Monday, December 1, 2008

5 More Questions With An MMA Athlete


I last interviewed Lauren Feldman back in March of this year. Since so much has been going on in the world of MMA, I thought it would be a great time to catch up with her as well. Lauren took a moment out of her busy day for my five questions:

1. How has your MMA career progressed since we last talked? Are you any closer to turning pro? Is that even your goal or do you plan to stay with your current status?

My career has changed so much since we last talked that I had to go back and read my own interview to remember where I was in my head; there's certainly a lot going on. As far as going pro, I am definitely closer than I was the last time we talked. I've participated in some significant competitions; I placed in two divisions in the no-gi pan am tournament and I won my last MMA fight against the female WKA champion in my division. More importantly, I've gone through some things in (and out) of the gym that I think prepare me in more important ways than any victory or trophy could really help with. My training has completely changed from physically intense, to more technically focused. That said, I'm certainly not sitting around getting soft, I've just refocused my energy a bit. I have gotten closer to my coaches and have built unbelievable relationships with my training partners. I'm learning slowly that it is the people that make martial arts so amazing. I am lucky to have coaches and friends that understand my goals, my frustrations and my mood swings! It is everything to be able to go to the gym and get away from everything. I've been struggling, along with everyone else in this economy, with figuring out how to "make it work." My family at the gym has helped hold everything together. I am confident that with their continued support, and my persistence, fighting pro will come. It will come when we are all ready (smile). I'm not going to rush it. I'd rather go in there and dominate than go in there uncertain. I will certainly dominate when the time comes (big, snarky smile).

2. Please update us on Legal Mayhem and the quest to make MMA a legal sport everywhere.

Honestly, I have slowed down in my participation with Legal Mayhem. I truly value everyone who contributes to continuing to push legalization. I think that by continuing to pursue my dream of fighting professionally as a female, I am still carrying some weight in this difficult task. The way I think about it is this -- I am physically not going to be able to fight forever (sadly, I will be old and feeble at some point -- ok maybe not feeble, but I will pass the stage of my life where I will want to fight anymore.) I think that is the point where I will go back to the community and serve as a leader for others who want to participate but feel isolated and shut down. In the future I envision a school, similar to my own, where others can come and feel safe to participate in this controversial sport. Until then, I will serve as a leader by training, fighting and having a great time while doing it. I also make a point of not fighting in any leagues that have unclear amateur rules. In my opinion, amateurs should not being participating in fights where only the time limit is modified. This is not an amateur event -- this is a shortened pro event. I do this to keep myself safe, and hopefully, to show others how to participate safely as well. So I guess Legal Mayhem is moving along... just in a different way that it had when we started it.

3. Since not everyone may realize it, what makes MMA a sport that young people should be able to get involved with? What can kids and teens learn from participating?

I think the most important thing about MMA is that it teaches you self control and confidence. Kids who are confident don't need to pick on other kids. Kids and teens who have self control in the gym can find self control on their own when other aspects of their life require it. MMA is highly misunderstood and is generally associated with aggression. I think of martial arts as a dance -- think about your body, your breathing, where you step, where you move and what the other person is doing. Additionally, there are so many small skills that kids can learn. Every time they learn something new they will have a feeling of success -- but martial arts is a feeling of success that never runs out because there is always more to learn. MMA should be added to the list of all the sports that are good for kids! One day instead of a soccer mom maybe I'll be an MMA mom... who knows? I'd love to drive a whole bus-load of kids to a state MMA tournament one day. Maybe I'll add that to the Legal Mayhem list of things to do...

4. What effects have you felt from the recent meltdown of Elite XC? In your opinion, how does this affect women's MMA?

Personally, I haven't felt an effect of the meltdown of Elite XC. I think its a bit sad in general, but overall I don't think this will have a large affect on women's MMA. There are always other leagues to fight in and there are a lot of people fighting for the women now. The women are also fighting for themselves a whole lot more. I feel badly for the fighters who were affected by this; I feel good knowing that other promoters will see the value of women being involved in this sport and there will be another place for us to compete on the national stage soon.

5. What is on the horizon for Lauren Feldman? What can we expect to see from you in the near and not-so-near future?

Me, well right now I'm just trying to keep my job like everyone else in NYC. That said, I have a few MMA matches pending for January and February of next year. I also anticipate participating in a few more bjj tournaments this year than I did last. In the not-so-near future, look for me to fight pro, to win, to lose (MAYBE), to laugh and to cry(definitely... hahaha). Also look for me to start a MMA's school for children... maybe to some personal coaching before that. Who knows, anybody have some good ideas?


Crossy said...

Good interview! Keep these up. I love the MMA and I think its emergence will start catching on more in the next couple years to big wigs at ESPN and beyond...

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks! I've got some others brewing that I hope will come to fruition!