Tyson Chartier often leaves practice battered and beaten.
These are good days as far as Chartier is concerned.
Chartier, a locally trained mixed martial arts fighter, recently joined the professional MMA ranks and he understands the beatings he takes in practice only help in preventing them when he steps inside the cage for a sanctioned fight.
"I get beat up every day in training. I've been injured and had more black eyes. Some days are really tough," Chartier said. "That's what prepares you to deal with situations. Guys are more experienced and they beat you up. Rick Hawn was in the Olympics for judo and not one night goes by that he doesn't throw me around."
Chartier and Hawn are teammates from Team Sityodtong, a Boston-based Muay Thai and MMA Academy that currently has 20 professional fighters. Chartier fights under the banners of Sityodtong Boston and North Shore, as well as Boston Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and North Shore Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a Salem-based Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
"Some guys go sideways and won't engage, but other people like myself and Tyson have to take those beatings in order to become better," said Hawn, who was a teammate of Jimmy Pedro on the 2004 Olympic Judo team. "If you don't take those beatings you won't know how to improve. You're going to take some beatings, you're going to get punched in the head and in the face. We've all been there and done it. We've all walked out (of training) with black eyes and bruises, but that's part of it."
Chartier trains in both the Sityodtong Boston and Sityodtong North Shore gyms, at North Shore Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Salem, and does conditioning at Swampscott's TD Athletes Edge. His list of trainers/coaches is long, but typical of a sport that requires the ability to be strong in all disciplines of MMA.