James Krause

Pressure, Perseverance, and Fatherhood with UFC Fighter James Krause

What does an ultimate fighter and a good dad have in common? UFC fighter James Krause tells us about perseverance and pressure and how he thrives off uncertainty and challenge. He also talks about being a father to his 2-year-old girl and how he came to adopt his little sister.

James Krause is an American professional mixed martial artist and entrepreneur, currently competing in the lightweight division of the UFC. He’s also featured on FOX Sports’ reality show, The Ultimate Fighter.

James Krause was born in Newport News, Virginia. His parents divorced when he was two years old. His mother moved them to Missouri where they lived in extreme poverty, sometimes surviving on only $400 a month.

In school, James was physically behind. He was small and got picked on a lot.  At the age of nineteen or twenty, he decided to try mixed martial arts. He didn’t get into fighting with the intention of competing. He wanted to learn how to defend himself and build confidence. He fell in love with the physical act and the fact that a smaller person could defeat a larger person.

You don’t have to be talented to be great.


James Krause says that people don’t succeed because they stop learning. People forget what hard work is and their lives become stagnant.

James never stops learning. He trains every day for the UFC, and he applies the same model to all aspects of his life. Including business, marriage, and fatherhood. He believes in intelligent repetition can allow him to accomplish goals much faster, but it takes passion to persevere. If you want to become successful at something, you must be willing to do it for fee. Hard work beats talent.

If you do something long enough and you just don’t quit, you have no choice than to become good by default.


As a fighter, James Krause is subjected to extreme pressure, not just from the challenge of fighting his opponent, but being in front of a live audience as well as on TV. How does he push through the pressure? James says uncertainty and challenge have become essential to his growth. The only way to deal with pressure is to continuously put yourself through it. Embrace and repurpose opportunity, and objectively look at the situation without emotions.


James Krause’s daughter was born two years ago. When his stepfather died of cancer and his mother ended up in prison, he also adopted his little sister who has been living with him for almost a year. It wasn’t something he and his wife planned to do, but they have been making it work. He looks at it from a positive perspective and thinks it’s one of the best things that could’ve happened to his little sister. Now that she is with him, she can become a much greater person than she would have if she had been raised by his mother.

Life Lessons for His Girls

James Krause never went through phases of drinking and partying in his youth. He feels he learned life lessons before most other people, so he expects more from his kids in advance. He says that some people are a product of their environment and won’t change, but he also knows that everything can be taught and everything can be learned. Being a genuinely good person also goes a long way. James believes that whatever you put out into the world, you will get back.

I don’t expect perfection, but I expect greatness.


Watch James Krause on The Ultimate Fighter
FOX Sports Wednesdays at 9pm CST



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Shawn Stevenson

Shawn Stevenson on Fatherhood and Overcoming Childhood Obstacles

In this intimate look into the life of Shawn Stevenson, one half of The Good Dad Project Podcast, Shawn shares the reason he is so passionate about fatherhood and being part of this wonderful program. This successful author, entrepreneur, health and wellness expert (not to mention being “audio velvet”) takes us behind the scenes into his upbringing and the challenges he faced that brought him to achieve his best version of himself.

“Great men create great people.”
-Shawn Stevenson TWEET THAT

We Choose Our Response to Any Challenge

It’s the old adage: do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Yeah, it’s a cliché, but there’s a reason it’s overstated. We can’t determine what life circumstances we are born into, and we certainly can’t control how others act or how they treat us. But, we can ultimately control the way we respond to our environment or how we choose to live despite our upbringing. We can choose to be victims, or we can choose to dictate our own future. We can choose to look at that glass and see the opportunity, or we can see that we are running out of liquid pretty darn quickly.

In Shawn Stevenson’s case, growing up in a chaotic home without his biological father may seem like an ideal situation to wallow in self-pity. But for Shawn, it isn’t. Shawn just wasn’t going to let his childhood circumstances define his life. So what makes Shawn (and others like him) choose a different path?

Lesson One: Reflect What Your Children Should Value

For Shawn, much of his inspiration came from his grandmother. She propelled Shawn to love learning, giving him the motivation to do well in school. Shawn’s grandmother taught him that learning can, in fact, be fun. From there, Shawn learned to value education, continuing all the way into his college career.

Lesson Two: Adopt a Grateful Attitude

Throughout Shawn’s young life, he did continue to face challenges: getting kicked out of school for fighting as well as having his first child in his teens. Despite this, Shawn was able to graduate from high school with solid grades and move on to college. Again, through all of these continued challenges, Shawn chose to take the positive path. He finds himself grateful for his upbringing and the challenges he faced; he credits them for his successes.

Lesson Three: Be Motivated by Your Kids

As parents, we will never be perfect. Scratch that, as humans, we will never be perfect. That’s ok.

But when we show up for our kids, whether we are blessed to be with them every day or if it’s every other week, we teach them to become the “best version of who they can be”-Stevenson.

Shawn says, as dads: “Great men create great people. Great men help to create a foundation that starts to eliminate so many of the problems that we have out here with our society.”

What your kids see and what they are taught is how they will reflect themselves into the world. So, yeah, you can be a victim of your circumstances (glass half empty), or you can take what life has given you, look at it as a gift and use it to propel yourself and your kids (glass half full).Being a dad isn’t about being perfect (no one is), it’s about showing up, being your best version, so your children can be their best version.

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