T Nation

Met Josh Barnett and the HWs on Strike Force Card


before I get into any of no pics- comes with the job.

I make television- the shooting part- and its usually bad form to ask for photo ops with celebs-
particularly on a closed set.

The shoot I was on for the past two days was a promo video for the upcoming SHOWTIME heavy weight

here is a 'behind the scene' casual segment
from their website.

Present throughout the day

Josh Barnett
Brett Rogers
BigFoot Silva
Fabricio Werdum
Adrei Arlovski
Scott Coker
Lavar Johnson
Shane DelRosario

Alistair Overeem
Fedor Emelianenko
Sergei Kharitonov
all due to visa issues

Again - I try not to hobnob or trap 'celebrities' with conversation-
It's kind of rude when we are both at work.

what I noticed-
Barnett is smart, as in super smart very very articulate and clearly a thinker.
Rogers is a Large Large guy
Arlovski looked to be in some pretty serious shape
Werdum and Big foot- didn't look to be too far off fight shape either.
bigfoot silva toe is the size of a baseball.

Lavar and Del Rosario also kind of looked to be in shape
and these guys where all being very very professional

At catering- I broke down and admitted to Barnett that I was a fan
we had a very very nice conversation-
about wrestling its demise in college programs-
about competing in japan-
training locally in NYC

talked a little about how some of the very very early shows really took advantage
of some of their athletes

and without being critical or rude mentioned some very interesting things
about some of the people in MMA- more about fight strategies nothing like gossip.

anyway it was fun.


pics or it didn't happen


your right it was at an airport.


i knew it


BJ Penn didn't stop by?


Barrentt was the nicest fighter I met, so god damn cool.


Lol Barnett might be a nice guy when he's not training...otherwise he's an asshole lol one of those guys that problem see's images of war and battle and ripping peoples throats out everytime he closes his eyes. That said ya he's smart as fuck. Actually knows some wing chun, I've seen him do chi-sau with erik paulson. Pretty fucking good with nunchaku's too.

I was really hoping you'd see overeem and give us a good size estimate (no homo?) compared to the other fighters. Especially Rogers & arlovski.

you gotta spill what barnett said about this stuff:


Ha- I will spill the beans this is a book

I think we are back in Feb - shooting Overeem Fedor and Sergui so I will
find out then.

here is a run down of the conversation.

I say something like I will admit to being a fan, and Josh is like "of bagels"

and we talked about what the tournament format meant for 'fans'

then we talked about wrestling- that when I was in college and shortly after I heard
very vague rumors about this MMA thing.
That at the Olmpic training center - all the back in 1992 some people where already talking about it.

I mentioned that I went to school for a year with Mark Kerr, and that he got involved early on- but fizzled out and how sad that was...
Josh asked if this was at Syracuse, and we spoke about that.
where did I go to D3 , camps, what clubs where like then

talking about early shows he told me that people used to go to world team trials and scout the guys who lost
and offer them gigs overseas in brazil or Japan for Vale tudo fights
or how bleak it might look to an NCAA guy getting out of school who was say an all american,
and what kind of job was he going to get and how depressing that can be.
or after the olympics what kind of debts you might have or your family for
helping you with training for so many years.

we talked allot about that- how your broke and how appealing this might be
and how slimy some of the early promoters even Pride where- as far as
getting you onboard, not revealing all of the info that they could
trying to not pay or underpay people
and really preyed on people who needed money

then we talked about Greco- and how Greco seems to be better for MMA but he felt its not always true
- except in the cage- but he felt that is more about refereeing then anything else

but he said that most takedowns are very basic- cause they work.
He said that Couture , only uses doubles Singles, and an inside trips,very little pummeling and no throws
yet has taken down everyone.
he felt it did not take allot to take some or most down
-that its about timing -
learning the other guys timing.

then we talked about Henderson, I said I knew him a little from OTC this part is good

" its so crazy watching Dan Henderson fight and not ever wrestle"
"he got taken down in almost every fight'

that was kind of funny- but he wasn't being a dick about it... he was impressed that Hendo felt he hardly needed his wrestling
'you got to wonder what kind of collegiate career he had, and then went to the olympics twice, twice!
and then he never wrestles in his fights'

that was kind of eye opening that he was very candid- but then went on to praise him and say then
rolling with Hendo is freaky
but was super surprised that he just never used his wrestling like he may have.

we agreed that is was sad that a university cuts a program like wrestling, and what that means for wrestling
in the next ten years or so for this country....
Title IX was passed in the early 90's about how universities sports funding needed to be equally split among mens and womens athletics, and it impacted wrestling very hard, its not that simple but that is the jist.

we talked about how archaic training was then what we did in HS what I did in college,
spoke allot about weight cutting- and he was curious how some of my coaches felt about it
that some where very opposed and most where very pro cutting
if you won
he admitted to never having to deal with that, having been a heavyweight or close to it since the age of 19.
he said he did not start wrestling til his freshmen year of HS and sadly by college where he went no longer had a team
and that MMA was a natural extension of football, wrestling etc.

He talked about charity
how lots of his friends talked about if I ever won lotto or mega millions what they would do
what kind of research charity they would start.
and he said he would bring back wrestling and how someone needs to get on that-
getting wrestling back at the big schools and small schools that dropped it

we talked about other stuff-
like that today's shoot- flying on a plane - stopping what your doing for your agent, manager promoter or whomever kind of sucked but you had to except it
that interviews, press stuff, photos, conferences all that shit that takes you away from a camp or a fight
is more important than your actual training that the business of it is tedious but a far far bigger part then
most of the players felt.

we talked allot.


