Introductions

So I suppose for the first post I should tell you a little about who I am…

My name is Courtney and I’m a Mass Communications major at Wright State (please, no “wright state, wrong college” jokes) University in Dayton, Ohio.  I’ve created this blog as an outlet for my writing, a way to keep myself on track for my ultimate goal…to be an MMA journalist.

Why MMA journalist?  I’ve always wanted to be a journalist (except for that brief stint in 5th grade when I wanted to be an Egyptian archaeologist, but I digress) It’s only been in the last few years that that path became a little more narrow.  Sure, I would be content reporting on car crashes on I-675 or how much everyone loves Bill’s Donuts but with print newspapers going the way of the dodo, I realized that it would be much harder to get that job.

In 2009, I started working at Dayton Mixed Martial Arts Academy more or less as a receptionist; answering phone calls, emails, and helping people who had questions about the gym.  Mike Patt , gym owner and long time BFF of my dad, eventually convinced me to try out Muay Thai – I loved it.  I trained at the gym for about a year and a half before school, my sorority (because yeah, I’m also a part of one of those) two jobs…life…got in the way and I dropped the gym. Fast forward two years later, I am back in the gym answering phone calls and emails but I am now training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ( for about 2-3 months now) and writing about all things local MMA: fighter interviews, gym profiles, pre/post-fight press releases, play-by-play analyses.  I have done freelance work for GatewayMMA.com and Fightwire.net and am in the process of working with another MMA website.

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So why should anyone care what a girl, not even a girl fighter, has to say about MMA?

Fact: I have never trained in MMA. (I DID however beat up this white trash girl at the bus stop after school…when I was like 10. Street cred?)  However, my time in the gym has given me a few things: I’ve been able to see how guys train, talk to them about what they’re feeling/thinking before fights, what they want out of their gyms and training partners.  I’ve seen the behind the scenes stuff of running a gym or a fight promotion.  Nine times out of 10, if I’m watching a fight it’s with a group of fighters…I’m not the baddest chick in five counties, but I know enough to write about it pretty well.

So what kind of things do we have to look forward to here:
I plan on attending the AGC in Columbus (strictly as a spectator) on March 1 and the Arnold Classic the next day.

If you’ve come across this blog by chance (give me a chance – this is my first blog) feel free to give me any suggestions on posts, content, or things you’d like to see or know more about.   If you’re here because you know me – still give me a chance – let me know what I’m screwing up or what you want me to write about.

So keep coming back for updates on my training, as well as martial arts/fitness topics both in Dayton and nationally.

Follow me on Twitter: @CourtneyHowrad and on Instagram: CourtneyHowrad

#Fisticuffs for relevant social media posts

Afterthoughts:
After writing this post I have everyone and their brother telling me I will never make a living as an MMA journalist – I know this! I’m not so naive as to think that this is a reasonable Plan A, and it’s not.  I want to be a journalist, write news people want to read, but I know there is a market for MMA reporting and wherever I DO end up, I want to be the go-to person for that.  All of the negativity recently surrounding my career choices is really discouraging – I don’t appreciate the lack of confidence or support, but I am not relying on anyone else to make a way for me, no one has before so I’ll continue to do it myself and be PROUD for that.

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12 thoughts on “Introductions

  1. Allow me this wordplay, i’m sure you’ve heard it before…If you’re studying journalism at Wright College, they should call it…”Write State College”. hah…anyway, best of luck in your career. A good focused plan, and you’ll do well because you seem to have a knack for making your own opportunities. Two smart people side by side, the winner will be the one who “puts themselves out there” better.

  2. I’ll be at the AGC with some students. Dustin does a good job with the tournaments.

    Keep posting. From a my perspective I’m interested in the experiences of a newcomer to BJJ. The BJJ/MMA world is so much different than when I started. The people coming into the sport now face a whole different culture and its fun to see people share their experiences as they happen.

    • I am hoping that the Arnold’s being the same weekend won’t diminish the turn out – I don’t think it will though. I’m excited to learn more and be able to share that experience with people, especially people who think that BJJ is intimidating – which it is, it’s just about giving it a chance. How long have you been training/teaching?

      • It’s tough to say. Years ago the Arnold Classic was the biggest Bjj tourney this side of the Mississippi. Used to award 3k to no gi champions. You’d also see some of the biggest names in the sport. It was awesome.

        Why do you think people find Bjj intimidating?

        I’ve been training Bjj since 2003 and teaching full time since 2009.

      • It’s a male dominated sport, so for women I can understand being hesitant. it’s awkward, compromising positions to be in with anyone, especially a sweaty man. You get your hair pulled on and out, Gi burn, bruises… Things that someone who loves Zumba aren’t really ready for lol and I know from the guys I’ve spoken too they say similar things. It’s an intense sport and not as mainstream as football or basketball. I think if people (male or female) would take the first step to just get ON the mat, they’d love it like everyone else.

  3. I’ll agree with that. I mean it’s strange just being that close to someone that isn’t your partner. I mean we have our “bubble” around us almost all the time when we are in public. It’s also a little strange when you step back and think about all the stuff you put yourself through for a recreational sport.

    Last question, I feel like this is taking over your “about you” page. What got you interested in doing BJJ? I know you wrote that you work at a gym and did Muay Thai, but what made you take the leap into the awkwardness of BJJ?

  4. The leap of awkwardness… I like that lol.

    I was intrigued! I understood Muay Thia – punch, kick, knee – But BJJ was like a whole other world to me. The more I watched the guys roll and listened to the obsess over some sweep or transition, the more I wanted to be a part of it. My biggest problem, and I still struggle with it, is that I know so many guys who train at the gym that I expect more from myself than I’m capable of because I’ve only been training for…3-4 months? But I’m also using that as motivation to learn to CRUSH people! lol.

  5. You actually may eventually be able to make it full-time as an MMA journalist. It’s hard, though. Start now. Look up any websites that cover local/regional MMA around you and offer to write something for them. It won’t pay, but those sites are always looking for help, and it will give you experience. You may even get to have media access to local fights, which is pretty cool.

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