Veterans United Network’s Sarah Hill hosted a Google+ hangout with UFC fighter and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Brian Stann.
Check out the highlight reels below to hear Stann discuss his life as a professional mixed martial artist and his reflections on being a Marine.
Sarah Hill: “Let’s talk a little bit about Hire Heroes for people who aren’t familiar with that.
Brian Stann: For me, it was very difficult to leave the military. The opportunity to continue helping veterans , (because Hire Heroes helps veterans find jobs and transition out of the military), for me was very important.
Levi Newman: Transitioning out of the military is a difficult thing for everybody. What do you think for today’s veteran’s is the hardest part to transition?
Stann: When you’re in the military, you are bred as a team first person. You have to then write a resume and then join and go interview for a job and say “I”. Communicating your skills to a civilian employer sometimes can be very difficult. My first resume probably would have gotten me a job as a mercenary or an assassin.
Newman: Do you at times miss being in the military?
Stann: It’s going to be weird saying this, but life is a little bit simpler when you’re in the military. You know exactly where you’re going and what you’re doing all the time. But, there is one thing I can say — is that as much as I love the military and as much as I miss the military, there’s nothing more in this life that I love more than my family. They are my world. I could care less about the fame or the attention I get as an UFC fighter. It allows me to represent the men and women who have served this country. It allows for me to provide for my family and ultimately come home, lay around on the living room floor and watch Dora the Explorer with my daughters.
Hill: In 2009, you were the guest of honor at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball. What did it mean to you to be the guest of honor at the Marine Corps most treasured event?
Stann: I don’t know if I’ve given a speech in front of that many people before in my life, I mean it was incredible. And I was actually very lucky and got to speak last year at Walter Reed. The minute I got the microphone, I got emotional. I’m not impressed with actors and actresses, I don’t look up to athletes and I don’t get excited to meet politicians… you know, if you want to see me get all fanny and wanting autographs and pictures, put me in front of a bunch of combat veterans and I’m going to want to hang out all day like a kid who goes to an NFL game. Those are my heroes.
Hill: In a recent fight, in the first round, instead of continuing when you knocked out this person – you stopped because you didn’t want to inflict anymore damage to your opponent. True?
Stann: No, I was on top of him and I hit him with a left hand and I felt his legs go limp. So I looked at the referee, who didn’t stop the fight yet, to tell him “Look, hey, this fight is over.” I never go into the octagon to hurt my opponent, I go in to win.
Viewer: What kind of martial arts did you study and did you incorporate boxing or Muay Thai?
Stann: I only started with Muay Thai just because I had an instructor who was a Muay Thai instructor. I quickly looked out and sought out Bartitsu jiu-jitsu instructors. I also developed and started to work on my boxing skills. The mixed martial arts community as a whole started to recognize that wrestling was also a very important art and needed to be studied.
Hill: Talk a little bit about some of the tools, Capt. Stann, that you use to train.
I’ll start with Monday. On Monday morning, I’ll train pure wrestling. And Monday evening, I’ll train purely striking. Tuesdays, we’ll do sparring, both kickboxing and MMA. Tuesday night, I’ll do strength and conditioning (which is my weights) and again at Tuesday night I’ll do pure Bartitsu jiu-jitsu training. I’ll take that same cycle on Monday and Tuesday and basically repeat it. Pretty much what you have is a 6 day training week.
Newman: You mentioned earlier that Bisbing had said he was fighting when you were still in the Marines and he said it in less than cordial terms. Do you ever, especially when you’re getting into the octagon, do you ever remember and be like “Alright, I remember when you said this the other day…”
Stann: The beauty is, I can laugh that off and consider the source. Well, that source is ignorant…. But! I also get the chance to punch him in the face Saturday… so don’t I work in a great industry?