After crowning two professional champions in Vernon, B.C. this February, 11th at BFL13 live on The Fight Network, Battlefield Fight League will look toward a bright future. But BFL will also always recognize that Canadian MMA would be nothing without its pioneers, few of whom had greater impact, or a more generous spirit, than “The Coach.” That is why BFL13 is dedicated to MMA striking savant, but a still-greater family man, friend, and community member, Ontario’s Shawn Tompkins, whose name will appear at the ring entrance.
We can only hope to share several qualities with Thompkins, taken far too soon due to congenital heart disease in August, 2011, but one interest we certainly had in common was in building young, emerging MMA talent.
Though arguably best-known worldwide for stints as chief striking instructor at seminal, U.S. MMA camps Team Quest and Xtreme Couture, “The Coach” always kept one foot firmly planted in our home and native land. This was especially true when it came to his “guys,” each now a Canadian MMA legend in his own right, Mark Hominick (20-10), Sam Stout (17-7-1), and Chris Horodecki (18-3-1) — all fearsome, technical strikers with 24 (T)KO’s between them.
Tompkins’ close relationship with this outstanding trio of true northern
talents is well-known, but less publicized is the fact that, when Tompkins left his more-conspicuous Las Vegas post in 2009, he did so largely in order to be better positioned to develop more up-and-coming Canadian fighters at Ontario’s TapouT Training Centre. Of course, we at Battlefield FL are similarly committed to developing ever-new generations of amateur talent for successful professional careers.
Still, this organization would not begin to claim the same level of impact as the “The Coach.”
And yet, there is another enduring bond between Tompkins and the BFL. In our humble way, this organization has always striven to give back to the community through donations to B.C. Children’s Hospital. Meanwhile, Thompkins, himself, was incredibly giving, although he rarely received, or desired, public acknowledgement. Still, we now feel it fair to at least mention the following, as related by BFL president, Jay Golshani:
“Shawn Tompkings was a great coach, but more importantly he was a great human being. Last year when we were doing our fundraiser here in B.C. to raise money for The B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation, Shawn contacted us and expressed how he wanted to get involved and help sick children. It was a super busy time for him as Mark Hominick was getting married at the time, but he found the time and did everything he could helping us raise a substantial amount of money. He never asked for any recognition, but it is important for people to recognize what a great human being and what a truly caring person he was. In recognition of all his accomplishments and hard work in the MMA community, Shawn’s name will be displayed at the Cage Entrance at BFL 13 on the Februay 11th card, which will be televised live on The Fight Network across Canada.”
BFL will once-again be raising money at the event through out 50/50 draw and encourage all attendees to participate in hopes that, somewhere, “The Coach” would approve.
Charitable memorial t-shirts designed in Shawn’s honour can still be purchased online.