Darryl had an incredible wrestling career, California State Title, National Champion and Olympic Team alternate. After wrestling, he transitioned into a career in medical sales and is currently turning the MMA world upside down with his unique wrestling style and organized approach to training.
In this episode we discuss:
- Darryl’s wrestling history
- Olympic athletic development
- Creating expectations for athletes and coaches
- Individualized training vs team workouts
- Improving the athlete outside of the gym
- Assessing performance and adjusting moving forward.
- and more!
Darryl has worked with Chael Sonnen, Randy Couture, Joe Warren, Jeremy Stephens, Rashad Evans, TJ Dillashaw, Ian McCall and countless other top fighters. His unique wrestling style and organized approach to training is changing the way top fighters use wrestling to improve their game.
Full Transcription of Our Podcast with Darryl Christian
Interview with Wrestling Coach, Darryl Christian talking about coaching and athletes prepping for fights
Corey Beasley [00:00:01]: Hey guys, is Corey Beasley with fight camp conditioning. I’m on the phone with wrestling Coach Darryl Christian. Darryl, how are you doing?
Darryl Christian [00:00:06]:I’m doing great, thank you.
Corey Beasley [00:00:10]: Good man. Thanks for joining me. I appreciate you taking time out of your Friday, but give everybody a little two sense of who you are and what you do?
Darryl Christian [00:00:18]: I’m a MMA coach on in Southern California. I kind of structured some periodization processes within with the wrestling and then transcending that into the different aspects of their fighting and I do a little bit of everything really.
Corey Beasley [00:00:37]: Now, Darryl, you’ve came from the wrestling world. How’d you get started wrestling you in your whole life?
Darryl Christian [00:00:46]:Yeah, I’ve been wrestling my whole life. I took some different periods off. I played numerous different sports and in middle school and high school we moved a lot, so I had to start and stop. But most of my wrestling careers in Oregon I grew up there wrestling in Southern Oregon there’s a lot of heritage in Oregon with wrestling with Matt Lindland and Chael Sonnen and Les Gutches and numerous other people. Even Larry Owens who beat Dan Gable up in Portland back in the 70s. So I grew up there wrestling high school did pretty well there. I got my first taste of international wrestling when I went to South Korea my junior year going into my senior year. And then I transferred high schools actually. And my senior in high school. I wound up here in Southern California, in Anaheim Hills and I won a California state title. And then in college I was at university of Oregon. I wrestled there with Chael Sonnen, we were teammates. We are actually club teammates in high school, believe it or not, at the Peninsula Wrestling Club in Portland where there was a number of amazing athletes up there, amazing wrestlers there. And then once I gets done with the University of Oregon, Chael had asked me to come train with them a little bit. I was kind of deciding what I wanted to do if I wanted to get into the business field in Southern California with some friends or really continue on to Olympic caliber wrestling. But a lot of the Olympic caliber wrestling is more technical, it weeds out a lot of the college guys when it comes in to technical aspects as well as it’s just a whole different aspect of attacking and scoring system. And so that summer of 2000, around 2000, we were at Centennial high school in Portland and I was working out with Chael Sonnen, Randy Couture and Dan Henderson. These are the group that started team quest and MMA, I met Randy back 1994, 1995 when he was recruiting me when he was at Oregon state university. And so I started, I got to have that relationship with him back in the day and then trends in that going forward in 2000 there training for the Olympic regionals to get to, to qualify for Olympic trials. And I didn’t go to Olympic, the regional, but Chael and Heath, he’s was Olympian that year. Dan was an alternate. Randy was an alternate. And then Matt Lindland was on the Olympic team that year, so we had like a really tough room, believe it or not in Greco. So I followed them. They asked me to come out to Olympic training center for the Olympic camp this summer. That’s the same summer that I met some other future teammates of mine, like Rulon Gardner, Kevin Bracken, Joe Warren multiple people across the country. So the wrestling coach there was Steve Frazier, Anatoli Petrosian Richard Strella. There’s a lot of guys there. So at that Olympic camp I kind of made my name for myself. It had been a little while, but I was nobody coming into that scene. And I was doing really well. And then at that point they offered me a resident scholarship or resident application, a sense to live in trains, Olympic training center. And my first year I took third in the open and I have been on the national team for the whole time I was there. Basically the national team, that’s interesting wrestling is that you place top eight in the nationals. They send you to the world team trials or Olympic trials and then you have to place top three there to make the national team. So they take the top eight guys, they re-wrestle them again a month later. Mind you, these are the same guys you work out with on a daily basis in the rooms. So it’s funny within MMA, everyone talks about how they can’t let other people see secrets and they’ve got these different things. But imagine training year round with the top seven guys in the country on a daily basis practically, and then you have to compete with them at tournaments. And the coaches are pretty much almost teaching the same stuff except for some tweaks. So my wrestling got really sharp in there more mentally than anything. I think that’s the big thing that changed for me at the Olympic training center from college than from high school is the mental aspect. And that’s something that I tried to bring into the MMA. And then basically in 2006, I got tired of the rule changes. I had just won my second consecutive national title. I’d won a multiple international tournaments. And I just decided just to step away. I would’ve been one of the top guys in the world that year, even the year before and then going forward going to 2008 Olympics our team was strong and they had won the world title. I just had decided to step away quickly and just pursue a professional career not until about two years ago I stepped back into the MMA world. So that’s kind of how my whole wrestling career had started and finished.
