Poetry in Motion with DAN “The Beast” SEVERN
Standing next to Dan “The Beast” Severn during our first meeting at the 2005 Black Belt Hall of Fame Festival, where I took part in his training seminar, he appeared to be very broad and strong. A very imposing figure indeed, one that I would want no part of in a fight, even though he claims he’s never actually been in one!
However, upon first speaking to him, he listened with an easy smile that seemed almost too relaxed and gentle. He was genuinely friendly and was totally approachable and calm. As it turns out, he’s only ‘The Beast’ amidst his various competitions.
Dan Severn is a big man with a good sense of humor. He seems to truly enjoy a good laugh and is quick to exchange antidotes. He’s able to tell some funny stories about himself and his vast experiences on the wrestling mat with perfect timing. He jokingly says that he’s just a large farm boy from Michigan who happens to be a good wrestler.
Severn, a popular veteran Ultimate Fighting Challenge Champion, instantly became a crowd favorite after ably defeating noteworthy U.F.C. Championship contenders. Favorites like Royce Gracie, Tank Abbott and others all fell to ‘The Beast’. Even so, Severn says he is most proud of his long running amateur-wrestling career.
During that first encounter with Dan Severn at the Black Belt Hall of Fame Festival seminar, his wrestling prowess became instantly obvious. Watching big Dan moving around the wrestling mat with so much power and grace was like seeing ‘poetry in motion’, as he seamlessly transitioned from one useful grappling technique into another. His ability to break down and simplify certain techniques, while teaching them to you, made it easy to understand their practical applications.
This time we met when I attended a Saturday afternoon training seminar that Dan was conducting at the O.C. Dojo in beautiful San Clemente, California. Upon my arrival, the day’s event host Steve Ross, kindly reintroduced me to Severn. I was happy that Dan seemed to recognize me as we shook hands. After showing him some of the pictures I’d taken of him at a previous seminar I’d attended, he smiled in appreciation and thanked me for bringing them to him.
Dan Severn circled everyone up before we began the day’s training.
He sat down on the mat with all of us and candidly introduced himself. His trademark barbershop mustache twitched into a smile with a smirk as he spoke. After telling us a humorous story about a violent experience he once had while wrestling in Turkey, which made us all laugh out loud, Severn then had us all pair up to begin the training session. He chose a volunteer to physically demonstrate a series of Greco-Roman drills to warm us up with, which quickly raised our heart rates. Dan then trained us on some quick single and double leg Takedowns plus more drills that he explained would also help us with our conditioning. It was all fairly easy to follow thanks to Dan’s patient coaching and easy-going manner.
Severn proceeded to teach us some of his most favorite submissions and finishing holds, which we all enjoyed! The power of ‘The Beast’ was very impressive during our exchanges! After witnessing more of Dan’s abilities first hand, it was easy to see why he was so successful as a fighter in the U.F.C.!
Dan Severn is truly a seasoned wrestler and a major competitor…and a really nice guy too!
Dan Severn has since kept in touch with A.M.A.M. Magazine via email and his office has been keeping me up to date with the latest news from the Michigan Sports Training Camp in Coldwater
DAN ‘The Beast’ SEVERN: “A Little Bit About Me”
When you read my newsletters, you will learn a lot of inside information when it pertains to the various backstage workings of the many companies I have worked with, or worked for. I will give my honest opinion on the current status of Mixed Martial Arts and their major companies, or even the two pro wrestling companies that are at the top of the market today. This first newsletter is toned down a bit, and I will leave my rants for the exclusive members in the weeks to come.
Let’s flash back to the past…1994. The Ultimate Fighting Championships have begun pairing two men inside an octagon shaped metal cage with only two rules to abide by: 1) Do not bite your opponent & 2) No eye gouging.
Anything else you can possibly think of was good to go, and I mean anything. There was no weight classes, no time periods, and no gloves, only bare-knuckled action! Did I forget to say that this was an 8-man tournament? You had to fight three different men in one night, thus the era of No Holds-Barred was etched in stone.
The titles were different at that time. They did not have specific weight classes, but rather Tournament belts and the Super Fight title. During this time period I was named the ONLY Triple Crown Winner…at U.F.C. 5 ‘Return of the Beast’, I defeated three men to gain the Championship Belt that night. I was also the victor at the first Ultimate-Ultimate in ’96, where I competed against champions and runner-ups. The third Championship Belt I won was at the Super Fight Championship, when I defeated ‘The Worlds Most Dangerous Man’ Ken Shamrock at U.F.C. # 9.
Now let’s flash to the future…the eve of 2006, 12 years after I began my fighting career. Yes, I still enter steel cages (Coined politically as Mixed- Martial Arts), and I also continue to enter the ‘squared-circle’ as a professional wrestler. So at the age of 47, this means that I still compete and will continue to compete alongside commitments for MMA seminars, appearances, speaking engagements, etc. all around the world. Competition is what I love and…most of the time it loves me back!
I’m also the Head Instructor of my “Sports Center” (Michigan Sports Camps) in Coldwater, Michigan. This is a training facility where you can learn MMA, Pro Wrestling, Boxing, Kickboxing, Amateur Wrestling, and more. It is a 10,000 sq. foot building with two mat rooms, a heavy bag room, full weight-lifting, two rings (16x16 & 20x20), two dorms that holds up to 40 people at once, a full cafeteria and more. We have an array of students who want to learn what it takes to go to the top in either the fighting world or pro wrestling business.
Not everything I do can be summed up in competition. I also visit schools, groups, etc. and talk about the importance of education, making the right choices, health and fitness tips and so on. I have taken these same skills and the determination that made me world renown in the U.F.C. and aimed it in the direction of Law Enforcement Training.
I have developed a “Ground Defenses & Escapes” program where I together with training coordinators of police departments around the U.S. and teach them how to use my program, so they may teach their departments. I like to call this transition, “Fist to Cuffs”. Some questions, I get asked all the time are…who starts a fight career at the age of 36? What possessed Dan Severn to start an Amateur Wrestling career in the first place? Why was Dan Severn criticized for being a Professional Wrestler? Learn the truth about me…and the man they refer to as, ‘The Beast’, by signing up for my weekly newsletter. Also, I encourage feedback, so when you happen to read my newsletters, and you have any questions or comments, please email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know what you want to hear about? I will personally respond to you ASAP, but I do get hundreds of emails a day, so please be patient.
All the best, from the Beast, Dan Severn