TXMMA – Texas Mixed Martial Arts

That’s What She Said: The Blaze Effect is in Full Force





By Shama Ko, Contributing Writer

Racheal Blaze, the Combat Sports social media personality and Combat Fighters advocate, turned a passion into a career with the help of Facebook.

Photo: Rachael Blaze

AUSTIN, TX, May 4, 2012 – Even though the mainstream popularity of Combat Sports is on the rise, it is still rare to find women like Racheal Blaze in a male-dominated industry. Blaze said she chose to cover the entire combat sports industry, because it’s the road less traveled, especially for a woman. To be taken seriously and earn respect working in the industry, Blaze says, women have to be focused and, above all, confident. Those are qualities she is brimming with.

Blaze got her start in the Combat Sports industry five and a half years ago using Facebook like everyone else: to network and meet people. Her passion for the Combat Sports industry and social media quickly developed into an advocacy tool for fighters. Later that passion blossomed into her career as a social media personality and an advocate for fighter’s rights. That success soon evolved into her brand and television station.

Blaze can be described as a visionary and innovator within the Combat Sports community. But ultimately Blaze says she is just a down-to-earth woman with a big heart and an open mind, who loves what she does.

Blaze says everything she do has great meaning behind it, including her patent finger pointing move which she uses to spotlight on the real winners. Blaze also says she likes to talk in third person when it comes to referring to herself as “The Blaze” and according to Blaze her fans love it.  Blaze’s passion for her work is constantly growing the more she gets involved.

And she doesn’t take being a Combat Sports social media personality lightly. The Combat Sports industry is serious and is not just entertainment, she says. Although Blaze doesn’t fight in the same capacity as those that inspire her. She describes herself as fighter who is willing to do battle in other ways like fighting for the rights of those who need it — the fighters.

 

What was it that initially attracted you to the Combat Sports industry? What made you decide to peruse a career in it?

I’ve been a big fan of Combat Sports for as long as I can remember.

I believe my passion bug started the day a good friend of mine got injured. I followed up on him to see how things were going and to my inexperienced mind back then I found out he was on his own medically speaking. He had no real health insurance. It was out of the promoters hands and he had no back-up plan in place. He was completely stuck between a rock and a hard place. He was injured and couldn’t provide for his family at his normal job outside of fighting. I felt anger and frustration and vow to give it my best shot to help.

It turns out he was just the tip of the iceberg. When I researched how many other folks experienced the same problem I was blown away. I pursed it intensely in the beginning, but as time went on I found that it needed a workable solution.

At that stage I knew this was an epidemic that crossed all boundaries in combat sports and that this was a battle that was not going to be easy.

According to rachealblaze.com you got your start in the Combat Sports industry via Facebook and this presence has quickly grown into a brand.  Describe this transformation process from start to present. Was this the outcome you anticipated?  Or did this develop as you went?

Photo: Cage Fanatics

Yes, I absolutely started out on Facebook. That’s a fact I never try to hide. It’s far too important not to share. It gives people and small businesses hope that anything is possible if you apply yourself the right way.

I used my facebook page like everyone else basically to chat, network, connect and even at times vent. Facebook allowed me to grow with others mainly fighters, people from the industry, fans and it grew from there. They fueled my passion and helped me learn and understand what fighters and their families had to go through on a day to day basis. I just continued to attended fight events and stayed connected.

What was crazy at the time, when I found out everyone had an issue at every level of the business and this was quickly becoming too much for one person to handle alone. It went from Facebook to personal appearances to signing autographs to people recognizing me on the street.

I had thousands of friends already on my Facebook page and getting started on a new one, when my partner in crime Michael, decided to join my crusade. Michael is a major part of my life both personal and business. Michael possesses a unique sense of wisdom, the kind of wisdom that can open one’s mind to think outside the box. He is my partner and the CVO of the company. He prefers to be a shadow, the man in the background. Or as he puts it the guy who can go buy milk and not be harassed.

He believed in me and believed in what I wanted to do.

From that moment the platform was changed and created to implement the passion into a vision for the future of Combat Sports.

The industry is extremely large and many people don’t have a clue as to who I am or why I do what I do, one thing we are not is disillusioned. A lot of folks don’t quite understand me yet but soon all things will be made clear.

If I was ever going to be of any assistance to people they had to understand and realize that I am not just another pretty face looking to be hit on. I’m a woman on a mission that gives total respect and demands total respect.

My business mindset starts from the greenhorn on up to the elite level individual or organization. For me, the action starts at the bottom. There are thousands of my fight peeps struggling everyday just to make it. They want that one chance to say they made it to the elite level and to hopefully be a champion that’s recognized worldwide. That is the two most common things I hear everywhere I go and all over my Facebook pages.

I show compassion, intensity, interest, and true dedication for what I believe in. What I believe in is positive exposure for all in combat sports. I leave the negative stuff to other media who enjoy spreading it. The fight industry is made up of so many wonderful people, so my spotlight must be ready to shine bright.

What is the Rachael Blaze brand today? 

I am best known for my relentless Marketing, Promoting, Advertising and Networking, which has attracted some the Industries most powerful people.

I became an affiliate partner of MSXN TV Network – MMA Sports Xtreme Network, powered by Neulion Media when the Director of Syndication of Neulion phone me and asked if I wanted my own TV Channel. Of course I said yes! They happen to provide services to over 200 professional and collegiate sports properties, most of which are based in North America and to over 200 international television channels from over 40 countries.