Corey Beasley [00:06:25]: It’s interesting you said that the mental aspect was the biggest thing that changed. And I’m telling you every single professional athlete that I’ve spent some time with everybody from, let me play golf with Michael Jordan or hanging out with Jason Taylor and those guys. And I always ask them just casually and compensation. I’m like, what’s the difference between high school or college or is it tougher to go college to pro and they all would laugh. They would just say, college to pro was always the hardest. Which is real similar to like what you say from college to the Olympic training center and but they said they had friends that were physical freaks, that were strong, that were explosive, that could jump out of the gym and do all kinds of stuff, but they couldn’t handle mentally the day in day out grind that’s the biggest separator, right?
Darryl Christian [00:07:19]:Yeah. I mean what happens is that the talented most athletic kids I grew up with, mind you think of this when I was in high school, my senior in high school in the County in orange County, California, I’m in Oregon, there’s four different groups, four classes of athletes in a sense. They go by school size, so you’ll have like the largest school sized state champ and the same thing goes down from football to basketball to everything. Well, in orange County, in California that’s very unique versus almost any other state in the country is that in orange County alone, my senior year in high school there was 92 high schools and the athletes of the year for these different sports like just sprinkled across names like Tiger Woods, we’re all seniors. He was athlete of the year for golf out of Western high school in Cyprus. Tony Gonzales was at Huntington Beach. Lindsey Davenport was at Newport Harbor. Misty May like all these crazy athletes. And what happens is that what I’ve seen when it comes to the mental side of stuff is that, you’ve seen it really in MMA is that you have some amazing coaches that had started out from the beginning. They have some great methods that worked for them at the beginning. Before you had to be on point year round and they were camp coaches in a sense. And the reason I say camp coaches, because you train for six to eight weeks, the athlete would take the rest of the time off. They had trained against six, eight weeks and they would take them in any shape or form. They could be super out of shape or super in shape. And a lot of times with cutting weight and all the different things that happening and with a drug testing that have come into everything, it’s really kind of disrupted the old regime because obviously there’s a lot of different things that happen MMA. But now with USADA coming in and I was a party USADA for almost 10 years. And that drug testing is no joke because since it’s randomized, there’s a lot of things that go into it and you can’t really get on things as quickly as you were to before and get off of them because you would say, I’m going to compete six months, I’ll give off amount of time. So the random lie stuff that really affects things. But going back to the mental component is that going from college Cipro or college to Olympic level sports, the degree of daily grinding and I mean the degree of making mistakes is in millimeters now. And what I mean by that is that every four years they have an Olympics or every once a year they have a world championship. So you really have to be on point mentally because your margin of error is in millimeters because you really have to step up year-round, day to day, 365 days a year, and you have to dial it in the whole time. And so that’s where all the puritization comes in the mental training because you have to be ready to say, look, I can’t be on point all the time. I have to put myself in a grinder with these other top athletes in the country on a daily basis. And I mean we’ve had multiple NCUA champions, multiple talented like physical freaks that couldn’t handle the daily grind and it was nothing to them personally. So the fact that the mental aspect is something that only coaches or athletes have gone through it before personally, they’ll know how to put you through that, and then you transfer the back to MMA again and you’ll see a lot of with the kids, we’re not as less athletics or the guys were not as good. You’ll find that once they hit that top level of competition, that top 10 guy, the top five guy or top three guy on everyone else. But once the athletics go out, once the conditioning goes out, then it comes into the mental stability of grinding just for four minutes for that one opportunity. Then that separate the top 97% of all of MMA.
Corey Beasley [00:11:49]: Yeah. I mean that’s a huge deal because there’s many different factors. I think and this kind of a different topic a little bit, but speaking about the MMA side of things, when you did start working a couple of years back, starting working with more and more MMA guys, the grind is there. It’s almost worn as a badge of honor a lot of times. But there’s also a lot of different skillsets and aspects of the game that people feel like they have to work on. So like for you, if you’re grew up as a wrestler and you’ve got to start working on your standup you’re like, okay, well I got to work on my standup, I got to do my jiu jitsu in, I got to do my strength conditioning, I get wrestling, I got to do all these different things. And then a lot of guys tend to get overwhelmed or just grind themselves into a pole. From your experience in your experiences in the past and then now being an MMA, how do you kind of see that aspect getting organized and improved?
