Feb 4, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT
Josh Cholish is a wealth-management broker at Merrill Lynch & Co. in Manhattan, where he gets his ass handed to him on a daily basis, no doubt, due to the struggling economy. But at night he returns the favor, beating up on a series of opponents in the top level of his duplex apartment on the Upper East Side. He and his roommate, Erik Owings, converted the space into a gym, where Byrne sometimes brings Wall Street colleagues to work out. Both are professional UFC fighters, and have won several matches throughout the country.
“It’s the dungeon of pain,” said Brian Peganoff, 27, an assistant vice president in corporate cash management at Deutsche Bank. “People on Wall Street are pretty competitive and I think that carries over. That’s the ultimate competition, putting two people in a cage and seeing who is the better guy.”
But the main hangout for Wall Street types who want to work on their inner Tyler Durden is the Renzo Gracie Academy on West 30th Street.
“We get a lot of finance guys,” said Max McGarr, the gym’s program director and a professional fighter. “It’s a good release from their job. If you lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s good to come here and get it out.”
Mixed martial arts is a contact sport combining aspects of wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, grappling, ground fighting, muay thai and other techniques, Cholish said.
“It’s a great stress reliever,” said Richard Byrne, chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank Securities, who practices jiu-jitsu and sparring at Renzo with Cholish and other professional fighters. “Talk about a great way to get aggression out, and it’s an unbelievable workout.”
How much would America pay at this point for ringside seats to watch Wall Street brokers beat the crap out of each other? A lot. For years they’ve made money for nothing, and now that the free ride is over, they’re turning feral. Instead of beating the quarter, they’re beating on each other.
Still don’t trust them, though; they must be up to something. When ordering pay-per-view, do not give them your debit card number.
Bankers Enter ‘Dungeon of Pain’ to Cut Stress in Ultimate Fight [Bloomberg News
Bankers frequent ‘Dungeons of Pain’ to manage stress, cope with job pressure [New York Daily News]
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