(MSXN) produces multiple sports programming from MMA, Boxing, and Muay-­‐Thai, Judo, Jui-Jitsu, Americas Strongest Man, Arm Wrestling and other weekly TV shows including MMA & Sports Xtreme Show with Ad segments!

I have the power to offer free content, premium content, pay per view, weekly shows, weekly updates, product placement all on MSXN. I own and promote my TV Show called “The Blaze Effect” on MSXN TV Network. I upload interviews I’ve done on fighters and coaches, which allows them to get positive exposure.

I am always creating new trends that are being recognized and utilized by people around the world. I see my words, phase’s and patented finger point used a lot, which is ok by me. It tells me that I am doing something right and that makes me happy.

Describe the Unity Fighters First and the Blaze Effect.

Photo: Rachael Blaze

UNITY FIGHTERS FIRST simply means that in combat sports we stand together as on one solid unit. Since the dawn of time warriors, gladiators and soldiers have fought at the highest level risking it all and even sacrificing their lives. Nothing has changed…even in today’s time they still stand apart from the masses of onlookers. Fighters male or female come first; they are not just entertainment but real people with real goals and dreams with true dedication, focus, and long hours of training. The safety of any fighter should always come first. That is why I say Unity Fighters First. I will continue to be devoted to make sure fighters are first and recognized for the true hero’s they are.

The Blaze Effect means – UNITE the entire combat sports industry and initiating my innovative process that allows all companies and individuals to benefit in a myriad of ways and gain maximum exposure.

What sort of advocacy work have you done in the past and present within the Combat Sports industry?

”Letter from Afghanistan” was a wonderful note to me on Facebook written by Scott Bauer. He had heard how I helped some troops in Afghanistan get workout equipment. I utilized Facebook to promote it continuously and my connections finally made it happen. I was very happy to be a part of such a great honor.

Scott Bauer June 3 at 6:52am Report

Good lord, I have never seen anyone on here max out their friends! I see you’re helping out Will Copeland and his unit, I was there with them as a contractor in Iraq with him, they had a kick ass gym and we were able to help out… In Afghanistan still, but waiting to hear how his new base is, this time we won’t be on the same base… Wanted to say thanks for helping his unit out! Thanks for what you’re doing for MMA as well, keep it up! Hit me up if you ever want to know more about JITZ!

This is probably the single biggest thing I’ve done to help out.

Presently the Blaze Team and I are developing a more universal insurance program, which is still premature but very much on the table.

Do you work with a lot of female fighters?  What sort of issues have they expressed with you past and present?

I deal with tons of female fighters if you count all the different combat sports I try to promote. It is certainly different when it comes to marketing and promoting them. Guys tend to be more willing to come forward and ask for help.

As I said before it is a male dominated industry I feel women have to prove themselves a bit harder.

I think in today’s society folks really haven’t fully accept woman in war like conditions be it battle field or cage. I think it has to do with folks set in their ways and seem to feel that the old status quo is still acceptable.

That’s why I love my Blaze Team we aim to change things a bit. I want to be perfectly clear. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel just fix the way it rolls.

Have these issues been addressed or resolved?  If not, how do you think these issues can be overcome?

I feel a much more interactive approach is necessary. It must be something that actually involves everyone to participate to some capacity from the fan to the promoter.

I can tell you this much. Nothing will ever change unless we do something drastic to make an impact. I mean a real serious impact.

I feel all female fighters deserve the same amount of respect as the men. I don’t see enough women in the cage or ring. I meet them all the time at the gyms and training facilities, but whenever an event takes place I see only one slot on the fight card for females. Many tell me they aren’t even being picked for the event.

The Blaze team and I are working diligently on making some positive changes for female fighters today by changing the mindset of those who may not agree.

I will continue to setting the new trend in successful promoting and providing positive exposure. I want to pave the way for other woman who want or desire a career in the fight industry.

Where do you see the future of MMA?

Photo: Rachael Blaze

I feel the future of MMA will be incredibly bright for everyone in the coming year, especially for female fighters. MMA is advancing maybe not as fast as everyone would like but at least it has no limit in sight. I think everyone must be held accountable and to try and at least come together to talk about how to improve their own city in terms of advertising, marketing and fighting.

For example: the top promoters and gyms in each city agree to hold regular meeting pulling together to create a unified plan of action. Maybe that’s crazy but what could it hurt.   

What’s in store for Racheal Blaze next?

Currently My Blaze Team and I are working on a new cutting edge concept, which is soon to be released. In terms of impact my new concept will be a felt immediately. It is a powerful marketing tool to help all fighters throughout the combat sports world from the greenhorn to the elite level person get maximum exposure and recognition.

The concept is definitely revolutionary in itself, for the individual recognition is immediate. Right now I can’t give out any more detail than that but trust me I will let you know in advance before we release it. It is something no one has ever seen or dreamed up yet until now. We’re extremely excited. The END GAME goes beyond what the average person thinks or feels. Something huge is about to happen and this one is for you… “The Fighters”.

For more information about Racheal Blaze, visit www.rachealblaze.com

 

About the Author

 

Shama Ko has actively been a part of and contributed to the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community in Texas for close to a decade. She is a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu purple belt at Gracie Humaitá Austin, a champion competitor, a photographer/owner of Mean Streak Photography, a community/event organizer for Girls in Gis and Austin Women’s Open Mat, and most recently a contributing writer to TXMMA. Follow Shama’s endeavors online through any of the links above or through any of these sites: Twitter, FacebookThe Adventures of Shama KoShamaKo.com, and SKOphoto.com.






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