So I got back from training in Sacramento at Ultimate Fitness a little over a week ago. It was a great experience for sure.
Uriah is a really cool guy. Down to earth and laid back and always having fun. I’ve been to other places to train where the namesake of the gym seemed to genuinely feel burdened by his gym and the fact that he HAD to be there. He was short with people and made no attempts to get to know or be friendly to anyone. This was definitely not the case in Sacramento. There is a great atmosphere of positivity and dedication that starts at the top and sets the tone for the mood of the gym. You would think that with all of the appearances, interviews, and obligations that come with popularity that he might be too busy to even keep up with who was there. The opposite is true. I crashed on his couch for the first couple of nights and he makes it a point to meet everyone that comes through. He even went out of his way to invite the new guys over to his house for dinner and give them free reign to stop by at anytime. They literally have an open door policy cause people are in and out of his house all day long. I was pretty impressed by this. The rest of the guys are the same way. I stayed the rest of the time at UFC vet Justin Buchholz’s house and he was really cool as well. The dude even left his keys for me borrow his car whenever I needed.
As far as the training goes, it was excellent. They have a great group of guys who are always having fun and training hard. Everybody learns from eachother. They have a good mix of high level wrestlers, stand up guys and grapplers. Great coaches in each area and the freedom to focus on what you need as an individual. This model is how I am best suited to learn. This is the same type of model that we have at Paradigm. I got to see a little different twist on things and pick up some good techniques to take with me. I really like their style and point of view on MMA. Plus working with Master Thong was really cool. He has adapted Muay Thai almost seamlessly for MMA.
One thing that has stuck with me through my travels of training with high level guys, is the fact that there is no secret potion or special path to the top. It is a slow process that is forged through hard work, and a commitment to continued development. This is the formula for success. The top level guys do the same things that we all do. They spar, grapple, wrestle, hit pads, drill and focus on technique. It can all be learned and applied. But it is up to you on how hard you push and how much dedication you bring. That is the key.