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MARTIAL DIRECT- The Directory of Martial Arts Schools & Instructors

Kirik Jenness


(Page 2)

[Martial Direct] You have one of the most popular martial arts sites on the web. I think I read that you have somewhere around 100,000 hits a week? How did this all come about?

[Kirik Jenness] We get about 20,000,000 page impressions per week.

The key to the page is the generation of compelling content by the members themselves. We started off trying to offer all these things ourselves, like the Technique of the Week, but we also tried to stay loose, and drive the page in the direction it most wanted to go. After a while it became apparent that no one was that much interested in those specific things that we had to say or display, but instead were interested in what everyone else had to say.

So we ran with that.

[MD] Boy, was I way off! 20,000,000 page impressions! About how many visitors does that translate to and is most of the traffic on your forums?

[KJ] I think we get about 15,000 uniques a day. Lots more if there is a big show. Average person stays over 20 minutes. 30% come back more than once. The Forums are by far the most popular aspect of the page.

[MD] I've seen several well-known MMA competitors that post on your Underground Forum, such as Mario Sperry, Tito Ortiz, and Royce Gracie. Can you name some others who've posted there or who regularly post there?

[KJ] I am leaving out a ton, but the list includes Ken Shamrock, Bas Rutten, Becki Levi, Dan Severn, Ron Waterman, Jeremy Horn, Tito Ortiz, Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Pat Miletich, Jens Pulver, Matt Hughes, Renzo Gracie, Tim Lajcik, Gary Myers, Eugene Jackson, Evan Tanner, Travis Fulton, Henry Matamoros, Tra Telligman, Pete Williams, Mikey Burnett, Thomas Denny, Din Thomas, Tom Erikson, Frank Trigg, Fabiano Iha, Ian Freeman, Guy Mezger, Mark Schultz, Stephen Quadros, Chris Brennan, Zee Vjesalicu, Gilbert Yvel, John Dixson, Andy Anderson, Josh Barnett, John Lober, Dexter Casey, Elvis Sinosic, Bruce Buffer, Ryan Bow.

[MD] What is it that brings these popular artists to your site?

[KJ] MMA has the greatest athletes of any sport I have any familiarity with what so ever. The top cats in MMA are humble and bright, and appreciate the feedback from the fans, and vice versa.

A problem is Net muscles, which are just like beer muscles. Every guy knows someone who gets liquored up and thinks he can suddenly handle all kinds of trouble. If you don't know anyone like that, it is probably because you are him! (laughs)

Same thing on the Net. There is a certain type of dork that forgets all those rules your mom and teachers taught you in 2nd grade, about not being an idiot.

The first guy who figures out how to slap someone through a screen gets a free subscription to Maxim from me.

[MD] Without implying any favoritism, of course, who would you consider your favorite MMA athlete, and why?

[KJ] The guy I consider the role model for the sport is Pat Miletich. He became a great world champion, and I believe an even greater trainer still, without a single break. He did it all.

I don't think he was an exceptional athlete. Had no world class capabilities in another sport. He did not come from an area with an abundance of established successful trainers. He went out and found them. He didn't have a large pool of successful fighters in his area that migrated to his school. He made them.

And he remains a nice guy, willing to help out the sport anyway he can.

[MD] Is running your full-time job?

[KJ] My day job is running a health club I co-own.

[MD] Do you teach martial arts at your health club?

[KJ] With the help of the best guys in the class, I run a modest MMA program, with three classes a week. There are maybe 15 people all told. I also teach karate to kids. About the same number.

[MD] You've written a book called The Fighter's Notebook. Here are some statements from famous MMA fighters you have on your website:

"The Fighter's Notebook has changed the way I fight!"
(Jens Pulver - Current UFC LW Champion)

"This book is a must for anyone wanting to compete in MMA."
(Pat Miletich - Former UFC MW Champion)

"The Notebook is essential to a fighter's success at any level."
(Din Thomas - Current UFC LW contender)

Those are pretty powerful acknowledgements. Can you tell us more about this book and how it came about?

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