by Shane Carwin – special to MMAWeekly.com
MMAWeekly has asked me to blog about my training and update you as I lead into the most important fight of my career, against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 96. Let me start off by giving you a little background on me and where I have come from, I hope this will give you some perspective into my life and my journey.
To start things off, I have an amazing mother who raised three boys on her own. I cannot imagine what a difficult task that must have been, and the respect, admiration and love I have for my mother is great to say the least. I am the youngest of the three boys and I’m sure you could image what it would be like to be the youngest. I got my fair share of being picked on for sure! I hope my brothers will come spar with me someday; I have a few memories I’d like to discuss with them.
The lack of a father and the sacrifices my mom made for us brought us all very close and Mom always had big goals for all of us boys. Her main goal was to see me and my brothers graduate from college, and have a solid foundation to build our lives on. My brothers and I all graduated from college. Don graduated with his degree is accounting, Shawn in wildlife biology, and I graduated with an environmental technology degree from Western State College and a mechanical engineering degree with a business and economics minor from the Colorado School of Mines.
Growing up, my brothers and I were all very active in sports. I began wrestling at the age of six and playing full contact football at the age of eight. The wrestling and football really began as soon as I could walk, my brothers were three and seven years ahead of me, so I was a brother… and a new toy. My oldest brother now had choices on who he was going to pick on and Shawn was no longer the little brother. Like all siblings, the trials and tribulations of growing up have turned to a lifelong bond of brothers. We all enjoy hunting, fishing, the outdoors, and are enjoying watching our family grow.
I loved both wrestling and football growing up, and I had offers to play sports out of high school. I chose to attend Western State not only for the scholarship (that was a big part though), but because they allowed me to participate both in wrestling and football, plus my older brother was the assistant wrestling coach at the time.
While in college, I was able to become NCAA Division II heavyweight champion in wrestling and received multiple All-American accolades in both wrestling and football. In wrestling, I was NCAA Champion and two-time NCAA runner-up, achieved multiple Academic All-American status, and was recently inducted into the Western State Sports Hall of Fame. In football, I was a RMAC Player of The Year, NCAA Division II All-American (1st Team), led the 1998 Senior Bowl in tackles, and was one of the top NFL draft prospects for 1998.
My dreams of making the NFL came to a crashing halt during my senior year. Prior to this, I was projected to go in the draft in the fifth round, but during the end of my junior year I bulged three disks in my back. I rehabbed all summer, came back my senior year and played football. I went on to play in the Senior Bowl, then went to the Indianapolis Combine and wasn’t picked up. The scouts told me it was because of my back injury. I came back to Western the next year, won the National Championship in wrestling and the Philadelphia Eagles called and wanted to try me out again. I ran for them, and they sent me to the New England Sea Wolves to play fullback and linebacker.
At this point, I needed to make a decision: either to go back to school to get my engineering degree, which I
coveted, or play arena ball in hopes of making it to the NFL. I sat down with my mom and we talked, and I decided to take the engineering route. It was an incredibly difficult time because I had a young son. Not only would an engineering degree be an accomplishment for me, it would also make my son’s life better as well.
An amazing amount of hard work began. I was accepted to the School of Mines, studied hard to achieve good grades, and continued to work to support my son. I was even able to begin wrestling and used the wrestling room as a way to fuel the competitive fires that still burned in my heart. In 2000, I started coaching wrestling at Colorado School of Mines. While the assistant coaching was great, I still felt a small void from the lack of competing for myself. I was busy working, coaching, and raising my son, I honestly had no time to train or compete. At this point in my life, completing school successfully and obtaining a good job was my goal.
In October of 2005, I met Lani, now my wife. She has always been by my side and very supportive of my endeavors in the sport of MMA. She has been and continues to be my rock. We both feel very blessed and
appreciative of all things that God has given us.
My engineering career began, but I always enjoyed athletics and continued my hobby through pick-up basketball and lifting weights. At that time, Ron Waterman had a fight coming up and asked me to help him prepare wrestling and cardio for his next event. I did and enjoyed the wrestling room time. There was a heavyweight that fell out on the WEC card, and Ron asked if I was interested. I took the fight.
The rest led me to this point. I have been addicted to every aspect of MMA since that fight. While I may not have been outside of the first round in a fight, in training I am always going into deep waters. My training partners include Brendon Schaub, Nate Marquardt, Eliot Marshall, Duane Ludwig, Keith Jardine, Rashad Evans, Cody Donavon, James McSweeney and many more tough, top-notch guys. I train at an altitude of more than a mile above seal level. I love the ground game and I hope to be able to show off my grappling skills in a fight someday.
As for Gonzaga, he is the real deal. Zuffa is testing us and the winner of the test is likely going to be on a path to the title. For me, I want nothing more then to fight for that belt. Competing at this level is a dream come true for me and I am putting in all the work necessary to be here.
I have a new website www.shane-carwin.com. It is a social networking site a lot like myspace. You can post videos, pictures, music, blogs, and communicate with me. I want this site to be very interactive and my sponsors and supporters are going to be giving things away on the site. I am busy, but stop on by, set up a
page, and say hello to me. If you are a already a member of bjpenn.com or andreiarlovski.com, you only need to sign in and your information will be automatically populated on shane-carwin.com.