Tim Murphy Breaks Down His Career & What it Takes to Succeed
Tim Murphy was one of a handful of competitors who pioneered the sport of mixed martial arts in Ireland, well before it was ever fashionable. Coming from a high level Taekwondo and kickboxing background. He entered into active competition in mma building his knowledge from early UFC’s and DVD box sets. Seems a far cry from the almost unlimited facilities and hands on experience which is available to today’s burgeoning athletes. We sat down with Tim to talk to him about the sports beginnings in Ireland. His multiple titles in both European and World Jiu Jitsu competition. As well as his thoughts on what it takes to be the very best you can be.
On the Irish mma scene when he first started
I suppose when we started the pool of fighters was tiny. There was me in Limerick, there’s a few of the guys up here at Point blank. before I ever came to Point blank, there was a few of those guys. There’s a few guys from the north and there was SBG and Dave Jones and a few of those guys in Dublin. That was pretty much it, the number of clubs was tiny.
So you go to one show in Dublin say and I’d be matched up against one guy and someone else would be matched up against another guy. And we would go to the next show and it’s the same four people there like you know, so we would just switch around who we were fighting.
So I fought a Mickey Young on one show and then the next show I’d be fighting Greg Loughran. Then the next show I might be back to fighting Mickey Young again, that type of thing you know. So yeah it’s it an incredible difference in the space of 10 or 11 years.
On what he’s been doing since he stopped competing in mma
So I haven’t competed in mma since I took over Point blank, whenever that was, 2011 I think maybe. I’m not really sure now but it seems a long time ago when Mark Leonard moved up to Donegal. So after that it’s very difficult to be a coach and be a competitor at the same time. And trying to compete in mma is pretty much impossible unless you go away to train for a month or whatever before a fight.
So then I started competing internationally. I’d train with Fergal Quinlan, he’s as jiu jitsu black belt in limerick. He’s a good friend of mine, so I would go training with those guys quite regularly. And he encouraged me to start competing in jiu jitsu competitions internationally.
So it became a little past time for us over the last few years. So in 2013 I won a gold medal at the European nogi championships and another gold medal at the world nogi championships, that was at purple belt.
Then last year I was competing, I got promoted to brow belt. So last year I was competing at brown belt and I took silver and the Europeans and silver at the world’s as well as a few other ones in between. I traveled to Copenhagen, France, Rome. Been all over the place really.
On what it takes to be a Champion
I don’t think there’s any one simple thing. The biggest thing, there’s a few things. The biggest thing I think is do you actually love what you’re doing? Because some people think they do, but then they don’t really want a train that much. The only want to train maybe a few times a week, they won’t do any more.
Where is you see guys and it’s always guys that excel, they’re training all the time because they want to be. So a week after a fight, they’re down training you know. Because that’s what they do for fun like. And it’s not just when I’m getting ready for a fight, I’m going to train a lot more. You will ramp it up, but the guys that really excel seem to be the ones that will be back training the next week again.
The usual thing for me after most of my mma fights, I’d be back training probably on the Monday. Now obviously taking the intensity down and going back to having a bit of fun in training. You often see that with guys, when the competitions over whether it’s jiu jitsu or mma. When the competition is over, the next week, that’s the best week to train because you can do without any pressure and you can have fun. Start trying techniques again. You don’t have to worry about getting ready for something.
And you see guys that have that type of attitude, tend to be the ones that excel. And then some people, I do know if that’s developed or not, but some people have a different work ethic to others, you know. Maybe that is what it comes down to, just love what they’re doing more.
Like Marcello Garcia, I travel over to him and train with him as regularly as I can in his club and he’s just there all the time. And he doesn’t have to be, he’s got a team of coaches, but he’s constantly training himself. Always training, always taking the classes. He doesn’t need to be there the whole time. He’d have a big successful school even if he’s not doing all that, but he is because that is what he likes to do.
It’s no surprise that people like that are the ones that, that get good really fast. Well not even really fast, but they get good in time. I think a lot of the time people talk about such and such got good. And they come up through the grades. Like Gunnar Nelson got his black belt in like three or four years. I think that’s an incredible thing.
But if you look at the amount of hours on the mat that guy would have spent, he was training all the time. Like, nearly constantly for that. So you might say it’s three years, but three years to him is not three years to somebody who trains twice a week, it’s a different thing. It’s probably 10 years of somebody else’s training.