FRISCO, TX, December 10, 2013 – Chris “The Westside Strangler” Brennan is a Compton, California native who has made Texas his home and martial arts his life. The self-confessed black sheep is the second oldest of four boys who didn’t come into his own until “well into his adult years.” Through hard work and dedication Brennan has managed to carve out a name for himself both as an accomplished MMA fighter and as a burgeoning businessman and coach.
Chris Brennan is the owner and head instructor of the NG (Next Generation) academies headquartered in Frisco, Texas. Since settling in the Lone Star State he has assembled a top-notch crew of instructors in order to bring what he feels is the highest level of martial arts training around. In the brief time that he’s been fully operational people have started to take notice and Brennan and crew have already begun to make a name for themselves in the local competition circuit and they are getting ready to do even bigger things in the coming years.
TXMMA caught up with Coach Brennan fresh off winning a 2013 IBJJF World Title in no-gi grappling.
Here is the part two of our Chris Brennan interview.
TXMMA Interview Part Two – Chris Brennan (Next Generation)
TXMMA: What are some of the differences between competing in MMA vs. BJJ for you? Which do you enjoy more and why?
Chris Brennan: Well I can say I get more nervous for BJJ tournament than I do for MMA fights. I think the reason might be because I am a Jiu-Jitsu guy and that’s what I’m supposed to be good at. Obviously I’m supposed to be good at MMA as well but I’m a Jiu-Jitsu guy since day one. My Jiu-Jitsu has always been MMA oriented in the fact that I’m always assuming the guy can be punching me so I don’t do a lot of reaching under the legs and stuff from guard. I enjoyed fighting more I guess because I am a fighter at heart. I was doing it before the UFC came around, and then I’ve done it for the 20 years the UFC has been here, and through my schools I’ll continue to do it till I can’t.
TXMMA: Speaking of competing, what recent medals or titles have you won?
Chris Brennan: Well I went to California a few weeks ago and won the Black Belt division at the IBJJF Worlds. It was a lot of fun and I won the finals with a flying Armbar.
TXMMA: It is fair to say your prime fighting days are behind you, you are a family man, a very busy coach, a father of some very talented grapplers in their own right so where does the drive to win another world championship come from?
Chris Brennan: Well my drive now definitely comes from my kids. My kids have only been training 2 years and they have accomplished 10 times as much as I ever have in BJJ. They have won everything they have entered including the Kids Worlds this last summer. I’m so excited for their future and what they may end up doing in the sport.
TXMMA: Could you share what your diet and training was like to prepare for worlds?
Chris Brennan: I was actually walking a few pounds under the max weight of my division so I was pretty small compared to the other guys. As far as training goes I just upped the amount of rolling I did and tried to roll with the higher ranked guys to stay sharp and then Josh Bosquez helped me a lot as always. I’ve never lost at anything with him in my corner.
TXMMA: What advice would you give to martial artists in their 30s or older who feel like they still have something left in the tank and want to compete?
Chris Brennan: I say go for it. If you are healthy enough then there’s nothing that should stop you. There are so many divisions now for people to compete in, it makes it really easy.
TXMMA: Let’s talk about Next Gen Frisco a little. When and why did you move to Texas?
Chris Brennan: I’ve been here about 8 years. I came out here with my family and we ended up buying a home the 2nd day we got here but didn’t open a school till 2 years ago. I had a few private deals set up so I wasn’t pushed to get the school going to quickly.
TXMMA: Getting Master Thong to handle the striking of your academy was a major score, between his standing and your ground coaching it looks like you will be producing some well-rounded fighters, can you tell us some of your guys and girls that we should look out for in the future?
Chris Brennan: Ya, Master Thong was a pretty good addition. As far as fighters go I have been very lucky to put together a team of great guys and one girl so far. Matt Lozano just fought and won in Legacy fights in probably the best fight and sub of the night against an undefeated 5-0 guy. Cody Walker just fought and won in XKO and Branden Seyler fought to a draw that same night. These guys are putting in the work and its showing. These guys along with Phat Chau, Bill Williams, Austin Broussard, Melissa Sarreal, Josh Gibson, Ian Hudgens, Greg Grigar, and Young Yu. At the moment that’s our whole team.
TXMMA: Speaking of Master Thong, does he wear the aviator sunglasses when he holds pads?
Chris Brennan: Haha no he doesn’t. Not very often anyway. <laughs>
TXMMA: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Chris Brennan: My brothers, my kids, and I will be launching an instructional video website this next month www.brennanbrosjj.com and it’s going to be pretty awesome. It will have new techniques daily, it will have a kids’ corner where my kids will teach techniques for other kids to learn from them and see how they win. It will have all out tournament footage, behind the scenes training footage and soon my night classes will stream live every night as well. It’s going to be very cool.
TXMMA: Chris it was definitely our pleasure to catch up with you so thanks for your time.