Darryl Christian [00:12:52]:Well, I think this is a good point. If you look at a lot of the MMA gyms out there, you’re paying for a service. So the athlete is paying a commission or a percentage of their purse to the gym. Now, a lot of the gyms don’t have everything in house. This is not a one stop shop majority of time, and remember it’s really hard because going into MMA versus the Olympic level or even college level where you have medical services in a sense like sports, conditioning people, you have therapists, you have other coaches that are isolated, but we’re all in the same, they eat at the same table in the sense. So let’s just think about that where we’re all at that same dinner table on a nightly, on a daily basis, checking in, checking out, and for this particular person or team, we all have the same mission statement and we go by that. We agree upon that. We have expectations each and every one of us has expectations. Now within the MMA that’s different that I’ve seen anyways is everything’s run differently every gym run differently and that piece of the pie, that pizza that’s at the dinner table not necessarily is going to feed everybody. And some people will have, let’s just say instead of dollars and cents, we’ll talk about, let’s just talk about caloric intake. Some people need 3000 calories and another person’s only getting to get 750 calories and another person’s going to maybe get two calories depending on how they split that up. And so a lot of the time people will not be at that table eating at that table and the athlete has to go outside of that table to eat and then it’s blending that adopted family member to come back to the table again. So what I’ve seen is that there’s not, it’s not a cohesive synergistic group in a sense all the time. And a lot of the coaches don’t talk all the time. So when it talks about the different aspects of circling back up here, talking about different aspects of the jiu jitsu, the Boxing, the Muay Thai, the Kickboxing, the wrestling, MMA conditioning, and then it goes into sparring putting all that together. A lot of the times, what I see that’s it’s hard to balance everything out and its most of the time the athlete is going camp to camp. They will train only in camp for that particular thing. And obviously you are a very well renowned strength and conditioning coach when it comes into functional training and all the different things you do and you know that it takes a long period of time to develop base to developed strength, power. There’s different segments of this whole periodization schedule, the peak, well a lot of times these guys are only in there for six to eight weeks. They cross themselves, they can only do so much. And then that goes to the mental component where a lot of this training where it’s a guerrilla warfare type training or I’m just going to grind. I’m tough. Halfway during the camp on the best I am at the end of the camp. Usually I’m over-trained the coaches haven’t been talking. My jiu jitsu coach doesn’t talk to the boxing coach. The boxing coach doesn’t talk to the head coach. Head coach doesn’t talk to them and make conditioning coach and then all of a sudden there’s distribution of guilt or faith in the fact that they’re going to they’re doing all the right things on the right level. So what’s happening is that you’re doing different ingredients. Every camp, they don’t have a consistent basis, a consistent recipe because they’re only getting a camp to camp. So in the Olympic arena, that’s a little bit different as a fact that everyone is on the same page. All the coaches agree that what’s best for the athlete is first and we can’t blanket every program to everyone. Everyone’s got to be individualized, just like a going to the doctor and get a prescription, are you allergic to this, are you not allergic to this? And so with the MMA aspect of sprinkling this whole thing out is that you’re not getting good training in all aspects because one coach wants more than the other and there’s no consistent, I would say board of directors or everyone’s not eating at that dinner table together on a consistent basis. So at the end of it, it’s a 50/ 50 if they’re going to be on point or learn or not be over trained or not crush them mentally, basically.
Corey Beasley [00:17:48]: Yeah. Well, there’s a huge mental component as well. And I always just say mental momentum that’s built. When people are consistent over long periods of time. I remember for example that I wrote about a couple of years back, but it was if you just miss one session a week, it doesn’t seem like much. When most of these guys have, what, 10, 12, sometimes more sessions a week at their training. So if you just miss one session, like, Oh, I got to take my daughter to the doctor, or whatever it is. But if I wrestled with you, you’re my coach for wrestling and I get 50 more sessions in that year, that’s significant. That’s a huge amount of work over the long term. You talk about these guys develop, I mean guys don’t get strong in one year. They don’t get good at wrestling in one year for sure, you talk about three, four, five years working their way up the ladder, talk about five years down the road and you have 250 more sessions with Darryl than somebody else. That guy’s in big trouble. So when I think of it, at least that way in my head, I’m thinking there’s no surprise when someone does really well because if you look back at their track record, they were probably really consistent for a while?
