How I Got Started In MMA

Saturday night, I watched Jon Jones completely dominate Quinton Jackson like I knew he would at my friend Youssef’s house.

Over the years, Youssef’s been my partner in crime – we skydived (skydove?) together for his Bachelor party, drove 24 hours straight (along with a couple other buddies) to Florida together, he introduced me to BJJ and was my coach at my first BJJ tournament and most recently he was my best man at my wedding, to name a few.

After my man Youssef got his BJJ blue belt…

Anyway, there were about 20 of us at his house for the fights and we watched it in his backyard on a huge projector screen sitting around a fire.

Last week, I emailed him asking him how we actually got started training BJJ because I couldn’t remember.

We started training BJJ in the summer of 1999 at Joslin’s in Hamilton under Jeff Joslin.

Where it all began…

I trained for 3 months but then had to give it up because I moved away to attend the University of Waterloo.

But for the life of me I couldn’t remember why we’d decided to go in the first place.

Luckily, Youssef remembered, and here’s how it went down:

“One of the original guys who trained at Joslin’s used to work at the gas station I worked at. He told me a long story about how he hurt his knuckle KO’ing this biker dude that was picking on him after hockey practice. He then did BJJ so that he wouldnt hurt his knuckles. Did a collar choke on me and I was sold. Told you about it and convinced you to try it with me. I’ve been kicking your ass at BJJ ever since then.”

Ahahaha that sounds about right!

I’ve always been ready to jump in and try new things, especially sports.

Trying BJJ out just for the hell of it led me to meeting Jeff Joslin, then, after I graduated with my Kinesiology degree, I linked up with him again and trained him for his Apex World Welterweight title fight and UFC debut.

Now, I’m helping a couple of UFC fighters prepare for the 2nd ever UFC in Ontario and I’ve got a blog and newsletter list that’s read by tens of thousands each month!

Who knew that those first 3 months of BJJ training would lead to all of this?

I’m truly grateful for everything good that’s come my way – and guys like you who read and take my advice to heart is one of those good things, so thank you.

I love getting emails from guys telling me how my programs have helped them out, whether it be for general fitness, healing old injuries, or winning their first MMA fight, which I recently received a couple of emails about, like this one from Mahu Powell (peep the new snazzy testimonial graphic thing):

Click The Image To Get The Same Program Mahu Followed To WIN His First MMA Fight

If you’ve got some results from one of my programs to share, hit me up!

If not, “take the jump” and get started today.

But what I’d really like to know right now is…

How did you get started in MMA?

Did you see an event and if so, which one?

Did you get beat up then start training to protect yourself?

Share your story below:

 

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KirkivanhuntersamGonzalo Recent comment authors
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Kirk
Kirk

Hey eric,i used to do karate when i was a young teen (im now27),but then got more involved with football (soccer to you none british!)when i was in school and college.i always loved watching boxing though ,but never really saw myself as a combat sports type of person.i remember satching the ultimate fighter and the occasional ufc event an enjoying it but again,didnt really have the urge to take part.that was untill the ultimate fighter season 9 finale an the diego sanchez vs clay guida fight!that fight was so crazy and cool it peaked my interest.from thrre i attended a muay thai class then moved onto actual mma,whick iv been training now for around a year,and im preparing for my 2nd semi pro (headshots standing only,no gnp)match up on the 11th december,and i cant wait! Also wanted to conpliment you on this site,as you make everything undrrstandable and simple to… Read more »

Kirk
Kirk

Apologies for the terrible typing and spelling,still not used to the tiny keyboard on the iphone!

ivan
ivan

I was bullied arround when i was a kid, so my parents got me started in kenpo karate wen i was 8 years old, so i could defend my self, I remember going to karate classes and loving it, than years latter after i stoped my karate training, do to my parrents not having enough money to pay for classes, a very close friend of mine who was training in five animals kung fu took me to train with him for a free class with his sifu who after that class became my sifu and to hoom i will forever be thankfull as he was not only my mentor but also became a brother. I remember me and another friend gething all exited for UFC 1, when Royce gracie won the hall tournoment, it was so wierd looking at royce doing his thing and for me to not understand what… Read more »

hunter
hunter

Well I got stared in mma about 5 years ago when i was watching Liddell and Ortiz fight and i thought that that would be a fun thing to try. Well I guess that was it now im 16 5’3″ and overweight and im starting to train in mma to loose the weight and build the muscle i need because where im from your ether a sheep or a wolf. Im just in between because i look like a wolf but act like a sheep and i need to be full wolf because i come from a long line of wolfs. But i think most of all about what got me into mma was the whole outlook on it and to loose the weight.

sam
sam

the fight between brock lesner and shane carwin is what got me into mma, i saw it and knew that i wanted to do it. sadly im only now getting into it, (16 years old ) but im super pumped and cant wait to start it on monday wish me luck :p

Gonzalo
Gonzalo

It all started back in my military days, being a military police officer they showed us different fighting styles to perform defensive tactics. So while stationed in San Diego, CA I joined city boxing to train in Mauy Thai with Brandon Vera when he was there, when I got out I have been gym hopping looking for a home to train here in San Antonio, TX, but mean time just been gaining knowledge from different trainers.

