Grappling master Erik Paulson doing what he does best. Photo courtesy
Grappling master Erik Paulson doing what he does best. Photo courtesy

Born in 1966, Erik Paulson began training martial arts at the age of 8. He is a former Shooto light heavyweight champion and holds black belts in judo, BJJ and Taekwondo, and is also adept in Jeet Kune Do and Muay Thai. Over his 30+ years of studying, Paulson has trained under such legendary instructors as Rorion Gracie, Royce Gracie, Rickson Gracie, Greg Nelson, Rob Kaman, Rigan Machado, Rico Chipparelli and Dan Inosanto, among others.

Paulson is the founder of CSW Training Center (Combat Submission Wrestling) in Fullerton, Calif. and has helped train the likes of Josh Barnett, Sean Sherk, Cub Swanson, Hector Lombard, Renato Sobral, Ken Shamrock and many more. He was also one of the key instructors for Brock Lesnar during his five-year stint in the UFC.

In addition to being one of the most knowledgeable and truly well-rounded martial arts instructors in the world today, Erik Paulson has another very unique quality about him.

He sees dead people.

That’s right, ghosts.

Yeah, it took me by surprise too. I definitely wasn’t expecting to hear that when I downloaded his recent appearance on Eddie Bravo Radio.

After Eddie’s painfully long plugs and announcements at the beginning (yes, you can fast forward if you don’t want to sit through that part), he and Erik talked about when they first met and when Erik first began training martial arts. And then this happened (39:00):

E. BRAVO: “Were you feared in 8th grade (junior high)?”

E. PAULSON: “No, because I was always telling jokes, and also telling girls they had dead people around them.”

E. BRAVO: “Were you messing with them or did you really see dead people?”

E. PAULSON: “This girl started picking on me, once she said something to me, and I said well, I’m sorry, I feel bad for you. I’m sorry about your grandma. She goes what do you mean? I go well your grandma died yesterday, right? And she’s like what, how do you know? I go, she’s standing right behind you! And then that’s how it all started.”

E. BRAVO: “Was that a joke?”

E. PAULSON: “No that was for real. I saw it. I could see things behind people and…”

E. BRAVO: “Really?”

E. PAULSON: “I don’t know why or how, I just saw it. I don’t know. I thought everyone could see.”

E. BRAVO: “And when did you realize no one else could see this?”

E. PAULSON: “When people started calling me ‘ghost’. They called me names.”

ZACH WALDMAN (co-host): “[like] Patrick Swayze?”

E. BRAVO: “Do you still see ghosts?”

E. PAULSON: “Yeah, I try not to but I can still see stuff sometimes. Usually only on special occasions I make it a point to do it.”

So yeah…

That’s not something you hear every day in the world of MMA. I’m not sure if having that sixth sense makes Paulson a better MMA coach, but who cares. What I really want to know is if he can talk with the dead people and transfer messages back and forth. Because if that’s the case, there’s a few things I definitely want to know. Simple stuff, like can you see me when I dance around the house naked? If I fart around a ghost can they smell it? Important sh*t.

Paulson also talked about a few other unconventional topics including the time he went to hell — literally (53:50), his 40-foot aura (47:30) and haunted houses he’s lived in (1:37:12). Paulson also described an epic 32-minute sparring session between Josh Barnett and Hector Lombard that turned into an all-out war while he circled them mopping up the blood (1:06:00). And MUCH MUCH more.

Erik Paulson is one interesting dude. Here’s the whole podcast:

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