Inspiration From James Mason

This entry is an update to a previous post from 2012. The original video that I shared was removed from Youtube. As a result, I have added two new videos below. Within each, you will see a man (James Mason) who once weighed over 500 pounds. Doctors told him that he would be dead within 5 years if he didn’t make drastic lifestyle changes.

Fortunately, those changes came when James began training at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Thailand. After 18 months of training, he has now lost over 300 pounds.

The first video shows him in the early stages.You can then see his drastic weight loss when viewing the follow up below.

You will also notice that James did not need anything fancy to get in shape. Old school, fight conditioning has always been one of the most effective training styles. Success does not depend on the tools that are used, but rather the effort put forth towards whatever you do.

Hard, consistent work with the basics is often more effective than the most elaborate training systems and tools.


“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” – Herophilus


  1. Yeah, TMT is a great place to train. Good people. Fighters from all classes, even up to full time profs. If you let yourself get swiped into the routines and add some Ross style training, magic can happen there.

  2. I had the opportunity to meet James and here about his journey while training in Thailand at Tiger Muay Thai. A great success story and one motivated individual! I believe Tiger is now sponsoring James in his journey to lose another 100 lbs.

  3. James is lovely. I met him when I was at TMT in End of 2011. Dedicated guy with a lot of heart and the results speak for themselves.

  4. Any guy that put in 300 pounds worth of weight loss using thai boxing diffidently isn’t someone you want to fight with.

  5. You know what I find impressive about him? As you watch the video did you notice how there are no self-defeating comments? Not even a small one. He talks about running the 5k and doesn’t berate himself over the fact he has to stop and catch his breath. No derogatory comments regarding his training, diet, getting hospitalized, etc. He is even positive about the fact that he had necrotizing fasciitis. Heck he gets two serious medical conditions and comes right back to it without a whimper. If I could bottle his attitude and feed it to the masses…

  6. Encouraging story and video.

    Agree with Brian, Jame’s attitude is perfect. Celebrate what you’ve done – time/performance/standards to others aren’t the point. Doing what he’s done is. Killer attitude!

  7. I was impressed with his kicks also. In the first vid, James is still significantly overweight but he moves around pretty good and has some amazing cardio for a man that size. I’m amazed that he picked training in a Thai boxing camp to get in shape. That’s a pretty extreme leap for someone over 500lbs to make. You would think someone like that would opt for a water aerobics class at the Y, at least at first. I take it he still was in the mid-300’s for the first vid, and for someone that size, to train twice in the gym and once on the road daily is a remarkable display of stamina for someone that isn’t in peak condition.

  8. My thinking could be so far out in left field and completely wrong, but I was wondering if being extremely heavy would have one benefit IF one did decide to get in shape. Noticing the guy’s kicks are a lot more impressive than his punches and he does have RELATIVELY decent cardio for someone so large. I would wonder if his legs did become so accustomed at having to move around 500lbs if that didn’t push or help him in his kicks and lower body fitness as he started losing the weight. Even IF the only exercise the guy received was walking to the fridge, that is a lot of weight to carry and it seems it would strengthen the legs somewhat. The Japanese believe the ideal physique should be more similar to an inverted triangle rather than the triangle or V-shape body we in the West admire. A Ken Norton-like physique wouldn’t be an ideal athletic body in the East according to some. Most people who I’ve noticed that lost a lot of weight and were significantly overweight always it seemed had diapportionate strength, and endurance in their legs.

  9. oops, meant to say in the above post “Japanese believe the ideal physique is like a triangle…..” and not “inverted triangle”

  10. Wow, what an inspiration! A difficult, but great way to lose weight. Not only do you drop the weight, but you end up with a skill that you can use to protect yourself and your family.

  11. actually met this guy when he was big at tmt cant believe he lost so much weight. i alsso went from 190 to 175 and got ripped in a month training there. best of luck and keep on going james!!!

  12. And then there’s Roy Nelson who looks a little more like the guy on the right yet he kicks butt and is one of the top heavywieghts in the UFC. Looks and bodyfat ratio don’t mean anything. It’s what you can do that matters.

  13. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu comes from Japanese Judo. Many Japanese emigrants moved to Brazil in the beginning of the 19th century. This included some famous Judo practitioners. One of those practitioners, who specialized in the ground fighting aspect of Judo, befriended a Brazilian family called the Gracies. The Gracie family took Japanese Judo and expanded upon its principals of grappling and leverage.To control and overcome greater size, strength and aggression with lesser size and strength is the keynote of the sport.

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