12 Reps with John Hackleman, MMA and Fitness Coach

His gym, the Pit, is world-renown and he is the man behind the UFC Champion Chuck Liddell. Known to most as simply The Pit Master, he is John Hackleman. Dare you go in the locker-room with him?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to 12 Reps – in each appearance of 12 Reps, our coaches, writers, and occasional guests will be answering the same twelve questions. Go “into the locker-room” with them and get to know our coaches and writers a little bit better!

12 Reps with MMA & Fitness Coach John Hackleman

1. Who was your first coach and what did they teach you?

His name was Walter Godin. I was 10 years old in Honolulu Hawaii. He taught me to hit hard, to hit first, you can never quit, and never look away if somebody looks at you in the eyes. He also taught me that if you drank water in between rounds you would get side pains. So basically we can never drink water during the work out. This was 1970, by the way.

2. Who is the coach you most admire?
Greg Amundson.

3. If you could have a superhero power, what would it be?
Time travel.

4. What athlete, dead or alive, would you most like to talk with?
Bruce Lee or Mas Oyama.

5. When did you know that coaching was your calling?
When I realized I could coach.

6. What is the best and hardest part about being a coach?
Best – when a student shows respect and gratitude to me, and heart and skill in competition. Hardest – working the corner, seeing lack of heart in students.

7. What is your favorite physical activity or exercise?
Bag work combined with power moves, and anaerobic drills to push me to my limit.

john hackleman, the pit, pit master, mma, chuck liddell8. What is your favorite “cheat” food?

9. What is your biggest accomplishment?
Seeing The Pit world famous, and hearing Joe Rogan compliment me on PPV.

10. What do you bring to your students/clients that is different than other coaches and programs?
My experience, skill, empathy, education, and ability to articulate my lessons. Plus my students know that I always look out for their best intrest first, so they always trust my judgement.

11. What is your favorite quote?

One of these three:

  1. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
  2. Almost done.
  3. I’ve got good news and bad news.

john hackleman, the pit, pit master, mma, chuck liddell12. What was/is your favorite sport and why?
MMA. Next to running, it is the purest sport a human can compete it. Our DNA is programmed for flight or fight – period. Not fight or baseball, football, or basketball. But even though running is pure and basic, and programmed into our DNA, it is terribly boring to watch, so I will stick with fighting.

Are you a John “Pit Master” Hackleman fan? Well then do some of his free workouts or read our two part interview.

If you missed any editions of 12 Reps, be sure to check out our archives. You never know who we might talk to and what might get said!

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