FIGHT! Doctor: Rob Kaman
(Dr. Pete with BJ Penn, Jake Shields, and Bas Rutten. Props to SFGoldman.com)
A fighter’s body is a machine geared for top performance and every machine needs regular tune-ups. Peter Goldman, DC, is one of combat sports’ best mechanics. Dr. Goldman practices a rare branch of chiropractic developed approximately 80 years ago by Dr. Thurman Fleet called Zone Healing, the goal of which is to balance the six interconnected systems of the body: circulatory, eliminative, digestive, glandular, nerve, and muscular with an emphasis on mental strength.
A black belt in Oyama full contact karate and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt under John Machado, roughly 40% of Dr. Goldman’s practice are martial artists. Each week Fightmagazine.com will check in with the man BJ Penn credits with fixing his neck and Bas Rutten believes put an end to his asthma.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Rob Kaman had his fair share of injuries en route to becoming a legend of the ring and as a believer in Dr. Goldman’s zone healing, the fighter-turned-trainer still needs maintenance to stay in one piece, at peace.
Dr. Goldman helped Kaman with pain related to chronic neck injuries and a herniated disc after finding Zone Healing post-retirement. The legendary Dutch kickboxer retired because of injuries and finding Goldman allowed him to “treat the emotional, treat the core essence. The body will relax and get back into place.”
The connection came at the right time as he has grown weary of training fighters. “I’m a little fed up for awhile because some fighters didn’t pay me,” Kaman says.
In between writing screenplay treatments and shopping around a documentary on his life, Kaman still works with mixed martial arts like Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Chase Gormley and Brandon Vera.
He’s seen mixed martial arts go from fighters being unable to throw a single good punch or kick to fighters striking well while defending takedowns, something he says Anderson Silva, B.J. Penn, Lyoto Machida and Georges St-Pierre excel at.
“It’s more your base and your distance and using techniques that will scare or make your opponent scared to shoot. Striking, it’s more the combinations between things,” said Kaman. “To me its more the car crash, you understand? When someone tries to shoot, to catch them on the way in.”
“Mr. Low Kick” says taking away your opponent’s base is a matter of timing and footwork.
“A lot of people step straight to it. The timing is important when someone puts his weight on his first front leg or his back leg, putting someone out of position and make them not be able to block your leg kick,” said Kaman.
“Take him off balance and put him in a situation with your hands to follow-up with the leg kick or on the way in. If somebody wants to punch and he’s on the way in, he’s never able to lift his leg at the same time so it’s all about timing.”
The 49-year-old is currently developing a stand-up school online so anyone can learn the techniques that earned him the ISKA, WKA and world muay Thai champion all at once.
The FIGHT! Doctor’s adjustments allow arguably the best kickboxer of all-time to continue learning and teaching. After all, he says, “there’s jiu-jitsu on every corner street, there’s not a Rob Kaman on every corner street.”