I have worked around the world as a Strength & Conditioning coach in professional and International Rugby Union and Rugby League. Having lived and worked in New Zealand, USA, and Romania, I've taken my love of Martial Arts training with me and learned from different coaches in each country.
Originally, I went to University to become a physiotherapist. Luckily, a presentation by the Professor in Exercise Science in one of our classes convinced me to make a change as soon as my first semester of studies were completed.
I completed my Bachelor's degree and continued on to complete my Masters in Sport and Exercise Science.
From that Masters, I was able to publish two academic research journals to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in the area of Power-Force-Velocity Profiling and Tapering in Professional Rugby League.
Much of my Strength & Conditioning career has been in the sport of Rugby Union and Rugby League. I used to have my own Sport's Academy in Auckland, New Zealand where I trained athletes from many sports such as sailing, motocross, boxing, kickboxing, cricket, and triathlon to name a few.
I started my coaching career in New Zealand with a bunch of different amateur Rugby League teams while I was interning with a professional team.
From there I landed my first full-time gig in Romania. Safe to say, I was stoked! Sadly, the corruption there meant I came home early from that contract.
Luckily, through my time working in NZ, I started working with our National Women's Rugby League side for the NRL 9s and ANZAC test which we won crowning us Trans-Tasman champions.
From here, I was offered my first taste of the United States working in the newly professional competition the Major League Rugby where I spent 2 great years.
We won the National Championship as the Austin Huns in the first year. From there, I was offered to come back to Romania but this time to work with the National team leading up to the Rugby World Cup.
I couldn't say no to an opportunity like that. Sadly, Romania was disqualified from the World Cup prior to making it over there but the experience has been invaluable.
Along the way, I've published, podcasted, and been actively involved in the sport science research landscape.
Currently, I review three new strength & conditioning research journals each month for Science for Sport for their Performance Digest.
I've also published articles on:
Typing away on the keyboard isn't the only way I contribute. I've also been featured on a few podcasts:
As with most Strength & Conditioning coaches, we become coaches because we couldn't make it as athletes. Plus we love the science behind training and helping other athletes succeed to their highest potential.
I played ball sports all through my youth and teens. It wasn't until my early 20s when I started competing in Olympic Weightlifting and eventually finding my other sporting love, Jiu-Jitsu.
I competed at the National level in Olympic Weightlifting but with my coaching career and moving countries, that's as far as I got with it.
I found BJJ through a friend at the gym who taught me and couple of friends for free. We trained twice a week no-gi and entered our first tournament fresh after 4-5 months of training. That tournament was the NZ Nationals.
I won my first match but lost my second. I had caught the bug BJJ bug. That was all that mattered.
When I moved to Romania, I started training under black belt Catalin Vlad who runs Matside Romania. This my first taste of training in the Gi. I trained 1-2x a week when my schedule allowed and made slow progress.
It wasn't until I moved to USA where I was able to really dedicate time into my BJJ training at Brazilian Top Team under Ruy Frade. I earned my blue belt under Ruy in Austin training 4-5x a week and loving every minute of it.
I competed in the Austin open as a white belt where I won my first match and lost my second. Competing is a different beast to training! I love the Martial Arts. This is why I started this website. To spread scientific training knowledge related to the Martial Arts that can be used in your own training. I will be bringing in coaches and researchers in the Martial Arts field to share their knowledge with you making this the authority on Martial Arts and Combat Sports training.
James de Lacey
So you’ve discovered the Iron Neck. Perhaps through the Joe Rogan podcast, or by searching how you can strengthen your neck, or by trying to figure out how you can get rid of your pesky neck pain. With five models to choose from, you're now asking yourself, "which Iron Neck should I buy?" I’ve personally been to the Iron Neck factory in Austin, Texas and I am in regular communication
James de Lacey
Protect ya neck as Wu-Tang would say. They were right all those years ago. Who knew that message would filter its way into the martial arts world? And for good reason. Using your neck to finish takedowns, hold a position, absorb strikes, and getting choked can start to take its toll. Protecting your neck by training with neck workout equipment is one of the most effective ways to reduce the
James de Lacey
Is the hype real? The Iron Neck has had a lot of press recently with the likes of Joe Rogan mentioning how much he loves the device. The Neck Flex on the other hand has flown under the radar. It looks just like a neck harness but has silver rings on each side so you can load the neck isometrically with plenty of band tension which a traditional neck harness