Now closing in on the end of the two years of mandatory military service required of South Korean citizens, Chan Sung Jung – more widely known as “The Korean Zombie” – is poised for a return to the Octagon. In advance of his return, the featherweight favorite spoke with Chris Taylor on BJPenn.com’s Rapid Fire segment.
Taylor asked Chan how his shoulders were doing after having both of them operated on during his time with the military.
“Actually, I had both surgeries before I started my government service. I spent a lot of time rehabbing both shoulders. One of the best things about the time off was that I didn’t have the pressure of pushing myself to the point of straining my body. I had some lingering injuries that never really had time to heal up before. So, during the past 2 years, both shoulders have felt good. In training, in sparring, they didn’t once make me wonder about those past injuries.”
“That said, I think I’ll have to be in a real camp before we know for sure. But, at this point, they feel really solid.”
Taylor asked Jung what has changed the most in regards to training during his time away.
“Now that I’ve been discharged, I’m back training hard. During my service, I was able to train on a daily basis, but I didn’t push myself physically as much. In that time I tried to train smarter than I was before. I’ve been trying to be more technical and think about what I’m doing when I train. So, I trained a lot of different techniques. I tried some new stuff, like fencing, just to try to widen my base of knowledge. I trained regularly with a Korean fencing Olympic medalist. It was a long break, so I was able to work on a lot of things.”
As for what areas of MMA he has improved, “The Korean Zombie” stated the following.
“Everything. From striking, to JiuJitsu to wrestling… Every aspect of my game has improved. I had a lot of time off, so I was able to work on all aspects of MMA. My approach to the sport is a holistic one. I try not to think of the different disciplines as separate pieces. To me, it’s all part of MMA.”
Taylor asked Jung how he sees other fighter’s JiuJitsu games in comparison to his own?
“I’ve been training for a bit in the US. I’m training at Benson Henderson’s MMA Lab, in Arizona right now. Training with the team here, I’ve realized that my JiuJitsu is very offense driven. Some of the guys who come from more of a BJJ background concentrate more on positions. My BJJ game is really based on looking for submissions. It’s more BJJ for MMA, as opposed to just straight BJJ.”
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