It’s not everyday when you hear about fighters speak against violence because after all, it’s part of the job description. But for perennial UFC lightweight contender Sam Stout, who is coming off of a vicious knockout victory over veteran Yves Edwards last month at UFC 131, ending violence both in the household and at school is something that he has become vigorously dedicated to.
Recently, Stout, alongside head coach Shawn Tompkins, have held events in their native Canada in order to bring these social issues that are plaguing the common man to light. On June 10th at the Vancouver Players Chophouse, both men orchestrated an event to coincide with the UFC in which MMA notables such as former champ Pat Miletich, fighters Joey Beltran, Chris Horodecki, and Kultar Gill were in attendance, all in the name of a budding anti-bullying coalition.
While admittedly not a victim of either domestic abuse or bullying himself, “Hands of Stone” still demonstrates a level of passion that can only be rivaled by his love of martial arts.
“I think we’re in a good position to get some attention on those things. We’re in combat sports but we want to make it clear that it’s a sport to us and that we don’t condone violence in other settings”, said the 27-year-old in an interview with FightLine.com.
“It’s something that we take very seriously and we have a lot of respect for. Violence against people who are not willing participants just isn’t right.”
Schools have become breeding grounds for violence as bullying has often times escalated to the point where lives have been lost. The virus that is bullying has become cultivated within the educational system –a place where a student should feel safe rather than paralyzed with fear — and Stout believes that the first step to eliminating these trends today is through today’s youths.
“I think our best way of trying to help prevent (bullying) is with our kids program at our gym”, noted Stout, who acts as one of the main coaches over at the Adrenaline Training Center in his hometown of London, Ontario.
“It’s something that we stress very strongly to the kids that train over at Adrenaline, we have a kids program with 6-12 year old kids, that’s something that we make sure we stress at every class. This is a sport and it’s okay to do it inside the gym but once you leave the gym it’s only to be used for self defense and that’s it really. We also teach them to stick up for yourself and to
stick up for other people who may not be able to stick up for themselves.”
As for Stout, he enters the cage to face Dennis Siver in a lightweight scrap at UFC 137 on October 29, 2011 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.