Darryl Christian [00:19:16]:Yeah, I think you’re right about that. I think what I do differently with the athletes I’ve worked with a couple of them won multiple victories and then UFC titles and stuff. I think back in 2004, B.J Penn came out to Olympic training center and trained with us for a month before the Matt Hughes fight. And from that time going forward, you would have like scientific process or periodization over training or even just the fact putting those reps in really wasn’t and looked at so much. It was like, well we got to be Savage, we have to be a gangster. We have to be tough. Because that’s what we do. But the tank Abbott of the world lifestyle is no longer because you can’t fight that way cause your body breaks down. And also guys are getting more sophisticated and there’s more athletic people out there are starting to dominate the people that are not as athletic. And I think that what I do with my athletes, the guys that I work with is, I’ll go over a schedule in a sense. I’m not their head coach, but what I do is when I do the cardio component and the wrestling component and I do the overall volume component is that I look at overall volume for the week. I look up like if its calorie expenditure a where they need to be. And also kind of in a sense. Some guys are more dialed in as far as intensity and some guys are not. But the biggest is volume training because as you know, over training, it is a huge aspect with, it’s hard to lose weight because your cortisol levels are through the roof. Your body’s atrophied after a certain period of time cause when you go super hard all the time, your body will lose muscle because it goes to muscle after the carbs are gone. And then what I try to do is try to balance that out with hours. But also I’ll print out a schedule, a calendar for the three months, two months, whatever duration of time so they can physically see the footprint. They can see the MapQuest to where we’re going. Because a lot of times and I’ve been in camps where the coaches are not looking at an overall, they don’t let the athlete know where they’re going. They don’t see the timeline. They don’t see the expectations. I’ll text my guys like Rashad Evans, I’ll text Jeremy Stephens, I’ll text the guys. And even Ian McCall like, Hey, we’ve got 73 days left. And some of the guys were like, okay, well 73 days. I’m like, no, everyday counts. Like there’s 22 hours, X amount of time. And really, because like you talked about, because you can never get this time back and as the clock ticks down, you have to make weight, you have to make that walk and you have to be the best you possibly can. So if we can project that and be more predictable, be more on the same page and balance out the training and every camp is different. But outside of camp, being able to balance out that workload and really get more technical and then all of a sudden you get a more of a balance aspect of things. We get more, we have the ability to adjust things by 30 minutes like you talked about, like what’s a practice once a week that you missed and how does that add up? Well, it’s the same thing. Like, I’m putting hay in the bar for a rainy day or when I need it. And so what happens is that we go after this aspect of, well, what 10 minutes extra practices of going over the intensity level. Well, we add that up and we put another three hours a week and super hard intensity. Then all of a sudden the guy two days later, that Dom’s effect that he’s hit the wall. And that’s some of the reason why I do a lot of that periodization training and structure it that way.
Corey Beasley [00:23:10]: Well it’s interesting, I met Randy Couture at an event here in a couple of years back and I ask him a question. I just said, look the only thing I have to ask you is how the hell you lasted so long. Because he fought and kill what he was, how old?
Darryl Christian [00:23:30]:Like 46 I think 47 him and Dan is at that style. So physically their body was able to they’ve always been, their fighting styles allowed them to do that. And also there’s the mental aspect.
Corey Beasley [00:23:51]: Well, what he said, he said right away he laughed. Because he knew exactly why I was asking, but he goes, win, lose or draw. I was back in the gym on Monday. And he said, you know what, I don’t take time off I obviously when he goes, obviously when we go back on Monday or Tuesdays, like we’re taking it light and we’re drilling and just kind of talking about stuff, I might not go crazy. And he goes, but I never got out of shape. He goes, these kids that whether they win or lose, if they disappear for two weeks, a month, two months, whatever it is, they get out of shape. He goes, they all get hurt getting back in shape. And the injuries pile up and then it’s like, man, you haven’t fought for a year. You haven’t fought for a year and a half. And I think that’s real common. So I think that consistency thing seems to be a big common thread that affects the mental and affects them physically, their skillset and affects them from injuries all these different things. From your opinion, crucial, do you think that guys are inconsistent because they’re too beat up or you think that they’re like just not serious or is it a combination of that type of stuff or what?
