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Jens Pulver: Driven

Shamrocked2010-12-13 08:07:27 +0000 #1
Someone here tipped me off the this documentary a couple of months ago, and I logged on and pre-ordered my copy from Malaysia and promptly forgot all about it. Fast forward to about three days ago and a curious package shows up in my mailbox.

Driven is surprisingly well made and a pretty powerful doc weather you're an MMA fan or not. If you're unfamiliar with Pulver's story Jens endured some pretty serious abuse at the hands of his father, and that childhood turned him into both a fierce competitor and an emotional wreck. Driven follows Pulver as he prepares to make one last run at a world title after losing four fights in a row. In addition to training for his showdown with WEC lightweight Javier Vasquez Jens has also opened a new gym and launched a clothing line, and the stress of juggling so many responsibilities, providing for his wife and new son and riding a wave of confidence and self doubt really takes it's toll on him. There are so many parallels between Pulver's life and my own, and because of that Driven was at times difficult for me to watch. Having had the pleasure of meeting Pulver before I know what stand up guy he is, but it really comes across in the film and it makes him an easy guy to root for.

Driven is at it's heart an emotional, character piece, but there's some great training footage as well. The intensity and physicality of MMA is really conveyed in this film in a way that I haven't seen in other documentaries. When Jens is working leg kicks on the heavy bag you really feel the impact of those kicks, and when Jens spars hard with Spotty Jorgenson in his gym you understand how serious the sport is to the athletes involved. Of course most of us already know how his quest turns out, but that knowledge does little to lessen the enjoyment of watching such a great film.


BruceLee2010-12-13 08:23:35 +0000 #2
Here's an update from Jens from two days ago:

He no longer has his Driven Gym, they took it away from him.

But he's back in the Midwest at Jeff Curran's gym in Illinois training and living at the fighter dorm there. Seems like he's in good spirits.

Video Interview.

www.bjpenn.com/video/jens-pulver-update
Shamrocked2010-12-13 08:42:06 +0000 #3
Yeah there's an update on the DVD in the special features where he mentions losing the gym and the clothing line. He said he was done with the west coast and was moving back to Iowa (sounds like he's since moved on). He talked about finally finding the coach he'd been looking for (though he didn't name him), and said he's not done fighting at 35.

In the film he brings up the point that it's not like he's getting KOd or carried out on a stretcher after fights, but rather he's making dumb mistakes and getting caught in things. As a Pulver fan it's always been frustrating to watch since he's always been a bit inconsistent, but after watching the doc it all makes much more sense. Ironically as he says in the movie earlier in his career his body was good and his mental was failing him, but now that he has his head on straight his body is letting him down. Personally I'll watch the guy fight as long as he wants to, and as much as I love to watch him stand and throw down hopefully he starts getting back to wrestling a little bit and mixes things up.
The_Splatoon2010-12-13 08:28:52 +0000 #4
Normally I'm not a fan of fighters doing this, but in Pulver's case I feel like the best course might be his manager or whoever getting him a few can fights, in KOTC or wherever, just to get back in his comfort zone. At this point he seems to be psyching himself out as much as anything, just putting a few together and ending the losing streak might be enough to get him on track, as each consecutive loss has got to be just exponentially increasing the pressure for the next bout.
OnyxShadow2010-12-13 09:08:28 +0000 #5
Jens Pulver: Driven to the Hospital
krazo1012010-12-13 09:01:00 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by OnyxShadow

Jens Pulver: Driven to the Hospital

....

I was contemplating posting this for the longest time, but decided no, not the time/place. But you've got way more posts than me so i guess you can get away with it.

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