Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.–Bruce Lee
To give you a little background about me I remember as a kid growing up I started out playing baseball. My dad would take me to the park and hit fly balls to me for what seemed like hours as I would run from one side of the field to the other to chase them down. This was a far cry from today where kids would rather spend those hours on the X-box at home sitting on the couch.
One thing my parents always instilled in both me and my brother was hard work…and smart work! You see both of us grew up working at my dad’s service station which he still has today. We would spend long hot summer days working on cars, doing oil changes, brake jobs, changing tires, pumping gas, washing trucks, and doing just about anything else that needed to get done.
The hours were long and the summer days were unforgiving with the heat. Since both me and my brother played football and baseball we would work between sport seasons as much as possible and would even continue on some time during college.
After our athletic careers were over we would still find time to hit the weight room 5 days a week. It was literally a schedule of work, train, eat, shower, bed, and repeat. Even though I had a fairly solid athletic career my sport playing days were cut short at the beginning of football my senior season due to having suffered a traumatic knee injury in the season opener.
Once again I had to do some soul searching as to what I wanted to do with my life. I charged through physical therapy and got my knee better and went on to attend UGA. I had aspirations of coaching and teaching so I had enrolled into the School of Education.
During college I had kept a solid base with my pursuit of strength and found myself regularly falling back to read different books on bodybuilding, strength training, and studying the human body. I would experiment on myself with different training models to figure out what worked best for me and what I adapted best to my body.
Even though I had completed up through my 3rd year of college in the School of Education at UGA I was unhappy. I really just wanted to coach and wasn’t that enthused about having to sit in a classroom all day long just to coach a few hours at the end of the day after school. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong this and we need good coaches and teachers, but it just wasn’t for me. This story would be about someone else.
I also wasn’t happy in the School of Education at UGA because I found myself having a strong disagreement with what they were teaching in their curriculum. I realized that it wasn’t as much about truth and history as it was about victimization and a sort of indoctrination. In my experience they were trying to tell me what to think…instead of how to think. Fortunately I believe I had enough of the latter trait inside of me to identify what was going on.
So even though I was facing the loss of 2 years worth of credit for changing my major I did it anyway. I literally made a strong statement to the School Education by telling them to basically shove it and walked across the street to the School Of Health And Human Performance. I was as happy as I could be and was about to step fully into the world of strength and human performance.
Fast forward to graduating from college and I started training at a Gold’s Gym in Lilburn, Ga. It was strictly a commission based pay job and boy what a wake up call. Nobody wanted to commit to anything on the client side and the money was scarce. Once again I felt I’d hit a road block in my life.
During this time I was able to connect back to my roots at UGA by contacting a good friend of mine Bryan Pulliam (current Georgia State Director of NSCA) who was at the time an assistant to the strength and conditioning program at UGA for the football team. At the time Dave Van Halanger was the head strength coach and Bryan had put a good word in for me to volunteer to come down and meet with him.
Coach Van Halanger was very kind and allowed me to come to team workouts to gain more experience about the program and to work with the athletes at the D-1 level. This was exciting and I was able to learn a lot from the experience.
About My Introduction To Muay Thai
This was around 2002 and it was about this time I also met my friend Jeff Perry who was a Muay Thai fighter and happened to be the U.S. National Champion and was ranked #6 in the world. Jeff had invited me to his fight gym at the time to train in Muay Thai which I did.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into but about 5 weeks after training I was lacing up gloves and running in the ring sparring. I had started to build a level of conditioning that I had never experienced before from other sports. As you know Muay Thai is a very demanding martial arts in terms of being in tip top shape.
After a bit of time training as Jeff’s student he had expressed that he had about 8 weeks to start getting ready to defend his title belt at Nationals against a guy that was ranked #8 in the world. This guy was dangerous, but Jeff was really excited about starting to seriously train for the event so I put together an 8 week strength and conditioning program for him.
The day of the fight Jeff had called me to tell me he had both some good and bad news. He said he had dislocated his left shoulder moving some heavy object at work. I think it was about a refrigerator, or something. Nevertheless he said he was still good to go for the fight and that he had always knocked guys out with his kicks anyway.
I was a bit concerned, but we both laughed it off. Jeff and I have always been able to laugh at some awkward moments where people should really be concerned. I don’t mean this in a disrespectful way, but rather just a sort of dark humor that can make a serious situation a bit lighter. Regardless that night the fight bell rang for the first round and they worked around the ring for a couple of minutes and then all of the sudden Jeff was able to clinch control the other guy’s head and deliver some devastating knees to the guy’s ribcage and abdomen.
When the bell rang to start the second round the other guy never came out of his corner. The knee strikes that Jeff had delivered to him tore the guy’s abdominal wall, broke some of his ribs, and ruptured the guy’s spleen. Fortunately he would end up being ok, but Jeff had retained his title and I had gotten some attention from my program concerning his fight performance.
From here Jeff and I would end up training several MMA and Muay Thai fighters together with him coaching them on their stand up striking and I would work on their strength and conditioning development. We would end up placing several fighters into competitions all over the southeast.
I had a chance to work with UFC veteran Diego Saraiva, Women’s IKF National Champion Victoria Debroux, and many many more. Adopting Muay Thai as part of my training was about as important (if not more) as anything I gained from college. This discipline changed my life and focus. It opened my eyes to realizing that you must not only master your body, but also your mind and emotions. This is what practicing Muay Thai did for me.
About My Coaching Experience
To rewind a bit back to 2004 a year or so after I met Jeff at that time I was also looking at another coaching facility that existed in Gwinnett County. They specialized in athletic performance development for athletes of every kind. The program was headed up by Gary Schofield (the current Southeast Regional Coordinator for NSCA) and we would train athletes for performance regardless of their sport.
It was here that I gained vast experience in plyometric, speed, and agility training. This sort of completed the model for what I could combine with my current strength program for MMA fitness, Fight, and athletic performance training. I would eventually move on from this job to start my own business. It was about the beginning of 2009 that the Brandon Richey Fitness site was published.
My Plans For You
Just to give you an idea I’ve been able to perform in athletics, martial arts, and powerlifting. I’ve had a coaching career that has spanned for 17 years and with my experience I’ve been fortunate to have trained professional, high level amateur, high school, and youth athletes in just about every sport that exist. It is with this experience I want to help you with my coaching.
This site is a platform for me to demonstrate to you the knowledge base and experience that I’ve retained over my 17 year career that was full of blood, sweat, tears, wins, and losses. It is here that I hope I can help to reach you and to share with you what I’ve learned in competing and coaching in the MMA, fitness, and strength and conditioning universe! With that being said buckle your chinstrap and let’s get you started.
If you need the extra help sign up for my 5 week program here to transform your MMA fitness and strength program.
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