Darryl Christian [00:25:14]:I think from my own opinion is that the guys are the guys that do MMA this mixed martial arts. I know they have a passion for it. They work super hard, but sometimes when they don’t do anything between camps and have that base built year round so they can just strap it on eight weeks and still be healthy and they can hold that load, that stress that they’re going to put on that body. They’re going to be fine. But what happens is that I feel that there’s not enough structure in place because they are paid. They pay their coaches. They’re paying their coaches to be there. They don’t have a scholarship that they have to perform or show up so many classes or not be late or anything. They have a choice. It is completely by their choice consent. They show up or not. But the inconsistency I think is a big thing where they get crushed every camp where there’ll be out of shape or they get nagging injury because they haven’t been training or they’re losing 20 to 30 pounds. I mean, I don’t know anybody over a seven week period. That’s the Tom Brady’s that their weight fluctuates 30 to 40 pounds or 20 to 40 pounds depending on the athlete all the time and the wear and tear and not including what it does to the body. You have guys like Anthony Johnson who he was 170 pound fighter and he fights 205 and he’s a monster at 205. So the guys what they do, the extremes that are body, it really messes things up because you overall, it’s like, I don’t want to go through that grinder every, every amount of time. And now that there’s more shows, usually got so many things going on that the structure, the discipline and everything has to be year round. Now they cannot be a seasonal fighter. Like they’re going on vacation once a year and that’s how they do their fight camp. And I agree with you, like the inconsistency is probably the biggest problem. And that’s driven by the fact that one, they can choose when they can train. There’s have to decide if they want to be a year round athlete. But a lot of times it says it’s a bottle service lifestyle in a sense. They like the lifestyle and they don’t need to train as hard and they make other choices and that’s good for them. Everyone’s different. But it’s got to be like a nine to five job and that’s something with Chael, Randy, Dan, all these guys, regardless of they win or loss, that’s not the point. The whole thing is they showed up every day. They clocked in, clocked out, and then that’s how they have longevity across the board. And that’s why a lot of times you see these different athletes have lasted longer because they show up every day. They work, they stretched, they do recovery process. I mean, this year alone, this last two years has been interesting for me because I took on an athlete that had been injury prone his entire career, multiple ACL surgeries, multiple poles, and then getting into stuff that I just grew up upon. Like muscle tissue, really like tissue release chiropractic, a lot of preventative rehab, all these different things and putting in more recovery workouts and other stuff. And lo and behold, then you have these breakout performances. Because it’s a controlled, it’s very thought out process. You look at everything, the rest, everything was measured out. Just like if you’re doing a recipe where you measure one cup of this, two cups, one half a cup of that, right? And everything is controlled versus kind of like just throwing it in there and hopefully it turns out. So that’s what, like I said, when coming back to their question was these guys are all tough to go through what they go through is amazing. They’re all amazing athletes and mental mindset. But the problem is, they either cut too much weight or they’re inconsistent with workouts consistently, year-round.
Corey Beasley [00:29:24]: Now, for from your perspective moving forward, because a lot of people that are listening, a lot of guys might train, they might just go to jiu jitsu two or three times a week. They might have fought once or twice because the guys that fight in the UFC is minimum, it’s a minimum amount of people or not very many of them to be honest most of these guys, probably everybody has jobs and trains a little bit for fun and maybe they compete, maybe they don’t. But from your experience for your career with working with other people in their career organizing a week, right, I think is a good place to start for most. Where do you kind of start? I mean, as far as like organizing a week of activity say they’re training three, four days a week and they got a lot of stuff going on. Maybe they’re married, they got kids, they got work, they’ve got all these different things happening. So where do you kind of start with those guys? Or what advice would you have for them?
Darryl Christian [00:30:41]:That’s a really good question and good observation. Because a lot of people for me, take me for instance, and I can, that’ll answer some of the question. I manage medical device sales for a large $100 billion spinal company. I manage 80 different hospitals with nine reps and I work with these guys but also coach and I have a little daughter that I spend time with and I have my own personal time. And balancing everything out that week. I think is important. The people that have three or four, I think the biggest thing that you can, that I can say that I’ve seen is that one is something they need to have a schedule that they can stick to. Not something that they can do for two or three days and then all of a sudden it’s just too much. They can’t handle it. They got to be able to say, well, I’m going to run every day or I’m going to do jiu jitsu every Tuesday, Thursday at 6:00 AM, and then all of a sudden they can’t do it. It’s kind of as new. Their new year’s resolution, they start January one and they go for two weeks and then all of a sudden that they know to come to the train again. I think it’s important to have balance, but I also think it’s important to have reasonable expectations of what you’re doing because then you’ll get more workout, you get more quality input as well as everything is going to be maintained long-term. So I usually try to see that if you have like four week workouts during the week, if you work or you have family, designate that to those three to four hours or whatever you’re trying to designate. And times that regardless of what the schedule is hectic or not, that you can meet those times. And so if its early morning or evening, usually is best. I think that that matches up properly and then you can get your longer work on the weekends. But I think the bigger thing too is just to have I would say 50% of your program during the week has got to be stability and cardiovascular because at the end of the day, your stability and strength as individually structure, muscle, everything’s got to be dialed in so you don’t get injured. And two the cardio is always got to be separate from everything. So that’s why either it’s after or before or one day only is really incorporated to get those pieces. But the biggest thing when I talk to the athletes, the guys at work are the guys who are full time athletes is okay, when I set their schedule, what days first, let’s dial this in first where you are not going to have any type of implications or any restrictions or anything that’s going to come up all the time. And then we’ll put pencil that in regardless of what the workout is and then move forward so that way it’s consistent. They can think about it, they don’t have to stress about it. And then obviously three, four months down the road, they can keep that schedule up.
