Monday, March 24, 2008

5 Questions With An Amateur MMA Athlete

Making her MMA Amateur debut in August 2007, Lauren Feldman has continued on with a record of 2-1, her only loss coming by split decision. Dominating her last match in February, she continues to show that she is a force to be reckoned with. With experience in Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, and boxing, her MMA future is definitely bright! I was honored when she came out of the cage long enough to answer my 5 questions.

1. I've always admired how MMA athletes incorporate so many fighting styles in their matches. What was your first fighting technique that you mastered and how easy is it to pick up others afterward? What is your favorite technique and which are you best/most comfortable with?

I started martial arts with traditional karate, but I'm certainly not a master at anything! I'm still hoping to find a fighting technique I can master (smile). That's the thing about martial arts that I love, actually. The more you learn, the more you realize that you don't really know anything at all. The one thing that my traditional background did teach me was how to learn. I used to get really frustrated if I didn't pick something up right away. My frustration got in the way of my learning and made it even slower. Recently, I've gotten over myself! I try to just take my time, pay attention, and learn every technical detail I can. In the long run, this has definitely made me a better student and, as a result, a better fighter.

My favorite technique is a secret! I try and expose myself to all kinds of disciplines so that I can feel comfortable against any type of opponent (striker, wrestler, submission specialist) and in any phase of the fight (stand up, clench, take downs, and ground).

2. I can't imagine the intense training you must go through when you are preparing for a match – take me through your typical day when you are preparing for an upcoming contest.

Well, it goes a little like this. I wake up at 6am and head over the jiu-jitsu school. In the morning I train no-gi with some very high level BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) students -- all guys (they beat me up; THANKS GUYS [sticking tongue out]). We do drills, live rolling, and take-downs. After class I get my rope and strength training in. From there I walk to my job. I am a software engineer in NYC and my days get pretty crazy there. I try to get out of work by 6 but...sometimes its closer to 7...sometimes much later. Regardless of what time I get out, I head over to the boxing gym. There I'll do 4 or 5 miles on the treadmill, heavy bag, sparring, speed bag, double end, mitts with my trainer and rope (depending on how I feel). After that I stumble home so I can do it all again the next day.

3. You explain on your web page that you want to help others remove the outdated legal barriers that would prevent them in participating in the sport that they love – Legal Mayhem. Tell me more about how this mission will be accomplished.

Not so long ago, I broke both feet and spent 8 out of 12 months with casts on. I wanted to stay up with the MMA world so I got involved with Legal Mayhem. My home state of New York has a ban on MMA fighting as do many others around the country. The goal is to show everyone that this sport is not the brutal, bloodthirsty event that the media makes it out to be. I think martial arts have many positive aspects to bring to the world of sports. It’s not about beating someone’s head in at all, it’s about self-discipline. I don’t like when I’m asked how I get myself “psyched up” for a match. Just like a football team has a game plan for the day, I’ve got a game plan for a match. I’m thinking about whether I’m executing my plan, are my feet right, etc. There is never the goal to put the hurt on the opponent in a vicious, bloodthirsty way. I want parents to realize that they can let their children learn MMA as a discipline in the same way that they send them to karate or other fighting disciplines. By participating in outreach and education, I intend to get the message out that this is a viable sport that everyone should be allowed access.

4. I see that you are also involved with Female Fighters Against Domestic Violence – can you tell me more about what that organization as well? What other causes are you passionate about?

I started communicating with them when I had my casts on. They give self defense seminars, sponsor an all women’s fight card, and are starting some merchandising with Legal Mayhem. Their site also provides links to shelters, hotlines, and centers for domestic violence.

My friends at Feel the Pain Fightgear are donating some training gear and we are looking for a deserving recipient since my school already has it. You can say that I’m passionate about getting every woman, man, and child access to MMA.

5. What’s next for Lauren Feldman? Upcoming matches/plans/etc?

I have some tentative fights for the end of April and May and I’ll be training for Ringside Championships in August. Other than that I’ll stay in they gym and dream of the day I can quit my day job and fight full time!

Lauren would like to thank her sponsors and coaches for sticking with her. Sponsors and friends include ProFightWear, Feel the Pain Fightgear and the USKBA. If you are interested in Legal Mayhem, Female Fighters Against Domestic Violence, or simply want to learn more about Lauren, click here to go to her website.


Carolyn Hastings said...

Great site - great interview. Saw your name pop up on Ball Hype as a commenter on Kellex' recent post. So glad to have found you.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Hi Carolyn - glad to have you stop by! Thanks for the compliments and I look forward to seeing you again.

Lindsay said...

Wow, that is an intense workout! I would get stressed out trying to fit all that into one day. I am very impressed. Cool video, too.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks Lindsay! I wish I had that much discipline for sure.

Norman said...

very nicee (:
wanna exchange links?
please label as "Extreme-MMA" if interested

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks Norman!