by Hakan Volkan (Lifeline Europe)
Did your childhood motivate you into what
you are today:
Shamrock : I had it tough, coming
from a poor background my father left when
I was 3 years old, being a troubled, rebellious
youth I had led myself into Juvenile hall,
foster home to foster home, and eventually
ending up in the Shamrock household.
When did your life begin to come on track?
Shamrock : When I found Martial
Arts, already having endured a tough up bringing
I began to develop the discipline & focus.
Who were your first influences in the Martial
Shamrock : Bruce Lee & Chuck
Norris. Bruce Lees philosophies of taking
what works adapting it, also staying at the
forefront of knowledge has had a tremendous
impact on me.
What do you mean when you say staying at the
forefront of knowledge?
Shamrock : Lets face it.
We live in a World were there is unprecedented
opportunities to train. A fisherman in Okinawa
had to train with whatever karate master lived
near him. He couldnt go to a Karate
lesson one day, a ju-jitsu lesson the next,
and boxing gym the day after. We can. And
we have fighters who are constantly testing
and refining their skills and we have an unlimited
pool of knowledge.
When did you start submission wrestling?
Shamrock : at 22 years old under
my older brother Ken. He groomed me in the
art of submission wrestling; I began to fight
regularly and became the 4th King
When did you decide to take the step into
limited rules, Vale tudo style matches?
Shamrock : Well it was in 1996,
and I actually lost my first bout. It was
something new to me at the time. I wasnt
really taking my training seriously at that
time. I found that the submission wrestling
was very different to the Vale Tudo style.
That loss was a wake up call, which actually
assisted me tremendously.
Shamrock :I modified my thinking,
my approach as well as my goals. I began to
study the Martial Arts at a much more deeper
level, I avenged my loss, then continued to
become the 5 x UFC champion and with no one
left to face, I temporarily retired.
What was your toughest bout?
Shamrock : Ensone Inoue, it was
toe to toe the whole way through.
if you could choose any Gracie to fight, who
would it be?
Shamrock : Rickson Gracie, simply
because he is regarded as the best fighter
of the Family.
There are rumors of a possible bout between
you & Kazushi Sakaraba.
Shamrock : That is true, however
Pride want me to face Shuibi Oyama first and
Sakaraba is to face K1s Mikeo Crockof,
and then it will be the Showdown.
is the one Ive always wanted to face.
What does Universal Submission Wrestling entail?
Shamrock : My studies began with
Ken and then in Japan I branched into Judo,
Ju-jitsu, Muay Thai & Sambo.
its a generic name for what I do. It
really has no rules. Wrestling for example
has positions such as pinning techniques to
score points. Universal submission Wrestling
is purely submission and making your opponent
tap. Positioning to score points is irrelevant
it counts for nothing. It only emphasizes
submissions and submission holds.
Where does striking come in?
Shamrock : Id like to make
distinction here; there is a difference between
submission wrestling and submission fighting.
Submission is purely grappling. Submission
fighting has striking within in it to end
a fight. Universal Submission wrestling caters
I understand you have a law enforcement program.
Shamrock : Oh yeah, after looking
at restraint tactics and the psychological
make up of law enforcement professionals I
made a complete analysis through speaking
with high ranking officers, I saw critical
flaws in certain areas, I put together a program
which caters for their specific needs, simple
to learn encompasses every thing for a fight,
awareness breathing relaxing leverage. Assisting
them in fear control and advanced methods
of restraint and control.
Volkan: You talk a lot about the mind &
controlling fear, is this an intricate part
of your training?
Shamrock : I cant emphasize
the mental aspect enough, a fight looks very
physical, but with two equally strong, equally
fast & equally trained fighters, its
more of a chess game. They both know what
works & what doesnt. They both have
experience, neither one has the advantage
over the other. This is when the fighter with
the better mind will win.
use visualization constantly. I relax completely,
and create a mental image of the fight in
my mind. I see myself against the other fighter,
& I see him coming at me. I mentally visualize
myself in every conceivable situation. In
the real world Ive been in many, many
matches, its true. But in my mind Ive
been in literally thousands of matches. In
my mind Ive been through it all, every
move, every attack, every type of fighter,
& every situation. I hold these images
in my mind and let my instincts take over,
and I win.
Who would you rank as the best fighters in
each division in the world?
Shamrock : Heavys Antonio
Nogueiro very dangerous and well rounded.
Middleweights (laughs) other than myself Vanderia
Lightweights too many but if I had to choose
one BJ Penn, he has more talent than anyone.
Whats the difference between Martial
Arts & Mixed Martial Arts?
Shamrock :Nothing absolutely nothing,
were the same we both strive through
mind, body, spirit, developing real ideas.
Instead of going to a point-fighting tournament
I go to a Vale Tudo match.
Many people remain within there style, revere
their teachers and never take that step out
of their own bubble of training, they never
step out of their comfort zone to look at
the bigger picture.
you left, your career excelled beyond even
your own expectations. Was it difficult for
you to leave Ken Shamrocks Lions
Den, and why choose the new training team?
Shamrock : I found it necessary.
In order to be the best at what I was doing.
I believed in what Bruce Lee said choosing
no way as a way. Theres a lot of weaknesses
to work on its like a journey.
order to be the best no holds barred fighter
in the world I had to choose the best team
to prepare me for that.
was difficult leaving the Lions Den; I was
on a different path.
You recently had your pro kickboxing debut
in the prestigious K1. Destroying your opponent
in seconds. Do you see yourself continuing
Shamrock : No!
Shamrock : Too painful (laughs).
How often do you train?
Shamrock : I train every day of
my life, & I havent reached my peak
yet. Im not saying you should lift weights
every day without giving your body a chance
to recover, but you should alternate various
forms of training: weights, stretching, cardio,
calisthenics, plyometrics, practicing your
martial arts. Theyre all part of your
I hear your coming to the UK, what do you
hope to bring to the UK audience and your
legions of fans?
Shamrock : I hope to bridge the
gap between Martial Arts and mixed martial
arts and I hope to advise people on the necessities
of different types of training, modern types
of training. I will still address the age-old
problem off two combatants facing off for
be revealing some of the latest advances in
grappling, nutrition and information &
training approaches never yet seen.
Where will Frank Shamrock be in 5 years?
Shamrock : I see myself retired
from fighting professionally; I see the work
Ive done changing the Martial Arts,
and contributing to the growth of people around
see that the Martial Artists around the World,
as very separate many say their system, teacher
or style is the best. All Im doing is
showing people another way and it works for
me, the proof is evident, and its changed
my life transforming me into a better person.
Thanks Frank & I look forward to seeing
you at the biggest seminar to hit the UK.
SEE Full details of The UK Seminar at www.lifeline-eu.com
There are a few places left on Franks Ultimate
Seminar to reserve your place call Lifeline
on 01753 674 674