Brian Adams is something of a jack of all trades in the MMA world, but you can’t say he is a master of none of them…
- Fighter: Done it – won a title!
- Coach: Done it – now running a successful gym!
- Cage Builder/Gym refitter: Done it – as gyms such as Zt FiteSkool and London Shootfighters will testify!
- Hi Bri, thanks for squeezing in the time to talk to me, I know you are super busy right now with getting ShockNAwe set up and I definitely want to talk about that, but first I’d like to go back a bit and talk about the early days…
You’ve been in the MMA game for a while now, can you give me a bit of background on how you got started out?
- You had a great run in your fight career defeating all your first 4 opponents in the first round before making it onto the big show at the time – Cage Rage. However your fights there both ended with quick defeats. What do you attribute those 2 losses to and how did you bounce back?
- You came back with another good string of 4 wins including winning the war in Workington LHW belt against none other than Martin ‘the ox’ Thompson. Did you vacate the belt because of your intention to drop to middleweight?
- You had 2 wins at middleweight all the while developing your gym – south coast submissions. How did you find combining training for fights with coaching?
- You seem to have left the fighting behind whilst concentrating on your gym and more recently promoting, any plans in the future to get back in the cage or have we seen the last of ‘Big’ Brian Adams the fighter?
- Let’s talk a bit about SCS. It has grown from a church hall club into a great facility, arguably one of the best on the south coast. How has that all come about?
- Unfortunately there are bad coaches out there and I’m sure many people reading have come across a few. Now that MMA is becoming ever more popular nearly every Martial Arts Instructor no matter his background is adding MMA to their clubs websites!! What for you makes a good coach and how can someone wanting to get started in MMA weed out the good from the bad?
- I know in your career as a fighter you travelled to different gyms around the country as well as abroad. Did that help you develop your own coaching methods, seeing how other gyms train and picking up tips?
- What do you do to keep your own coaching skills up to speed…do you have other guys you rely on and take knowledge from?
- I did an interview recently with one of your protégés Mark Adams and we talked a bit about the importance of a fighter getting a good amateur career behind them before trying to jump into the pro MMA arena. Is this something you feel strongly about and instil into all your fighters?
- There are of course disadvantages to this, in terms of coming into Pro rules MMA more experienced than those who leap into the pro game before going through the proving ground of amateur MMA. Do you think regulation of MMA would help overcome this?
- How much time do you invest in game plans for your fighters? All your fighters are well rounded, but specifically they have good wrestling, submissions and GnP, is this something you focus on and do you think this comes from your own style of fighting?
- South Coast submissions have a solid stable of amateur and pro rules fighters including veterans like Billy Harris and Chris Freebourne at your gym. Can you give us a heads up on any ones to watch for the future?
- Do you see the gym carrying on growing the way it has? What does the future of SCS hold?
- You’ve now taken the leap into promoting with your ShockNAwe shows. Is that keeping you awake at night?
- How is the show shaping up? Is the card all finalised?
- Every show has its strengths and weaknesses and you’ve been around long enough to have seen a few! Have you learned lessons from other shows you have worked with and fought on? What are you doing differently to them?
- You seem to have really gone to town with the way you are looking after the punters for your show. VIP ticket holders get chauffeur driven limos to the after party which is something I personally haven’t heard of on shows before. Nice touch! Do you think little flourishes like this are important in differentiating you from other shows?
- Well mate, I just want to wish you the best of luck with the show, I’m looking forward to it! Thanks very much for the chance to do the interview with you! Anyone you want to shout out before you head off?
He is now adding promoting as another string to his MMA bow with the South Coast’s newest MMA show Shock N Awe.
I caught up with Brian for a quick interview to chat about where it all started and his plans for Shock N Awe and the future of South Coast Submissions.
I started kickboxing at a local gym when I was a teenager but got bored after a couple of years. When I was 20 I was lucky to find an awesome Coach called Graham Turner, he had a room to rent in his pub which had a dojo at the back of it. From there I trained almost daily with him for around 3 years until he relocated back to South Africa.
I was in between gyms at the time, this lasted for about 12 months. [Looking back] I should have stopped fighting to address this but thought I could rely on the skills I had and training cardio and I would be fine. I take nothing away from the guys that beat me but inside I know I was in there at 20%. That taught me a lesson on preparation that I’ve passed onto my students.
I was actually 89kg for that fight as I weighed in on the day. When cutting for middle I start at 95kg so it was an obvious choice to make.
It’s impossible when you have a day job. If you train in the class you’re not really teaching, you can’t see what other people are doing which doesn’t make for good coaching.
I have a business partner, next year I hope to teach Mma full time which will give me time to train. I’m sure there’s a few fights left in me but my priorities lie with my students right now.
I’m just very good at making stuff [laughs]. I have the BEST cage in the uk for the guys to train in, I should know I made it. I actually sold one to London Shoot Fighters. As I have a well paid day job, I put everything I made from teaching back into the gym and just kept buying things. Now we have a cage, padded walls, a ring so were pretty much sorted.
I’ve trained with some great coaches, but also a couple of very poor ones. I’ve taken experiences from both which have shaped me to the person I am today. A good coach needs to be open minded, if he goes around saying how great he is it usually means he’s the opposite.
If I were just starting out I’d look to see what the atmosphere’s like, does the gym have any decent home grown fighters and then just give it a try. The proof’s in the pudding eh?
I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to train all over the country with some very good coaches. I always try to be open minded to different ways of doing things.
Many of my students cross train with gyms in and around the area we live in. We’re always picking up something new and playing about with it until it fits into our game.
I make all the students at SCS who express an interest in competing fight in amateur MMA competitions. They start doing the Mma league ran by Andy Walker which is no head shots. I then get them head shot interclubs until they start consistently doing well. The thing you need to remember is you can’t buy the butterfly feeling you get from competition. Sparring is fine but competition and experience are so important to making a fighter mentally strong. Have you ever met a guy who’s great in the gym but seems to mess up when he fights? I bet that guy hadn’t competed in much. If you’re not 100% focused at the start you’re in trouble, you can’t play at fighting.
I’d love to see a governing body. Unless someone puts up a shed load of dough to try and do it though, I can’t see it happening for a while.
We always have a game plan when one of our guys is fighting. It never hurts to have one, you should always come out with an idea of how you’re going to try to win. Waiting for the other guy to do something then reacting just makes him look like he’s controlling the fight.
There are some very good prospects including Mok Rahman 4.1.0 Stuart Rickman 4.1.0 and Mike Ling 4.0.0. Aswell as another 4/5 promising beginners.
Like I said earlier, hopefully over the next 12 months the gym will become full time. When it does it’ll be awesome but of course I am biased!!
It’s a little stressful but I’ve got a lot of local gyms helping with fighters, plus we’ve already sold 60% of the venue out with 4 weeks. Hopefully it be one of many sell outs.
It’s all ready to go, I don’t doubt I’ll have to do a little bit of phoning around to find last minute replacements but with 13 fights ready right now I think we should be ok.
I just hope we manage to be as fair as possible to everyone involved. Luckily I’m a Virgo so I’m very organized although I doubt my missus would say so!!!
I don’t know, we don’t really have a local MMA show rival in our area to be different from. One of our sponsors is a limo firm which is where the idea came from. If you look after the people selling/buying the tickets they will want to do it again.
I’d like to thank everyone at SCS for making the gym as sucsessful as it is and more importantly my missus for putting up with me.
Shock N Awe takes place at the Ferneham Hall in Fareham on Friday September 18th. It promises to be a cracking card showcasing some excellent local talent so if you haven’t got your tickets yet, get ’em while you can!