by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Frank Shamrock announced his retirement from mixed martial arts competition on June 26 at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum, ending a mixed martial arts career that began in 1994 and left an undeniable mark on the sport.
Shamrock, in the early years, fought in the shadow of his, at the time, more famous older adoptive brother Ken, but quickly earned his own limelight through a style that revolutionized fight preparation and game planning.
Shamrock was one of the first truly hybrid fighters, combining several traditional martial arts into a new more complete style.
“When I got into it I didn’t know any different. It was a game. Fighting was like this game, like a sportsman’s game especially because I was in Pancrase. I just kept studying. To me, because I had no other martial arts experience, I had no other ideas about the sport,” Shamrock explained to MMAWeekly.com.
“It was like whatever they told me I wrote down, processed, and plugged it in. And I saw all the holes. To me it was obvious that you needed to do everything and learn everything and complete the style. I don’t know if I was ahead of the curve or if I just had a different mindset going into it. I had no expectations or understanding of what fighting was or wasn’t.”
Shamrock’s biggest mark on the sport may have been the use of cardiovascular conditioning as a weapon.
“The conditioning and ability to move really quickly for long periods of time became the crux of my style for probably seven or eight years,” said Shamrock. “It was the beginning of this new era with the UFC. And the level of athleticism now is just crazy.”
Even though he has closed the door on fighting, Shamrock is still a commentator for Strikeforce and continues to train himself and others at his gym in San Jose, Calif.