Mixed Martial Arts has gained in popularity in recent years in no small thanks to Dublin’s Conor McGregor whose most recent win Jan 2015 in Boston saw him dominated his opponent Dennis Siver. McGregor’s larger than life persona may have brought MMA to our attendtion in recent times but the sport has had a dedicated passionate following for many years.
Cork has a long tradition of strong driven sports people now BYC chat to Cork fighter Darren O’Gorman who is making waves in MMA. A regular at Bikram Yoga Cork Darren tells us about how his Bikram practice keeps him on top of his game.
MMA is a full combat sport that uses a variety of combat techniques from a variety of other combat sports and martial arts.
Darren, you are a seasoned yogi by now! But first, tell us a little about how you got into MMA and how you train.
“I started MMA when I was 17. I was involved in Boxing since I was 14. I joined because it looked like a bit of fun. I have never looked back.
“My training depends on how my work week goes I either train once – twice a day in Trials MMA and get two to three Bikram yoga sessions in each week also try get a conditioning session in the F.1.T gym. Sessions are usually an hour and a half to two hour sessions just drilling different areas of the game each day and spar twice a week.”
Why choose Bikram?
“Before Bikram flexibility was my number one problem, I had none of it! I originally started class to help with that and safe to say, after three months, I am hooked on it!
“Bikram has completely sorted me out. My flexibility has improved 100% I didn’t understand how vital it was to helping me perform until I had been doing it and noticed the differences. It also helps recovery; I think it helps keep stiffness from training away.”
That’s what we like to hear! What other changes have you noticed?
“Bikram Yoga is great for improving your balance and hip power. It is also great for your lungs because controlling your breath is such an important part of yoga that it becomes a lot easier when exercising. Mentally yoga helps you to keep focus a lot more. I find that if you don’t focus completely on the position you are doing in yoga then you will find it a lot more awkward and struggle with it. I have been able to put this focus into other things I do also.
“I also noticed that I am rarely every too stiff after tough training sessions and the improvement on my flexibility.”
Having survived three months in the hot room, what are your top tips for beginners?
“Controlling your breath is defiantly the key to surviving the first few sessions. The heat and how important focusing on your breathing is key.
“I would say to anyone looking to improve their game, go and give it a few sessions. Stick the heat out for a couple of weeks and it will grow on you! It 100% improved my game!”
What’s next on the agenda?
“There are not much events on this side of the year so my goals are for 2015 to take each fight as it comes to me. I am going to Thailand for two months in January and February, so hopefully will be ready for a few fights over the coming months when back from there. My main ambition in the sport would probably be the same as every other fighter out there to one day fight in the UFC but there are steps involved in getting there so will take each fight as it comes from 2015.”
Currently training in Thailand, Darren’s looking forward to getting back to Bikram on his return to Cork. BYC is rooting for you in 2015!