Well, what can I say? I had a really tough childhood, got bullied all my school time as a kid for no reason because I was always trying to be friendly to everyone but well, didn’t go so well.
At one point, in 7th grade to be exact, I had enough, because it was nearly impossible for me to go to school because it felt like hell for me.
My friend showed me Karate training that he practiced. I was scared to my pants but decided to try it because I thought maybe then I will be able to defend myself at school.
Where does your motivation come from?
At first, of course, nothing changed, but step by step, my motivation to get in a shape and being able to defend myself was overgrowing me and well, I didn’t stop. At 9th grade I was nominated the schools ”sportiest and strongest kid” and nobody even thought of bullying me anymore 😀
That felt like heaven. I had some really bad experience in relationships too, had a girlfriend for a quite long time, but ended in complete misery and depression, and after that started taking MMA lessons(more intense fight sport with full contact) loved it, had to take out my anger somewhere, and that was the perfect place.
Years went, no more girlfriends, no more heartbreaks. Just training. For 3 years. In summer, we used to go to training along the beach every day with my old karate buddies.
Running, cardio, fighting, drilling, cross fits, weights, e.t.c. Then I saved some money for an application on my nearest gym and from since then, I do things parallel, gym/fighting/gym/fighting.
Proud to say that martial arts mentality has changed my mind and body to a whole new different level. Now I look back at my past and the only thing I can say – I thank my classmates who bullied me all the time because they changed me to a person which I am now.
What does your daily diet look like?
As far as my diet, at first I followed society’s stereotypes of eating foods full of protein such as chicken breasts e.t.c when I trained intensively martial arts, I was always eating something, because these sports take away a lot of energy, and I always had troubles restoring it.
I’ve eaten ”champions breakfast” for 5 years straight now – oatmeal ( usually about 250-300 grams which are like 200 calories, enough carbs, because it is a necessity if you’re training with high intensity.
AS far as dinner goes, Rice,potato, chicken, green beans, broccoli (which I love) , and I eat some snacks between like 2-3 hours once, nuts, a banana, some dark chocolate, something to keep my body fed 😀
After late night training, I don’t eat because I have already reached my calorie limit for the day, and if not, I eat something little for a better night’s sleep. 😀
What workout routine has worked best for you?
As I said, did karate for 3,5 years,3-4x times a week, though blood, sweat, and tears, I only then started to realize how martial arts is changing me and how much of a different person I am becoming.
Then I had my toughest breakup, which motivated me to start training MMA for a pretty long time after karate – it was 3x a week and intensive sparring sessions at Sundays (1,5 h) , once or twice a week I went out running (more like jogging) to increase heart’s capacity, so that I would not get tired that fast in training.
Competed in championships, won and lost, but I believe that at the moment you step in the ring you have already won yourself, because you overcame the fear, and at the end of the day, the toughest enemy to fight is yourself.
The most pleasant experience was training during summer. God how I loved those. I have a really good friend still, who helped to train me, and in summer, we had to train by the beach every day, running along the water for 10 km every start of a training, drilling techniques, endurance, training pain threshold, crying and bleeding more times that you can count. 😀
But you are never going to reach anything if you’re not even willing to try and know that it is going to hurt.
After MMA, when I started lifting, I was doing different programs – each about 3 months. Relief program ( lighter weights more reps) and then the mass program (higher weights and fewer reps) for some muscle mass.
Now I don’t pay so much attention to exact program training because it is more of a hobby, I will not earn money with this, this has just implemented as a part of my daily routine, so I enjoy it the best I can.
Any noticeable difference in the quality of your life?
Oh, it definitely has changed the quality of my life. Before, I was just a grumpy kid full of complexes and anxiety, who looked at the bigger guys doing MMA and wondering if that could be me one day.
I believe that each martial art has its mentality, and if you want to start your road in that direction, I would suggest more of an intelligent and psychological martial art such as karate, because it strengthens mind first, only then the body.
I know that martial arts have drastically changed my mindset and view of the world. Martial arts isn’t just fighting and banging your head, it’s a lifestyle and you practice it your whole life. I look at people differently now, seeing how my classmates/people my age waste their time getting sh**faced at some stinky pub just proves that I have chosen something more useful.
Sometimes I wish I could help some of these people because it’s really depressing, so I have trained a few of my friends along the path and they are now thankful for opening the door to a better lifestyle rather than getting drunk and sleeping around which were making them even more miserable.
One of the quotes comes from my Karate times, which kept me motivated to drill the technique for years. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee.
He was a big inspiration when I just started training because I always wanted to be like him. Calm, powerful, with a clear mind. Even now, I am not mainly focusing on one part of the triangle. For example strength.
I am balancing everything – strength, endurance, and agility. I do not want to be some bulky bodybuilder, as much as I don’t want to be a quick stick, so I try to keep a psychical balance in my life.
Of course, as any other kid, I was amazed by Rocky movies. And even know all his most famous quotes in my head.
I will just quote a part of it – “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward..that’s how winning is done”.
And my favorite one, from Karate kid. I love this movie because, in a way, I can relate his life to mine, and his dedication and willpower to achieve his personal success are astonishing. “Its ok to lose to opponent, must not lose to fear.”
Fear was a big obstacle in my road, and this quote helped me to get past it.
To summarize, the only people I can truly thank are my classmates who bullied me and made fun of me, and once you set goals for your life – with enough dedication and willpower, everything is reachable.