Hey everyone. First of all thank you for the very honest and open answers. I really was looking for real advice so don’t think I do not appreciate them.
To really put across my point of view I have to write a rambling bunch of shit, so sorry in advance.
Basically in high school I dealt with a lot of shit, I am not looking for sympathy here. Anyway this lead me to getting in with the wrong crowd, drugs etc, the typical teenager hard times cliche.
I ended up being expelled, no qualifications, criminal record all the dumb shit dumb kids with no sort of guidance can get caught up in.
A few years ago I decided I needed to change, I started looking for work, I could only find minimum wage, low hour jobs but I took it. Started working so I could pay my mother some rent. Stopped hanging out with old firends to avoid trouble, which left me really isolated and depressed. I was pretty suicidal for awhile there.
Anyway, basically I stumbled upon MMA while on the computer and instantly fell in love with it.
Joined an MMA school and would go as many hours as I could go, for the first time in literally 5 years I was happy, doing something positive and not sat around hating life.
The problem is, because I work till 5 and don’t get into town until 6-6:30 depending on which train I can catch, if they make me work somewhere far away, I can never make training for the beginners class in either muay thai or grappling, which means I never get better. Alot of the time I can’t make it at all because I am working 2 hours at night and if they decide I am across town for a month working there, I can not train for a month.
I am 20, have no responsibilities other than paying rent. I can easily cover rent, gym fees and train fare with the one and three quarter hours training a day. I can always get more work doing some manual labour minimum wage job if this does not work out.
MMA is the only thing in my life I have any passion for, I don’t drink anymore because I can not do it in moderation, I don’t drink or smoke, I am a quiet guy and just hang around with a few friends so I don’t spend money on anything other than training and train fare other than rent and some food.
I have not had any amateur fights and I have barely had any consistent training at all in grappling or stand up. Not because I lack dedication but because I am doing some shitty 2 hour job in the evening that stops me doing this.
I am willing to be broke while I only have such low work hours, I will be looking for more work with the company I work for, but a few hours in the morning as opposed to at night.
I have no loans, no money needed to spend on a wife or kids and I don’t buy expensive clothes or anything that is financially draining.
I have some money saved away for driving lessons and a car that I will hopefully get soon so really, I can’t see any problem with doing this other than generally being broke, but I am anyway.
Basically I don’t want to quit at everything, I want to do this more than anything and even if I only had a few amateur fights and I was not good enough to take it any further, I won’t regret giving up a few hours of work a day extra to of pursued it.
I will be on the lookout for work that lets me train and work, which will also be much easier once I am driving.
I know I probably sound like an immature kid and I probably am immature, but I really want this and I know I can make something of myself.
First of all please understand this is just my opinion, based of some similar experiences but an opinion none the less, there are few hard facts in life. Basically my advice still doesn’t change, not pursuing full-time work you’ll be handicapping yourself (this is made even worse by the fact of your record and no qualifications). Can’t make it to the beginners class? Ask people from the classes that you can make to work with you a bit or find a gym with a different schedule that fits your own (MMA is pretty popular that the gyms are plentiful). I use to come in on weekends and work with another guy that was in my class, those extra sessions helped immensely and the two of us improves at MUCH faster rate than anyone else in the class.
Understand that it is VERY difficult to make it in MMA where you are making a full-time salary just from fighting. I know a good number of people that compete (both amateur and professional) and ALL of them have jobs. Most of the people fighting professionally work in the gyms doing strength and fitness and MMA classes. Their salaries are all from their jobs with an insignificant amount coming from their fighting.
Dropping any aspirations of a career/job in favor of just spending all your time training is just not a smart move. For one to get better at your level that is just not required and like most have mentioned even many of the pros have full-time jobs. Two you’ll be wasting time to further your education/career in something, even in your situation you have a LOT of options for a career.
My main point is that you CAN have it all. Working on a career/education and training without having to sacrifice one or the other. Working minimum wage jobs all your life is a crappy way to go through it.