This is the edifying tale of one man’s journey through the world of martial arts. The tale starts with Mr. Shahin Abdullah Mady traveling to Michigan from North Lebanon in the 1900, then moving vigorously until he wounded up in Ontario, were he established a hotel bar and grocery store, eventually becoming a successful businessman.
Now let’s fast-forward to September 1, 1958, The day Albert C. Mady Jr. was born in Windsor. The son of businessman and Arabic community leader Albert C. Mady Sr. and Nadia Jumean Mady. In 1968 Albert was introduced to the eclectic world of martial arts, which ignited the flames of a deep and long lasting passion that would shape his future.
Albert you are a veteran in martial arts who is decorated with many achievements as a fighter and a coach. After decades in Karate, how did you introduce yourself into the MMA world?
Well Roy, as many know, I have been involved in contact martial arts since the day I opened my full time dojo in 1980, and actually even before that. We have fought in and captured, Shidokun World Championships, Kyokushin World Championships, Sabaki Challenge World Championships, Tough Man World championships, K1 in the US and Japan, Grappling, Wrestling, Boxing etc. We fought in what they would call underground or pit fights and have been fighting in what they call MMA before it had a name. So, in the fashion of a professional martial arts instructor, I have always been progressive in my own training and the training of my students. Basically, we have always done it.
According to your experience, what is the most effective combination of combat sports for MMA?
The system does not really matter, but of course many systems have there strengths and geared for sport. What truly matters is the mind set of the person who is training for the fight. I have met and run into people who have no real martial arts training, and some of those people are individuals that you do not want to fight with. But for my money, I would suggest boxing and kickbox, Kyokushin kai, Wrestling and Judo. Today , many train Jiu Jitsu, which is also an important element, but I like the wrestling for the take downs, the Judo for the throws from the stand up followed by great submissions, many of which you must convert to a NO-GI situation, that is where the Jitsu comes in. But when it comes down to it, either you can fight or you can’t. One can have all the training and all the techniques in the world, but that does not mean that they can fight. That is part of the problem, as we say, many are a Jack of all Trades and a master of none. The original ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS show cased many arts, there were great fights, but the rules allowed you to stay on the ground too long, which at times gave the advantage to grappling arts, soon enough, fighters adapted and fought their fights and made it work for them, regardless of style.
We have seen a lot of combat sports emerging and fading away throughout the years; do you think that MMA is just a modern hype? Or do you expect it to have a prolonged timeline?
I do think it is a modern hype, everything runs its course, fads come and go, some remain but not as popular. I do prefer a good kickboxing match. Over the years I have seen the popularity of many combat arts come and go, partly because when it is popular, there is too much of it, especially in the media. It is no longer as rare or exciting. Secondly, promoters are the ones making the money, in so many cases along with organizations; the fighter has trouble making a living. The money and the sponsorship is not there like in other sports because of the stigma of being considered violent. The training is great, it is fun, but not a lot of people truly want to step in the cage.
A tip for the new generation of martial arts coaches, what does it take to be an overall good coach?
Have a legitimate martial arts background, do the time, learn the lessons, and become a teacher not just someone who can throw a punch. Respect your teachers and never forget where you came from! Most importantly , always be there for your students/fighters. Win, lose or draw, be proud of them and encourage them as long as they do what is needed to get in that ring or cage. Teach them loyalty and respect for their teachers, team and team mates.
We also know that your son, Chucky Mady, is a professional fighter who fought in Bellator Fighting Championship. How do you usually prepare him for his fights?
He has fought in all of the above events and placed or won them as well as, King of the Cage, MFC, DFL, FCFL, Freedom Fight, Raw Power, Karate, kickboxing, knockdown, grappling, boxing etc. I make sure his cardio is up, if your brain is saying go and your body is saying no, you will lose. Being in good cardio shape with a sports specific routine is important for all athletes.
After more than 40 years in Canada, how often do you visit your homeland what does Lebanon mean to you?
Unfortunately, not enough, I have been in Jordan 3 times in the past 8 years and have not been back to Lebanon since 1972, I hope to be back there this year with fighters, give us a call, you will not be disappointed. I have a lot of family back home that I would love to meet for the first time. All the best, Salam Alaikum.