The term “the best” is something that is thrown around a lot with many not deserving it. Greg Jackson has been called “the best” many times over and unlike many, it’s easy to believe that he deserves this recognition.
Greg Jackson, from one of the best gyms in the USA, Jackson’s MMA, was in town last Sunday to host a seminar at Evolve MMA, which itself is known as the best MMA gym and fight team in Asia. Jackson was in this part of the woods because he was cornering one of his fighters, Rustam Khabilov, at ONE Fighting Championship’s Battle of Heroes event in Jakarta, Indonesia.
In case you still don’t know who Greg Jackson is (which would provoke us to slap you), he is the coach of some of the greatest mixed martial artists in the world today. Fighters such as UFC Champions Georges St-Pierre, Jon “Bones” Jones, Carlos Condit and WEC Champion Brian Stann have all tasted great success under the tutelage of Jackson.
While he has his critics who have been vocal about his “gameplans” for his fighters, no one can dispute that he is one of the best coaches in the world today. His fighters win fights and as seen most recently in the Carlos Condit/ Nick Diaz fight, his game plans are usually put to perfection.
Jackson was invited to hold this seminar by Evolve MMA’s founder and head coach, Yodchatri Sityodtong. The seminar was open to both students of the gym as well as members of the public. There were also many familiar faces from the Evolve Fight Team such as WBA Champion Yodsanan Sityodtong, NCAA wrestler Jake Butler, Muay Thai World Champion Yoddecha Sityodtong and Dream Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki.
The seminar started off promptly with Jackson going straight into his concepts. Right off the bat, he introduced everyone to his concept known as the “Horns of Dilemma”. What this concept basically is, is that each move goes in pairs.
For every move you make, there must be an alternative plan, so that if plan A doesn’t work, you can make a seamless transition and capitalize on plan B. Simple concept that, as he explained and taught, made more sense and seemed to be highly effective.
His teaching plan was very well rounded with him touching on moves and tactics from all aspects of MMA, that being stand up, grappling, wrestling and his famous ground and pound techniques. It was simply amazing to watch him demonstrate moves and tactics that we have all seen being utilized by stars such as GSP and Jon Jones.
Jackson is a firm believer of making the smallest changes and improvements in one’s form to gain the greatest advantage while fighting. His techniques are very unorthodox and at certain times, have been frowned upon.
He shared an anecdote where many people were upset and flabbergasted that he suggested to Georges St-Pierre to ground and pound Dan Hardy while being in Hardy’s guard and not to transition to a more advantageous position.
Just to remind everyone, GSP won that fight convincingly. It is these “out of the box” methods and attention to detail that make his fighters stand out from the pack. Jackson reiterated many times during the seminar that he feels the sport has evolved to the point where being good in all aspects of the game isn’t enough anymore.
MMA has now evolved to the point where one must understand intricacies of each move and use it to his advantage. As the seminar progressed it became more and more evident why Jackson is regarded as one of the best coaches today.
However, getting a small sample of his great mind for the sport was only one positive aspect of the seminar. Another treat for all the attendees was the Q&A that followed. This, in our opinion, was a real highlight of the seminar.
We were treated to first hand accounts of stories like Jon Jones’ catching a robber before his fight with Shogun. Jackson also spoke on the problems between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans and openly praised Georges St-Pierre for being the most grounded person he’s ever met despite his enormous fame.
Jackson was also complimentary of ONE FC where his fighter Rustam Khabilov fought the day before. He said he felt the promotion was very professional and did a great job with safety of the fighters and that he’ll definitely be looking into having more fighters compete in the promotion.
When asked how far behind Asia was compared to North America in MMA, he felt Asia would catch up pretty fast. In his opinion the talent is present in Asia but the information is still coming and once all the pieces are put together, Asian fighters will definitely move up to the next level.
While it was cool to hear these stories and his views on different topics, what struck us the most was the humility in Jackson. He spoke to everyone in the room as if he was one of us.
He has no airs and graces about him. He simply comes across as a normal man who loves and is passionate about his job. That in itself was an experience and it was without a doubt, a humbling one.
All in all, it was a fantastic seminar organized by Evolve MMA. We have to thank Chatri and Evolve MMA for having us cover the seminar. They always put on great seminars and have brought in some of the biggest names in the business such as Rich Franklin, Matt Hume and Kyra Gracie to the sunny shores of Singapore.
We have no doubt they will continue to raise the bar and host even bigger names in the future. The information passed on was bar none some of the best we’ve ever been given and the overall experience from the the seminar will be unforgettable. It was an honor to be in the presence of Greg Jackson, truly one of “The Best” in the business today.