| Our boys Chase and Kinch over at BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio were kicking up some dirt again this past Monday as they talked MMA with some high-profile guests. First the crew invited on longtime UFC and kickboxing competitor, Duane “Bang” Ludwig. Duane is now one of the premier coaches over at Team Alpha Male in California and the man has seemingly helped the boys over there grow in leap and bounds over the short period of time he’s been helping them. Duane talked about his impact on Team Alpha Male, how much he loves coaching, his relationship with Bas Rutten, and why he studies fight film while high on marijuana. Chase and Kinch conducted a great interview with Mr. Ludwig and we thank him for spending some of his time with BJPenn.com. Here are some of the highlights from that interview:
Duane, who has taken on his role of a coach at Team Alpha Male, first touched on how much he loves being a part of their team and how much he gets out of it. “It is extremely rewarding. I love it. It’s a new passion for me. I’ve always liked coaching and teaching. I’ve been doing it since I was 19 anyway, but at this level,” he said. “To see that journey take place, to see the whole process unfold…that’s awesome. That’s a fun experience. I love it.”
Duane was then asked to comment on what has led to the extreme success that Team Alpha Male is experiencing as a group since he came on board as a coach. Ludwig humbly explained, “It’s a combination of things.”
“It definitely helps having world-class athletes with the dedication of a wrestler. Because they are wrestlers, they know how to drill and train and now they have what I would consider is the proper guidance and the proper information to train and drill with, so that combination right there,” he said. “I don’t really want to change much I just want to add to the game a little bit.”
Ludwig has definitely done his part to impact the fight camp in Cali. However, he wants to make sure that the MMA world understands that it’s not just his coaching that has produced the success of the camp. He explained that Alpha Male had already experienced a ton of success before he arrived. He made sure everyone at BJPen.com knew that the team’s success was a combination of several things. “It’s also the chemistry and the energy there,” Ludwig explained.
“I’m just very happy that they’re open minded to me,” he continued. “They’re my babies. I fucking love it.”
When asked who he liked to work with the most or who he thought had made the most improvements since he’s taken on his role as a coach, Duane replied, “Who’s improved the most is Lance Palmer. He’s the current 145 pound champion for RFA. He just won that belt two weeks ago.”
He continued to explain that each fighter brings their owe talents to the cage and each fighter is a new puzzle to try and piece together. He also stated that he loved working with TJ Dillashaw because of their similar styles of striking. Ludwig also made sure to make it known that, too, learns from the fighters he’s coaching. After all, the brilliant mind never stops growing.
Ludwig also talked about one of the women he’s been coaching at Alpha Male, Veronica Rothenhausler. Rothenhauler will be fighting on the upcoming Invicta 6 fight card on July 13th in Kansas City. Ludwig, on Rothenhausler, stated, “She knows how to land a punch with power. And that’s one of the hard things, sometimes that can’t be taught.”
Duane was then asked to comment on what his favorite or most memorable fight was as a competitor in MMA/kickboxing. Ludwig answered, “Favorite fight: I liked my fight in the UFC with Goulet just because it was so quick.” He continued, “I also liked my fight with Jen Pulver because of who he was and what was at stake at the time.”
Ludwig, who has a storied fight career and has trained with some of the most notable trainers in the world, was also asked to talk about his relationship with Bas Rutten. Rutten was one of Ludwig’s mentors at the beginning of his career and he explained that he learned a lot of what he knows about the fight game from Bas. But a few things stuck out more than others for him.
“When I trained with him I learned how to train; the intensity, how you’re supposed to train. You know, just freakin go after it. So I owe part of my work ethic to him and then also as far as being very detailed and being technically sound, I get that information from Bas,” he said.
Duane “Bang”, who also spent some time training under the tutelage of Greg Jackson, was asked if fighters respect coaches that have actually fought before more than those that never have. Ludwig agreed when saying, “In my eyes, yes, but you cannot discredit Greg Jackson at all.”
The MMA world is growing rapidly in today’s day in age and Ludwig is tapping into that growth extremely well. He’s currently a coach at Team Alpha Male and is also the owner and front-man for “BANG Muay Thai Inc”. On top of that, Duane is also a husband and father, and was asked how he balances everything in his seemingly jam-packed life.
“It’s not hard at all because it’s my life. It’s just what I do.,” he said. “It all blends together.”
Ludwig was then asked to comment on an interview that he did a few weeks ago in which he admitted to watching and studying fight tapes while high on marijuana. He was asked by our team how much heat he caught from the media or other members of the MMA world following the release of those statements. Duane replied, “None, dude. You wanna know why? Because most of these mother fuckers are doing the same thing and are scared to admit it.” He then elaborated on why he uses weed to help slow his mind and focus in on specific details of a fighter’s style or techniques. “When I’m high, it slows me down,” He said. “I think I get a more honest, open minded opinion on the fight.”
Mr. “Bang” Ludwig was then asked to comment on how much he loves doing his job, although it sometimes feels far from work for him. He stated, “I’m fucking passionate. I love the martial arts, I love watching the guy improve, I just gotta live off of it, make some money, and pay the freakin rent while I’m doing it.”
When asked if he enjoys coaching more than he does fighting he replied, “I love it more now, than I loved fighting maybe a year ago.” He explained that toward the end of his career he was dealing with more than just fighting. Injuries, family, and stress were a few things that started making his life as a fighter tough to handle. Although he’ll always love fighting and the sport of MMA he is much happier now with his place as a coach in the sport.
“I’m way happier now then when I was fighting, that’s for sure,” he said. “I can sit back and enjoy my life.”
From all of us here at BJPenn.com we would like to thank Mr. Ludwig for joining our boys Chase and Kinch on this week’s episode to Late Night Cage Side Radio and we wish him all the best with his coaching in California.