by Tony Colin Green (2005-12-14)
Adrian “The Hunter” Pang is a very skilled well-rounded fighter who has tested himself at the highest level in many fighting disciplines. Adrian grew up amongst the tribal natives in Papua New Guinea quickly learning the value of self-defence in this primitive, dangerous land for a young boy of mixed Asian/European descent.
Because of his willingness to fearlessly defend himself and his family against any odds, he was given as a young boy the nickname ‘man bilong pait’, which means Warrior or Man That Likes to Fight in Pupua New Guinea’s native tongue.He carries a permanent reminder of the savageness of the conflicts he was involved in as a boy with the scarring from a spear wound running the length of his forearm.
Starting his Martial Arts Training in Chow GarTong Long Kung Fu under Sifu Paul Brennan Adrian has developed into a very technical but explosive fighter with a face that shows no pain or weakness. He has had brutal wins in MMA, Muay-thai and boxing. With Adrian’s well-sharpened hands and excellent grappling skills, he has made a huge impact in the 65kg division winning the Warriors Realm Australian Light Weight Title and recently defeating a top Japanese Pancrase fighter. Adrian is very humble and is an exciting fighter that can quickly adapt to any situation he encounters whilst doing battle in the MMA arena. No weakness is his greatest strength. A crowd favourite with the looks to match his ability, he is a drawcard on any fight show. Expect big thing Internationally for The Hunter in the future.
What does your daily/weekly training routine involve over the weeks preceding a fight? (be as specific as you can: eg. Mondays, run 10km at 6am, 2 hours boxing and wrestling at 12pm, etc. etc.)
Mon to Sat:
· 5.30 a.m. 3 km run + 40min weight session
· Work (cabinet making business – All Type Cabinets Stafford)
· 6 pm-8pm- Generally 1 session of wrestling, 2 sessions muaythai, 3 sessions of submission fighting. Per week.
Is it a cycle of building up then tapering and resting? How does this work?
Generally the intensity picks up in the last 6 weeks before a fight as we train very hard year round. In the last 6 to 8 weeks before a fight our fitness and conditioning is the main focus which gradually intensifies up to about a few days out and we back off a little to allow our bodies to recover. Whoever in our team is fighting in an event becomes our main focus and we all combine to make him ready for his fight. We also start to do specific mma fight training to ensure all facets of our fight game flow.
Do you concentrate on conditioning/fitness, then technique, etc. at different times during the lead-up, or is it a steady mix of all the required elements?
All the required elements are combined but more so the fitness/conditioning and mma specific training. Our techniques have been practiced and improved constantly between fights but my trainer Dan Higgins certainly lets us know if we become lazy or sloppy in our techniques coming into a fight. Sloppy techniques get you beaten.
Give some examples of some of your favourite conditioning drills/exercises
I really wouldn’t claim any as favourites because they are so tuff that at the time you dread doing them, so I guess the question is which are most beneficial. Dan Higgins and Tony Green have combined their knowledge in this department to put together some awesome workouts. A lot of the basic Olympic lifts like squats, dead lifts and clean and press combined with high intensity bodyweight repetition work give us a solid base of strength and muscular endurance. We also do a lot of static contraction training and core body strength movements.
Is your training focus different depending on your opponent? If so, how?
We certainly concentrate on an area that we believe may have to be strengthened for a particular opponent but also develop our own game plan to ensure we are fighting to our strengths. I like to concentrate on everything to ensure all my weapons are up to scratch no matter where the fight goes as MMA can be very difficult to stick to fighting in any one particular style. This is where being able to adapt your fighting style to any scenario becomes very important. If you go out there with the outlook that you will not go to ground and train specifically to stand and fight not only will you be unprepared physically if it does hit the ground but mentally you will not be able to adapt quickly enough to recover.
How does it affect you if you don’t stick to the plan, or take a fight on short notice? (Are there any incidents you can refer to as evidence of this)?
Taking a fight on short notice can be a big mistake. Generally when we are approached to fight on short notice we weight up the fors and againsts. There are many considerations such as your opponent’s ability, the impact a win or loss may have on your career. I fought Steve Gillinder on short notice in Australias Shooto NHB last year and although I won the fight by submission I was very fatigued. My team and I have also had to pass up the opportunity to fight in Japan as the fight was too short notice and when I finally fight over there I want to ensure that the Japanese see me at my best. They can be a little unforgiving in that if you do not perform well you may never fight in Japan again.
What element of training is the most crucial to a successful fight, and why?
Apart from technique and ability your conditioning would have to be the most important aspect of your preparation. Someone once said that conditioning is your greatest hold and I think this is very true. You can have all the skill and heart in the world but if your body cannot perform as you want it to due to poor cardio it is very likely that you will be defeated.Also mental preparation and the courage to face your fears head on is important. Courage is not a matter of if you feel fear or uncertainty before a fight but how you deal with it.
How do you recover post-fight, and what is your process for healing injuries and resuming a training schedule?
I usually have a full week or so off training completely and enjoy the time to relax and maybe get away somewhere where the rigours of training wouldn’t usually allow. Enjoy some nice food if my diet was strict to cut weight leading into an event, but generally just some time to allow your mind to get away from the stress of competition. This also allows some of your niggling injuries some time to recover as most fighters including myself train around minor injuries during your prefight preparation.
Do you have to balance your schedule around work/family, etc.?
I am very busy as I run my own cabinet making business All Type Cabinets in Stafford Brisbane. So my lifestyle is extremely busy combining work and training. I am very lucky to have a very understanding and supportive girlfriend. It makes a huge difference when your partner is helping you achieve your goals, I don’t think I could train and fight as hard as I do without her support.
Do you follow a specific diet, and does this change as a fight comes closer?
In the last 12 months I have been a lot stricter and more formatted with my eating and supplementation. With the help of my teams manager and strength and conditioning trainer Tony Green I have gained a better understanding of the requirements that my body has to train at the high intensity that I place myself under. Also I have started to focus more on my resistance training and have put on a few kilos of muscle. This in turn requires me to be a lot stricter when dieting down to my fight weight of 65kg. No more Macas and coke like I used to eat even leading up to fights. My diet is now balanced with good quality protein and carbohydrates and added health fats such as fish oil. With the support of our team’s sponsors such as Redback Supplements and Go Fast energy drinks I am lucky enough to be able to enjoy the best in Sports Supplementation that has made a huge difference to my recovery and performance.
Are there specific things you do to prepare mentally for a fight?
Our team has a pre-fight format that we pretty much stick to before every fight. We share a bond and understanding that being together before our fights pretty much mentally prepares us for anything.