All American Moments In MMA

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.” — Thucydides

In the 233 years that have come and gone since its birth, America has served as a beacon for ingenuity, hope, courage, democracy and blue-collar toughness. The men and women who represent the nation in the sport of mixed martial arts embody those traits as well as anyone. To that end, compiled a list of the most memorable All-American moments in MMA.

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Power Submissions

(originally published April 2007 in Gladiator magazine)

Story and photos by Todd Hester

Josh Barnett and Erik Paulson

If there is a dynamic duo in today’s diverse world of mixed martial arts it is Erik Paulson and Josh Barnett.

Widely regarded as the best American cagefighter, and one of the top three or four top fighters in the world at any weight, Barnett is currently living in Fullerton, California and teaching and training out of Erik Paulson’s Combat Submission Wrestling Training Center at 4080 North Palm Ave.  #801, Fullerton, CA 92835. 818-915-3225.

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The “Write” Way to Train

by Erik Paulson

(originally published in Gladiator Magazine – 2007)

As a martial athlete I think it is very important for us to be able to write down and actually see what we are doing to and putting in our body. It is always a good idea to get a journal or book of some sort to record our daily thoughts and what we are doing on a daily basis, especially when we are preparing for a fight  or trying to achieve any goal of making ourselves better. I have always found this very useful and I recommend it for everyone. Below are some of the things that I write down in my personal journal.

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Long Distance vs. Sprinting For Fight Training

by Erik Paulson

(originally printed in TapouT – Issue 11 2006)

If you’re fighting and not running… YOU ARE NOT FIGHTING!

I have experimented both ways for fighting and found that my overall fitness, footwork and well-being were much better after putting in miles. Bruce Lee said running was the king of exercises and I believe that to be true. Running is moving meditation, think time, and self-visualization for a fight. Running gives you the polishing touch, the icing on the cake. When you’ve done all your pad work, heavy bags, sparring and jump rope, running gives you freedom and clears your head.

It’s controversial whether or not you should do more long distance running or sprints, but I say both. Loong distance running gives you that sustained energy you won’t get from sprints. Sprinting gives you explosive ability that allows you to blast out of a situation.

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Getting Your Black Belt

Drill Bits

By Erik Paulson

(From Gladiator magazine, November 1, 2006)

I would be the first to say that there is not necessarily a connection between having a black belt and being a good MMA fighter; there can be, but there isn’t always. There are many fighting styles and some of them are more geared towards self-defense, weapons, multiple attackers, pure sport, or simply fitness and exercise. So to have your black belt, black sash, or instructor’s certificate in a style such as karate, kung-fu, silat, escrima, tae kwon do, judo, or a similar martial art that isn’t geared toward one-on-one combat in a cage can certainly be admirable and is a worthy achievement, but that by itself isn’t going to make you successful in the cage. The type of black belt you have is more a measure of potential MMA success than just having “any” black belt.

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Erik Paulson Article From Karate Kung Fu Illustrated – February 1997

About Erik Paulson

(Excerpt from Karate Kung Fu Illustrated, February 1997)

When Erik Paulson was just a little guy, he used to tell his wrestling fanatic brother, “If you’re a good puncher and kicker, nobody can take you down.”

One day, Paulson’s brother answered with a challenge: “You want to bet? A wrestler will always beat a karate guy”

So Paulson and his brother went at it — on several occasions. ” I could hit him a few times, but he could always get lucky and take me down, ” Paulson remembers. “Later I started to realize that that he kept on getting lucky. I’d hit him, but I’d end up on my back. Then he’d get me in a side straddle or side headlock. From that time on, I knew in the back of my mind that wrestling was the thing I liked most.”

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