The intersection of MMA and self defense has always been interesting to me, so I was thrilled to have a chat with John ‘the Pitmaster’ Hackleman recently.
John is well known for coaching Chuck Liddell to the UFC light-heavyweight title, but he has mentored many other successful MMA fighters as well.
But despite his success as an MMA coach the reason he started training martial arts was very practical: he wanted to be able to protect himself (or, as he likes to say, stop people from taking his lunch money)!
So it’s no surprise that at The Pit, his school in Arroyo Grande, California, a HUGE emphasis is placed on self defense and practical real world applications.
In this episode of The Strenuous Life Podcast John Hacklemann and I discusses the Conor McGregor bus attack, training Chuck Liddell, differences between MMA and self defense, our mutual backgrounds in the self defense system Kajukenbo, the single most important thing you can do to stay safe on the street, sparring vs drilling, and more.
This is an incredibly informative episode, especially if you’re interested in self defense and/or MMA!
(A subscription, rating, and review are always super appreciated!)
Here’s some of what we covered…
00:24 – The Conor McGregor incident
05:15 – How much pre-fight hype in the UFC is just for show?
11:03 – Differences between MMA and self-defense
18:12 – The single best way to stay safe in day-to-day life
24:46 – Kajukenbo karate training
31:06 – The development of Hawaiian Kempo
32:10 – Training Chuck Liddell
34:46 – Training MMA vs. specific arts
39:48 – Sparring vs. drilling
44:59 – Can you get tough without actual sparring
53:15 – John Hackleman’s personal fitness routine at age 60
61:30 – Crossfit and Crosspit
63:26 – Where can we find you?
Alternately you can listen to the discussion in the embedded player here:
For more John Hackleman check out this feature about his MMA training methods and/or his 11 super-short and effective MMA conditioning workouts.