Corey Beasley [00:33:34]: I think that’s a big one because everybody has big plans and big expectations in the short term and then they do. And you’re exactly dead on, right with the new year’s resolutions type stuff, they’ll blast it for two or three weeks and they’re like, Holy cow, I’m sore and life gets in the way and they slip off. And I think that’s true to human nature. Just across the board for all kinds of stuff that people want to do, that’s good advice for sure. So Darryl, as far as other tips and stuff like that, is there anything else that kind of sticks out in your brain that you see is a hole or a void that’s not being addressed in the industry?
Darryl Christian [00:34:25]:I think with the MMA industry, there’s so many amazing coaches with so many different innovative ways to coach. Not one’s better than the other. I think the biggest way is how that you can connect with your athletes. I think that I’ve been a part of a majority of the gyms in the country in a sense, because I’m not really affiliated with any gym. I’ll get contracted to work with guys from Blackzilians, guys from Kings, guys from across the country from ATT to whatever that I’ll get contacted to try to work with certain guys. I think the missing link for me is that a lot of coaches, they’ve seen a lot of stuff in the MMA aspect of fights, so they see fights all the time. But I think the missing link that starting I think that with respect to certain athletes that have kind of seamlessly transitioned one martial art to the next martial art within fights by motion, by footwork, by individual skillsets and not like a run on. It’s a in a sense it’s like a run on sentence. It just keeps going and going and there’s no stopping point when it comes into rotational stuff to take downs to kicks the knees will have you. I think the missing link that’s starting to kind of present itself a little bit because of this evolution of MMA since 1994 of UFC and all the different things that come into it is the, the aspect of coaches really dialing into looking at other aspects of the different aspects of the martial arts. So like for me anyways as just a wrestling coach I don’t just go to wrestling practice. I had to really get into looking at all different striking aspects like the kickboxing, the Muay Thai, the boxing, and really get their footwork, their emotions and how I can actually incorporate wrestling off of that footwork. What is the highest percentile and what is the biggest percentage of positions that wrestling can be applied or not applied or even used as a decoy to get their strikes and kicks? Because majority of the time, 78% of the time is on their feet in striking or even a greater percentage, 90% time they’re on their feet striking. So how do you imply incorporate wrestling? Well, the biggest thing I’ve found that there’s a missing link is that coaches will not go to the other practices to know where their stuff is leading because they’ll say, okay, you coach now in a fight. Like, okay, we’re in wrestling position, you coach, okay, I’m in a striking position, I’ll coach. But a lot of the time, if they don’t know the position themselves, they don’t know how to incorporate certain things and how these athletes going to move. And what I’ve found that these aspect is a lot more small club touch drills, touch sparring, not necessarily just big glove sparring all the time and incorporating all of MMA aspects into their drills because they have aspects where you see fighters that are amazing wrestlers and then become amazing boxers or strikers. Then all of a sudden they stopped the wrestling because they can’t, it’s like the foot works different so they can, they get in bad positions, they get choked out and all of a sudden there’s a whole transition. It’s almost like there’s an identity crisis when it comes into which martial arts they’re doing. They’ll punch, they’ll stop, the shoot, they’ll stop a kick. And so not sequencing everything together on a weekly basis. And I think that’s an issue that going forward it’s kind of be like a chameleon effect where these coaches will know the different aspects more educate themselves more. Because that’s what I’ve had to do and I’ve seen it success with multiple different things and multiple different aspects of the wrestling in the MMA. But I think that’s the next, the sequences that starting from the feet to the floor back to back to the feet and how you can basically sequence everything in a seamless transition.
Corey Beasley [00:38:30]: I think we’ll see that happen more and more as people train that stuff for longer periods of time. And I think you’re dead on, right? I think the coaches will evolve and I think if they don’t evolve, they’ll just get evolution will take them out and they just won’t be effective anymore. But that’s a really cool perspective for sure. And I think it’s something that you are seeing it right. There’s certain guys that just put things together really well and there’s less holes in their game?
