USCS Fighter Spotlight: Hybrid MMA's Andrew Ramm
Small local fight gyms always have a knack for generating some of the hardest working talents the sport of MMA has to offer. With far less accessories, big lights, and being small in numbers the physical aspects have not halted the grind in each fighter's training.
Based in Bremeton, Washington, Hybrid MMA is gym whose warriors have been making a major statement in their battles throughout the northwest fight scene.
In this two-part gym feature series USCS Reporter Monta Wiley introduces two great athletes that this gym has produced. Part of this faction is six-year U.S veteran Marine Andrew Ramm. While so many fighters take their profession seriously Ramm has tapped into another source to propel in his progression.
Looking back what initially got you into MMA?
Andrew Ramm: I got into MMA because of BJJ - it seemed silly to not ever train to punch or kick...I guess I always thought sport fighting was supposed to replicate real fighting and MMA is by far the best example of that. I got into Bjj because I was fascinated by all the different joint locks and the idea that people couldn't do whatever they wanted just because they were bigger than me.
When it comes to being an up-and-coming fighter what defines Andrew Ramm in terms of your purpose and work ethic in the sport?
Andrew Ramm: I just do this because it is fun and because it gives me a positive outlet for my energies. It keeps me off the couch and it keeps my mind engaged. I have something positive to do every single day and I think that is important and most people don't have that.
Do you feel it is more or less pressure being a rising star due to it still being more of a grind process for you?
Andrew Ramm: No, if it wasn't a learning process then I think it would lose some of its attractiveness to me. I also think that it is a learning process for every single fighter on the planet, and for those that aren't learning, well they're probably losing.
In your experience what would you say has been the toughest part about your journey?
Andrew Ramm: I was in the Marines for a long time (6 1/2 years, overseas for the last three years and I just got out in November and came back to Washington and started MMA in December) and there were times I couldn't train at all and lots of times I couldn't train the way I wanted or recover the way I wanted. That was frustrating. I learned to train and work out by myself because I couldn't really depend on anybody to keep up, especially while I was overseas.
What keeps you motivated through these obstacles?
Andrew Ramm: I just do what I could do giving my time and location constraints. Again, I do this because I find it fun and it makes me mentally and physically healthy. I know everybody that trains has to find ways to make it fit into life. And the road to being good is littered with people that find excuses or reasons to why they can't make it fit. I just always make training a priority because it is fun and good for me.
From a training outlook you have called Hybrid MMA your home. What makes it a special place for you?
Andrew Ramm: Hybrid is pretty cool because there are lot of guys who are really good to train with and it is easy to go there and work hard and have fun. Joe Cleere is an awesome MMA coach and always supports our fighters.
Recently you have had fans rise in excitement and appreciation in your performance in your fights. How do you feel about the reception and what do you feel it says about you as a competitor?
Andrew Ramm: I think that it is a cool byproduct of my hard work. I certainly like making people happy, but I do this for selfish reasons - I'd go crazy without MMA or BJJ in my life. I also really enjoy trying to spread BJJ and MMA to people that have no idea what it is. I think if more people were properly educated about the sport(s), they would have a much greater appreciation for it. I've definitely brought a bunch of people into it from my fights that were clueless before and that is a pretty cool feeling. It has been such a positive thing for me I'm always trying to share it with other people in hopes of sparking a passion in someone else. Even if I waste my breath on a million people, getting just one person involved is worth all the other tries.
Lots of fighters take this sport very seriously. From a mental aspect how does one such as yourself have fun?
Andrew Ramm: Part of that fun is learning and improving and then competing. I have a hard time periodizing my training and train pretty much the same year round. I'm addicted, so sometimes I have to make an effort to not over train. Mentally I just try to keep everything fun in training and competing. My fun is different than most people, but I guess that is part of what makes me good and consistent.
Finally when it comes to goals what are you looking forward to in your long adventure to reach them?
Andrew Ramm: I'm looking to go pro as soon as my coaches tell me I'm ready. I think it is an exciting step in the progression of what I've been doing and working towards. I just want to keep putting myself out there, risking failure and pain, learning from the risks and mistakes and improving from them as much as I can. I'm extremely curious to see how far I can go in the sport and I want to try my hardest to see where that is.
Andrew Ramm: Joe Cleere, my mma coach for getting me to try mma (I was just a BJJ guy for a long time) and being at all my fights no matter what, George Hissung for being an awesome BJJ coach and everybody at Hybrid Gym for being awesome training partners.