At AFC 68, Jesse Brock of Wasilla, at the time 10-4, suffered one of the most vicious head-kick knockouts courtesy of Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson who subsequently was signed by WEC shortly after.
Since then, Brock has improved his record to 15-5 with the help of his gym Combat Fitness (Team Twisted Genetiks) along with his cornerman and trainer Nicholas Carter. Nico was in Alaska at the time and was able to impart some of his insights on Muay Thai and specifically fitness training for the modern day MMA athlete.
I caught up with him on the rising success of Jesse Brock as well as the recent release of his Roadwork Training DVD.
How did you enjoy your trip to Alaska when you came up with Jesse Brock? Alaska is beautiful. It was refreshing to visit Anchorage and be welcomed as a pugilists. I got to coordinate with a few local fighters there as well as see some good training and great fights at the AFC. There is quality training in Alaska and everyone knows that a fighter will fight how he trains.
How has Jesse been doing in the development of his game? Jesse is doing great. As a Muay Thai trainer, I am very proud of him. He is by far one of the most consistent and hard workers I have been privileged to work with. When it comes to fighting, Jesse understands that a fighter does not train for a fight, he stays ready. Many fighters seem to lose the intensity after a fight and slack-off until the next show is signed. Jesse understands this mistake and therefore does not do it. After a big show he may take a few days off at the most and will return to full-time training soon after. Fighting is not a part time job.
Any plans for future trips to Alaska? I may come out in the next 6-8 weeks to teach a Muay Thai seminar at Rob Yundt's gym. I recently spoke to Rob and he's working on putting something together. I love martial arts, love to train fighters and enjoyed my time in Alaska. I told him to just get my flight and take me fishing and I will gladly come and teach for a couple days.
You just released your new DVD. What are some of the details of that? Roadwork: running and training on the road. This type of training is basic in Muay Thai and boxing but seems to be lacking in MMA. Fitness is key in fighting and no fight fan likes to see a fighter gas out. It’s one of the worst things that can happen to a fighter especially when the fight is taken from him because he is too tired to finish it. Besides the obvious drilling and sparring, this DVD shows how world-class combat athletes prepare. The DVD includes “Why Do Roadwork” by professional MMA fighters Scott Jorgensen, Joe Warren and Jesse Brock. There is also a special interview by world medalist and current USA Wrestling Teammate Justin Ruiz.
You feature some great fighters on your DVD. What was your experience like working with them? Working with great fighters is nice because they are really just normal people who know what they want out of life. All the champions, all the top combat athletes I know from around the world have one thing in common: they all have tunnel vision for their passion.
What can people expect to gain when they purchase the DVD? Insight to roadwork training. Years ago, before I went to Thailand to train Muay Thai, I knew I had to run a lot since professional camps there will have Thai fighters run twice a day and nearly fifty miles a week in addition to sprints. Although I ran on the Maui beach five miles in the morning and two miles in the afternoon, I knew there was more to it. I knew there was more to roadwork but I did not have the insight. I did not know how to properly run as a fighter. I hope to give insight to those that purchase the DVD that running is fundamental for fighting and that there are many ways running should be approached. Besides basic fitness, roadwork is important to develop strong legs which is a must for fighting stand-up and taking leg-kicks. I hope this point sticks.
What was your background in MMA? My MMA background started with Team Twisted Genetiks, Jesse Brock and Scott Jorgensen. This was January 1, 2009. I just flew into Boise, Idaho that day coming from Thailand. I met those guys from the grace of God on the same day of my arrival. There were always a few MMA guys in the Muay Thai gym back in 1999 but not guys on Jesse or Scott's level. I came into the gym as a traditionalist. I did Kung Fu for nearly ten years before really getting involved in Muay Thai. Working with MMA fighters is great since they seem to want to know everything and tend to be open minded to new ideas. I still have a bug for Muay Thai and am moving back to Thailand later in the year.
What is your favorite part of what you do? Everything. I am a martial artist at heart. I have been doing martial arts actively since 1993. Martial arts has found me chasing the dragon in Korea for two years and Thailand for three. As for my passion, Muay Thai, I love to see it shine when done by MMA fighters. I love technique. I love the beauty of properly executed kicks, elbows and knees. If I have to name one thing, my favorite part in what I do is being around combat athletes. Combat athletes have a strong sense of self and are strong enough to follow their hearts.
What are some basic tips you could give to aspiring fighters? See your goal and go after it. If it’s not in your heart don’t do it. Many aspiring fighters seem to be looking for glamor. Interviews, fights and flashy gear by the top contenders looks glamorous but nothing is glamorous about fighting. It’s very hard work. The training is redundant and fighters have to earn their way to big purse events. All the fighters I know are in it because it’s in their heart. If it’s in your heart, go after it and allow nothing to stand in your way.
*Nicholas Carter’s DVD can be found at RoadworkTraining.com