Yorrick Anderson, MMA Fighter + Coach and COO of Spooky Digital
We met Yorrick online when we were sourcing for places for a Women's Self Defense Class in Brooklyn. We reached out and then learned more about what a hip and cool creature he is - did we say "funny"? He's hilarious - especially in class.
Laugh and learn about Mr. Yorrick on this weeks' Spotlight below. The man who can juggle it all:
Yorrick, did you always want to be involved in mixed martial arts growing up? If not, can you describe the journey that lead you here?
I didn't really know about Mixed Martial Arts when I was growing up. I really liked Kung Fu movies and hitting people, but that was about it. When I was a teenager I started competing in bare -knuckle karate competitions in the woods, but you tend to run out of competitors pretty quickly in that sort of thing.
From there, I decided to pursue kickboxing and MMA because it just seemed more civilized. I started training at Class One MMA in 2012, and it's been good times ever since. I get to train with World Class coaches and fighters, and be a part of one of the best communities around. If you're in NYC and want to learn, there's no better place!
You teach a Women’s Self Defense Class, one in which thecnnekt community has participated in. How did you get involved in this and why do you think it's important for women to gain this experience?
Women's Fights was founded by close friends of mine (my coach Ken Ng and my training/business partner Dan Sevigny), so I've been involved with the program since day one. We try to emphasize the fact that we're not going to teach anyone how to fight in a single class - that's pretty much impossible. Fighting is a skill that people spend their lives learning, BUT anyone can learn to defend themselves if they put the time into it. I think it's important that women experience a martial arts class so they know that self-defense training is available to them. A gym can seem like a very aggressive environment, and I've seen a lot of women shy away from training because of that, but in all honesty I've never met a more supportive group of people. I've seen people completely transform in the best of ways. If self defense is a concern for you, or you've just always wanted to learn how to hit people, you owe it to yourself to go train!
On top of training, teaching and competing, you co-created digital marketing agency called “Spooky Digital” that caters to young, inspiring brands. Can you tell us about that?
Some close friends and I had all been working in different aspects of marketing for the past few years. After teaming up on a few projects, we decided to pool our efforts and work together full time. That's when Spooky Digital was born--and we've been killing it ever since. We've worked on a ton of great projects, from local businesses to international brands. We get to work on projects we're passionate about, solve problems in creative ways, and I don't have to wear real pants to work!
So bottom line, what’s your best advice on juggling it all?
I believe the key is to enjoy what you do. I do a lot, but I get to spend my day chasing my passions: helping people, hitting people, and making money. And I don't have to wear real pants to work! It can feel busy at times, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
When women get asked that question, there is a double-edged sword that they are juggling work, side projects and motherhood. As a male, is there a social image your feel pressured to uphold while juggling it all?
I don't really think about my social image that much. I get to do what I like and I have a cool haircut. I'm on top of the world right now. But in all seriousness, I think that if you like yourself and the people you care about like you, keep doing what you're doing and ignore everybody else.
What’s next for you, Yorrick?
I'm going to keep pushing forward in my fight career and my work with Spooky Digital. By my predictions, I'll blow up pretty quickly, become a TV personality, grow a wild famous person beard, then go off the rails a bit and get corn rows or something. From there I'll fall off a bit, only to make a wildly successful Hollywood comeback as an older co-star to a young up-and-comer. After that, I'm going to try to pull a Bill Murray and be a famous old guy who gets paid to show up in weird places. Keep an eye out for me on TV!
Interviewed by Emily