By the time you read this… I’m on the road headed back to Houston!
I am anxious to get home. I learn so much whenever I am at Jackson’s. For the most part, however, it seems I learn more about myself than fighting. Which is cool.
Everyone showed up… well, I was going to say one specific moment but I realized that they (being the Jackson crew) are ALWAYS showing up! Wherever one has a fight or function, they all go! Take, for instance, an amateur boxing / kickboxing smoker being held at a community recreation center. A strong local crowd had turned out to urge on their neighborhood fighters. This town LOVES it! I get to watch a kickboxing bout between nine year olds! They loved it! Throughout the night fighters of various experience levels squared off in competition. Heather Clark made her kickboxing debut in stunning fashion with a TKO victory. That the Jackson’s fighters did well is typical. So is the fact that they all turned out. Bones. Guida. Villasenor. Holm. Dotson. DJ, Cowboy… pretty much everyone showed up to urge their team mates on. Coach Winkeljohn personally coached most of the Jackson fighters, many of whom where engaging in ther first combative contest! Occasionally a kid or two would come from the crowd looking for an autograph from Guida, Bones, Cowboy or the many other A-list fighters in attendance. From the most beginner of students, to the most experienced of pros, I was struck by the close sense of family. I was then “struck” by Ryan Webb (who is fighting in Frisco on April 4th!!) when he slapped me and took away my diet soda. I frowned like a spoiled child. I had not had a soda on well over two weeks (shut-up Derek) Ryan wagged his finger at me and shook his head. We are a family. We look after each other.
It is the morning when Clay and Jon are leaving. They are not flying. A sponsor has bought them a motor-mansion. I don’t mean a motor home I mean mansion! On wheels! Inside the gym, all the trainers, training partners and team mates have gathered to see Guida and Jones on their way. The two fighters are taking the time to shake the hands of the team mates that have helped them prepare. They reach into their bags and begin handing out hats and t-shirts. They are pieces of free schwag sent to them by a variety of manufacturers in the hopes that someone will see them waring it and decide to buy their product. They take a few pictures and then head out to their palace a go go. After they are on the way, the thing had a FOG horn, most of the Jackson Team hangs out in the parking lot. Damacio Page tried to race a car that looks like a viper. They line up on the street and pull a short drag run, squealing tires and kicking up smoke. The Jackson team laughs and cheers. After a few minutes, everyone drifts off in groups or on their own.
I decide to make my way over to Conrad’s Barber shop. Conrad Padilla is an amateur fighter and professional barber. A little over a year or so ago he was fat. I don;t mean chubby, chunky, big or portly. I mean fat. F – A – T, fat. He cut Chris Luttrell’s hair once and said he wanted to fight. Now he is a shredded 145er! He’s a great dude and many Jackson fighters make it a tradition to get their hair cut by Conrad before a fight. His shot is an MMA museum. Framed, autographed pictuhe res on the wall represented a “who’s who” of MMA. A former Soldier, he has coins and memorabilia displayed throughout the parlor. Tail pipes from a long lost chopper are mounted to the wall. Comfy couches add to the chill atmosphere. My hair is shaggy, and so is my beard. Conrad hooked me up with an old timey straight razor shave! My only complaint is that they play chill, head bobbing beats in the shop. HEAD BOBBING. Am I the only one who sees a scary problem with this?!??!?!
We discuss fighting, MMA politics and life in general. It’s a great way to begin the focusing process. I look strange without my scruff.
I meet my old cop buddy for dinner, we reminisce about some crazy calls we had together. Good times. We end up discussing more about the future than the past.
I feel fantastic. I feel like I am absolutely where I am supposed to be in my life. I am at peace like I have not been for a long long time.
I am now a sponsored fighter!!
Clothing company Forty Thieves (Named after the first Irish gang in America) www.fortythievesclothing.com offers some of the best fight shorts I have ever worn. Period. The have an understated style and can be worn anywhere… yet are MADE for fighters. Binh is also a really cool dude who cares more about WHO the athletes that represent their brand are than how much he has accomplished. Also, their shirts are bad ass. No cartoon skulls or birdie wings. No aggro ultra violent images, just an understated sense of blue collar toughness. Check them out if your tired of wearing clothes that look like a Dungeons and Dragons game.
Manumission is a complete line of facial skin care products designed to work especially for fighters. Their soaps are antibacterial as well as having special moisturizers designed to help the skin from getting cut. They are offered atwww.fightceuticals.com!
I am also now a proud member of the Ranger Up! Team. Developed with the military mindset involved,
RU caters to military MMA afficiandos. Have a looksey at www.rangerup.com
Lastly, if you know anyone that needs a defense attorney in Texas please go to Sheltonlaw.us!
See you soon!
You can also follow Arron on:
Arron is sponsored by:
Manumission – www.fightceuticals.com
Ranger Up – www.rangerup.com
Forty Thieves – www.fortythievesclothing.com
Shelton Law – http://sheltonlaw.us/