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Tony Green

MMA 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 can be.

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 Higgins.

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 many others.

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.

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