Duane Ludwig to Focus More on Teaching Martial Arts, Less on Training Fighters

By Sherdog.com Staff Apr 7, 2014

Duane Ludwig was a successful addition to Team Alpha Male, but the standup trainer will be headed back to his home in Colorado soon.

In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “It’s Time” show with Bruce Buffer, Ludwig discussed his relationship with the Urijah Faber-led camp, opening his own school and more.

On leaving Team Alpha Male: “It’s been blown out of proportion a bit more than what it actually is. My plan before I left Colorado was to come out here for just a year and then go back to Colorado and do my own thing. It’s coming to that time in my life where I just need to have my own business, do my own thing and just run my own show.”

On plans for his own academy: “The main focus is just to teach martial arts and help people become better human beings all over, from every aspect in life. … That’s what happened with me through martial arts. Martial arts helped create who I am. I’m just all about that, getting back to the more traditional aspect and just being accountable and respectable and just doing the right thing and not really leaning toward the combative side anymore, like the fighter side. Although I love it and I think that’s what I’m best at -- training and teaching combative athletes -- if you’re not going to have a team, like a high-level team like Team Alpha Male, you’re not going to make money for sure having a professional team. You’ve got to have a high-level professional team. I’m not looking to do that. I’m just looking to have a regular student base of 300, 400, 500 members and teaching them martial arts, settling down with my family and focusing on them and just taking care of my own business.”

On what his relationship with Team Alpha Male will be like: “For the guys here at Team Alpha Male, I’ll come out and help them train for a weekend or a couple of days or corner them in the fights or they’re allowed to come to me for sure and I’ll dedicate some time for them, but it’s going to be for them. It’s not going to be for really anybody else. Or some of the other guys in Colorado -- it’s got to be somebody I personally know. It’s not going to be for really anybody else. I know too much not to teach combative athletes, so I’m not going to shut that door, but I’m not going to cater to it either.”

On his relationship with Urijah Faber: “We’re on good terms. … What was weird was, I’ve been telling him I’m going back to Colorado for a while and I’ve been talking to people and getting information and doing research and stuff, giving people a heads up. Urijah and I, we’re always traveling on different schedules and we’d been trying to touch base and I’d be here and he’d be gone or he’d be here and I’d be gone. He ended up hearing from somebody else first that I was going to do my own gym, so he got upset about that and then we sat down and talked because once we finally had our schedules lined up where we could do this, he asked me.

“He was like, ‘Hey, you taking off?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going do my own thing -- after everyone’s fights are done, though. I’m not going to leave anybody’s camp.’ That’s why I’m here longer than expected. I’m going to finish up these guys’ camps and then take off. I wanted to make sure, out of respect, [to] let him know first and then sit down with the team and let them know together. I let Urijah know and then he let the team know without me. So that’s what I didn’t like. … Just the timing sequence with the information being relayed is what I wasn’t a fan of.”

On money: “The guys have been taking care of me. It’s not for money, although I don’t make a lot of money in any one thing. I don’t make a lot of money from the team, but I do OK from the team. I do OK from my business. I do OK from my seminars and my other things. So together I do good, but it’s just time for me to build my own business and do my own thing. Once I build my own business, my own academy, just doing the math, I’m going to make more doing my own academy at home in Colorado with my family, growing my own business.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 24:07).
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