Darin is an amateur MMA fighter, fighting out of The New Team Trauma in Ocala, FL. He was raised in Hawthorne NJ where he played football for 12 years of his life. After graduating high school he attended William Paterson University, where he study Exercise Sciences & Business. In 2015 he made the move to Ocala, FL. He always dreamed of fighting in Mixed Martial Arts so he contacted a local gym to make his dream a reality. He trains under Joseph Ciraco of The New Team Trauma. He is currently competing as an amateur fighter, and after a few more fight he plans make his pro debut. Keep your eye out for him. When he is not in the gym he enjoys spending time with his family and pets. You could also find him at a poker table, or shooting pool.
Q&A Session Between Darin Wood and Elite Sports
Question: What will you suggest to the newcomers?
Answer: Be patient, its going to take some time to become the fighter you dream of being. Everyday you train, try to get better at one skill. One day when your time comes, it will all click together for you.
Question: What does it mean for you to be a fighter?
Answer: Being a fighter to me is very important. I feel proud to fight. I represent myself, my family, and my gym. It drives me in my everyday life to become a better fighter & person. I'm a fighter, I put myself in uncomfortable positions and find a way to thrive. I'm proud of that.
Question: What are the essential things for the training?
Answer: I believe the most essential thing for training is your mindset. It doesn't matter what your learning or what drill your doing. If your head isn't in the gym your skills won't grow. Get your life in order so you can focus, and leave your troubles off the mat.
Question: What separates you from every other fighter in your division?
Answer: My tenacity, I am new to this sport. But I am not new to working harder then everyone. Everyday I get better and shorten the experience gap. My time will come soon. When I start something, I finish it.
Question: What is the meaning of success in your mind?
Answer: Always being my best self. Being able to support my family, while doing what I love everyday.
Question: With whom you would like to fight, and why?
Answer: Who ever has the belt, I know the sweat I put in, I know I'm capable of being the best. I want to show the world what I'm capable of.
Question: Is there any difference b/w your common days’ diet and during competition training diet?
Answer: My common days diet & competition training diet are pretty similar. I enjoy eating healthy, because I like how I feel when I do. I supplement with a few different proteins and BCAAs. I will carb cycle, and recently I have been playing around with intermittent fasting. A few weeks out I will lower, then cut carbs out of my diet to help trim off the last few pounds.
Question: How does a beginner prepare for the competition? Any advice for beginners?
Answer: Educate yourself, learn the rules of your competition. Be confident, you already put in the work. The hard part is over. Now is the time to show off your skills to the world. Put in the cardio time. It will save you when things get tough.
Question: How is it helpful to have the information about your competitor?
Answer: I believe it is helpful to have video or information about your opponent. It doesn't hurt to be prepared, During my fight camp I will have my training partner mimic my opponents style and stance. If you have footage of your opponents fights, you can learn their flaws and tendencies. Put in the extra work to get the job done.
Question: Is the martial arts necessary for a common person? How?
Answer: Absolutely, it is fun and can keep you healthy. You don't need to be a fighter to know how to fight. Martial arts are a great activity for any age. Imagine the piece of mind you have when you know you can protect yourself and your loved ones, if need be.
Question: Which moment is memorable for you in your past competitions?
Answer: I won't forget my first walkout. I had the support of my team and loves ones. When you hear everyone screaming your name you realize that they believe in you. Its surreal, its a rush. Can't wait to feel the nerves again.
Question: How do martial arts help to build a leader?
Answer: Martial arts help to give you the qualities of a leader. You become humble while training. You learn to respect yourself and others during martial arts. Everyday you strive to perfect form and technique. Leaders initiate the change in themselves. You learn to communicate and work with others. In class you help others learn and grow their skills. Leaders push themselves and others everyday and dream big. Martial arts builds leaders everyday.
Question: What would be your dream fight?
Answer: Fighting for a UFC title.
Question: Do you have any advice for your competitors?
Answer: Stay in bed.
Question: How much importance has the sports gear in any competition?
Answer: It is very important. If you want to compete at the best of your ability, then you need to be competing while using the best gear. The best gear can prevent injuries and keep you healthy and in the game. Elite Sports has some of the best quality products on the market. Be the best, train with the best. Embrace the pain.
Question: What should we learn from the legends /or from the seniors? Who is your inspiration?
Answer: Learn everything you can. If we could learn from others mistakes rather then our own, life would be a lot easier. Ha, I personally learn from my own mistakes though. We see the blue prints to success from the top legends. We see who the fan favorites are and what qualities they possess. Many people inspire me to work toward my dreams. My parents are two of the hardest working people I know. I grew up watching my father work 70+ hour weeks breaking his back. He inspires me. I dream of giving back to my family. Hearing the stories of what fighters have struggled through to reach their dreams inspire me. Not too long ago Connor McGregor was fighting in front of 500 ppl, while living with his parents. Now look at him. If they can do it why can't I.
Question: To whom you would like to compliment for your success?
Answer: Myself. I do this for me. I put in my blood and sweat. I have the dream. I ask myself everyday if I could have trained harder, did I do enough. I'm my biggest critic. I love my family and team. They are always there when I need them. I believe your surroundings can shape who you become. Without my family and team the road to success will be much longer and harder. But to be successful in this sport I believe you need to push yourself further then anyone will ever ask you to push.
Question: Who is your favorite legendary fighter? Why?
Answer: I honestly don't have an exact favorite. I enjoy watching great fights. But one of my favorite fighters to watch is Vasyl Lomachenko. This man is such a technician. Between his footwork and hand speed he dominates his opponents. He does things most fighters can't, you have to respect him. The man is just getting started. Watch some of his interviews, you'll become a fan too.