This past Friday -- July 16, I was privileged with the opportunity to report on Chuck Liddell’s first stop on the UK and Ireland whirlwind training seminar tour, just down the road from me at Rossmore Leisure Centre, Poole. This first event was in association with The Bulldog Ultimate Training Academy, based in the centre of Bournemouth.
Armed with my notebook, pen, camera -- complete with a fresh set of Duracells, I hopped onto the bus in good time for the event scheduled for 6:30pm start. Unfortunately Chuck’s flight was delayed, resulting in a delay in to the start time. Making up for the delay the students in attendance were treated to the opportunity of training from The Ultimate Fighter 9 veteran and BAMMA featherweight contender Jeff Lawson, plus Phil Norman of Gladiators fame and Alex De Souza a skilled Brazilian Jiu Jitsu expert. So not only would the trainees learn from one of the very elite stand-up fighters but also pick up some awesome grappling skills, even better value for money.
Along with the MMA students anticipating Liddell’s arrival, were fans like Ryan from Wiltshire. It’s not everyday you get meet a UFC legend, Ryan had brought him a glossy photo of the ‘Iceman’ plus a digital camera to capture the all important snaps.
Chuck’s arrival to hall was greeted by applause from all in attendance at 8pm, when the seminar officially kicked off. Wow, the guy has a real aura about him, you couldn’t help but feel. He’s not a loud and bold vocal person like nemesis Tito Ortiz, but he sure is commanding in that cold and calm way.
The first thing learnt is Liddell’s arms are a length of rope with a rock attached. All the students warmed up swinging their arms, in this slingshot motion. Chuck explained how the technique is so useful in the octagon, going over the top of the opponents guard, using whole body power in one motion for the knock-out blow.
Various other stand-up techniques were demonstrated by the former UFC light-heavyweight champion, including the spinning back kick and the spinning back fist, a strike Shonie Carter has been successful with, defeating Matt Serra.
As the evening progressed Chuck taught ground defence skills. Liddell’s key strength is clearly his striking ability, it’s easy to take his wrestling for granted. What he does so well is wrestle in reverse. It’s rare to see Chuck take fighters down, instead he utilises wrestling to keep upright and get back to a vertical position when needed.
When the training session wound up at 9:30pm, a long queue tailed around the sports hall, of all those eager to get a photograph with the man himself, clutching Chuck’s book and various pictures to be signed.
12 lucky students selected by Chuck Liddell, each received a copy of British fight-film Twelve. The makers of Twelve have teamed up Fighters Inc making it all possible.
Overall the event was a great experience, for trainee mixed martial artists, seasoned fighters improving there fight game and fans alike. The event appeared to be a sell-out, judging by the number of people.
On Facebook I noticed Alex Reid pictured alongside Chuck, presumably ‘The Reidernator’ got some training in with the ‘Iceman’ ahead of the showdown against Tom ‘Kong’ Watson, at the London venue.
Chuck hooked up with Fighters Inc at Seni 2006, since then they have worked together on one off seminars as well as Chucks legendary after parties.
Fighters Inc are working on more big MMA names to visit the UK for the super seminar series. Be sure to visit www.fightersinc.net/experience.htm and join the mailing list, keeping up on the latest regards future training seminars from icons of the fighting arts.
UFC & MMA blog by Duane Farr