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Exclusive interview with UFC Hall of Fame member Ken Shamrock
He has held the title of the “The World’s Most Dangerous Man”, was one of the first inductees into the UFC Hall of Fame and is considered to be an Icon of the sport. Ken Shamrock is now coaching and cornering his sons as they make their way into the world of MMA.
At the weigh-ins for Fight Republic 5, a local amateur MMA event in Reno, Nevada, where 2 of his sons would enter the cage the next day, Ken took some time to speak with LowKick.com.
Ken, how does it feel to see your sons start to follow in your footsteps? Is this going to become “the family business?
(Laughs) No, when they were growing up I didn’t really foresee them fighting or anything like that. I wanted to make sure that they received a good education and if they wanted to get into fighting I wanted it to be their choice. All three of them like it and want to have fun with it, but I don’t think they will make any kind of a career out of it. It’s for fun and they are enjoying it.
What is it like to train your own children to fight?
To me the hardest part is separating being a father from being a coach and a trainer. When I train them I try to stay out of the hands-on training and act more like a mentor. I am their father first.
What was it like seeing Sean win his first fight?
It was awesome, just a great and unbelievable feeling. Even in his last fight when he lost, we knew he was fighting an uphill battle against a much more experienced guy with a great ground game. We knew he had a slim chance of winning, but we wanted to really test him early on to see where he was. Even with the outcome I was very, very pleased. We wanted to find out those shortcomings now, rather than later.
Any plans on reopening the Lion’s Den or hosting any more seminars in the near future?
Not at this time. Right now I am putting together a promotion in Phuket, Thailand, scheduled for September. I am also working with a reality show series in Australia where we are going to take athletes from different sports, that is professionals from the NFL, soccer, rugby, golf, you name it and train them how to fight. At the end of the series, they are going to fight each other.
It sounds almost like the early days of the UFC and MMA when you started out. Back then it was this style vs. that style: Brazilian jujitsu vs. shoot fighting, karate vs. boxing and now it has become where every fighter has to know a little of everything as more of a hybrid fighter.
You are exactly right, Mike, and that is why we are doing this type of show. These are going to be the guys at the pinnacle of their chosen sport; be it football, basketball, tennis or what have you. They are great athletes and now we will take that raw material and athletic ability and train them. We will combine a highly trained athlete with a high degree training program and see how well they adapt to the training and to each other.
Do you have any advice for new people breaking into the sport or moving up in the fight game?
I would say to make sure you have an education and a career to fall back on. It is not like the early days when good performance on your part would take you through and carry you to the top. If you can make it, good luck and God Bless but there are a lot of injuries and pitfalls along the way and you have to make it through a lot of fights to get there.
Looking back, if you had to do it all over again would you change anything?
I look back on my career and I have been very blessed, especially considering where I came from and where I ended up. I don’t think I could have written a script any better than the way it turned out and I am thankful for that.
Photo credit: Mike Searson