “secret”, are you ready? THERE IS NO SECRET! MMA guys in particular think you have to be a professional fighter of some achievement to be a coach, but there is no such rule. In fact, I know some awesome fighters, world champions, who are horrible coaches. And there are guys like me who aren’t very good fighters who are great coaches.

I have learned to do a few simple things. First, I studied coaching literature. There is TONS of it out there but most martial arts people are oblivious to it. I can thank my wrestling and Judo friends for letting me know about it (for in fact MAKING ME READ IT). Second, I watched matches and saw what worked. I never cared what my “system” did, or my teachers taught, or what I thought really. I watched real life.

I also came to a rather mundane realization. BASICS WIN FIGHTS. I built a program not on “flash”, not on trying to impress anyone. I built it on BASICS. I’ve even seen internet reviews of my gym that complain “we worked the same thing over and over again.” Well, no duh! No sh-t Sherlock!

And a BIG part of those basics is mechanics! People used to ask us why we hit so hard? Easy answer, you learn the correct way to punch and you do it 100,000 times and you hit hard. Sorry, no “ancient Chinese secret” here….

So I suppose I have disappointed everyone. My detractors hoping for a big confession. Those looking for the secret formula for success. Those who were bored and wanted to be entertained.

But I’ll also confess, I had fun posting all those fights, and I hope you watched at least a few of them



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