Posted Online: April 29, 2012, 6:53 pm
Shamrock: A dangerous man with a soft heart
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By DJ Jarvis, email@example.com
Ken Shamrock is billed as "The World's Most Dangerous Man."
More photos from this shoot
Photo: John Greenwood|
Ken Shamrock autographs a photo for Mateo Ramirez of Davenport during an autograph signing at Legends in SouthPark Mall Friday afternoon. Shamrock is an American mixed martial artist, UFC Hall of Famer and professional wrestler. Although Shamrock was named The World's Most Dangerous Man by ABC News in a special entitled "The World's Most Dangerous Things," he came from troubled beginnings and has created a foundation for at-risk youth.
He made hundreds of men submit during his years as an MMA fighter and professional wrestler in the WWF.
But Shamrock now has new motivation in his life.
Shamrock appeared Friday night at Legends at the SouthPark Mall for an autograph sessions. Proceeds are going to a charity near and dear to his heart -- the Shamrock Boys Home.
Ken's adoptive father, Bob Shamrock, started the Shamrock Boys Home in the early 1960s. Bob and his wife took in more than 600 boys who were trying to turn around their lives.
Ken, who at the time was Ken Kilpatrick, first moved into the Shamrock Ranch when he was a 15-year-old who had been in and out of trouble with the law when he was driven to the group home by a parole officer.
Ken was adopted by Bob when he turned 18 in 1982. After Bob adopted him, Ken immediately changed his surname to Shamrock out of respect for his now-father.
"Bob took the time to figure out what was bothering me, and why I was having so much trouble with normal life," Ken said about moving into the boys home, "It was because I was so angry because of what happened to me when I was young, that I was taking it out on everyone."
Ken had plenty to be angry about as a child, growing up without a father. He was left to fend for himself much of the time as his mother was scarcely around, working numerous jobs to support and feed Ken and his three siblings.
He ran away from home when he was just 10 years old which resulted in a hospital visit because of a stab wound that he suffered.
"I had a troubled upbringing, I went through juvenile hall and different group homes from the time I was 10," Shamrock said of being kicked out of seven group homes before the state sent him to the Shamrock Ranch, "I failed most of them, then I was sent to The Shamrock Boys Home."
Bob helped Ken find an avenue in which he could release his anger -- sports.
Shamrock finished his Mixed Martial Arts career with a 28-15-2 record, becoming the first foreign born fighter to win Japan's Pancrase Tournament Belt. He was also the first Superflight Heavyweight Championship in MMA history. He also won the WWF King of the Ring and had a reign as NWA Champion in his wrestling career.
But he never earned an accolade that means more to him than being a role model for troubled boys the way his father was for him.
"Someone once asked me how I wanted to be remembered. As a fighter I want to be remembered as someone that was tough and always gave it their all," Shamrock said, "But for my life, I want to be remembered as someone who turned their life around and helped other people, because someone was generous enough to help him."