Many of our readers would know of Guy Grundy the bodybuilder. What some might not know of is Guy's extensive fighting background.
Guy's fighting skills, developed, in part, throughout his rough upbringing in Australia, have literally saved his life on many occasions, and enabled him to travel the world meeting, and sparring, the kind people he once idolized as a child.
In fact, Guy has met, and learned from, the very best, in a variety of styles ranging from Muay Tai kickboxing and conventional style boxing through to ground fighting, grappling and his current favorite MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).
Over the years, guy has gained real-life knowledge in terms of what works when it comes to the fine art of fighting. Guy will now share, right here on Bodybuilding.com, many of the experiences and lessons that have shaped him into one not to be messed with.
[ DR ] Guy. Our readers know you primarily as a bodybuilder. Tell us more about your martial arts background.
GG: I have always enjoyed fighting and I did a little boxing when I was younger. I was out on my own at 16, so I learned a lot of street fighting techniques real quick at that stage of my life. The best moves I learned back then were things that had been done to me in a fight.
I would have preferred learning these things another way. I have been doing Boxing, Muay Thai and Ju-Jitsu as well as taking some things from Kempo and a few other arts. I have been into this quite heavily now for three years since my retirement from bodybuilding.
[ DR ] From the martial arts you have trained in, which ones did you enjoy most, and why?
GG: I studied a lot of fighting arts by reading and watching a lot of instructional DVD's. I have a DVD collection that would freak most people out. I have over 50 instructional alone. I have every UFC, Pride and a lot of K1 and boxing events. I narrowed down what I thought would be most effective for standing and when it goes to the ground.
I chose two for each and I decided on Muay Thai and boxing for standing and Ju-Jitsu and ground and pound for the ground fighting. I am into Muay Thai pretty heavily at the moment. So I guess the answer at present would be Muay Thai. I enjoy being able to incorporate kicks, knees and elbows into fighting as it provides so many additional weapons in your arsenal.
It is a lethal sport, and I like how physically demanding it is. Plus, using your hands in a street fight can lead to a damaged or broken hand. I would rather elbow someone or kick them if I had the choice!
[ DR ] Which martial art, if any, has a greater compatibility with bodybuilding? Which one would you recommend for a bodybuilder who doesn't want to lose too much mass?
GG: I would go with
boxing, it involves less body mechanics to master. As a bodybuilder with quite a bit of size, Muay Thai and most arts that involve kicking and such are harder on a bodybuilder in my experience. Also, with boxing you only have to focus on getting the mechanics right with your hands.
Of course you need to get the timing and balance and the hips into everything. But overall I would go with boxing as the fight art that would be most suited to bodybuilders.
I will say that ground fighting - either submission wrestling or Ju-Jitsu - are good if you learn submissions that are in line with your body type. Kimura's, head locks, chokes and cranks are moves that work well if you have some size and strength on your side.
[ DR ] Your shins must be super strong to withstand some of the kicks they receive.
GG: A lot of the guys will roll Bamboo sticks up and down the front of their shins. This deadens the nerves and you cannot feel anything.
I don't do this as I think I may want nerves in my shins when I am older LOL. Those kicks hurt like you wouldn't believe, even when you block them with your shin. I learned this the hard way!
One of my good friends who is a great fighter (he is in one of the photos with me looking mean at each other) used to crush nuts against his forehead. I thought I had the hardest head I have seen. He was showing me some head butting moves and caught me with a real good shot.
It hurt a lot! He doesn't even flinch so of course I acted all cool about it. My head was pounding and when we got home my wife is like, "what happened to your head?" I had a big lump where he caught me.
[ DR ] You currently train with various martial artists in Los Angeles. Do you have a fight coming up, or are you helping these guys to prepare?
GG: My boy, Jason "Extreme" Zickerman, fought this weekend and knocked his opponent out in 18 seconds of the first round with a right house kick to the head.
I have been doing a lot of sparring with him the last 6 weeks. I enjoy sparring and rolling with guys getting ready for a fight, they are so focused that it also elevates your game.
I train and learn from various people. I take a little of something from everyone I work with. I live in Los Angeles as you mentioned, which allows me the opportunity to work with so many great trainers.
I have worked with Eric Paulson at the Inosanto Academy, Freddy George who has not lost a fight in the cage and is fast becoming one of the top trainers in MMA. He was a former bodybuilder so he is good to work with as he knows the benefits and the draw backs to being big.
I fit time in with K-1 fighter Chad Bannon who was on Battle Dome. He is a big man and he shows me how to do certain techniques that work for someone my size. Some others I will be fitting in some time with when their schedules permit would be Bas Rutten and Frank Shamrock.
That is one of the benefits of living in L.A., there are so many great trainers here. You also have Caesar Gracie, Kao Parisian and Freddy Roach, along with so many others in the area that it is scary. You can get your ass kicked pretty easily in L.A. (laughs)!
[ DR ] What other martial arts projects are you involved in?
