There is a saying that goes, “Nothing says authenticity like consistency!” That is something I have always believed in. When someone is consistently being successful at something, it truly shows authenticity. I would like to use one of my students, Matt Morris, as an example. Matt has been with me for six years and currently holds a 2nd degree brown belt in American Kenpo Karate. After being with me for four years he developed an interest in becoming an MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter. He knew he had his work cut out for him.
I developed an MMA program at my school to complement my already established kickboxing program, primarily so my student Matt would get the specific training he needed to be able to compete. Matt was the first student I have had who showed an interest in competing in full-contact fighting. Because American Kenpo is a reality based street martial arts system, it doesn’t train you specifically to compete, mainly because many of the movements would be illegal (kicks to the groin, strikes to the throat, eye gouges, etc.). Therefore, my competing experience as an amateur boxer and a wrestler were able to be put to use along with my intense studies of Joe Lewis Fighting Systems directly with the legendary Joe Lewis (primarily kickboxing).
As a nice change of pace I was able to become a great coach through Matt’s dedication. We now have several people in our MMA program, some of who will be competing as well, and others who won’t. Through Matt’s hard work ethic and proper mindset he was able to jump into the cage and control the entire fight. He is currently 1-0 in MMA and 1-0 in boxing and will be having his second MMA fight on Sept. 18.
There have been other amateur MMA fighters in the area (none of whom I’ve trained) who lost their first fight, and some lost their first two. The difference is in the training and taking the time to become a good fighter. Matt has trained six years in Kenpo, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and jiu-jitsu. His primary focus was Kenpo, but once he showed an interest in fighting we altered our training methods for him. Most MMA fighters go to an MMA gym and train for 3-6 months and think they are ready. Nonsense. Matt proves that a good fighter has to have the discipline and determination to train extremely hard with top notch coaches. Matt is the only MMA fighter out of Bradford to win his first fight and the only one to be undefeated in MMA and Boxing so far.
Although I am Matt’s head coach/trainer, training an MMA fighter takes a team effort. I encourage all my MMA students to train with as many instructors, coaches and fighters that they can. The good news about my MMA program is that I am the striking coach (my expertise) and I have a Gracie Barra instructor who teaches the Jiu-Jitsu. We also have special guest instructors come in to train our guys.
For your enjoyment I have included a link to the video of Matt’s first fight. He has been training harder for this next one. If you are interested in MMA visit my site www.millersdojo.com and click on the Mixed Martial Arts link or give me a call at 814-368-3725. If you prefer to e-mail me do so at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click the link below to view the fight.Matt Morris vs. Shawn Hyde