Interview with Erik “Chainsaw” Charles

Jan 28th 2009

clip_image0021 Erik “Chainsaw” Charles is the energetic and sometimes outrageous head trainer and owner of two successful mixed martial arts training facilities in Upstate New York, CNY MMA. He was born into a poor and violent environment, even witnessing the shooting of his own mother. By chance, Charles discovered the transformative power of martial arts training. In addition to being an elite level trainer, Charles he has become a successful fighter, winning the prestigious New York State Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship in Boxing and appeared on the hit Spike TV series The Ultimate Fighter Season 7.

Since 1997, Charles has used Revgear to help him prepare for his competitions as well as train athletes getting ready for competitions themselves.

Erik Charles bought these focus mitts 12 years ago. He still uses them to this day.

We caught up with Charles for a little Revgear Q&A.

What inspires you? I’m inspired by a lot of things around me but my two biggest inspirations are my two daughters and my students. My daughters because I want to be their example of what happens when you work hard, do right by people, and follow your dreams. My students because everyday that I come to CNY MMA I see them busting their asses to reach their goals. Some of our students have the extra challenge of overcoming disabilities and/or obesity. To see them in there giving it their all inspires me to give them my all when I coach, when I train, and when I compete.

Why does it take to be successful in competition? Hard work, dedication, spirit, having good people around you, and training with Revgear. Haha.

There are a lot of equipment companies out there. Why do you choose Revgear? Between myself, my fight team, and our students, we’ve put many different brands to the test. Revgear has easily stood out in durability and quality. Their customer service is unequaled by any company that I deal with. Additionally, their expertise and knowledge when it comes to running a martial arts school is invaluable. It’s like having a free business and marketing consultant.

What’s coming up for Erik “Chainsaw” Charles? So many things. There’s a book about my life that’s in the works and should be coming out in 2010. I’m working on a TV series about average guys that want to become fighters. I’ve started writing training articles for FIGHT! Magazine. Check into it. I’m also going to be fighting again sometime soon so stay tuned!

Erik Charles can be contacted for interviews, seminars, and speaking engagements at

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