12. The Promoter: Steve Shepherd

 

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Steve Shepherd is a five-time world kickboxing champion and a kickboxing promoter in the state of Florida. His martial arts journey began with ShotokanGoju karate, in which he earned a black belt in 1975. Shepherd then turned to professional kickboxing that same year. Steve started promoting his own fights between 1977–1999. He was the first kickboxing world champion who was also a major event promoter. In the 1970s, he helped make South Florida a hotbed for martial arts. Steve Shepherd was the first kickboxer to draw over $1 million in live gate receipts. 

During his fighting career, Steve accumulated a record of 50-5-1. Shepherd holds wins over notable fighters like Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Dale “Apollo” Cook, and Bob Thurman.

Nowadays the retired prize fighter continues to inspire and help civilians get healthy. Steve operates his own gym in West Palm Beach.

On this episode, Steve Shepherd and I discuss the good old days of American Kickboxing, the ups and down of promoting fights, and how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Music: Into The Void by Black Sabbath

 

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11. The Prodigal Son: Dyah Davis

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The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

Dyah Ali Davis is a super middleweight pro boxer and the son of the late, great olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr. For the past 14 years, Dyah has been making a name for himself in two different sports;  one is boxing, the other is MMA.

As a professional boxer, Dyah holds an impressive record of 25-4-1. He is a long and lanky technician who has a habit of making contenders look like novices. As a head coach at American Top Team, Dyah is in a class of his own. He is the boxing coach of numerous prize fighters including UFC champion Amanda Nunez, Dustin Poirier, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Bellator prospect Jordan Young to name a few.

Today Dyah Davis joins the podcast to talk training, balancing fighting and coaching, and self motivation. Hit the arrow.

Music: Blood, sweat, and Gears; by Curren$y 

 

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10. Kenny Monday: The Art Of Winning

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Kenny Dale Monday is a winner. He began wrestling at age six at a YMCA after-school program in Tulsa Oklahoma. By the time he finished high school, Monday had accumulated 140 wins, 0 losses, and had won four state titles. This impressive record got him into the prestigious Oklahoma State University where he became an All-American wrestler. While in college, Kenny Monday continued to dominate the grueling sport of wrestling. In 1984, he won the NCAA title at 150 pounds. Four years later in Seoul Korea, Kenny Monday became the first African-American wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal. In 1992, he returned to the Olympics and won a silver medal in Barcelona Spain.

Here are a few stats from his 50-year career:

140-0-1 in high school

Freestyle world champion in 1985, 1988, 1991, and 1996

3X olympian: Gold medal in 1988, silver in 1992, 6th place in 1996

Member of the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame

In this episode of the Catching Wreck Podcast, Kenny Monday and I talk discipline, leadership, visualization, and MMA.

Enjoy.

Music: Au Reve, by Cassius.

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9. Sifu Patrick Marcil: The Last Kung Fu Master

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Patrick Marcil is a Canadian martial artist who began his studies in the Fangshendo style of fighting, which is an offshoot of Wing Chun Kung Fu . In 1994, Patrick Marcil along with his best friend opened their first Kung Fu school in Canada called Patenaude Martial Arts. Sifu Marcil is not your typical, traditional martial artist. From the beginning, his style of hand to hand combat has always been progressive. Marcil implemented headbutts, and bare-knuckle training to his routines.

Aside from being ahead of the curve, Mr. Marcil’s techniques are battle tested. In 2003, Sifu Patrick Marcil stepped inside a cage and competed in a mixed martial arts fight at the World Extreme Battle in Laval, Quebec.  At 165 pounds, the then 26-year-old Marcil TKO’d his undefeated 180-pound opponent in the first round. The bout lasted less than three minutes.

In addition to putting his own skills to the test, Marcil also trains numerous professional MMA fighters in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. One of Sifu Marcil’s most notable student is Dave Leduc, the current Lethwei World Champion.

In this episode of the Catching Wreck Podcast, Sifu Patrick Marcil and I talk about the ins and outs of hand-to-hand combat.

Click the arrow to listen to the lesson. Enjoy.

Music: A growing Boy needs His Lunch, by Dead Kennedys

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8. Carlos Newton: The Last Samurai

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Carlos Newton is an Anguillian-born Canadian  mixed martial artist and a MMA legend. He is a former UFC Welterweight Champion and Pride FC contender. Known as “The Ronin“, Carlos Newton competed worldwide in the biggest MMA organizations including UFC, Pride FC, IFL, K-1, and Shooto.  Carlos Newton is a 3rd Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Renzo Gracie. The Canadian Submission Master has dubbed his fighting style — a fusion of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, judo, wrestling and boxing.

Today, the retired prize-fighter runs his own gym called Newton MMA in Ontario Canada. In this episode of the Catching Wreck Podcast, Carlos Newton and I discuss the good old days of MMA, his training routines, and his class action lawsuit against the UFC.

Click the arrow to hear the audio.

Music: Butter by The Bloody Beetroots

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6. FROM MUAY THAI TO MMA

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Marvin Eastman is a Muay Thai and MMA pioneer. The California native was at the forefront of the Las vegas MMA scene when it first began bubbling in the mid-nineties. Prior to that, Marvin Eastman was a stand-out high school wrestler who went undefeated in his senior year, winning the California State Wrestling Championship in the 191 lbs weight class.

After dabbling in college and pro football, the Beastman turned his attention to martial arts. He began training Muay Thai under the tutelage of Master Toddy and Master Chen. From there, Eastman’s career took off; he became a MMA champion when he won the King Of The Cage Super Heavyweight title. Eastman also had so unforgivable bouts in the UFC.

We caught up with Mr. Eastman to see what he’s been up to and to talk about the rollercoaster ride called the fight game.

Click the arrow for the audio.

Music: Prodigy, New York Shit.

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The Youngest In Charge

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In 2015, a friend of mine told me he has training with a new Muay Thai instructor called Asa. According to my boy, Asa was the real deal, a martial artist who stressed technique and tradition, a proven fighter who was destroying the competition. I was skeptical when I heard this because I knew that authentic Muay Thai Boxing was and still is hard to find in Florida.

Nevertheless, Asa Ten Pow kept popping up in my social media peripheral vision. It didn’t take long before I double clicked on one of his links and got caught up in his dynamic highlight reel. The footage was incredible! The technique and swagger were on point.

A few months later my friend invited me to Asa’s gym called FKA (Florida Kickboxing Academy).

Asa and I literally kicked it off the moment I stepped onto his mats. After training with him and witnessing his come-up, I felt compelled to expose this Muay Thai phenom not only for his own accomplishments, but also for the success of the other fighters that he is currently developing and training.

This past January I had the privilege to have a sit down with the boss and pick his brain.

Below is a clip of Asa and I talking about training, leadership, visualization and much more.

 

Asa will be stepping back into the ring  on the Triumphant Combat card, which will take place on February 25th at the Oakland Marriott City Center in Oakland California.

PBS.