Iron Shin Diaries: IFL Tryouts!
Sid Needelman reporting…
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Being a fighter is not an easy life, this single father of two, balances personal training, working out with Duane Ludwig and Nate Marquardt and preparing for his big opportunity at the IFL Tryouts in Chicago on October 27th. MMANews.com has the exclusive on his preparation up to the tryouts.
Here is his diary, with reflections from himself, as if he was looking from the outside:
The life of a fighter is not an easy one. Sacrifices to family, work, and a multitude of other things is typical. The life of Jeff “Ironshin” Strickland is no different. Jeff Began fighting in Muay Thai at the age of eighteen. At this time, he was already a father… Twice. Having to work full time to support his children, while going to college full time was not an easy task. Fighting most of his early career at weights as high as 315, he would wake as early as three o’clock in the morning, so that he could get his cardio in before going to work. He would work until his first class, go to school, and once his school day was over he would go back to work. While this day would have been exhausting for most, it wasn’t over for him just yet. He still had to train.
A “normal” training session would consist of shadow boxing, bag work, jumping rope, abdominal work, and if he was luck he may get to spar a few rounds. He still trains in a similar manner, but now Jeff lives and trains in Denver, Colorado, not small town Texas. He trains at T’s KO Fight Club, home to more world championships than most fight gyms in the country. Fighters like Duane Ludwig, Nate Marquardt, Elliot Marshall, and Luke Caudillo, all train there. Even fighters like Keith Jardine and Rashad Evans come up to take advantage of the expert coaching of Trevor Whittman. Now T’s is home to Jeff “Ironshin” Strickland.
Jeff now is a personal trainer, but his hours are still just as crazy. He wakes up at 4:30 am to go lift with his ever supportive girlfriend Lynn Sprowles, before his first client, usually at 6:00 am. After training his usual morning clients, it’s off to do cardio. This thirty minute cardio session starts with a two minute walk, and then some thirty second sprints, followed by thirty second rests. After thirty minutes of this, Jeff will go into the group exercise room to do some shadow boxing and jump some rope. Now that this session is over, it’s time to eat!
Afternoon brings some more clients, and then five minute rounds on the hand bike, and calf machine. Three rounds each! After Lynn’s workday is over she will come to meet Jeff for some more cardio. Another thirty minutes of sprints, followed by thirty minutes of low intensity cool down cardio.
Is it now time for dinner and bed? Not even close! Jeff now drives forty five minutes through rush hour traffic to train for three hours! First it’s kickboxing, then BJJ, and then MMA! By the time he is finished, all of his clothes are completely drenched, and he is thoroughly exhausted. Now he has to drive home…
Jeff has been in the ring or cage for sixteen years. Mostly fighting Muay Thai in Europe, but finally finding a love in MMA. He trains like he’s possessed. Stopping only to wipe the sweat off of his head and grab a quick drink of water, then back into the mix. As he trains, he does not take his gear for granted. It is expensive to train, and recently he was lucky enough to earn the right to get some backing by www.bloodyknucklesfightgear.com for new gear, like the newest designed fight shorts, with the strings on the inside, as you almost always need by commission mandate.
While all of this may sound exhausting, and I assure you it is, Jeff still has two teenagers at home that he has to take care of…He’s a single father! His fifteen year old daughter, Angel is a two time District champion wrestler, YES, I SAID DAUGHTER! While his son, J.J. is in to basketball and skateboarding.
Now the International Fight League is holding a draft! The training was picked up so that he can go to Chicago on the 27th of October to hopefully secure a spot on one of the IFL teams, while coaches Pat Militech and Maurice Smith look on with watchful eyes.
Jeff is appreciative for everyone who has helped him in the past and present, and is still looking for any company or distributor who could sponsor him for a protein source, or of course, cash. And thanks to the most recent help from Bloody Knuckles Fight Gear.