A Neighborly Tiger Shark
Dennis Hallman departed the Seattle-based Tiger Sharks, the team was
quick to snap up Bristol Marunde to fill the vacant middleweight spot.
And when this Alaskan-born fighter isn’t busy training at the gym,
he’s probably working hard as a salesman selling properties, or
putting his MMA skills to practice protecting residents in his own
at the time of this interview, Bristol is finishing off some business at
the real estate office before getting ready for his next workout.
“I’m going to train tonight. I’ll only be working out once today
because I lifted yesterday, so I gave my body a little bit of a rest
this morning,” says Marunde.
in Fairbanks, Alaska, Bristol has spent most of his life in Washington,
but regularly heads back up north. “Both sets of my grandparents moved
up to Alaska to settle on homestead land, and my family became a
commercial fishing family. My parents’ families grew up in a really
small town called Tok. I moved to Washington when I was little, and I
used to go to Alaska in the summers to commercial fish.”
adopting Washington State as his home base, Bristol later took up
wrestling at about 10 years of age. “My mom tells me that I came up to
her one day and said I wanted to start wrestling, and she kinda got
caught off guard and said okay. I got it into my head that I wanted to
start wrestling. I think I’ve just been drawn to these combat sports
ever since I was little.”
a young man, Bristol was then drawn by the force of caged combat after
seeing MMA events on television, and decided it was for him. “I was in
college, and like anybody who has fought today, they’ve seen the
fighting on p-p-v TV. When I saw it I was blown away. I couldn’t
imagine someone stepping in a cage with another person and fighting
until one of them could no longer fight. I couldn’t believe anybody
would do that.
then I knew that I could go in there and smash somebody: It was just the
confidence that I had. I wanted to prove to everyone and to myself that
I could do that. It was kinda out of respect for the toughness of the
guys who were doing it, and I knew I could be that tough.”
can you tell us about the incident when you caught the rapist, please?
that was pretty interesting. To me it was a cool thing because of all
the training that I’d done, all the preparation for fighting. The
boxing and jiu jitsu had given me a confidence that I normally
wouldn’t have had. One night I was getting ready for bed and I heard
some terrible screams from my next-door neighbor. Through the wall, I
could hear the yelling for help, so I went outside and saw a person run
past me in the dark. My neighbor was lying on her kitchen floor saying
somebody was in her house.
don’t know what possessed me to, but I took off after him, and ran him
down half a mile away. He was still running in the dark when I tackled
him. He got up and faced me, ready to fight. I told him he wasn’t
going anywhere, and he denied attacking my neighbor, then stepped in at
me. With all the training I just automatically knew what to do: I used
my kicks and wrestling to subdue him until the police came along and
the Mayor of Seattle and the Chief of Police presented me with an
outstanding citizen award. It was kinda funny. It wasn’t that I wanted
to beat somebody up, it was that all my training gave me the confidence
to assist an innocent victim and to bring a bad person to justice.”
sure your neighbor is a fan of the Tiger Sharks. How did you come to be
in the team?
live in the area and I just started training at the gym, and when Dennis
Hallman moved on, I took over the spot – I was the next guy in line. I
showed my skills while working out with the guys and they liked what
are your main training partners?
Andy is my main training partner and we train at West Coast Fitness gym
in Renton, Washington.”
“He’s a fun guy. He works at a bar and he’s a real outgoing guy: He’s fun to have on the team.”
Marunde (right) vs. Matt Horwich
of the Tiger Sharks are now based in Seattle, aren’t they?
except Allan Goes lives in California. He comes up every couple of weeks
and works out with us.”
are your main weapons in a fight?
first two weapons are: I’m really strong – I do a lot of weight
training. So that and my wrestling skills, I think, are my two biggest
strengths. My older brother, Jesse, is a World’s Strongest Man competitor.
He got second in the 2005 WSM and we’re constantly going over
weightlifting, so I have a pretty strong weightlifting background.”
you do the weights, do you mainly concentrate on weightlifting
techniques or powerlifting techniques?
do a lot of Olympic lifting and a lot of exercises that I’ve made up
myself for multiple body-part workouts: I don’t do your typical
sit-down-on-a-bench exercises – I do powercleans, deadlifts…
I like kettlebell training, which is for functional strength.”
Tiger Sharks take on the Red Bears on April 7. What are you expecting
from Chris Albandia?
didn’t even know who I was fighting. That’s the first I’ve heard
about it. My focus is building myself: Anybody can throw a punch,
anybody can defend a takedown: It’s about preparing myself for the
fight and worrying about him later.”
your preparation for a fight is more a generic one where you’re
prepared for anybody regardless of their background?
I think that’s important, because if I get my mind set on one aspect
of a fighter and he comes out and has a completely different game, then
I don’t want that to affect my game at all. For instance, if everyone
says, ‘Oh, he’s a stand-up fighter’, and all you think about is
his coming out punching, and then he comes out and shoots a really good
takedown, what is that for a good preparation?”
you get to spar with Maurice in training?
I sparred with Maurice last night – we’re working on kickboxing. I
feel my skills in stand-up or on the ground are good enough to go with
anyone. Right now it’s more important for me to be prepared mentally,
and to be focused and not be distracted by all the distractions that are
out there for young men.”
you going to mention her name here or not?
is there anything you’d like to add?
think fighting is a lot like life: You have to work hard and you have to
have fun with it. If you’re not having fun, you won’t be successful.
And you have to learn to enjoy the whole process, and cope with the
losses and enjoy the wins. That’s kinda where I’m at: I’ve had
some losses lately and I hate losing. But I’m taking it with a grain
of salt, and saying, ‘Hey, I messed up and maybe I wasn’t as focused
as I could have been.’ Now I’m back training: I’ve been working
hard and let’s bring it on; let’s have another fight because this is
what we love to do.”
“None at the moment, but I’m definitely interested in talking to potential sponsors.”
Bristol Marunde’s stats:
of birth: 20 April ’82
For more on Bristol Marunde: www.ifl.tv.