The house that Freddy built! And what a house it is..
Hey there! I am Lanchana Green, a pro MMA fighter.
A few years ago, I really pushed myself to take a trip to LA, i'll never forget it, I got to meet Ronda Rousey and pushed myself beyond what I thought my limits were. Here is the post:
During my time in LA, I decided I would just push past my self perceived boundaries and shynessness and just head right into one of the most famous boxing gyms in history, a cultural icon in L.A...
As just walking into a new boxing gym, in a new country is quite a daunting thing to do (never mind it being one of the most famous gyms on earth!) So I thought I would share how my time at the Wild Card Boxing Club went.
It turned out that the Wild Card Boxing Club was a mile away from the hostel I was staying at, which was brilliant! and it meant that I could just walk there every day!
On my first day I was kind of just scoping the area out, finding out where I needed to be. I’d gotten some food shopping in and realised I was pretty close to the gym already so I should pop in, I had training gear with me anyway just in case I could train.
I could hear the repetitive thud of the speed balls going as I approached and my excitement grew, I was here, I was in LA and about to walk into Freddie Roach’s gym!
I turned the corner and saw hand wraps and gloves hanging out to dry on the railing as I made my way up the stairs and through the door. There were people everywhere, mostly training, some watching, I walked to the desk and started talking to a guy called Paulie who was great, I felt welcome and thought fuck it! let's train!
I had my food shopping with me and asked him if he had a fridge I could put it in, he was like ‘er...not one that big I don’t think anyone’s going to steal your food so just put it in the changing room!’ I laughed and went to get changed.
I didn’t have any hand wraps to which he was really surprised at (I thought that if I punch without them my hands would strengthen!). I tried to find a space to warm up as it was so cramped but I loved that it was a fighter’s gym.
There were sweaty people everywhere, posters and photos covered the walls, all equipment was getting used, everyone was just cracking on doing their own thing, there were also multiple pad men to which most approached me. I went with Paulie for that day as I got a cool vibe from him, but later in my trip I went with a coach named ‘Superman’ who trained mostly fighters.
Feeling great after the session I left and went back the following day! Goal achieved!
I walked in the second day and coaches were fist bumping me! I felt so welcome yet again, guys nodded, girls said hello then Superman came over and said ‘come on then, let’s see what you’re made of’.
I got warmed up then hit pads with Superman. He was great, within 5 minutes he’d referenced Bruce Lee, I knew he was the guy to train with and we spent the following week working on foot work, defence, head movement, pads and sparring.
When he first asked if I wanted to spar I was a little apprehensive, I saw how the guys sparred, they were going hard, real hard and I thought I haven’t come all the way over here to top up on my brain damage but he seemed a good coach and I agreed to spar.
I was nervous as hell, my hands were shaking and my legs had turned to jelly I literally felt all the emotions I would do before a fight but it excited me! This is something I’d been working on with Rob Dawson from MindSport Consulting and I was glad to be putting it into practice.
Learn more about Rob Dawson and MindSport here 👇🏼
I climbed in the ring and I noticed that my sparring partner was bigger than me, she noticed I wasn’t wearing a belly pad... this must of been her cue to body shot the life out of me. I got through the first round, I saw stars, I was winded, I was getting a little frustrated that I could only use my hands and getting annoyed that this bint was fucking going hard.
I went into the second round and was proud that I was managing to circle off the ropes but that didn’t last long, she was good and kept cutting me off and raining down flurries of punches to my body and head that I felt I had no option but to go toe to toe with her...she got the better of me and Superman didn’t let me spar a third round.
I was devastated, I held my tears in until I could get to the toilet, I was so upset that Superman had these high hopes of me and I wasn’t even good enough to go a third round. I went and practised on the speed ball until he came over and took me on the pads again, I had just had one of ‘those’ sessions, where you feel utter shit.
Anyway, I got over it and returned the next day and a few guys were saying well done to me and to not feel bad as she was ranked No.2 in the U.S. 5 years ago!😅 I guess she was the test to see how I faired up against her before he put me with anyone else!
I later went on to spar the current national amateur champ who was a bit lighter than me and I did a lot better as I managed to practice what we were working on and have a more technical scrap! I also sparred against a 14 year old girl but I just felt like I was hitting my little sister (if I had one) and another girl who just trains for fun.
(Don't wear mascara whilst sparring 😂)
All in all, the Wild Card Boxing Club was definatey well worth a visit, it seems like anyone is welcome there, it is totally inclusive, whether you compete or not. At the time it was just $5 a day to just go and train and if you want someone to pad you, you can arrange a price with them directly. Freddie Roach wasn’t there every day but when he was he always said hi and had a bit of crack with me. I learned and I progressed in the short space of time I was here so I was very happy with that.
If you are thinking of training in some form of Martial Arts then I hope my experience of just turning up at one of the best Boxing clubs, on foreign soil gives you some inspiration, yes I was nervous but I just knew that if I didn't go then I would have regretted that more.
I run a gym in the North East of the UK (Darlington) called 'The Lab'. I applaud anyone that faces that fear and walks in through the door for their first ever session, they might be fearful at first but in every case they end up absolutely loving it and can't wait to come back.
Face your fears and push past your own limitations, you'll end up progressing in every area of your life.