I never was the most technical wrestler or the best.
I was simply a tough match for my opponent and was always in top shape.
These clippings are from the local paper during my wrestling days 1990-1993.
I was terrible from the bottom but had a heck of a half nelson and good on top position.
Even then i knew my strengths and played to them.
As i got on in my grappling days 1996-2000 my skillset did evolve but i still never cared about being the man of a 1,000 holds.
I wanted max effect that played to my aggressive style of grappling.
Strong in the clinch, heavy on the head, throw him when you can, then punish him on the bottom, make him carry your weight, very heavy always riding him and never forget where it tickles it hurts. I had an okay Double-Leg Takedown but I was much better at the Single-Leg and all it’s variations.
As I worked at perfecting my craft of Catch Wrestling I found that Neck Cranks became one of my go to holds. There is just something about the neck crank, when you get it hooked on a man it’s a scary feeling. You think your neck is going to break. Just about all of my 13 submission wins were done with Neck cranks.
Neck Crank for the win:
As my grappling career went on I ended up having 23 Fights and finishing with a record of 18 Wins-5 Loses-13 Wins by Submission.
I was at my best when under the tutelage of Tim Gillett of Gilletts MMA. Tim is a master grappler and very innovative, there was a time where I was undefeated in our New England area and had a hard time getting fights. I stress this wasn’t because I was the best, not at all, I had lost decisions to better grapplers, The only reason I can think of is that I was always in top shape and a tough night on the mats for most.
It’s one thing for me to sit and write about my journey’s but even better when my former coach Tim Gillett gives a full account of our days grappling on the undercards of Boxing/Kickboxing events.
About Mike Bruce:
Mike was a FORCE!!! I think the success of Mike Bruce and what made him a Champion, Gym Owner, Strongman and Instructor is he was a force!! He kept up his side of the game and knew what his responsibility was.. It was basically Perseverance and Determination.. The honest truth is we didn’t really know what we were in for then. Mixed Martial Arts was still new. In New England Mike Bruce is a pioneer in Mixed Martial Arts. I don’t remember everything…But I remember what “Blood Breath” smelt like and how we both were never gonna quit until he got the title as “Champion” Me as a trainer and Mike as a fighter. I never experienced and still haven’t after 20 plus years someone with the drive to excel like Mike. Hours upon hours in the gym. Hours on the mat with no training partners just me and Mike…. Trying to figure out this new fight game… We did this Without buying DVDs or the help of Youtube… The only help was had was guidance from Pancrase Champion Jason Delucia.. But he was always fighting in Japan… i guess it was in the way he approached things…TRAIN … JUST TRAIN… It was always problem solving it was always more, more Weight, more cardio, more Pain. At no time was quitting on the menu. Mike was always clear on what the end game would be. At a time when Mixed Martial Artist were considered just WRESTLERS who didn’t know how to punch. We spent most of our time competing on events that only let us demonstrate our skills in exhibitions or demonstration. Most of the time Mike fought on events that happen in between kickboxing fights. Locally Mike dominated in this area. Most fighters wouldn’t fight him. Pound for pound he was the strongest in his weight class. So traveling was what we did… Mostly on Monte Cox’s events Extreme Challenge in Utah and Indiana. Or Dan Severn’s DangerZone!! Traveling gave us the opportunity to showcase Mikes ability… Winning or losing we were just looking to make it to the big events we had available… The success of Mike Bruce the Fighter was the drive to prove to me and everyone else that he was gonna be a Champion and do it with dignity and respect. Mike will always be successful due to the fact he is a gentleman and respects others… He still believes in the human spirit and is willing to go the extra mile for others… What I learned from Mike is this… Every now and then something or someone comes your way that you know is the only one you will ever see and nothing like this will ever come this way again… Mike Bruce is one of the only Full Instructors from Gilletts Mixed Martial Arts. Im proud of the work he has done representing me and my life quest to better the Martial Arts. I appreciate his loyalty to me and his commitment to keep our work alive!!!
Tim Gillett, Gilletts MMA
Though I am now in my forties I am still a Wrestler at heart. I train like a Wrestler, have a wrestlers mentality and always strive to move forward. As the great wrestler Lou Thesz used to say “If it is to be it’s up to me”
Keep moving forward and own your day,