Brady MacDonald isn’t yet 20 years old but he knows exactly what he wants.
“I’ve been training my whole life to do this,” says the Thorburn resident, a mixed martial artists who just returned to Nova Scotia after spending six weeks of intense training at Team Alpha Male (TAM) in Sacramento, the state capital in California.
MacDonald began his fighting career by training at the Albion Amateur Boxing Club in Trenton. He then began taking judo and jui jitsu classes, the latter with the Pictou County Titans club run by Jaret MacIntosh in New Glasgow.
MacDonald, who says he tried every sport growing up and “I hated them all,” says of the Titans club that “training here helps me, in the grappling sense.”
Several years ago, MacIntosh trained MacDonald in judo.
“He’s so naturally talented, I think he can go far in the sport,” MacIntosh said.
“His progression – how fast he learns – is through the roof.”
MacIntosh said it’s a long climb up the MMA ladder, and it’s not always about ability: sometimes it comes down to getting the right fight at the right time.
“It’s definitely a long process, and sometimes it’s just luck of the draw.”
The trip to California was the second time MacDonald trained with TAM, which he called “one of the best mixed martial arts gyms in the world.”
Three times a day, seven days a week, the 19-year-old MacDonald would train in Sacramento, trying to learn from some of the best athletes that the sport has to offer, as he eyes a professional career in MMA.
“They have fighters that stay there from all over the world,” he said.
He added that he likes “the athleticism, the physicality” of mixed martial arts and also that it provides the challenge of learning various fighting techniques.
“Learning techniques, and working on it until it works,” he says.
“You can’t just be a street fighter, you have to know the techniques.”