Last year I heard about a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter known as Jack Magee that lived in the area and was intrigued to hear more about this man and his sport. Starting the column Interviews with successful people provided the perfect outlet for me to be able to make contact with Mr Magee and find out more about both him and the sport which has recently become so successful.
Jack Magee is a 7-2-0-1, professional mixed martial artist. He is the Lightweight shock n awe British champion and he has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu jitsu. Much of his success is attributed to a period of training he underwent in Brazil. He also trained in Muay Thai in Thailand. On the 15 of September jack will be competing at the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) at Wembley
• How Did Your Life Begin?
I have lived local to New Romney my whole life apart from travelling; I grew up in new Romney with two brothers and one sister. When we were younger we always used to wrestle and grapple. I joined a few WWF clubs as it was the closest thing we could do,
I also used to do trampolining, gymnastics and ballet which kept me supple and fit, but as I got older theses classes became harder to find.
My older brother travelled and got me into Brazilian ju jitsu. He told me to stop wasting my life away and do something with it. He paid for my 1st month’s membership so I would train and after that I fell in love with the sport.
•What Motivated You To Study Martial Arts ?
Pride, my older brother and younger brother got me into it as well. As I said before, we used to always wrestle each other but after they started BJJ it became more one sided and I thought I need to learn this. I tried karate as a child, bit i hated it as there was too much mystery. I tried this, but I wanted to see it work, so i was eager to get in the cage and see what works.
• Why Brazilian Jujitsu?
It is the smoothest art of all, it has no made up aura of killing a man with one punch or taking on 10 guys, it is what it is. You take your opponent down, you get in a dominant position and you force them to submit
• Why Muay Thai?
With the Muay Thai, it’s more of a fear thing I have to do it until I’m not scared anymore; Mau Thai is really brutal martial art. I remember watching people open up gashes and thinking I would never want to do that and 3 years later I was living in Thailand fighting locals
•How Did You Get Into Shock N Awe
Shock N Awe is a promotion and I started fighting in Brighton and one of the guys that went there was running the show. Since I have come back from Brazil lots of guys won’t fight me. This guy Brian Adams said he will get me on the show and give me a title shot. The good thing about that is that by being the champion, more people want to fight you.
•What Kept You Going During The Times Of Struggle And Loss?
I remember being in brazil and thinking ‘I want to go home, I have no money, nothing to eat and I am miles away from where I grew up’ . Then I thought ‘I have nothing too loose, nobody to judge me and a new start’, so I just knuckled down and trained my ass off. I ignored all distractions and surrounded myself with good positive people, in Brazil one of the most positive and motivational people I met was Dennis Asche. He kept me going in good times and bad and even now when things are tough I think about what he used to say.
• At The Beginning Of Your Career, Who Were The Most Supportive People Around You At The Time?
I would say my brothers, my mum and dad. There was also sol Gilbert, my first MMA coach; my Ju Jitsu coach didn’t want me in cage fights they wanted me to become very good at BJJ 1st then go over to MMA. But sol knew that’s what I wanted to do and trained me up and looked after me.
• Tell Us About How You Feel Before A Competition?
Usually I’m quiet full of energy, bit anxious. The nervous don’t hit me until I’m getting my hands wrapped. You have seen videos but you’re not sure how he will be. Bit of a gamble. The Same buzz a gambler would get when they’re putting their money on something. I’m putting everything I know in that cage to win
• How Do You Feel After A Competition?
That Depends on how it went, but usually you have done the hard work, in the eight weeks or three months coming up to the fight, after the fight win or lose blow out. I like to relax and to spend some time with the family . I enjoy training after the fight, as I have so much more time to work and I can train happy. When it is closer to the competition it’s more serious and everyone is training harder. It’s nice after the competition because you feel a lot of weight is of your shoulders
• Where Does Your Drive And Passion Come From?
I have always had a goal to open a gym and to bring people into it, you have to show people that it’s working, and you have to keep competing. I lost my 1st fight and after that I have never wanted that feeling again, I used to fight to look tough and pull girls, now I fight to show people the fighting style at my gym.
• Do You Believe In A Higher Power?
I’m quite religious, My dad was catholic, mums Church of England, got married as Muslims in Kashmir. When I was out in Brazil travelling, I needed something to keep me going, you don’t have your mates to tell you to pull your shit together. So I turned to Jesus and remembered his stories and studied the bible and became catholic at 21.
• Where Does Your Inspiration Come From?
I have never looked up to any one and I have never had any idols either. I just wanted to better myself and push myself that little bit more. When I came back from Brazil a year ago, I had nothing, not even a penny, and now I have this place. I constantly want to get it better.
When we started there was nothing, now there is a lot going on in the amateur circuit. I don’t like settling want; I always want to do something else, to put me out of my comfort zone. They say a ship is safe in the harbour but that’s not what it was made for; I think too many people live life too close to the safety zone.
• What Do You Think Is The Most Important Elements To Being Successful?
I have always tried to stay small for as long as I can, not try to get ahead of myself and build a solid base. Not cheat myself or settle for second best. But I don’t think I’m successful until I have bought a child into the world and raised him, as I think this is the goal of the human race everything else is just fun.
• What Are Your Future Plans?
This year has been about the grappling, I broke my hand before my last fight and still fought as I believe in my grappling enough not to have to use boxing in MMA. I have been doing a lot of wrestling and grappling. This year I want to do more competitions. I plan to win the English open again this year, by the end of the year I plan to do some more MMA fights and keep my club busy and with a good vibe at www.kentbjj.com .
Interview by Oliver J R Cooper
Going into this interview I had certain ideas in my head about what an MMA fighter would be like. And yet I was open and ready to meet the man and not the ideas in my head. My first impression of jack was that he was humble and welcoming. I was surprised that there were no traces of arrogance and that he was very real.
I sensed that this was a man that not only wants to continually make a difference in his own life; but that this is someone who has so much to give and with a real urge to continually make a difference to the lives of other people.
He is not happy to have just brought himself up, he wants to do all he can to elevate the people around him, And to give others the support to achieve their individual goals in martial arts .
Views from Jack Magee
Thank you for taking the time to interview me. I found Oliver’s approach to interviewing very calming, he didn’t force me to talk about one thing and took his time to go into detail about the stuff I was passionate about. I would advise more interviewing to be done like this.
Website - http://www.kentbjj.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/madhattersFT
Additional Editing By Lorraine Kashdan
Website – http://lorrainekashdan.com
Email - email@example.com
My name is Oliver J R Cooper and I have been on a journey of self awareness for over nine years and for many years prior to that I had a natural curiosity.
For over two years, I have been writing articles. These cover psychology and communication. This has also lead to poetry.
One of my intentions is to be a catalyst to others, as other people have been and continue to be to me. As well as writing articles and creating poetry, I also offer personal coaching. To find out more go to - http://www.oliverjrcooper.co.uk/
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