‘The Beast’ takes future Seattle Marines to the mat
By Sgt. Phuong Chau
| 12th Marine Corps District | October 16, 2005
PUYALLUP, Wash. --
Professional wrestler and Ultimate Fighting Championship legend Dan “The Beast" Severn took time out of his busy schedule to talk to members of the Delayed Entry Program (poolees) and Marines from Recruiting Station Seattle Sunday.
Severn was in town promoting a mixed-martial arts competition, the X-Fighting Championship, at the Tacoma Dome where the Marines conducted a Pull-Up Challenge and Toys for Tots drive.
For three hours, Severn, a native of Coldwater, Mich., talked to the poolees about his experiences as a competitor and wrestler. Severn first fought in the UFC in 1994 winning the championship title three times. A Greco-Roman, Sambo and freestyle wrestler, Severn share stories of his experience competing nationally and internationally winning over 95 various titles in more than 4000 matches. Severn is also a first-degree black belt in Combat Sambo and holds third-degree black belts in Judo and JuJitsu.
“The Beast” gave the future Marines a demonstration of various moves illustrating the levels of pain a person can inflict on another with precision and economy of movement – maximum impact with minimal force. Sean Radcliff, a 17-year-old senior at White River High School in Buckley, Wash., helped Severn demonstrate an ankle lock and other deviations of the technique.
"It was pretty cool for us to be able to try this new stuff,” Radcliff explained.
The other poolees in attendance were excited and ready to go through some of the training that Severn provided.
“I think it is awesome. We are getting insight into the experience of what it is like to be in a fight,” said Dustin Perry, 17, a senior at Spanaway Lake High School, in Spanaway, Wash. Perry also happens to be the son of RS Seattle’s Recruiter Instructor, Master Sgt. Richard E. Perry.
Severn then ran the poolees through a physical training session and assisted them in performing various moves.
“This is a great way to build your self-confidence to help you know that you can handle anything that comes at you,” said Jason Riffle, a 17-year-old senior at Bethel High School in Spanaway, Wash.
Severn appreciated the opportunity to talk to the future Marines. He feels that in this day and age, many young people are not tough enough to handle life challenges.
“When I look out here at all these young people, I realize that they are just beginning the journey and that they will definitely be molded with the right mindset,” Severn said. “I hear all the time the words ‘I can’t.’ I want to hear ‘I will try to do my best.’”
With the future of the Marine Corps falling on the shoulders of these future Leathernecks, Severn, and our country, can be confident that these young men and women will develop the right mindset, according to Perry.
“It was great showing the poolees how determination and courage can make you successful, which is all the things we offer in the Marines,” explained Sgt. Richard D. Chase, canvassing recruiter, Recruiting Substation Puyallup. “It took him (Severn) 30 years to accomplish that and the poolees will be able to accomplish it in three months (recruit training). Being able to get hands on with a professional wrestler was motivating for the poolees.”
Severn praised the poolees for the choice they have made to serve in the Marines.
“The military’s impact on young people is a necessity. So very few here have ever been in a physical altercation. It is important for them to mature physically and mentally,” Severn said.
With many of these poolees shipping to recruit training, they now have additional knowledge and insights that will help them become Marines and representatives of the next greatest generation of this country.