Photo by Jamie Wable
By Brandon Richey
It was fun to be able to talk to this young up and coming Thai Fighter Adrian Weathersby in today’s interview. If you are looking to follow any fighters out of the Atlanta area then you need to stop in and watch Adrian go to work. I hope you enjoy the interview I put together with him here today.
So tell us about yourself and your background.
My name is Adrian Weathersby and I train out of Shidokan Atlanta. I consider myself to have been born in the wrong era of combat sports. The style of fighting I’ve always been the most intrigued in, and modeled myself after was the old school high-kick rules of kickboxing with pants.
Now that this 80’s style of kickboxing has mostly died out in the US, and Muay Thai has taken over, my ultimate goal is to bring back the popularity of the high-kick style of kickboxing. I pride myself on the fact that I fight within the rules of Muay Thai, but I’m not a Thai boxer.
When preparing for an upcoming fight how many days of strength and conditioning do you include in addition to your fight training?
Everyday of training we mix in calisthenic workouts like pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, push ups, and shadow boxing with weights. I assume that all serious fight gyms develop their fighters’ strength and conditioning just as much they do their technique…if not more.
Skills and technique don’t mean much without the ability to physically maintain a certain pace during a fight. Exhaustion will make even the greatest fighter sloppy and weak.
What inspired you to get into fighting?
I first got into training because I was part of my high school wrestling team and figured training at a fight gym would give me an edge. What got me into actually fighting was when me and my dad went to the local NFC fight card to support a fighter from our gym.
That was my very first time going to a local fighting event. The entire time watching the fights I was imagining how I would do in the ring and wanted to see what my skill level really was like so eventually I got in the ring and tried.
Here at SGPT we always talk about mindset and how to maintain focus to overcome difficult times. What do you do to keep your mental focus on point?
Initially I felt I had to psyche myself up to get ready for fights and make the fights a huge deal. However the more often I fought and tested myself in different styles of fighting like boxing, Karate, and Sanshou I lost a lot of my pre-fight anxiety. It never fully goes away especially moments before I have to travel across a large crowd to the ring.
But the butterflies in my stomach get weaker and weaker the more I compete. Most of my pre-fight anxiety came from the fear that I would go out and humiliate myself and everyone associated me with a bad performance. I’ve fought enough times now that I know that won’t happen.
So now my mindset for fights is the same as it is on a regular day of sparring. Relax and have fun with it at all times. Worrying and stressing about [hypothetical situations] will only take my mind away from doing whatever is the right thing to do in the heat of the moment.
What sort of recovery strategies do you use to bounce back from a tough day’s training, or from a tough fight?
Maybe it’s because I’m only 23 and still pretty young, but I don’t really use any recovery strategies other than not going to the gym a day or two after a fight. I just keep doing everything I normally do including training. I just try to avoid movements that hurt until they stop hurting.
I fought in the Shidokan world karate tournament in Ukraine and won 2 fights within 30 minutes of each other. Then I came back to the U.S. and fought a 5 round title fight at the Battle of Atlanta that same week.
After both fights I was back in the gym 2 days later. In a few years I’m sure all that wear and tear will eventually catch up to me, but in the meantime I’m just enjoying the perks of good genes.
Do you have a favorite quote, or influence you like to pull from?
My fight name is “The Matrix” which also happens to be one of my favorite movies. One big aspect of the movie was getting rid of your own self-imposed barriers.
I apply that to myself by purposefully using techniques and fighting stances that most people would consider to be “the wrong way” to fight. And because I’m doing something the ‘wrong way’ but it’s still working, my opponents don’t know how to counter it.
Do you utilize kettlebells and functional movement in your strength and conditioning training?
Yes, I utilize kettlebells for squats, kicking drills, lower back, and leg conditioning. For functional movement a standard part of any fighter’s training is shadow boxing, footwork drills, bag work, and technique drills.
Do you ever slow down for a break? And if so, what do you do reset the batteries?
There was one period where I fought 4 times in 4 months. Three of those fights were title fights. After that I took the next 2 or 3 months off of fighting to focus on training and developing my skills. I’ve never taken a break from training that lasted longer than a day or two for the past two years.
Photo by Melane Klaer
I’m blessed to have circumstances where I can afford to devote so much attention to martial arts with little distractions. I see it as a waste to not take advantage of that.
What would you say are your biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses?
My biggest strength is my diversity of techniques. Most of my opponents are either pure Muay Thai fighters or transitioning MMA fighters. I regularly train and compete in different styles of fighting which gives me the ability to see different openings and to fight in ways most of my opponents have never experienced.
My biggest weakness is being bullied. Against someone who fears getting jabbed or kicked in the head I can comfortably spend a whole fight pot-shotting.
Whenever I fight or spar someone who has decided they’ll take any amount of punishment necessary to hit me with their best shot or shoulder me against the ropes all my biggest strengths are gone. Anyone that can make a fight into an ugly brawl against me will give me problems.
Are you preparing for a fight now and if so can you share some details of the upcoming event?
I have two events coming up. On November 3rd I will once again be fighting as a member of Shidokan Team USA at an international Shidokan Karate tournament in Costa Rica having already fought and won in Germany and Ukraine. On November 24th I will be representing the United States as a member of the WAKO USA kickboxing team in another international tournament in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Are you currently sponsored?
Team Elite gave me free stuff in exchange for giving good reviews about the stuff they gave me. Aside from that, no sponsorships. I have no preferences in fight gear, as long as it’s good quality.
What gloves do you prefer?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SEALgrinderPT coach Brandon Richey is a certified strength and conditioning coach, author, and founder of Brandon Richey Fitness.
He has worked with thousands of athletes over his 17 years of experience, developing fitness training programs for beginners to professional and D-1 level collegiate athletes at the University of Georgia.
He also trains MMA and Muay Thai athletes, both professional and amateur.
QUESTION: I just got into MMA and kickboxing and I love it but I’m small. How can I get stronger fast?
ANSWER: Check out this article: 3 Ways MMA Fighters Can Pack on Muscle Fast.
QUESTION: Coach Brad, thank you for the awesome website. A question, please. I’ve been training harder because I want to compete in a Spartan Race with my brother. But when I get into the harder workouts I have a terrible time because I start doubting myself all over again. How do I stop this? Alexandra P.
ANSWER: Great question, Alexandra. Here’s an article I wrote for another athlete having the same issues—Mental Conditioning Inside a Tough Workout.