Darryl Christian [00:39:05]:It’s true. And that’s why you’re seeing a lot of guys leave Jim’s at times. Sometimes the coaches will say, well it’s a mental thing on the athlete or you know they’re losing streak was just a problem or they just couldn’t get over it or is the athletes. So a lot of times is that you’re seeing that the skill set that the coach will hold, it’s like the same thing, like a diet. Like everyone’s got a different diet that works for them and sometimes it’s like married at first sight. So all of a sudden they get into the gym, they like to coach like what he’s doing with other athletes had been super successful, but they don’t realize that over time that skill set doesn’t fit them. That’s that shirt they’re wearing is an extra, extra large. And that’s not a one size fits all glove. So what happens over time, they’ll have some success. Then all of a sudden when they hit that upper echelon, they’re starting to realize that they’ve outgrown or the coaches has an evolved. So at that point they leave and that goes in with anything that goes with jobs, sales positions, sometimes you outgrow where you’re at, but also if you’re not changing on a daily basis, it’s the same thing that I talked to some of the guys about. I said, look, if we’re not changing what you’re doing, but we’re tweaking it a little bit because the same thing, I said, look, if I put $5 in your pocket and you, you kept it safe, no one’s going to take that $5 for no one will ever take it from me. And then I put $5 into a long-term three point or like a 5% yielded compounding interest savings account. And over the next three years, that particular skill set that I’m learning and the you take a coach that’s not evolving, not trying to learn other stuff, not really incorporating other coaches to push him along and that $5 with interest, so let’s just say inflation, after three years is three and a half percent year, then you’re looking at 10.5%, 11% loss with the $5 in the pocket, that $5 worth 11% last five years from now versus getting other coaches, maybe they’re not a head coach, but bringing other people in to make that armor to make that skill set better for the group. All of a sudden they’re getting 11% return on their thing. And a lot of times you have coaches that, and that interesting me because I’m more of metrics. I kind of like, okay, I have a dollar. How much is it worth? Like how much am I improving? Because a lot of times at these fight camps, like that’s why a lot of the variables heart rate training the phase four out there, the rain training labs, these different places that give you metrics with VO2 max is and heart rate zones and say, even if it’s just saying, look, your VO2 max in three months has gone up 50% or 40% or 30% or whatever it is, or 10% or what have you. Those numbers will speak volume versus like, you look good.
Corey Beasley [00:42:09]: Well, they’re actually measuring something, right? There goals or whatever they’re shooting for. I mean, they know where they’re at, like on a map. I know where they’re at. Yes. They know where they’re going, they know what they’re trying to measure. I mean, that’s a big one. Same as workouts from a strength and conditioning point of view. And if you’re just doing random workouts, whatever they feel like doing that day there’s no plan. There’s no goal. What are you trying to accomplish today? How does that fit into the goal for that camp that starts and ends in February. Whatever it is. And being able to measure that stuff is huge and it does, it yields, people can see progress. And a lot of times I think we see ourselves every day. Let’s say you have a shitty day Friday you got your ass kicked and your little beat down and hard on yourself. But if you can look back and see progress, it kind of eases your mind a lot. Right?
Darryl Christian [00:43:16]:Yeah. I think that’s huge. And I think the other thing that’s a big thing is that most of the time people know how much money their bank account on a daily basis versus how many training hours their athletes are doing and weekly basis. Because they’re not talking to the jiu jitsu people, they’re not talking to weightlifting people. They’re not talking to the whole round table. And it just circles back up. The first question and what we talked about earlier about being at the table there’s not clear expectations. I think the thing is if I was athlete coming into this being an Olympic athlete, the expectation was always, I showed up, I’m consistent shut my mouth and I work hard and everything will fall into place win or lose, it doesn’t matter. But I show up, I’m consistent and I work hard. So that’s why the expectation is that sometimes I talked with some of my athletes, I said, okay, what’s your expectations of me? And they’re like, what do you mean my expectations? I’m like, well, the percentage of your paying for me when I’m coaching you, they’re like, well I guess I want to be good. I want to win. I’m like, well, what’s expectation technically? Because I’m your wrestling coach. Okay, well I said, what do you want me to learn are you that on me? Because if you don’t have the expectations of me, how am I supposed to have expectations of you to perform? It all comes down to that definition, but what’s your expectation like your expectation is just to train, the coach because a lot of times, same thing, we go back this whole MapQuest, like, if I was going on a trip 20 years ago and I didn’t have a map early, I didn’t have the internet, like how am I going get there. And that’s kind of how lost control goes. Like I’ll just do it like we do. Or we’ll just show up. Well we’ll see what happens versus like all right. Well let’s sit back and what are the expectations of each coach. What are the expectations for this camp because a lot of times. I tried to talk to our guys about you’re a small business owner for a big business owner or whatever you think of yourself. But what’s your mission statement. Who are the directors or who your coaches in this. Did they’ll approve and they all agree and sign off that this is in fact the mission statement and also what is the expectation for each individual role. Because majorities of if we’re a business and all these guys are independent contractors we’re a business that if you don’t have a business plan that 70 to 80% of small businesses fail in the first two years or less from build out to capital to mindset to long term, short term planning all that kind of stuff and the athlete these MMA athletes that are independent contractors are no different. There the same way and if you don’t have that mindset and you leave it up to a coach that doesn’t have an expectations from you, really if you lose the expectation there was no expectation except for trying to perform the best that I could get you to perform. .