GG: I just finished filming a documentary based on the day of the fight. We followed Jason around the whole day and night of the fight.
We got into his head and got his thoughts and feelings leading up to the fight, along with interviews with his trainers and friends to give a realistic look at what being a fighter involves.
We filmed everything from the weigh-in, to warming up prior to the fight and the aftermath. With the explosion of MMA in the US, especially with Spike TV doing so much for the sport, programming like this is what the networks are looking for.
[ DR ] Is there an update on the Ernie Taylor fight challenge? What has happened here?
GG: You will have to ask Ernie about that, buddy. I made it clear on numerous occasions that I welcomed the opportunity to fight him. I offered to fly to the UK at my own expense to make it happen initially and even offered to put up a $1,000 private bet between us. He kept saying he was going to kick my ass.
I am still waiting for that ass-kicking to happen. I have let it go as it is clear he does not want to fight me.
He was in L.A. the weekend of the Olympia so if he was really interested in fighting me he could have let me know in advance and we could have taken care of this as we previously agreed to do. Or he could have done as he said he was going to do originally and that was beat my ass in the street.
I am not untested in a street fight with him or any man. I am a 35 year old man with a wife and a child. The same as Ernie, the only difference is I don't act like a child and make threats through other people. So everyone knows, I had to contact Ernie three times to hear him threaten me directly.
He originally ran around Gold's in L.A. telling everyone but me about it. I heard his tough talk through a mate. As soon as I heard about this, I contacted him directly. Something he should have had done in the first place. I still think this could be a marketable fight.
Everyone wants to know if a bodybuilder can fight and we are both National Champions, so it adds a little flavor. Ernie travels to the U.S. and L.A. regularly for appearances, etc.
If he wants to fight me when he is in L.A., give me 12 weeks notice to get things set up and we can take care of business.
I have no fear of Ernie Taylor, something he is not used to. He is a good fighter, no doubt - a very good fighter! That makes fighting him more exciting as he is a big man, bigger than I, and I would welcome that challenge!
I always say that had Ernie and I met under different circumstances we could have been friends. That is not the way it turned out. Ernie made the initial threats to me, so he is the one that needs to come to me.
I will not waste my time and money going to the U.K. But I will gladly fight him in L.A. Ernie knows how to contact me!
[ DR ] Are professional bodybuilders typically good fighters, do you think? Can they back up their imposing physiques with an ability to fight?
GG: No, unless they have some formal training and have maintained some flexibility and kept up their skills. Quite a few guys tear biceps, triceps and pecs from fighting. I remember a while back Samir Bannout took a swing at someone and tore his triceps as did Rico McClinton a while ago.
If your body is not accustomed to a certain movement and you are a bodybuilder, a sudden jerk or jolt with a punch for example will tear a muscle.
I laugh when people would always say, "man, once a bodybuilder gets hold of you he will destroy you". Unless he knows what to do under those circumstances, all he is going to do is bear hug you till he gets tired.
I was a twit with some people back in the day when I was right into bodybuilding. I had my ass handed to me a couple of times as being big is beneficial if you know how to use your size to your best advantage. A trained fighter would walk all over a bodybuilder!
[ DR ] In your experience, who are some of bodybuilding's real tough guys, other than yourself of course?
GG: Dan Freeman is one tough cat and he has placed in the top five at the National level. He trains with Ken Shamrock and the Lions Den. He is not a man to be messed with. Craig Titus can throw his hands while having some wrestling experience, plus he does not mind a fight either.
So that makes him dangerous, Craig is very much a street fighter in the way he approaches a fight. He fights to win, period!
Ernie is a very good fighter, I would have him near the top of the list. Flex Wheeler has some cool kicks and moves as well. I know people like Abbas Khatami, Jason Arntz and others wrestled in high school.
One man who was a very good wrestler through high School was the Barbarian Brother David Paul. He is a freak strength wise.
One man that would kick some serious ass is Mike O' Hearn, yes Pretty boy Mike. He is a very strong man and he is accomplished in such arts as Judo and Muay Thai. Mike is not some one to mess with!
[ DR ] Share with us some of the training experiences you have had in L.A.
GG: When I was into bodybuilding I pushed my self as hard as I could. I prided myself on how hard and intense I trained. I vomited on every leg workout for over a year.
I also vomited on quite a few back workouts. Looking back I was a little crazy, but I loved being a bodybuilder and training to the limit excited me.
I ruptured blood vessels in my eyes on three occasions from straining so hard. I was very proud of those (Laughs). The worst thing that happened would be 10 weeks out from the World Championships, I was incline pressing 400lb on the smith machine.
As I was driving up on the 4th rep my left shoulder just gave out and the whole 400lbs came crashing down on me.
I tore my rotator cuff and labrum, I still managed to compete and took second place. That injury was the beginning of the end of my bodybuilding career.
The most embarrassing was when I was little man back home in Australia. I was 13 or so at the time. I was doing the reverse leg press. The machine where you lay on your back and push the weight upwards.
