I stumbled across an old hard drive with some training footage from the beginning of my pro career in 2007. Back then we had Frankenstein Mats put together with duct tape and trained in the attic of an old physical therapy building. Here I’m sparring with one of my amateur students who later went on to be a pro, Mike Piekarski. Back then we didn’t have head coaches, I basically coached myself through my first 3 fights learning by the trial and error of sparring rounds.
At a certain point the sport matured and allowed professionals to come together under the watchful eye of seasoned coaches and training partners. This is a clip from a training session at the AMA Fight Club in 2011. Here I’m in a room with multiple seasoned regional pros as well as numerous Strikeforce and UFC veterans. Just four years earlier though, this type of training was non-existent in my corner of the tristate area.
Sometimes looking back makes you appreciate what you have today. Sometimes I complain about long drives to training or waking up early because I took quickly forget how things used to be.