Shelby "The Savage" Marie Strong
Shelby Strong is a 34 year old who has been training under Chris Appleton in Dubuque Iowa, as a part of Team Family Strong. She wrestled in Jr. High, then as she got older and at 27 years old she was trained in boxing. Then quickly transitioned to Muay Thai Kickboxing, after doing Muay Thai for awhile Joe (The Triangular Strangler) Pearson, who is in the Genesis Book of World Records for the most triangles in the cage, started working with Shelby on her ground game and also her stand up in 2015. Joe has had over 90 fights and still tries to come train with Shelby at least once to twice a month. Shelby is an independent fighter and also a freestyle fighter due to the reason why she does what she does.
Q&A Session Between Jonathan Barney and Elite Sports
Question: What inspires you about MMA?
Answer: My children are my biggest inspirations. But also I was a victim of domestic assault for 9 years by my sons father and in 2007 he finally pushed me to my limits and I snapped, I honestly knew I had it in me but it scared me after seeing what I could do to a grown man. I knew that I had an issue with blacking out and I knew the only way to learn how to control it was through training in Mixed Martial Arts. I do this for domestic abuse survivors or ones that are still going through it, to show them they can get out of the situation and learn self defense, in which I train women and children for free. I learn from everyone I train, may it be in self defense or any other type of martial arts. I feel deeply about making the next generation better than the one before them. This gives them discipline and the drive to know they can conquer anything in life. My son is ADHD and has Intermittent Explosive Disorder and ever since we began training together 7 years ago it has helped him more than any medication could. I like to take on kids with different psychological disorders that can be disruptive and work with them to show their parents that medication does not have to be the answer to their situations.
Question: What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer: This year I am going to have my first sanctioned fight in Lancaster PA. Which I am extremely excited for. I also am going to be taking on as many fights I can this year while still training my team. The next 3 years I plan on being a professional fighter by then and I am going to be more skilled in different areas that I know needs to be worked on. I also plan on being able to corner some of my kids since some of them will be ready and old enough to fight by then. The next 5 years, honestly I will probably be just like Joe Pearson fighting on any card possible but I am going to stick with the AFC mainly because they are great. Also I plan on having my teams name out there more and hopefully my kids can start training younger kids.
Question: Do you have any go-to finishing move?
Answer: I plan on making a mark on this world with my team. I have a lot of kids that are amazing in the sport and I know can make it to the top one of these days so I am planning on keeping my team up and going for as long as I can and I know my children will take over after I am gone.
Question: What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer: I feel that you need to have good sportsmanship and a lot of heart. It doesn't matter win, lose, or draw, you got to take what you learned from it and better yourself for your next fight. We all fight our own fights in this world and to know that you can conquer any goal you set for yourself as long as you have the drive and love to do it, that alone makes you a champion. We are warriors, we are no longer victims of what has happened to us in our past and that right there in my opinion makes us champions.