Sports Exclusive interview - interviewed by Chad Frost
Tony Green is the strength and conditioning
coach at Integrated Martial Arts (IMA) in Queensland.
He is a former body building champion, an expert in human
movement, a fight manager and he also knows the ins and
outs of whatís needed to not only become an elite athlete
but what it takes to sustain the high performance levels
required. Tony put the brakes on just long enough to answer
a few questions for us and share some of his insight into
the sport of mixed martial arts.
mma sports - How
long have you been a Strength and Conditioning coach?
Tony - I started weight training for rugby league when
I was 16 and have always been impressed with the development
of strength and power in the human body. I also competed
at an international level in bodybuilding, after winning
the Overall Southern Hemisphere Bodybuilding Title at
the age of 29.
Much of my success as a bodybuilder was a direct result
of many years of studying and documenting everything that
I did, training and dietary wise. I have completed human
movement studies, fitness leader courses and hold a level
1 Australian Sports Commission Accreditation. I have carried
my knowledge of diet, resistance training and physical
conditioning with me and have applied this knowledge to
helping our teamsí fighters in becoming the best they
mma sports - Who
is the hardest fighter to train at IMA and why?
Tony - Dan our head trainer would have to answer that
one. At the end of the day itís up to the individual fighter,
how committed they are in putting the resistance and dietary
advice together with the awesome MMA teachings of Dan
mma sports - Who
is the easiest fighter to train at IMA and why?
Tony - The easiest guys to train in any sport are always
the ones that are self-motivated to become the best they
can be and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary
to become the best. To just put the same effort in as
the average athlete, or to do what everyone else is doing
will only cut it if you are gifted in a sport. You need
to be smarter through self awareness of where you need
to improve and willing to constantly do what is necessary
to make those improvements to become as mentally, physically
and technically complete as possible. The planning of
goals is one step towards success but the mapping out
of every step and the unyielding determination to stick
to your plan of action, is what will determine the end
result of your efforts.
mma sports - If you
weren't involved with the training / Managing at IMA what
would you be doing (work wise)?
Tony - MMA and managing our Team is only my hobby/interest
that of course I am very passionate about. Much of what
I do is for the love of our team. It is only very recently
that I have had to put my hand out financially to help
cover some of my expenses in managing our team. Dan Higgins
is very much the same. It is only now that every ones
hard work has put us in a position where we feel comfortable
in taking any payment for our services to the team. So
my real job, is actually in, what I guess you could call,
ďThe Security IndustryĒ. Thatís without getting too specific.
When I was a little less busy I also worked as a Personal
Trainer in the fitness industry.
mma sports - Who
is the one international MMA star that you would like
to work with?
Tony - Our team has a great relationship with Greg Jacksonís
MMA Team in New Mexico, so we are lucky to have a training
relationship with many of their best fighters such as
Keith Jardine, Nate Marquardt, Joey Villasenor and the
mma sports - What
is the secret to the on going success with the stable
of fighters at IMA?
Tony - The thing that I believe is most different at IMA
is that we are family. We donít have any fighters that
we grabbed from elsewhere to put together a team of superstars
to bring us fame and success. The amount of heart and
the type of person that trains with us is the most important
factor. We then do our best to combine our resources in
giving the fighters every opportunity and whatever support
we can, to be the very best they can be. It becomes apparent
very quickly to people, if they are the wrong type of
person for our gym.
Dan Higgins also regularly travels to America to train
under Greg Jackson and brings back the cutting edge knowledge
that has made them one of the very best in the U.S. Dan
is a freak like Greg, in adapting new methods and teaching
MMA as a complete art, not teaching kickboxing, wrestling
and jiu jitsu as different components for the fighter
to put together. The energy and pride in our gym is something
that the pro team has built up over time and is something
that cannot be taught or replicated. It is something that
grows in our up and coming fighters as they watch the
top guys train and follow proudly in their footsteps.
We have also built up a very solid sponsorship base, which
is helping to allow us the resources to grow in a positive
direction and help our fighters get the opportunities
they need to succeed. VAS, Fairtex, Redbak Supplements
and now Pitboss Empire have been very supportive.
mma sports - Besides
the current "Guns" at IMA, are you grooming
any future champions?
Tony - Its funny, Dan and I will both sometimes see a
young guy that we can see has something special. The something
special that you donít see in his skill set but in his
personality and his eyes. Apart from our champions many
of who are still new in the sport themselves, we have
Ryan Mortimer and also a young guy by the name of Tony
Rossini both of which have awesome potential.
mma sports - What do you think of
the current state of MMA in Australia and how can it improve?
Tony - Anyone that has been involved in MMA since its
early stages in Australia, has seen it progress in a mostly
positive direction at an exciting rate. A lot of that
is due to its success in the U.S and television exposure.
With its more recent breakthrough into mainstream television
in the States it will only continue to rise in popularity.
MMA is at a stage in Australia where it is very important
that everyone involved make a concerted effort to educate
the public in the truths of our sport and not allow uneducated
fallacies to stagnate its acceptance as more mainstream
people become aware of it.
mma sports - What
action hero most suits you and why?
Tony - I like Batman. A lot of good, a bit of bad, a real
man with no bullshit powers! HAHA.
mma sports - Who
do you think is the best fighter to emerge from "The
Ultimate Fighter" TV series?
Tony - I think they are still emerging now. I see some
of these young guys pulling off techniques in a fight,
that some of the crowned champs would never have been
capable of at the early stages in their careers and would
still be hesitant to attempt. I think many of the future
champions names are just becoming known now.