It was an old machine and you had to load plates on top by dropping them onto the stack. I was a little guy so I was working hard to get a 45 lb. plate on top of this machine. Anyway, after a struggle I finally get that bad boy up high enough and then dropped it... well my little buddy downstairs got caught between the plate and the machine.
I was in shock initially, I slowly freed my buddy and walked outside. I was talking to God asking for him my little buddy to be okay. Thankfully I only caught the skin, but I have never been that big again, he was swollen to say the least!
[ DR ] Very funny, but sore for you I imagine. When you were a competitive bodybuilder, did you also train as a martial artist?
GG: No, while I was bodybuilding that is all I did 100%. I enjoyed watching fighting, but if it didn't make me big when I was competing. I would avoid it. I was focused purely on bodybuilding at the time, so that was who I was and what I did. I really started getting into the fighting when I went to Japan in 2001. That was a great experience.
[ DR ] What do you think makes a good fighter?
- Heart, first and foremost. If you have a strong will, you can beat down many people that are more skilled than yourself.
Some people can handle being punched and hurt and not lose their focus, while others go to pieces once they get hit. This seems to make or beak someone as a fighter.
I have seen black belts in this or that look great in the gym, but once they got in the ring and had the constant pressure of a real fight and taking a few shoots they don't know how to react.
- Being trained in a certain art and have real fighting experience or at the very least some hard sparring. Knowing how to hit or kick a bag, doesn't mean too much in a real fight situation.
The guy does not just stand their and let you beat on him, and on top of that a guy will be punching and kicking back at you.
If you have not trained for this you will have no way of knowing how you will react. It is like a bodybuilding show, you do a few run throughs with your peaking process and get it perfected or as close as possible.
You don't do it just before the show and hope for the best. Being prepared is a big plus.
- Relax and stay calm, especially for heavily muscled people. If you cannot relax when you have a lot of muscle, you will burn out quick. I have learned this the hard way in training MANY times.
[ DR ] If you could pursue a career in either bodybuilding or fighting, what would it be, and why?
GG: If I had to do it over again, I would do fighting! I loved bodybuilding, but that has come and gone. I loved every moment of it, well almost every moment.
To me the ultimate challenge as a man on physical level is walking into a ring or a cage to fight another man. I don't know why I like the idea as much as I do.
From speaking with other fighters about this, they all pretty much say the same thing. It goes back to our existence. The strongest would survive and the weak would perish.
I do not agree with this in today's society, but in the early days of existence, men had to hunt and kill for their food and their lives and their families' lives.
I think some men, have more of this attitude and gene than others. I am not saying it is right or wrong. It just is! Fighting allows these types of men in today's society to flow with their natural instinct. That is the result of my research on that topic (laughs).
[ DR ] Great insight if you ask me. What is the most effective martial art, and why?
GG: If I had to choose one, it would be Muay Thai. It affords you so many angles of attack and weapons. I would also incorporate some training in take-down defense, get a good sprawl going and work the angles so they have to re-position themselves to take you down if that is their game.
I would watch Mirko CroCop as his take down defense is amazing! I know a lot of people will say Ju-Jitsu, actually all the people that do Ju-Jitsu would say Ju-Jitsu is the best art (laughs).
All fights start standing, so if you can take the guy out on your feet, you do not have to go to the ground. Fighting in the street, a club or what not have HARD floors, chairs, broken bottles and the like on the floor. Going to the ground means everyone gets hurt in some way, especially in a real fight situation.
Another factor if the guy has a friend with him, or you have to contend with multiple attackers; you are done! An example of how you can hurt your self fighting in the street with Ju-Jitsu is Renzo Gracie.
He was in a street fight about two years ago in Los Angeles I believe it was. He took the guy down and in the process broke his own knee cap when it hit the ground. Things that you do in the gym or the mats are not always the same on the street. That is why some good MMA fighters have been beaten in the street, what works on the mat won't always work on the street.
[ DR ] Will we see you back on stage, or in a martial arts event, at some point?
GG: I am done competing in bodybuilding. I loved my time in the sport and it taught me so much. I am very disciplined and mentally strong due to bodybuilding; those traits are an asset no matter what you do. I would like to have a fight in late 2006. The problem with doing the acting and the fighting is you get banged up quite bit.
I have missed auditions because of black eyes and other minor injuries from rolling and sparring. You need to be professional as an actor, so losing roles because of injuries and such make you look like a risk to work with.
I need to create some time for me to fight. I would need to put three months into my prep. It is a matter of finding the time. In the mean time I am learning and enjoying the fighting, so life is good for the Grundy!
[ DR ] Would you like to add anything before we finish up?
GG: Well, I would like to thank you, Dave, for this opportunity, I have very much enjoyed working with you. To all the people out there, dream big dreams and keep going till your dreams become your reality!
[ DR ] Good talking to you once again, Guy.