Crippled Fighter 3

"One of the first things I told them was that I'm an amputee, and I asked if that was a problem," Mann said. "They said 'no,' and that if I was going to train here they expected me to train as everyone else does. From day one, my instructor, as well as all of my other teammates, never cut me any slack. If my leg came off during grappling, we kept training -- there was no stopping for me to put my leg back on. If that was the way it was going to be in the ring, that was the way I was going to train."
Mann continued training for two years. As time passed and his skills continued to grow, he eventually felt the urge to start competing. Unsure of how he would be looked upon by officials, he entered an amateur kickboxing bout and refrained from mentioning his disability. When entering the ring, Mann made sure to wear long pants to hide his prosthesis and fought his first match as a disabled fighter, unbeknownst to all that were in attendance.
Mann won the fight by knockout. Not only did he prove to his trainers and detractors his true devotion to his craft, he confirmed to himself that his disability made him no less of a person than anyone else.
"When it was all over and his trainers walked (Mann's opponent) out of the ring, I went to the center of the ring, took my leg off and raised it above my head for the crowd to see. I remember it being quiet for a second, and then people recognized what it was and went crazy. They couldn't believe it. To me, that was the point where I recognized that I am a fighter, that I am not a disabled fighter, and that I can compete on the same level as anyone."

The Ertl Procedure
Eventually, Mann ran into problems with the functionality of his prosthesis. His leg began to continually break down, and he was getting sores and cysts on his residual limb each time he trained. When his regular prosthetist cited he could do nothing to help him, Mann was referred to Jan Stokosa, CP, a prosthetist known for his artistic approach to prosthetic components.
Upon evaluating Mann, Stokosa immediately realized the problem and refit him with a more suitable prosthesis. After some time, he built Mann a custom prosthesis for him to train and fight with. Created using some extra padding and a unique socket design customized to his individual anatomy, Stokosa's prosthesis worked wonders for Mann, who only days before was reduced to crutches.
"I can't believe how quickly my leg began to heal just from his specific design," Mann noted. "Before I met Jan, my leg had completely gone to waste. Ten days after he fit me, I was walking again."
However, Mann wasn't in the clear just yet. Stokosa strongly encouraged him to undergo the Ertl procedure, an operation he needed badly to better absorb the constant stress he was placing upon his residual limb. While Mann was hesitant about the procedure -- it involved surgery and an extended amount of down time -- Stokosa practically insisted, badgering him for years until he finally agreed to the operation.
"Ron got to the point where he was training more and more, and we just couldn't keep the fit," Stokosa said. "The way his original surgery was done did not reconstruct the tissues of his limb from the bone all the way up to the skin. They used what is called a conventional amputation technique, and that resulted in sharp bones that over time got worse. He had pain, both at rest and when he was wearing his prosthesis."
Mann finally underwent the Ertl procedure with fantastic results. The operation was a success and had Mann training and fighting harder than ever after his recovery.
"After Ron had the Ertl procedure, it took him about 13 months before he was full-on training," Stokosa said. "The surgery was a major lift in his functional ability -- whatever he wanted to do, his leg could now take it."

I first met Ron in one of Becki Levis events in Indiana and have had the pleasure of talking with him on the phone on a few occasions.

Ron is the real deal and a hellava nice guy.

Mike Davis

From: ABFproductions
+Cut Throat fight gear,
Date: 06/21/04 12:51 PM
Member Since: 04/22/2003
1070 Total Posts Ignore User

I first met Ron in one of Becki Levis events in Indiana and have had the pleasure of talking with him on the phone on a few occasions.
Ron is the real deal and a hellava nice guy.

Mike Davis


thanks for the accolades. how are the shows going in chi town? any leads on a crippled fighter wanting to turn pro? catch up with me when you get a sec.

Just curious, what exactly is the Ertl procedure?

will do also I need to contact you about some other matters. Expect to hear from me later this week.

TTT for Ron Mann

From: Weavil
Date: 06/21/04 02:52 PM
Member Since: 07/26/2002
1238 Total Posts Ignore User

Just curious, what exactly is the Ertl procedure?

It is a reconstructive technique that bridges the bones to create a solid walking surface. It allows the tib/fib to bear weight normaly. In addition, the muscles are reatached for postivie constriction and nerve endings are buried. It gives you a great stump to live with, strong and with much less pain than ever before. Before the ertle procedure i was active. After the ertle procedure, i am whole. Any amputee having problems with phantom pain or socket fit should check out . I lived 4 years without it and can tell you that the surgery alone has brought life back to me. You dont know how much "disability" you have until it is take away.

awesome bro. TTT