Corey Beasley [00:46:20]: Right. I think a lot of this stuff is all killer information. It’s great stuff. But it’s just clarifying things a bit. It’s kind of taking a step back who are you. Where you’re at, where are you good. Where you weak. What’s your history what’s your past where you know all this type stuff and it’s just really taken a step back and looking at it may be from 40000 feet and figuring and okay, cool then developing a plan figuring out what that plan looks like on a weekly basis, daily basis and then just implementing it right and then being held accountable during that time. And it’s just really almost like it’s just taken a step back getting organized rethinking it versus just working your ass off all the time. You have a little bit more focused effort.
Darryl Christian [00:44:57]:Yeah, I mean I found that with there’s a couple athletes I’ve worked with recently that we’re fighting for a title fight and there were some issues in a fight before and he was the athlete couldn’t overcome them and there was a decision there was a loss. The next camp basically like had to redefine the skill set of saying how do we need to improve. What are the action items to improve. And then once we started working on that. Then all of a sudden it was clarified. Like you said the expectations or clever you need to show up. I mean there was a weight loss issue where we did make weight the athlete had made weight first time 20 pro fights in the UFC. And I basically stepped up after and we luckily we won the fight but he did it first time he’s ever not made it and I’d never been part of his weight cut and I said Hey what are we doing here that we’re talking we’re going to party, we’re going to have a good time I said Yeah I get that but Monday how we doing this doesn’t happen again. He’s like what you’re talking about. So we’re starting to run Monday period and we’re going to be on this position cardio program and all of a sudden it just changed me good. We add another 30 hours of running during a camp as far as like a two month camp where we’re running 20 hours a month plus and all of a sudden his weights off and all of a sudden those are action items that we pinpointed it. We looked at what we needed to do the extra stuff we need to do during the week how is going to evolve and then going forward once another time another fight happened there was another issue with technically that had we had already surface two fights prior that hadn’t been addressed that hadn’t been talked about and all of a sudden I’m like well do we ever go through this. Did you go through this with your head coach because I’m not a part of that and all of a sudden I realized that most of the time I keep all my records when it comes to working with certain athletes about hours and hours out how they felt good weight cut distributions of how the weight coming down over a six, eight week period all that stuff so we can actually say last camp you at this weight here we’re going to be this week this is how it comes off and what I found that a lot of the times there’s more record keeping about what the coach is doing and that’s me I put myself in that group the Natural like there if they go to a doctor they’ll check them out they’ll open their medical folder and they’ll say, you are here six months ago two years ago, you have a history of sinus infections every looks like every February because of different wins and other stuff. You’re allergic to this. They have a whole make up a whole background a whole histology that what then these fights most of the time that I’ve broken down with our athletes say look, let’s address these things because if you’re always breaking your toe because you wear a size 6 and you should wear a size 7 shoe why are we wearing these six over and over again we need to dress these things and check them off and create these expectations that, we re-evaluate where we need to be like you talked about earlier like how does an athlete go from working out all different disciplines why am I having strike all the time and I’m doing all these things you can’t seem to cut off the ring. Well is it because that I’m a bad coach is it is it because the athletes aren’t getting it why is this keep coming up over and over again. And so the thing is that I realize is that technically we haven’t broken everything down we just go into camp we go in there. I just see what happens and then all of a sudden oh yeah that happened again. Let’s just get it again. But the problem is that these athletes only fight two times a year and their margin of error and a mark they’re winning is smaller now and it affects their livelihood and where they’re at in the stature of title pitchers bigger money on the contract and so that goes up to the coaches. Now to say hey I need to be more accountable I need to have more expectations of when I coach you. So we sit down here’s your folder we have issues with this and this. I’m going to address them this way. I need you address 30 more minutes here. We’re going to take out this program this and now like you said there’s a MapQuest but the problem is majority the practices these days are pickup basketball games. We just go up there see what happens at the park. Hey who showed up today we’re going to five and five we’ll play this. And then next week we do the same thing over and over again maybe there’s a little bit specific but a lot of times it’s a blanket effect for everybody. .
Corey Beasley [00:51:59]: Yeah. well, it’s very true and it’s a cool way to think about it to be really honest just like you said opening a gym and doing that type of stuff. You got to have your ducks in a row you better be on the same page or a couple of hundred thousand dollars going to go right out the window. So yeah for sure it is cool and I know that other professional organizations like you spoke of operate that way. I know at the Olympic Training Center they have teams of people that are monitoring and keeping people on point and doing that type stuff. So I think it was really cool your perspective on the stuff that you shared has been absolutely incredible. I think it will help though we can lawyers that are listening athletes are listening and hopefully some of the coaches that are listening so they can do a better job of just getting the athletes prepped. So thanks a ton. It’s been awesome.
Darryl Christian [00:52:55]:Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.