JC
JC

I was always a huge fan of fighting. You can blame Bruce Lee for that. Anyways a buddy of mine was doing TKD and BJJ at the time and well I’ve always been a pugilist at heart but right when he started showing me a few moves I was hooked! BJJ took some time to get used to just because of the fact that I associated ground grappling with two guys hugging wearing spandex leotards. 2 years on and off and I’m still going, injuries keep me from it but once they heal i rush in like a mad dog(which is probably why I get injured in the first place). I still try to stick to my boxing but it’s nice knowing i have other techniques I can fall back on. ESPECIALLY LOW KICKS and LIVER SHOTS 2 underutilized but very effective strikes that I just can’t seem to land… Read more »

Seb
Seb

I’ve always been a huge UFC and Pride FC fan since the early years and always wanted to learn these amazing fighting techniques. I’ve started the learning process practicing western boxing, then muay thai and finally BJJ and Grappling.
I’ve been competing in BJJ and Grappling but never got into a MMA ring/ cage.
Now I feel confident enough to step in a freefight competition.
I am going to Thailand in a few days to get prepared for my first MMA fight in december, I’m gonna train at Phuket Top Team with Roger Huerta and other great trainers.
I can’t wait to fight and hope I’ll be the best!

Eric

Awesome stuff Seb, have a great training camp in Phuket, train smart, train hard and when your fight comes around, give it your all and mop the floor with your opponent!

Bill
Bill

getting into MMA was a slow process for me. i first was a huge fan of pro wrestling. to get ready for training camp, i decided to “toughen up” by doing kick boxing. i saw the BJJ guys and thought “what a bunch of weirdos”. that is until i got on the mat with them. while kick boxing had come naturally to me, BJJ was an absolute nightmare. none of it made sense, i never seemed to get a tap out, and worse, it really felt awkward.

well, pro wrestling training camp fell through after i got a concussion, but by then i was already getting into MMA. i was still doing kick boxing and i had picked up a couple of submissions. i went through a 10 week MMA class and was hooked! MMA really is the greatest sport EVER!

Eric

Haha yeah a lot of people think BJJ is “gay” and striking arts are a tougher man’s sport, but obviously both are full of mean dudes.

rjames
rjames

I got into MMA (via BJJ then Krav Maga) for two reasons. The first, I needed something to replace booze, which was causing my marriage to spiral out of control. I stopped drinking cold turkey after a particularly stupid incident. A week later, I started my first BJJ class. I’ve been sober for 1 1/2 years and I saved my marriage because of it. Second, although I was a big and strong as a kid, I was not aggressive and my parents were pacifists, so I was an easy target for bullying. Take it from me, not sticking up for yourself as a kid really messes you up as an adult (it may even drive you to drink). So for the love of Pete, tell your kids to fight like hell instead of running to a teacher like the “so-called” experts nowadays say to do! And now, as an adult,… Read more »

Eric

Another addiction controlled by MMA – maybe alcoholics anonymous should require all their people to train MMA… might be fun. 🙂

Also, some interesting advice that I’d have to agree with. If it’s true bullying, usually a bully will disappear after a kid stands up to him and just pick on an easier target.

But in terms of real, dangerous violence, especially as kids get older, then yeah, a different approach could be warranted.

jason griggs
jason griggs

well for me I used it to quit smoking. I decided I wanted to quit. threw out a fresh pack of 20’s then started doing 2 a day sessions, 7 days a week from the next year. Now 3 years in and love it. It was finally the one thing that got me to break the hold of smoking.

jason griggs
jason griggs

“for the next year not from the next year.

Eric

Nice – that’s awesome Jason, congrats!

Josemm
Josemm

Actually since kid fighting on the streets and school I remember doing what now is called ground and pound to few poor kids just because I was a bully Im sorry lol seriously I had to know how to defend myself since kid so I always liked to know how to hit someone years later I got into Muay thai wich I really loved since the first moment I saw that sport man and also watching Fake but entertaining Mexican Wrestling on Tv haha some submissions actually works but is mostly just a show . And of course Watching Great boxing matches from the great Julio Cesar Chavez and Mike tyson in my country boxing is a big deal just as lucha libre so I just took some lessons to try boxing and wrestling myself to decide wich I like or what works for me best now im into bjj… Read more »

Eric

As long as you’re not bullying people now… unless you’re in the cage and they’re trying to do the same to you. 🙂

Josemm
Josemm

haha exactly im not bulling anyone these days I guess I was an angry kid but usually thats due to family problems so if you got a bully as kid you should better watch how is your family doing seriously
sometimes parents are to absorbed by daily life and forget what life is all about and that is to actually enjoy your life is not about to be alive is to enjoy the fucking ride 🙂 lol