Bound by Blood documentary on Frank Shamrock worth a watch

Spike TV premiered their "Bound by Blood" documentary on Frank Shamrock last week and now the full documentary is available online. Watch it here.…

By: Nate Wilcox | 10 years ago
Bound by Blood documentary on Frank Shamrock worth a watch
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Spike TV premiered their “Bound by Blood” documentary on Frank Shamrock last week and now the full documentary is available online. Watch it here.

Loretta Hunt wrote a nice piece about it for Here’s an excerpt:

Shamrock: Bound by Blood, a gripping 65-minute documentary that airs Thursday on Spike (11 p.m. ET), stirs up a few ghosts still haunting the MMA personality. There’s a lot of story to tell (Spike producers said they bandied the fighter’s 2012 memoirs around the office to begin), but wisely, Shamrock focuses mostly on Frank’s deteriorated relationship with his iconic brother Ken. Frank and Ken, a weathered UFC Hall of Famer still trying to ply his trade at age 49, haven’t spoken in nearly 15 years.

For MMA enthusiasts, Shamrock will be an enlightening hour. It also takes a more serious tone than Spike’s previous MMA programming. But at its heart, Shamrock is not about MMA. It’s about love and hurt, and finding forgiveness and acceptance in the face of dysfunction. For Frank, on his own road of self-improvement, it was about finding peace.

Fight Opinion has an excellent review of it, here’s a taste:

The story was simple – after all of the bad blood between Ken & Frank Shamrock, the two were finally going to meet to have a one-on-one sit down to hash out their differences. In the process, we learned all about Frank’s background in Redding and Susanville, California. Drinking alcohol at age 7. Heading to juvenile hall after threatening his sister. Going to Susanville after being adopted by Bob Shamrock.

Then came the beatdown by Ken at the Lion’s Den gym. Six months of training, Frank was sent to Pancrase to fight Bas Rutten in Tokyo (December 1994 at Ryogoku Kokugikan). He won that fight. Talk about a flashback to my early days of writing about that scene. Ken ended up moving to WWE and TNA in the late 90s, which left Frank to oversee Lion’s Den and he wasn’t comfortable with Ken having him run the gyms the way Ken wanted them ran. So, he left. Ken claimed Frank was jealous and that all Frank had to do was ask for his blessing to party ways. Instead, he “ran away.” Frank claimed that Bob Shamrock told him that if he and Ken didn’t get along that there would be no more relationship.

When it came to fighting, “Frank was a scientist whereas Ken was a brute.” Footage of Frank’s fight with Enson Inoue at Vale Tudo Japan ‘97 was shown. Then the mention of Frank’s fight against Kevin Jackson and then the encounter with Tito Ortiz to win the UFC belt. Henry Holmes, Frank’s business manager, had a cameo where he talked about Frank retiring and giving up the UFC belt in order to get out of the onerous contracts at the time.

It’s gratifying to see that someone is willing to invest in telling the story of Frank Shamrock to modern MMA fans who are ignorant of his amazing accomplishments in the 1990s. It’s no secret that I’m a huge mark for Frank. Here are some of our pieces looking back at his career:

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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