The driving force behind this influx of MMA debutantes is Office to Octagon, which according to its website, “is a project undertaken by Brendan McKee, who sought to escape a white collar job by entering the world of MMA.”
McKee, a jiu-jitsu instructor and former football player at Amherst College, took a job in finance upon graduation, but he was far from happy engaging in the day-to-day minutiae of office life.
“What they fail to warn you of is the weight gain, half-hearted water bubbler conversations and deterioration of your quality of life,” McKee states in his bio on officetooctagon.com .
Since February, McKee has been training a group of office employees with no prior fighting experience on the various aspects of MMA in preparation for a charity fight night in June. On average, the potential combatants train four to five days per week.
“It’s not only about the fight night itself, it is our kickoff event for something much bigger. What we are doing is much more than just fighting. We want to get people outside their comfort zone and we want to inspire people,” McKee said in an interview with bostonmagazine.com .
Of course, there is a larger goal than simply exposing a group of white collar workers to something they might not have otherwise experienced. According to bostonmagazine.com, Office to Octagon will allocate funds for athletics, nutritional education and obesity prevention programs for the underprivileged youth of Boston. Each person who competes at the charity event is expected to raise $5,000.
McKee hopes to eventually hold charity bouts twice a year and expand from Boston to other areas, including New York. You can view the he trailer for the Office to Octagon project – starring McKee himself – below.