At the age of 30, New Zealand’s Brad “Quake” Riddell has a wealth of experience gained from a combat sports career that has seen him compete professionally across MMA, kickboxing, Muay Thai and boxing.
The UFC lightweight is a part of the acclaimed team at City Kickboxing in Auckland, and has also served as a striking coach at Tiger Muay Thai, where he has helped sharpen the skills of a host of fellow professional fighters competing on the world stage.
Now, ahead of his upcoming clash with Brazil’s Renato Moicano at UFC 281 on November 12, Riddell has shared some valuable personal insight into his own career as he revealed five things he wish he’d done better in the formative years of his combat sports career.
Riddell shared his advice via an Instagram slideshow as he took his followers through “5 things I could’ve done better as a young fighter.” Check them out below.
1. Invest in yourself
“I should’ve spent money on anything to enhance and prolong my fight career: recovery, specialists, expertise. Instead, I spent my money on dump s**t like shoes, alcohol, and other material items that depreciated (cars, a gold chain, the latest phone).”
2. Find a hobby
“Like many of you, martial arts was and still is a hobby. I dreamt of it being a career, so training became all-consuming. When interviewed, I was once asked what my hobbies outside of fighting were, and I realised I didn’t have any.”
3. Learn from other martial arts
“This seems obvious for an MMA fighter, but even 10 years ago, as a Muay Thai fighter with no intention of doing MMA, I could have had better striking by learning from other specialists in TKD or boxing. This became apparent when I worked with my friend @vanroonmartialarts. I recommend learning as much as you can early on and maintaining a healthy curiosity, while you have more time, energy, and are more easily able to pick up new movements.”
4. Travel more
“Traveling has been the best education I’ve received. I’ve met amazing people, experienced new cultures, and gained a broader view of the world around me. Most of all, I learned about the world within me. I moved to Thailand at 18 and learned how to train myself because I was forced to. I took on a coaching role early on when I barely knew how to teach.
“Travel to become a better fighter, but also travel to live a full life. You never know who you will meet and what you can learn from them.”
5. Know when to listen to others and when to trust yourself
“(Honestly, I’ve sucked at both at any given moment in time. Let me explain…)
“In hindsight, there have been times when I should have taken advice from others and didn’t, but there have also been times where I should have listened to my instincts.
“I think the ability to discern between the two comes from foremost, having an open mind; and next, having a process by which you can filter information for credibility and relevance.
“Doing steps 1-4 listed previously helps to develop both an open mind and a better filtering process, which will help with knowing what information to apply and what to discard.
“Truly knowing yourself is a lifelong journey. I’m constantly discovering new things about myself, and they’ve come with each new EXPERIENCE.”