October 24, 2007 at 7:00 pm #30310
Lana is a KM instructor in the Bay Area. I thought you might find this interesting.
Body: There is no doubt that women fighters put on as good of a show as men. Yet, they are seriously under-represented and under-valued at any MMA event. Times are changing though, thanks to the trail-blazing Ladies of Pain-Team USA. Will you watch them when they take over the pay-per-view landscape by storm? Get ready to witness the exciting forging of MMA history in their upcoming all-women’s fight card in New Zealand.
Astrid: How many ladies are on your team?
Lana: Currently, we have an active fighter list and an inactive one. By inactive we mean not scheduled for an event right away. Actively, we have about five professional mma women and iIn total about eight. I am highly involved with promoting women’s mma and bjj, my team members are growing all the time with increased interest in my current project.
Astrid: What motivated you to form a team?
Lana: I formed The Ladies of Pain – Team USA because women, in order to be taken seriously, need to be respected for their ability to fight and compete, which is in my opinion, being accomplished by promoting an all female card.
Currently, women are always under cards, even the well known fighters who have established themselves. Its also my opinion that a women’s fight organization will produce its own stars and give women in different weight divisions a chance to accelerate their career. As it stands, ALL women are expected to or are forced to compete in the 135lbs-division. This is ludicrous.
Astrid: How did you come up with the name?
Lana: House of Pain sponsored me for the \”Art of War\” card recently in Dallas, Texas. It was a great event and HOP treated me very well. As the top female in my division, its still hard to find sponsorship because of the gender issue. I luckily made a big name for myself in the grappling world first which made sponsorship acquisition a little easier.
When I notified HOP of my intentions to form a team to compete on the 1st ever international women’s mma fight event, they did not hesitate in saying, \”we have your Team USA gear sponsored all the way!\” This is going to blow up, and I will remain loyal to HOP for being there for us when nobody else was. So, naturally, Renee Wilson came up with the name \”The Ladies of Pain\” to describe who we were and give respect to HOP.
Astrid: How long have you all been in MMA?
Lana: I have been fighting mma professionally for just under 2 years. I also fight no gi professionally, my last pro tournament was Abu Dhabi, in which I finished a highly contested 2nd in my division. The core of my mma is built around my proficiency in Brazilian jiu jitsu. I received my blue belt from Relson Gracie.
I relocated to Northern California last year where I currenlt train under Sergio Silva of Open Door Brazilian jiu jitsu and received my purple belt over 8 months ago. I currently teach mma, bjj, and gi jiu jitsu out of at Krav Maga in San Francisco. I am managed by \”the first lady\” of mma, Phyllis Lee.
Astrid: Who is your role model?
Lana: To say that I have one constant role model is not accurate. I appreciate people of passion who go to all ends to achieve what they want. I am attracted to and fall into what most people would consider an obsessive compulsiveness, if you look at the very best athletes and competitors this is a common trait we all share. Its as if we are totally submersed in our sport/discipline and obsess over it constantly. I replay my best moments over and over in my head to prepare for upcoming fights.
In speaking of role models, I think it is important to talk about fighting and what fighting is. To me, I fight for athleticism and to entertain, the most important being athleticism, I try to be the best. the other way to fight is for freedom and home. In 2004, a close family friend, Jerko Zovko, was killed in Iraq. He was of the first casualties of the war.
Since that time, I dedicated every win and every title to hOctober 24, 2007 at 7:02 pm #57194
Since that time, I dedicated every win and every title to him, his family, and everyone else serving our country and others. Anyone who gives their life out of duty to their country is a personal hero. If you believe in something, then you put your life on the line to die for that cause, what greater victory is there for you?
These are better than role models, they are my HEROS. When I compete, you will see on my back a slogan,\”Heroj Zivi Zuavjek\”, which is respectfully in Croatian (for the Zovko family) for \”A Hero Lives Forever\”. In upcoming events, I will continue my tribute to Jerko, his family, and all service people by putting it in English for the world to see.
Astrid: Why did you decide to fight in New Zealand?
Lana: This answer is point blank : because I believe in Belinda Dunne. She is a woman who put her money where her mouth was and went out and DID what other people have been talking about for years. She started a women’s fight organization.
Regardless of who does what now, Belinda is, and was, the first to do this. Many people will try to take that credit, but right here right now its history being made. I trust in Belinda’s vision, and know firsthand that she is a promoter that cares about her fighters and the professional image they convey.
She is trustworthy, and anyone in the fighting business knows what snakes and sharks most promoters are, there are a few respectfully great show promoters like \”Art of War\” and some other cards that are not so big who treat their fighters with respect, but for the most part, you have to watch your back. Belinda is one of those great promoters, who, as I see it, will only become greater with more exposure.
Astrid: Who is sponsoring this event?
Lana: Primetime TV (owned by Belinda Dunne of New Zealand) are still looking for fiscal sponsors. I am not sure who she has at the moment, but she is under negotiations as I understand it. Any sponsor would be foolish to pass this up, as she is also looking to sell the series to a television network. Several companies are looking at it now. Its difficult not to see the potential in this.
Astrid: Who is sponsoring your team?
Lana: Team USA has at this time only House of Pain. We are looking to find sponsorship for minimally our flights over to New Zealand. Me, and my girls, are wicked good fighters and will throw a great show, so any and all monetary sponsorship would be greatly appreciated.
Astrid: Are you interested in adding any new team members?
Lana: Of course! I would take any female with desire, drive, ambition, and a martial arts attitude. By that martial arts attitude I mean all that the martial arts used to entail like; respect, honor, courage, strength and discipline. I don’t want any ‘superstars’, I want the rough material and will help her to forge herself into what she already is.
This show will produce stars. I am only here to help those females along the way to discover who they really are. As a coach and pro fighter myself, I know how miserable it is to find someone, particularly in ego driven male gyms, who care enough to take the time to help a woman self actualize in her fighting career.
Astrid: What is your advice for any women martial artists who are interested in MMA?
Lana: Good luck! If you want to train for mma, I recommend you start out in Brazilian jiu jitsu and muay thai, this is what I did then for me it lead into mma. You need to have a solid foundation in both. BJJ is the spine of mma, as well as whatever stand up discipline you choose, just remember, takedowns are imminent so plan accordingly. Most importantly, find a gym who will treat you as they would a male.October 24, 2007 at 7:03 pm #57195
Because you are female, do not expect special treatment. Expect to train as hard as the men, particularly if you want to be taken seriously. Pick your training partners with extreme caution, do not roll or spar with men (or women) with egos or attitudes because you will get hurt. The purpose of a team, male or female, is to help each other, never to hurt or humiliate. A team should act as a family. If you do not feel this, find another place to train, there are great gyms out there who will give you the respect you deserve.
Astrid: Are you ladies professional fighters or amatuers?
Lana: The idea of my team is that we are all professional, or en route to being pro. We all fight as often as time allows, including myself. I encourage them all and lead by example by fighting and competing in high caliber tournaments as often as possible.October 25, 2007 at 2:30 pm #57214vwr32Member
Is there really a magazine called \”Womens Monthly\”?October 25, 2007 at 9:06 pm #57229unstpabl1Member
[quote:e6bff20c08=\”vwr32\”]Is there really a magazine called \”Womens Monthly\”?[/quote:e6bff20c08]
Like all sports, and this has never been a popular statement, only valid. Womens sports are successful, when women support them, by going to the events and participating, Gymnastics,golf,tennis, soccor. figure skating. It all comes down to putting butts in the seats. Sports grow by creating that fan base
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