Friday, December 23, 2011

Taking to the air ... er, cage

It's no secret that mixed martial arts and the military are, in many ways, peas in the same pod. MMA is extremely popular among members of the military and the UFC has a partnership with the U.S. Marines, which is featured prominently during UFC programming.

But other branches of our military want to get in on the MMA scene, including the Air Force. Sgt. David Perez, a cyber airman at Fort Meade in Maryland, wants his base to hold MMA events, according to the article. All military personnel receive some kind of combat training and some even hold competitions similar to that of MMA.

For one, I am a strong supporter of Perez's idea. He's already started his own MMA team at Fort Meade, Team Warfighter Iron MMA, according to the article. It is a great way to train our personnel on hand-to-hand combat, especially in close quarters. I remember an episode of "The Ultimate Fighter" from over a year ago where members of the U.S. Marines received training from UFC fighters. Training our military personnel in new methods of combat that our enemies may not be aware of gives our military a distinct advantage.

Plus, I think it would be pretty bad ass for a Marine to render a member of the Taliban unconscious with a triangle choke. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Beyond borders

While the sport of mixed martial arts is still very much in its early stages in Maryland, its reach goes well beyond the Mason-Dixon Line and other borders of our state. While fighters from gyms across Maryland compete in MMA bouts both locally, regionally and nationwide, Maryland gyms also expand their reach beyond the borders of even the United States.

One example is Team Lloyd Irvin of Camp Springs. While Lloyd Irvin is probably best known for training fighters like the UFC's Brandon Vera and bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, the gym also trains international fighters like Frank "The Crank" Camacho.

Camacho plans to compete in Japan in the new year, according to the article above, and also competes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments here in the U.S. Camacho is a native of the Northern Mariana Islands area, located in the western Pacific. The mere fact that gyms like Team Lloyd Irvin and others can expand all the way to the Pacific region is a testament to the reach MMA in Maryland currently enjoys while still working to grow its own profile. And with that, I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Forming an Alliance

It's not uncommon for mixed martial arts fighters to train in different gyms in preparation for a fight. While each fighter has their team or home base, many fighters elect to travel the country or even the globe to train with the very best available so they in turn can put on their best possible performance. Well-known fighters like Georges St. Pierre and Rashad Evans often travel to gyms nationwide and even worldwide to get the best training in several disciplines.

But it's not just professional mixed martial artists who seek out outsiders to train with. Local fighters like those from Practical MMA in Dundalk and Charm City BJJ in Baltimore team up to train and better themselves in anticipation of events such as Shogun Fights in Baltimore.

In addition to helping other fighters, MMA gyms are also active in the local community. Many gyms like Top Flight MMA in Aberdeen help kids address bullying by training them, though the old adage is that if you're a kid and you train in karate or any kind of martial arts, you should never actually use it.