Coach Din Thomas breaks down the ‘four categories’ of mixed martial artist

Din Thomas, Joe Rogan, Ryan Hall
Image: Din Thomas on Instagram

Speaking on the latest edition of the Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show, American Top Team coach Din Thomas detailed what he calls the ‘four categories’ of mixed martial artist. He says that, as a coach, it’s important for him to identify which category each fighter falls into in order to train them effectively.

“When I’m coaching guys, I have to identify that early, and what I’m working with,” Thomas said. “Are you a fighter, are you an athlete, are you a competitor, or are you an artist. I put them in them four categories, and they all have to be trained different.”

After this comment from Din Thomas, Joe Rogan asked how a fighter who fits into the artist category should be coached. He also asked for an example of a fighter who fits into this category.

Din Thomas pointed to BJJ ace Ryan Hall, who recently dropped jaws with an incredible, first round submission of former two-division champion BJ Penn.

“The artist, you’ve got to let them get creative,” Thomas explained. “Prime example, we just saw him, Ryan Hall. Ryan Hall is an artist. What he did, that’s art. That’s like poetry, what he did to BJ. The fight world ain’t really ready for that yet. You saw when he fought Gray Maynard, he was trying to perform his art. Gray Maynard wouldn’t let him. So who did we blame? We blame the artist. Everyone was like ‘aw man, Ryan Hall, get him out of here. He’s a pussy, he can’t fight.’ He dove for his legs for 15 minutes, but when it works, we can appreciate the art.”

What do you think of these comments from coach Din Thomas?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/10/2019.