Meet Todd Vance
Being a former Army Infantryman living in one of the Navy’s two biggest port cities is a sure prescription for paranoia and an superiority complex. Fortunately Todd Vance is a socially inept cyborg who was born without a sense of humor so he never notices when people are making fun of him. Okay, so that’s not true and in fact, he had to overcome PTSD after returning from Iraq like so many troops do. We’ll come back to that.
Todd’s was a typical Southern California kid. At 14 he fought tigers…or learned Muay Thai in a gym called Black Tiger, we’re not sure which. It was supposed to keep him out of trouble, but instead of turning into Daniel San under the nurturing tutelage of Mister Miyagi, he morphed into Johnny Lawrence from the evil Cobra Kai Dojo. Todd took his first amateur Muay Thai fight at 16 years old and amassed an amateur record of 11 wins and 1 loss in the Southern California area and Mexico.
His decision to join the Army right after high school surprised his parents since he aced his home economics classes and played a mean Pan Flute, but Todd knew this was the road to find his way in life. He was first stationed in Germany and became a member of the Boxing Team and later, an Army Combatives Instructor before making his way to Fort Lewis, Washington. As a Stryker Infantryman, he led a squad on more than 300 Combat missions in Iraq, some of which was documented in “My War” by Colby Buzzell.
When he returned from Iraq, PTSD bore down like Oprah in the mount and to help cope with it, he turned to MMA. We’d like to think Rhino Den stories made him laugh until the boogeyman went away, but we’re not that pretentious. His own inner strength and focus did that…with a little help from the therapeutic benefits of beating the shit out of defenseless pads.
Why we like him – Todd weighed less than four pounds when he was born and had lung problems. So did Helio Gracie.
In elementary school he’d get money to buy cookies by eating Rolly Pollys at a dollar a pop. He ate more cookies than Willy Wonka and was referred to for years as “that orange oompa loompa kid.”
He drank Mickey’s Big Mouth in high school. Nice to know kids in California drank the same shitty beer as us kids in Kansas.
In basic training Todd received a Costco-sized pack of Snickers and at them all in the latrine only to get busted by a waiting Drill Sergeant. Some guys get Snickers, some get big black dildos from their friends.
Todd’s toughest sparring partner is his cat, “Hando.” Todd taught him to sit on his back legs and throw combos and counter punch. But apparently the frisky feline mistook Hando for Kato because he continually conducts linear ambushes on Todd all over his apartment…and wins.
His scorching hot, live-in girlfriend has more combat deployments than him and is a former MP who embraces her handcuff and sweet pain side. Oh mama!
Todd has the balls to admit he’s a fan of cheap white wine when he’s not training. Apparently six-dollar bottles of Chardonnay are good for the blood pressure!
He single handedly got Pankration fights banned in the state of California by knocking out two opponents in the same night-one by flying knee and the other by leg kick. The Governator would later relent and reinstitute Pankration matches as long as Todd was his stand-in body double for Terminator 8, coming in March 2040.
His favorite phrase is “That’s what she said.” His entrance music is “The Little Drummer Boy.”
Todd helps others get over PTSD by being a peer counselor with the Veteran’s Administration. Team. America. Fuck. Yeah!
Now that we’ve busted his balls enough, Ranger Up is proud to sponsor Todd Vance.