Brian “the Fury” Johnston is a fighter who made a name for himself in the early Ultimate Fighting Championships and later on in the Japanese Pro Wrestling Circuits. Brian “the Fury” Johnston is a fighter who made a name for himself in the early Ultimate Fighting Championships and later on in the Japanese Pro Wrestling Circuits. (When asked about some of his opponents such as Don Frye and Ken Shamrock, he cheerfully replies, “they kicked my ass.”) His in ring career was cut short however at the age of 32 from an acute stroke at the brain stem. While at one point the condition was life threatening and he was, three years later and much struggles and courage and hard work later he has made and continues to make a remarkable comeback.
You can read the full story online at Brian’s website http://brianjohnstononline.com
Brian, who was well known and liked in the Martial Arts Community even before his illness, continues to be active, running his clothing company, Team Pain, INC and being involved in the promotion of events both in Japan and with the tournament we gathered for, on this slightly overcast day in Capitola (just a town over from Santa Cruz): the Pain Inc Regional Championships.
About 150 competitors entered the Pain Inc Tournament, and what’s more many of Nor Cal’s elite showed up in support of the event including head referee Dave Camarillo, Garth “Still Famous”Taylor, David Terrell, Greg Glassman from Crossfit, Joao Pireni, Javier Mendez from American Kickboxing Academy, and many others.
The day began with the children’s division, and per usual they provided many of the highlights of the day. If you’re ever nervous about your own match up, I highly recommend showing up a little early to watch the children’s division, as the youngsters often show the heart, spirit, and enthusiasm (not to mention skill and talent) that is what competition is supposed to be all about. Especially notable was David Terrell’s kids program, who I’ve dubbed Terrell’s Tiny Terrors, as they looked like miniature versions of himself, displaying an incredibly wide variety of takedowns and submissions.
The Pro Division was an open weight event where the winner would take the $500 prize. The finals saw Jon “Captain Asskick” Fitch (the nickname he was given by several spectators) defeating Gilbert “Tequila” Melendez. Previous to this Fitch had what was easily the fight of the day against Jake Shields where he won by virtue of his powerful takedowns, although Shields fired off submission attempt after submission attempt, more than a few which looked like they were going to end the match. Both Fitch and Shields are names to watch for the future for MMA competitions, as Fitch most recently defeated Shonie Carter, where as Shields has a victory against the legendary Hayato Sakurai.
The overall team winner was Dave Terrell’s school, who at a young age has obviously not only shown great promise as a sub grappling and MMA competitor, but apparently as an instructor as well. It was a great day of competition and camaraderie, and for an inaugural tournament ran incredibly smoothly.