Thank you for posting this. Barnett always struck me as being a very intelligent and analytical fighter. He is also very articulate in interviews. I wonder how much better known/more marketable he would be without the steroid positives, or if they matter to him at all?

It is interesting, but not at all surprising, to read about his view on takedowns and simplicity. For every highlight real high amplitude throw that is successful there are a bunch of more fundamental throws that work. I think this is even true in a sport like judo where they keep changing the rules to promote high amplitude, smack you with the ground stuff, and O-Soto-Gari wonâ??t go away.


I think barrentt doesn't care about the roids because he is so smart on honest and he knows that all pros are on it, so why hide it.


I wish it was a non-issue in the United States just like it is in Japan, but it is a real issue due to law and governing bodies. I am not sure "all pros" are use steroids, but many probably due. I doubt there are many high level athletes who think they would benefit, but choose not to due to rules. I just think there are likely some who think its not worth it for them.

Regardless I think Barnett is in a great spot to be honest because he knows he can make money in Japan.


[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
Lol Barnett might be a nice guy when he's not training...otherwise he's an asshole lol one of those guys that problem see's images of war and battle and ripping peoples throats out everytime he closes his eyes. That said ya he's smart as fuck. Actually knows some wing chun, I've seen him do chi-sau with erik paulson. Pretty fucking good with nunchaku's too.

Xen Nova,

How well do you know Barnett and Paulson? Do you train at Paulson's school?


ya trained with paulson for about a year now, and sparingly barnett. he's all business when he comes to train. i say 'asshole' tongue-in-cheek, he'll beat the hell out of you with a purpose. I'm at a weird mid-twenties crossroad right now where I've become disillusioned with pursuing mma as a "sport" and I'm on a bit of a different path right now but that's a whooooooole other story.


That is great, Paulson is a living legend (and deserves the title). He is on my "Get to a seminar one-day, list" the problem is money and life constraints keep coming up and the opportunities keep leaving. Jeff Cooper is gone. I don't think Wally Jay does seminars anymore. Gene LeBell is getting up there, ect.

If you know, and think it is appropriate to say, what is the deal with Paulson, Barnett, and ScientificWrestling? Is that website just marketing their material, or is that basically Paulson's new organization?

As for the whole "mid-twenties" thing. I hope however you work it out, it is to your liking. If you want to talk about it, sometimes it helps.

In the meantime, can we start a thread where you claim you are abandoning MMA for Powerlifting because "It is impossible to live a complete and rewarding life without benchpressing" just to jerk kmcnyc's chain?


He really is... his teaching style is a little erratic because he has SO MUCH information in his head when he starts talking it just begins spilling out. He'll show you one technique with a billion little variations. There's a video floating out there in the ether of the internet of him doing that then panning the video camera to me and asking "how many techniques was that?" ... He showed one technique with 16 variations... crazy. But once you get the singular principle all the other techniques kind of just flow. Which I suppose is influenced by his shooto background (shooto lockflows are were pretty popular back in the hey-day)...

He seems to have abandoned them for his own material now which instead of just rolling from lock-to-lock places much more emphasis on positioning and posture. Which imo is a little more catch/wrestling based. It improved my top game working with him leaps and bounds. It's interesting he can roll with you and basically be a ghost... won't even feel like you're rolling with anyone until you're tapping. Or he can roll with you and the MOMENT he touches you, you're in pain...not necessarily tapping but you're just going "ow, fuck...ow...wait..." and your pain causes you to react in a way that makes you give up an arm or something. Incredible guy. Super friendly, fun as fuck, I can't recommend him enough. It helps if you already have an intermediate background because you'll pick up a lot more faster... I can see how a beginner would get a little lost working with him.

As far as scientificwrestling, I'm not exactly sure what the deal is I'm pretty sure coach paulson is working primarily on his website right now but he always is on the seminar circuit. I think he's just working with them in an effort to preserve catch wrestling as a pure art, though he mostly teaches just his CSW material currently.

LOL, you know I actually thought about making a troll thread about how I was abandoning MMA for crossfit because it's the only way to be the "fittest person in the world", so I can just crossfit and use my obviously superior endurance to crush anyone just by my work rate and FRAN time...

then just watching the madness build to a climax lol.


whats' wrong with the occasional troll thread?


Xen Nova,

Thanks for answering. I first remember seeng Paulson from old bootleg copy-copy shooto tapes, then the WCC ponytail incident where they hyped Bart Vale over Paulson when making the brackets. I really didn't appreciate what/who I was seeing when he fought Matt Hume in the ECC, later I realized it was like watching Rickson Gracie fight Alexander Karelin and having it not be the main event. Sometime after the ECC I saw the "garage video" where he basically tapped some poor bastard out with what seemed like a hundred different holds. He doesn't get enough credit as a fighter. Maybe because most of his fights/promotions were in Japan.

Dug these up in a quick search in case anyone else never saw or hadn't seen them in a while:
WCC Paulson vs McCully

ECC Paulson sans ponytail that may have cost him and us a fight with Renzo when they were both in their primes.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Ok I am back at pa rt two of this shoot
Today is the remaining compliment of fighters

Josh Barnett was here again this time in spandex fight shorts last time he just gave interviews
He looked pretty lean for him.

For those looking for a no homo take on overeem that would be you Xen
He is kind of on the huge side.

Overeem is much larger and leaner then the other fighters that tihave seen Rogers might be close in size
Arlovski is as lean and had bigger legs but needles tonsayy overeem give the impression of size

We are still shooting , so I will update more later fed or and kartinov are here later.


awesome inside view thanks a lot. You guys in the US are so blessed because half of the whole mma game happens there.

so i am happy for every additional information.


moar info, kmcnyc! moar!