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As you can probably imagine, the world of a Mixed Martial Arts fighter is sometimes short lived resulting from the potential career ending injuries, Win/Loss records, and Adidas Springt most importantly fan recognition. Obviously, if you are hurt you can’t fight, if you are losing more than you win, then the fight isn’t worth watching, and if no one is watching how can the fans root for you, making your career as an ultimate cage fighter fleeting. I think Ken realized this early on and made sure he didn’t fallinto any of those categories. Which is why as you will see in a moment that fighters today need to take a second look at the model Ken is putting together by self-promoting his brand to insure continuing sources of income when the fighting is done.For those unfamiliar with Gene’s track record let’s examine his trek and then compare that to what I see Ken Shamrock building now. Gene Simmons is one of the founding members of the historic band Kiss. In 1974, they weren’t your typical rock band. Their niche was shock and roll, wearing kabuki style make up, black leather and pyrotechnics that launched them to be the must see show of all time. Gene has had the passion to drive this band to set records all over the world in album sales and arena sellouts. Like them or not, they got noticed early and continued to be a juggernaut in self promotion and marketing.In the seventies, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing a KISS t-shirt, KISS coffee mug, KISS key rings and the list goes on and on.Today you can even purchase a KISS Coffin. Once Gene established this additional income, he launched everything he could with the KISS name on it. This would not have been successful if he and the rest of the band had not been so passionate about building their brand first. This type of entrepreneurship became Gene’s reputation and thus went on to form other businesses now touting his own name as the ‘brand.’Brands like Simmons’ records, Birkenstock Gene Simmons’ rock school, and the lately popular, Gene Simmons Family Jewels reality TV show. He had the foresight to understand the fickled part of fame and that it has it’s ups and downs and these other successes he developed has ensured him a continuing paycheck 35 years later. Ken Shamrock’s similarity in his rise to fame began as Gene Simmons’ did. Neither came from any kind of family wealth. Both began as paupers on the street. As read in his biography page on kenshamrock.com…’When thirteen-year-old Kenneth Kilpatrick first came to Bob Shamrock’s group home in sunny Susanville, California, his future did not look bright. He had grown up fatherless in a poor neighborhood in Georgia, where he learned life’s lessons on the streets.”Bob had raised more than six hundred boys in his home, and his methods were both unique and effective. In response to the feuds that often arose with prideful boys sleeping under the same roof, he offered them an unorthodox method of resolution. If both parties were willing, he allowed them to throw on boxing gloves and duke it out in the backyard.’With Bob Shamrock’s obvious encouragement Ken Shamrock went on a quest to hone his passion for the craft of fighting. My recollection of his first entry to the fight scene was at the first Ultimate Fighting Championships. This first illegal bare knuckle street fight televised on pay-per-view launched the beginning of a fanatical culture and today’s legitimate Mixed Martial Arts Sport. From this beginning, Adidas πρωτότυπα γιουάν Ken showed us a different look at fighting, submission/wrestling style.While most of the competitors that night were from different disciplines such as karate, kempo, and even boxing, Ken’s fighting style was more eloquent and precise. This is what made him initially stand out in the crowd of the other combatants. When asked in a recent interview on thegarv.com Ken didn’t attribute his fights that night or even the winner of that tournament, Royce Gracie for catapulting Ultimate Fighting to the success it gained.’I think what really set the standard was exactly what you just said, was when Teila Tuli’s teeth came flying out into the front row. I think if you would have had a fight, very first fight, and it was Royce Gracie and Art Jimmerson, Adidas Springt and they would have seen that first, people would have crapped all over the place. They would have just turned the TV off. Because that’s not what people were looking for. They were looking for exactly what happened, with the teeth flying. What happened first set the tone for MMA, what it is today. Whether or not Royce Gracie won was irrelevant, I believe. I think that because the first fight was so brutal and so real, that’s what set the stage for MMA.’Ken was also at that point making a name for himself in Japan fighting for a group called Pancrase. Pancrase became the next phase for MMA’s rise to popularity via pay-per-view promotions featuring Ken in the Main Events.Look for Part 2 of this article. Ken Shamrock Could be the ‘Gene Simmons’ of MMA Marketing Part II. Article Tags: Shamrock Could, Gene Simmons, Royce Gracie, Would Have

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