In 2016 there are still people who protest the existence of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). To the untrained eye MMA is dangerous and uncivilised. To those who understand the sport, MMA is artist expression and competition in its purest form. MMA requires two humans to problem solve in real time, calculating a near-countless number of variables and techniques. The sport forms strong bonds between even the most fierce of competitors and can can have on positive impacts on mental health. Despite protests and regardless of what some media outlets say, MMA continues to grow at a grass-roots level in Australia, and around the world.
We met up with Richie Cranny, a man who has aided in the growth of Australian MMA through his web series, Wimp 2 Warrior (W2W). W2W is a web based series that takes ordinary people through a rigorous six-month training camp. This camp is run by Cranny and assisted by well-known names in MMA such as Jens Pulver, Mark Hunt, and Richy Walsh.
The program focuses on physical conditioning and the basics of mixed martial arts. More importantly the series shows participants how far they can push themselves, both mentally and physically. At the end of the six month camp the men and women emerge stronger than ever before. They are then matched up against each other to compete in an amateur MMA fight… in front of a live audience.
We speak to Richie about the origins of W2W, what society thought of MMA when the series began, and the expansion of the series into new markets. Richie goes in depth into the mind set and mentality that is developed when training MMA, and the positive benefits it can have on mental health. We also get an insight into the demographics that make up the pool of contestants, what goes on from week to week, and why MMA is a sport that can, and should, be practised by anyone.