Your cross training pre-MMA

Did you cross train prior to UFC? I guess I sort of did. I took judo from 1st through 6th grade off and on and never took it overly seriously.

By the time I was in highschool I had started boxing and I had a friend who was a black belt in TKD. We sparred a lot. He would use his TKD and I would use boxing. I was able to be very successful against him. Looking back on this, it was a good and bad experience. Coming in, he continually tried to throw a side kick at my knee. I quickly figured out that bending the front knee more would be a simple way to nullify that. But because I was so successful against him, and some other experiences, it made my perception of martial arts negative. I felt all martial arts were basically like TKD. No real live sparring and a bunch of fancy moves that didn't work against basics.

What you had in boxing was there because over the years it had been proven to work against live guys trying to counter and foil it. (As a teenager you think you know everything. The obvious foil to this argument is that the guys countering it are using the same set of techniques.)

Another guy who was a pretty popular martial artist at my highschool was a Kung Fu stylist. I overheard him while he was talking to another guy one day about how boxing was useless and only straight punches (he was as ignorant of boxing as I was of martial arts!) This guy had boxed before and he took exception to this. So did I! I got into a long debate with him on the virtues of boxing and we agreed to have a sort of exhibition match. It never came off because he wouldn't really commit to it.

I considered wrestling in highschool but I didn't get along with a few guys on the team and I let that stop me. One of the guy's on the team (the starting heavyweight) was a notorius school bully and he beat up on several people smaller than him. In my foolishness I confronted him one day (really long story) and we had a fight. It was probably the weirdest fight ever. We went into the street, I threw a punch at his face and he threw one back. We repeated that until one of his neighbor friends ran up to help him out. It was like rock 'em sock 'em robots. I don't know why I didn't do more, but what could I say? It was one of my 1st real street fights as an older person. The fact that he didn't use any of his wrestling prowess (if he was had tried and had a half decent shot, I'm sure he could have easily taken me down at will) only bolstered my theory that I was training in something "superior". It wasn't until college that I got my ass handed to me that I really started seeing the value of cross training


I was with one of my friends in the dorms of The University of Colorado and we decided to engage in an inpromptu wrestling match. I just figured I could out power him with aggression and went after him like a mad man. I had no skill and he subbed me every time (after taking rug burns from hell). I just kept trying to "out will" him and he kept beatng me. He really wasn't any good, its just I was terrible! That really opened my eyes and we started training together learning what little he knew and what we could pick up from watching UFC. I had watched Ken vs. Royce II a while earlier and thought it was totally horrible. I was convinced that any ultimate fighter would not stand a chance against a good boxer. The guys in the octagon who threw punches looked like blubbering slobs to me. And I convinced myself that if it was a boxer landing that huge punch that Ken landed to Royce the fight would have been over. (True, but I failed to consider that a boxer would not have made it that far without being subbed). However, my friend was a big fan and we watched and studied all the early UFCs we could get our hands on.

I got better Grappling (although not much,) we didn't know much and I started to refer back to trying to remember some of my judo training from my youth. The hold downs seemed to work well.

I hooked up with some guys at CU and they were running a grappling club I attended often. On my first time there I got the opportunity to roll with Amal Eason, a Renzo Gracie black belt (at that time a purple I believe). Wow, that was a total eye opener. He tapped me 5 times in what had to be under a minute with whatever he wanted. I was amazed at how it felt like I was going 120 miles an hour and he seemed totally effortless and smooth. I thought I had gotten pretty good wrestling with my friend but right there I was humbled, but I was also hooked. That is the moment I started really "cross training." Subsequently, I began to train in a wide variety or martial arts of course. I'd like to hear all of your stories on cross training.

nice post, but paragraphs would make it nicer



Nice story. It's always fun to read those experience stories.

so now do u realize tkd is legit?