Frank Shamrock has Sights Set on Lofty Future

Sights Set on Lofty Future

By Mike Sloan Nov 15, 2005
Some people in sports do not need an introduction because just their figure, their legacy, far succeeds such long-winded speech. There is no point to ramble on and on when Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky is introduced or mentioned.

Everybody who follows those particular sports already knows pretty much all there is about such athletic luminaries as Jordan and Gretzky. In the sport of mixed martial arts, Frank Shamrock (Pictures) is iconic like the two Hall of Famers just mentioned.

Sherdog.com recently caught up with Shamrock and discussed his newest business ventures, which included building a mixed martial arts empire of academies that he plans to spread across North America. The man also elaborated on his fighting future, why he feels that the UFC is run by “idiots” and if he will rematch Tito Ortiz (Pictures).

Mike Sloan: What is new with Frank Shamrock (Pictures)? I hear you are opening up a whole franchise of schools. Tell me more about that.

Frank Shamrock (Pictures): I am. I’m taking mixed martial arts to the masses. We’re teaching children, the whole family. I’m putting all of my martial arts programs that I’ve been engulfing and teaching over the years under one roof and creating a home for them. My goal at the end of the day is to create a successful franchise that I can take across the United States and across the world.

Sloan: Who is going into business with you? I don’t think you can handle the workload by yourself.

Shamrock: It’s myself and Kelly Dullanty, who is an old student of mine and my partner in our Wild Cats Kids program. Kelly has been with me since I’d have to say 1997, as a student, fighter and partner of mine for a very long time. Then we’ve raised a bunch of money with our family and friends, and our stock is maturing, so we’re going to offer some stock in our company as well.

Sloan: What is the name of the academy going to be?

Shamrock: Shamrock Martial Arts Academy.

Sloan: What’s up with Striker Sports? Is Striker Sports no longer around?

Shamrock: Striker Sports is my parent company that manages my intellectual properties with Frank Shamrock (Pictures) and also my other martial arts-related companies.

Sloan: So with Shamrock Martial Arts anyone who wants to get into martial arts can join. Is the school going to be more directed towards the mainstream people who just those who want to try it out, more towards beginners, or more towards people who are hardcore and really want to do it for a career?

Shamrock: Well, we have a program for everybody. We have a submission wrestling program for just about everybody and our Wild Cats Kids program is specifically targeted for children ages 4 to about 15, and we have a women’s program which is women’s self-defense for real. All of our submission-fighting programs are really geared towards the general public. Ninety percent of what we do is technique and 90 percent of what I do is technique and I think that’s why my program has grown so rapidly. With our programs you can take them wherever you want — if you want to compete, if you want to train, if you want to fight, if you want to be a regular Joe — that’s truly up to you.

Sloan: Now aside from yourself, are there going to be any other celebrity fighters helping out with courses and what not, because over here at J-Sect and Cobra Kai, John Lewis and Marc Laimon have a lot of fighters coming in and training. What about you?

Shamrock: I don’t think so. So far it’s just Kelly and I. We spend a lot of time developing programs from the basis of mixed martial arts and martial arts in general. We’ve spent, gosh, about seven years developing the Wild Cats program and I’ve been developing the Shamrock Submission Fighting program for 10 years now. So we really feel like there’s a format and structure that anyone could use. The principals and philosophies and concepts are very sound. So I guess the answer would be no to celebrities, but yeah, that’s what we do.

Sloan: Well I didn’t mean celebrities like movie stars or musicians. I meant celebrities as popular fighters, like a Chuck Liddell (Pictures), Matt Hughes (Pictures). Something like that.

Shamrock: Well, but the way it would work is if they learned the program, they could be teaching it (laughs).

Sloan: All right, that’s fair enough. Is the school open right now or is it still getting built?

Shamrock: We are just now finalizing our lease and building a school itself. We’ve been spending the last six months working on our business systems and our business structure. With our franchise contracts we’re writing all the software for every program from checking somebody in to selling merchandise, so we’re really going to create a one-stop shop for teaching and training mixed martial arts.

Sloan: Where is the initial school going to be located?

Shamrock: We’re in San Jose, California, and we picked a very prominent retail location across the street from one of our biggest malls, the Oak Ridge Mall. We picked that location for the traffic and also the access to families.

Sloan: Beautiful. That’s a good move, Frank. When you guys do branch out, what are your key targets? What cities?

Shamrock: Our key targets are large metropolitan cities. We’re thinking Dallas, New York, Miami, Florida … the major metropolitan cities that are interested in martial arts. But our initial goal in the next three years is to open three schools here in the South Bay, which is the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. Once we have a grasp on those three schools and we’ve developed and tested our product, then we’re going to go nationwide.

Sloan: Is there Web site that people right now who are interested can go visit and get more information?

Shamrock: Currently you cannot. Currently you can only find that information on FrankShamrock.com. Our website is being built right now, but we are still in the very initial stages. We haven’t released a whole lot of information on what we’re doing. I would like to make sure projects are fairly complete and sound before we put it out there to the public. So, if you want more information you can check it out at FrankShamrock.com. We’ll be announcing our Board of Directors, Technical Advisory Board and any developments we have inside of our corporation.
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