How MMA Fighter Ken Shamrock Optimizes His Mind & Body For Peak Performance

I told myself that I will become the best and with that came a commitment to training and a lifestyle. I became the best and what I gained from that experience gave me the confidence to have the mindset that I will not fail.

As a part of our series about the work ethic lessons we can learn from professional athletes, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ken Shamrock.

Ken Shamrock is one of the most widely recognized MMA fighters in the world. He is a legendary American Mixed Martial Arts fighter & former professional wrestler. Ken Shamrock is best known for his participation in the Ultimate Fighting Championships, Pride Fighting Championships, the World Wrestling Federation, Total Nonstop Wrestling Action and Pancrase. No other fighter possesses the credentials that has rightfully earned him the title of “The World’s Most Dangerous Man.”

Thank you so much for doing this with us Ken! It is a great honor. Our readers would love to learn more about your personal background. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Iwas born in a very poor environment then ended up in juvenile hall. Many people that dealt with me always told me that I would be dead before I turn 18 or I would be in prison when I got to be older. I kept hearing those voices telling me I was a loser. So I used that as my motivation to shut those voices up.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

Bob Shamrock, who ran the group home I was placed in with his wife Dee Dee. They adopted me and showed me how to act. My dad always told me that if I was willing to work harder than the next guy I could achieve whatever goals I set for myself.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your sports career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

The first UFC we had a press conference where all the fighters were there and I saw Royce Gracie walking around in his GI and I remember thinking, “Are you kidding me, this joker is walking around in public with a GI on & I thought WOW he is not going to be a problem.” Well, history sure tells a different story — I got choked out by the silly GI. After the fight, I was humiliated, but my mind was telling me I deserved it because I took him lightly because of the way he looked. I never did that again.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you tell us the story of your transition from a professional athlete to a successful business person?

My experience with running my Lion’s Den team and gym gave some insight to business but with that said I believe that for me was finding something that I would enjoy and that was running fight league & motivational speaking along with WRESTLING with IMPACT all of these opportunities I believe there is a great doorway to many other business ventures thus being able to create bigger and better business ventures.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects new you are working on now?

I am working with Impact Wrestling, which gives me an opportunity to be competitive and entertain my fans. And I am working on a Bare knuckle fight promotion called VALOR BK. Along with motivational speaking, I also have some other exciting projects which I will be announcing in a short time.

Do you think your experience as a professional athlete gave you skills that make you a better entrepreneur? Can you give a story or example about what you mean?

When I had my first fight in Japan, I won that fight and I remember standing in the ring after I was announced the winner. The crowd went crazy. I will never forget the feeling. In fact, I told myself that I will become the best and with that came a commitment to training and a lifestyle. I became the best and what I gained from that experience gave me the confidence to have the mindset that I will not fail.

Ok. Here is the main question of our interview. Entrepreneurs and professional athletes share a common “hustle culture”. Can you share your “5 Work Ethic Lessons That Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Athletes”? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Ears open, eyes open mouth shut. If you are talking then you can’t listen and gather knowledge.
  2. Train harder and smarter
  3. Understand your value and be prepared to back it up,
  4. Eat, sleep, and dream about winning it must be your life.
  5. Never give in and fail is not an option this must be your mindset

What would you advise to a young person who aspires to follow your footsteps and emulate your career? What advice would you give?

Make sure you have an out like a plan B, reason injuries you can’t control.

You are by all accounts a very successful person. How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I share my story so that others can see even if you are born in poverty, you can still achieve success as long as you never quit on yourself.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Every day you wake up your thoughts should be how can I be better today and always have room for forgiveness.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

Get up more times than you get knocked down and you will succeed. I used this mentality for my success because I knew nobody was going to do the work for me.

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