Behind every champion is a trainer and behind every trainer is a story. Mark “The Hyena” Beecher” grew up like any other kid, watching TV and wanting to be like his TV heroes. Growing up in Hawaii he would watch Kung Fu theater and Muay Thai. He didn’t completely understand what Muay Thai was, but he was hooked on it ever since he first laid his eyes on it.
It isn’t often kids actually get to become their TV heroes; most kids watch TV while growing up and are filled with unreal expectations..Mark got hooked on Muay Thai, making it and combat sports his life.
Beecher’s passion was fighting, win or lose. He wanted to go out and put on a show, but the reality took a toll on his body. Mentally you feel ready, but your body tells you no. As much as Beecher remembers what he loved about the sport he also remembers what he didn’t.
“My favorite part was just doing it. Winning or losing didn’t matter as long as you fought hard — and I hold my students up to the same motto” said Beecher. “Worst part, shit man, when you know your body can’t take the beating anymore, but your better than the guys you’re fighting.”
If saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do, then stepping away from the sport was gut wrenching for Mark Beecher. It’s not about wanting to say goodbye, it’s about knowing when to say goodbye. Despite having the desire to fight, getting hit for a living was taking a toll on him. After suffering three consecutive losses for the first time in his career he decided to step away from competition.
“I couldn’t take getting hit anymore… this still hurts me mentally as I still have the desire to fight … maybe one or two more eh??” said Beecher. “Plus, I said if I ever lost 3 in a row I would quit, and after about 10 years it finally happened … damn.”
By the time he decided to step away, Beecher had been coaching and fighting. Becoming a full time trainer was a natural fit, although Beecher has a warning for anyone out there that thinks coaching and fighting are simple tasks. “It’s one of the hardest things ever to do both”. Being a fighter doesn’t mean you will have success as a trainer, teaching is not something everyone can do well. You see it in other sports continuously: a retired player who was in the upper echelon decides to try his hand at coaching and after a season they get fired because they aren’t very good coaches. Beecher’s key to success is that he adapts and doesn’t try to configure a new style for the fighters he trains.
“I think it’s my ability to adapt, I don’t teach them new stuff (well sometimes),” said Beecher. “I mostly enhance what they are already good at, I don’t change a fighter to fight like I want ’em to, I just want them to win.”
“I just sharpen Kevin up, show him my tricks he shows me his tricks, we get together and see what his game plan is and try to put that into pad work” said Beecher. “Then we spar and he beats the shit outta me ….. bastard…. I hit him back though yeaaaa watch yo ass man !!”
It’s that kind of spirit that keeps Beecher with the desire of coming out of retirement to compete once or twice more. If you have never had the chance to speak with Mark Beecher, you have to take the time whenever the opportunity presents itself. Entertaining is an understatement — in his own words, “I’m a little crazy”.
Despite having multiple champions in many of the world’s top promotions for Muay Thai and MMA, Beecher knows that as a coach many times you don’t get the recognition you deserve. You have to be willing to step aside and sit in the shadows until the attention is brought upon you. It is hard to do when there are other coaches getting the recognition, but for Beecher it is about his guys winning. The hard part doesn’t come because there is no recognition; making a sacrifice for what he loves sometimes does.
“Sometimes it hurts me, but to know my guys are winning is what counts to me. I hide from the cameras; I dont care,” said Beecher. “The reason it hurts is I have trained fighters to win almost EVERY championship there is: UFC, M-1, I have 5 WBC Muay Thai champs, IFL and more, but sometimes I don’t have gas money … that’s what hurts man .”
For Mark Beecher Muay Thai was never about fame or riches. It was something he loved as a child and something that became his life. Most people want to be remembered as champions or as one of the best. Mark Beecher wants to be remembered for giving. “I’ll help you win and not expect anything in return but happiness,” is what Beecher lives by. There is no book deal on how to train, no endorsement deal in the works; there’s only your dream and how he can help you achieve it.
MORE ABOUT MARK BEECHER
2001 Bronze Vale Tudo tournament
2001 gold blue belt Texas BJJ cup
2001 Rage in the Cage competitor
2002 FFC competitor
2002 FFC competitor
2002 Silver purple belt Texas BJJ championships
2002 Gold purple belt Texas BJJ cup
2002 King of the Cage competitor
2002 worked alongside the Lovato’s to get the Oklahoma athletic commissions to legalize MMA
2003 Vut Muay Thai competitor
2004 Total Combat competitor
2004 IFMA bronze tournament (Thailand)
2004 Vut Muay Thai competitor
2004 Fought 3 times in Thailand as a sponsored Fairtex fighter in Bangplee, Thailand
2005 Songkran (Thai new year) main event
2005 Vut Muay Thai competitor
2005 Adrenaline 16 man tournament finalist
2006 Part of the Total Fighting Alliance Team and helped to fully legalize MMA in California
2006 Helped TFA put on quality MMA shows with talented fighters.
2006 Became Head Muay Thai Instructor for Xyience Training Center
2007 Full Rules Master Toddy Competitor
2007 First American to fight in S-1 tournament for the King of Thailand’s Birthday
2008 Muay Thai Coach for Team Forrest on The Ultimate Fighter season 7
2008 Trained Forrest Griffin to Win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
2008 XFA Competitor
2008-2010 Trained and Trains with Kevin Ross WBC Muay Thai Champion
2008-2009 Opened as owner and operator his own gym IMTC
2011 – Became head Muay Thai coach at Robert Drysdale jiu-jitsu
2011- Trained Vinicious Magalahaes to win M-1 world Championship
2011-2012 – Trained Robert Drysdale to keep his record undefeated
2013 – Became Head Muay Thai Instructor at Both Zingano Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools
2013 – Trained Cat Zingano to number one contender in the second ever women’s UFC fight
2014 – 2015 Became Head Muay Thai Instructor at Lovato’s Mixed Martial Arts
2016 – Opened Hyena Muay Thai Headquarters in Katy texas / Became Head Muay Thai instructor for Revolution Dojo
Rafael Lovato jr.
Carlos Gracie Jr.
- Carlos Machado
Kaew Fairtex (Lumphini champion)
Apidej Sit-Hirun (Fighter of the century in Thailand)
Tu Sityatong, Saekson Janjira
(2016) Opened Hyena Mauy That and became head instructor of Revoluti0n Dojo in houston and Key
(2014 – 2015) Head Muay Thai Instructor at: Lovato’s Mixed Martial Arts
(2009 – 2013) Head Muay Thai Instructor at: Throwdown Training Center and Robert Drysdale Jiu-Jitsu
(2006 – 2009) Head Muay Thai Instructor at: Xyience/Warrior Training Center. Throwdown Training Center
(1999 – 2009) Professional Fighter | Fight record: Muay Thai 45-16; MMA 2-3
Instructor/Fighter at “Hermosa Beach Boxing works gym” under Kru Bryan Popejoy
Bryan Popejoy’s Boxing Work’s
Rafael Lovato’s Lovato Jiu-Jitsu
Xyience/Warrior Training Center
Throwdown Training Center
Robert Drysdale Jiu-Jitsu
Revolution Dojo (Houston and Katy locations)
Rafael Lovato Jr.
Troy Jones Jr.
Asa Ten Pow
and many, many more…