My early inspirations were martial artists: Bruce Lee, Tom Laughlin (Billy Jack), early Chuck Norris (Good Guys Wear Black, A Force of One).
Even though it was Royce Gracie whose path I followed, I’ll admit that seeing Ken Shamrock in the early UFCs was probably the thing that provided the spark that eventually led me to serious weight training.
I was all for being able to fight like the so-called “skinny kid from Brazil.” But I wasn’t sure I wanted to look like him.
Seeing Frank Mir on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine about 8-9 years later as I was moving toward my mid-thirties was a pretty big deal for me, also. It reminded me of what I liked in Shamrock: the combination of strength, power, and efficient, technical fighting skill.