Josh Palmer is no stranger to calling fights. For anyone unfamiliar with his name, if you have watched high-level competitive grappling or Cage Warriors you have likely heard him cageside or matside. Palmer is a martial artist himself and holds a black-belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but with his latest gig calling the action alongside Bas Rutten for Karate Combat, he has called the experience a reeducation in traditional martial arts.
Palmer had his first show air last weekend and on top of getting used to the unique ruleset, the virtual background, and outfit to match, he is finding that stepping outside of his comfort zone is an eye-opening experience. MyMMANews spoke with Palmer about how he wound up in Karate Combat and being immersed into competitive karate in its purest form.
Palmer says crossing over was “easy, because I have a lot of MMA experience, calling MMA fights, and I have always been way upfront in that I am a better technical grappling commentator that I am a technical striking commentator.” However, he is doing play-by-play for Karate Combat versus doing color commentary, which is what he did for MMA. However his ability to multitask has allowed him to fall into play-by-play roles and Palmer said, “You can fall into that [play-by-play],” but how he wound up doing it for Karate Combat, Palmer said, “I just got an Instagram one day from Adam Kovacs, the president basically saying, ‘I know you from Polaris, and some other stuff, we’re looking for a new play-by-play guy, are you interested in having a chat with me?’”
Palmer knew about Karate Combat from Rutten’s appearance on the Joe Rogan experience and he saw no down-side to speaking with Kovacs and an opportunity to work with Rutten. Obviously, he got the gig and is not only broadening his knowledge of the many disciplines of karate through Karate Combat, but he is picking up some professional growth as well.
The timing could not be better as Karate Combat has now added ESPN Deportes+ to their list of distribution channels so it looks like both Palmer and Karate Combat can grow together. “It’s been an interesting reeducation for me on traditional martial arts,” Palmer said about looking into all the karate styles competing in Karate Combat. He added, “ I do not come from a traditional martial arts background. I meet a lot of higher-level guys in Jiu-jitsu who maybe had 10 years of Tae-Kwon Do or karate or something else before that. I didn’t, I went straight from being a fat guy on the couch into, what I would consider to be ‘contemporary martial arts’ in the form of MMA and jiu-jitsu, and grappling.”
If you have not checked out Karate Combat yet, we’ve got you covered. Watch the events right here on MyMMANews, Karate Combat’s YouTube channel, or at Karate.com.
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 20 years martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour, and also writes for Sherdog while maintaining his own site, The Blogboard Jungle. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel