Battle at Virginia Beach Tournament to be held August 29, 2009

The Good Fight will hold Battle at Virginia Beach at the Bayside Recreation Center on Saturday, August 29, 2009 with divisions for kids, teens, men and women in single elimination and consolation match format with both Gi and No-Gi divisions.   Ticket prices for spectators start at $15 if purchased the day of the fight, or $10 if pre-ordering in advance.    Registration and weigh-ins begin at 8 a.m., with fights beginning at 10 a.m., with all first place winners receiving a samurai sword.  Fighters looking to participate in the event can still register online.

For more information, Jim Fortunato can be contacted at (856) 343-4722.

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Titan Fitness member wins first fight

Jordan Katz, a member of Titan Fitness, faced his first Muay Thai fight on July 25, 2009 at the Hamburg Field House and won his match two minutes and 30 seconds into the third round.

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Katz, 21, is a Pennsylvania State University student majoring in Information Science and Technology who is from Monroeville, Pa. Typically, Katz has trained at Titan Fitness about three times a week for the past 10 months. In the months before the fight, however, he upped his training to between eight to 10 times each week.

When UofCombat spoke with Katz the week before his fight, he was confident that his training with Titan Fitness had prepared him, and he knew that he had done everything he could to be prepared for the fight. In an interview after his fight, Katz talks about his emotions throughout the fight, factors he attributes to his victory and when he knew he had his opponent beat.


UofCombat.com: What were your emotions as you entered the facility?
Jordan Katz: I felt kind of uneasy. I didn’t know what to expect since it was my first fight, (so) I think that’s where the uneasiness came from.

UofC: How did they change throughout the match?  Were you feeling positive during the fight, or wondering if your opponent would win?
JK: Honestly, I don’t remember much from the fight; my head was empty the whole time. I wasn’t thinking about winning the fight; I was just fighting.

UofC: What were your initial thoughts when your first saw your opponent?
JK: “That’s him? Okay, let’s go.”
I don’t think it would have mattered to me whether he was stocky, lanky, or whatever; I was just going to go out there and do what I came to do.

UofC: When did you realize you had your opponent beat?
JK: When the ref broke us up and I saw the towel had been thrown in.

UofC: Going into the match, did you feel you were prepared enough?
JK: Absolutely. I didn’t have any nerves or second-thoughts walking into the ring, and I know that’s because of how prepared I was.

UofC: What do you feel you did well in the match?  What’s something you feel you need to improve on?
JK: I just finished watching the video, and my hands looked fast and accurate, but I wasn’t setting up my kicks very well.

UofC: Did you have supporters in the audience?  How did they influence your performance?
JK: I had family and friends in the stands, but during the fight I couldn’t hear any cheering, and before the fight I didn’t want to talk to them so I could stay focused. So I would say they didn’t influence my performance, but it was great to see them after the fight, and I loved having them there to support me.

UofC: How much of an influence do you feel the staff at Titan Fitness had on your win?
JK: This is as much their win as it mine. Without Bruce Lombard my coach, Shawn Slater my training partner and Paul Zelinka along with everyone else that helped me train, that fight wouldn’t be possible. I have them to thank for everything.

UofC: What are your plans now?  Will you take some time off or get right back into training?
JK: I’m home now because I couldn’t afford to stay (in State College) for the rest of summer, but I’m staying in shape and would like to continue training during the school year.

Modern Gladiators event August 14, 2009

King of the Ring Productions will host Modern Gladiators Cage Fighting in Chesapeake, Va. on Friday, August 14, 2009.  The event, which will take place at the Khedive Shrine Center located off of the Greenbrier Parkway, will showcase 15 amateur MMA and Muay Thai fights.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (757) 589-0427.  Free parking is available, and concessions and beverages will be provided by AJ Gator’s Sports Bar and Grill

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Interested fighters can still register for the event online.  For more information, William & Elaine Varner can be contacted at 757-468-6488.

Fight card:

170lbs– Zach Allen vs Jonathan Wertz

145lbs– Kenneth Bush vs Chase Delong

170lbs– Antwan Hayes vs David Cavanaugh

170lbs– Scott Cozart vs Christian Diaz

170lbs– Frenchie Buchinni vs Zac MacDonald

205lbs– Brad Smith vs Daniel Singletary

185lbs– Kyle Bell vs A.J. Aguilar

185lbs– Mike Clements vs Paul Collins

145lbs– Chris Huntington vs Daniel Davis

155lbs– Justin Fowler vs Edis Starnes

170lbs– Cody Pearson vs Preston Hocker

170lbs– Dane Smith vs Pat Diamond

155lbs– Kyle Hornung vs Charles Robbins

205lbs– Cody Smith vs Wayne Hunter

265lbs– Clem Stuart vs TBA

205lbs– Brad Smith vs TBA

160lbs Muay Thai title bout– Vladimir Borodin vs Chase Walden

112lb Muay Thai bout– Sophia Adkins-Belsby vs Sarah Whisman

145lb Muay Thai bout– Tyler Holland vs Devonte Smith

135lb Muay Thai bout– Angie Hines vs Patricia Ramirez


Something for everyone at Atlantic City's New Breed Fighters XXIV event

The New Jersey Athletic Control Board will host New Breed Fighters XXIV on August 15, 2009 at the Resorts Atlantic City Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.  Doors open at 6 p.m. and fights start at 6:40 p.m.  The 18 fights include several title matches, as well as weight classes ranging from super heavyweight to super featherweight, along with fighters from New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Pennsylvania. Ticket prices start at $42 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or online.

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Matchmaker M. Scott Morgan can be contacted at (856-719-9625).

Fight card:

Kevin Santos (0-0) vs. Phil Cornelius (0-1)
Scott Hubick (0-1) vs. Chris Heagy (0-0)
Oscar Arizmendi (0-2) vs. Mike Bell (0-1)
Derrick Ferrer (0-0) vs. Greg Quarantello (0-0)
Andre “ECW” Benevento (0-1) vs. Kyle Jergensen (0-0)
James “Shrapnel” Chappell (2-0) vs. John Hollister (2-2)
Joseph M DeLuca (0-0) vs. Casey Adams (1-2)
Ismael Ruiz (0-0) vs. Dave Colabella (2-0)
Mario “Taxi Driver” Rodrigues (0-0) vs. Paul Felder (0-0)
Tom “Peligroso” Piotrowski (0-0) vs. Jeremy Uy (0-0)
Chris Meihle (0-0) vs. John Gartiser (1-0)
Steve “Ugly Knuckles” Sierra (3-3) vs. Jared Picariello (3-0)
William Mayorga (1-1) vs. Mike Mcdonough (1-0)
Chris “The Cobra” Edmund (1-0) vs. Dave Miller (0-0)
Bobby Shea (0-0) vs. Sergio “The Savage” DaSilva (0-1)
Khalil “Ong Bak” Malamug (1-1) vs. Bienvenido Diaz (1-0)
Phil Doig (3-2) vs. Dan Cion (3-1)
Elvin Rodriguez (4-2) vs. Chris “The Body Beautiful” Wing (6-1)

American Steel Cage Fighting- 10 matchups scheduled for Friday in Salem, N.H.

The New Hampshire Boxing/Wrestling Commission is holding American Steel Cage Fighting on Friday, July 31, 2009, at the Ice Center on 60 Lowell Road, Salem, N.H. Ticket price ranges from $50-100 and can be purchased through Two Guys Smoke Shop (603-898-2221), the Stateline Ticket Agency (603-893-7454) or the Ice Center box office (1-888-224-4272).

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Doors open at 6 p.m., with the first fight starting at 8 p.m.
The event includes 10 bouts with fights scheduled for three rounds, with each round lasting three minutes. 

For more information, matchmaker Gary Marino can be reached at mmamatchmaker@comcast.net or (603-682-9078).


Fight card:

Nate Lamotte (10-4-0) vs. Doug Gordon (9-7-0)
Pat Audinwood (7-0-1) vs. Al Buck (5-7-0)
Kevin Jordan (11-8-0) vs. Patrick Smith (16-13-0)
Lamont Lister (5-7-0) vs. Randy Rowe (2-6-0)
Evan Parker (0-0-0) vs. Albert Reccio (0-0-0)
Damien Trites (2-3-0) vs. Joe Dechaves (3-1-0)
Brian Denner (1-1-0) vs. Chris Foster (2-0-0)
Carlos Nieves (3-6-0) vs. Ryan Schieding (3-1-0)
Nick Drummond 1-0-0) vs. Adam McQuaid
Al Germain Sterling (0-0-0) vs. Ibrahiem Tody  

Titan Fitness members prepare for first fight

After much hard work, two Titan Fitness members are ready to fight in their first matches.  Shawn Slater, 24, and Jordan Katz, 21, are competing in a Muay Thai fight on Saturday, July 25 at the Hamburg Field House, where they will see if all their training and hard work has paid off.

 

Slater, originally from State College, Pa., graduated from Penn State in 2007 with a  degree in Crime, Law and Justice.  He’s been training at Titan Fitness since January of 2007.

 

Katz is currently a Penn State student from Monroeville, Pa. majoring in Information Science and Technology.  

 

Thai boxing, or Muay Thai, differs from traditional western boxing by allowing eight points of contact; the hands, elbows, knees and shins are used in Thai boxing, compared to just fists in western boxing.

 

To get ready for his upcoming fight, Slater has upped the intensity of his workouts, and has added extra workouts twice a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays for about the past two months.  During training, Slater likes to see how far he can push himself mentally and physically.

 

“I’m confident in my abilities, (but) this is my first fight so I don’t completely know what to expect… I’ll do my best,” Slater said.   “When I’m sparring hard, I try to think about nothing and use the openings my opponent gives me.”

 

Katz also said that “ideally nothing” will be going through his head during the fight.  Hopefully I will have drilled and sparred enough times that I will just react,” Katz said.

 

Katz, who’s been training at Titan Fitness for almost a year, has been training between eight to ten times a week for the upcoming match, compared to usually having only three Thai workouts a week when he’s not preparing for a fight.

 

Jordan Katz during his Jordan Katz during his Level I Thai Shorts Test

Jordan Katz during his Jordan Katz during his Level I Thai Shorts Test

 

I enjoy being part of a sport again; I haven’t had that since high school… Mostly, I enjoy the nature of the sport. It’s one on one, there are no assists.  You’re either to blame or to congratulate, its all on you,” Katz said.  “Knowing that I am prepared is all the confidence that I’ll need.”

 

Despite their confidence, neither Katz not Slater know much about their opponents, both of who are also facing their first fight. 

 

Slater is already looking ahead in his career, hoping to have more Muay Thai fights and eventually start competing in mixed martial arts after more training.  Throughout his training at Titan Fitness, he’s said he has had great experience with both Bruce Lombard, martial arts director, and Paul Zelinka, who created lifting and conditioning routines for Slater, as well as being knowledgeable with nutrition.

 

While training in Muay Thai, Katz is also in Titan Fitness’ Elite Training and said being a part of Titan Fitness has been a great experience and recommends it to anyone interested in martial arts.

 

When he’s not training, Slater enjoys watching successful fighters John Wayne Parr in Muay Thai fights and Sean Sherk in mixed martial arts events.

 

 

Titan Fitness member tells all about Thailand experience

Kevin Chan, a member of Titan Fitness, recently had the opportunity to travel to Phuket, Thailand to spend a month training at a Thai Boxing camp.

Chan is from Queens, NY. and is a recent graduate of Penn State University and majored in accounting.

Thai boxing, or Muay Thai, is a form of martial arts commonly practiced in Southeast Asia and is Thailand’s national sport. Muay Thai is different compared to other forms of martial arts and boxing because more points of contact are permitted. Use of the hands, elbows, knees and shins are allowed, making eight points of contact for fighters to try to take advantage of.

Titan Fitness recently asked Chan, 21, to share his experiences with readers. In this excerpt, he talks about his time training in Thailand.

Titan Fitness: How you got involved with Thai boxing?
Kevin
: Since I had been boxing for a while, I wanted to try something different and decided to learn Muay Thai in the country where it originated from.

TF: What is your experience with martial arts?
K
: I have been boxing at Titan for a little over a year. I have never fought, but I would like to in the near future.

TF: What has your experience been like belonging to Titan Fitness?
K
: I decided to join Titan in the summer of 2008 and instantly discovered that it is a great gym. The gym atmosphere is vibrant and friendly. The instructors have a lot of experience and are very helpful. I also met a lot of other Penn State students and became friends with many of them. It’s the best gym I have been to and I would still be training there if I was at State College.

TF: How did you get the opportunity to go to Thailand?  Did you have any hesitations about going?
K
: I had just graduated and wanted to travel during the summer before I started working. Even though I didn’t travel alone, I definitely still had some hesitations as to traveling to Thailand because of the political climate, and because I never had gone to a Muay Thai camp before. All my hesitations went away when I arrived, and I had a great experience.

Kevin Chan, right, with trainer Namsaknoi, who was considered as one of the best Muay Thai fighters in Thailand.

Kevin Chan, right, with trainer Namsaknoi, who was considered as one of the best Muay Thai fighters in Thailand.

TF: Where did you stay while in Thailand?
K
: I stayed at a resort that was close to the Muay Thai camp, which was extremely comfortable and convenient.

TF: What did you do on a typical day in Thailand?
K
: We trained twice a day from Monday to Saturday. The first session was in the morning and the other was in the afternoon. Each session lasted for about two hours. I also had plenty of time to explore and visit many different beaches and tourist sites within the island.

TF: How important is Thai boxing to their culture?
K
: Thai boxing is the national sport of Thailand and plays a big part in Thai culture from what I observed. The Wai Khru is a great example of it. It is a traditional dance that the fighters must perform before they fight to show respect.

TF: Overall, how would you rate the experience?  Do you plan to continue to train here in the U.S.?
K
: It was a really great experience for me, as I met a lot of nice people and had a great time. I definitely plan to return to the same camp in the future. I will also continue to train in boxing and Muay Thai here in the U.S.

Sport psychology and mental toughness– a key element to a good fighter

Sport psychology and mental preparation is an aspect of training that is often pushed aside, forgotten or overlooked with today’s training programs—yet it has been proven that it makes a difference in sport’s performance.

Choking, stress, anxiety and other mental blocks happen frequently in all sports, and MMA is no exception.   However, it is how one deals with these situations that determines the success of the athlete.  For example, the athlete could learn how to handle, deal and overcome their anxiety, or instead they could let it affect their performance.

Every athlete has been nervous or in a tense situation when performing.   If an athlete practices mental preparation he or she will be better equipped to deal with anything that is thrown at them.  Meditation and progressive muscle relaxation, a technique where you slowly relax every muscle in your body, help to keep the mind clear and the body loose, relaxed and ready to make a move.

All athletes need to be prepared mentally, as well as physically, to be successful in their sport.  If an athlete does not practice sport psychology, they are more likely to quit the sport or sustain an injury.

Practicing sport psychology also helps to make an athlete more self-aware.  One’s awareness of their feelings then reflects to their physical performance, and makes one able to adapt to different situations.

Whether they realize it or not, most athletes have participated in some type of sport psychology exercise, whether it’s setting a goal they want to accomplish or closing their eyes and taking a deep breath before a game to ease nerves.

Successful mixed martial artists that also include training mentally in their regimens include Jens Pulver, who met with a sport psychologist to prepare for a fight in 2008 against Leonard Garcia, and Georges St Pierre.

After St Pierre lost to Matt Serra in 2007, the strength of his mentality was questioned and debated.  To regain his mental focus and confidence, he began consulting with a sports psychologist.

Despite this, many athletes still feel that sport psychology and mental training are unnecessary and are only techniques used by athletes with issues or those that are ‘crazy’. 

Brian Cain is one of the MMA’s leading sport psychologists and has worked with top fighters, such as Keith Jardine.  In an interview with performance coach Eric Wong, Cain shared his thoughts on the difference a fighters’ attitude may have on their performance.

“Having an) ‘I don’t give a crap attitude’ is the guy that will slack in his training and slack in his conditioning and think, ‘Aww sports psychology I don’t need that (because) I’m not crazy at all… I can miss that conditioning session.  I’ll miss out for it and work twice as hard tomorrow,’” said Cain.

“(But) when they step in the cage (and) they’ve slacked… they think, ‘Oh my God, what are all these things I didn’t do.  I’m not as prepared as I should be.’”

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Sport psychology works by taking an average athlete that may not be reaching his full potential, and teaching him useful skills. This helps to give the athlete an edge in both physical and mental competition by eliminating mental roadblocks.

Using imaging is also a good practice for athletes.  Imaging helps athletes achieve their goals by having the athlete form an image of what they want to accomplish in their minds, whether it be regaining strength after a recent injury, or beating their opponent to win the championship.

Imaging, goal setting and other sport psychology and mental exercises are commonly done after an athlete receives an injury, because he may feel depressed over not performing or fearful that the injury will occur again.

MMA and its injuries

Mixed martial artist Ken Shamrock has seen it all throughout his 16-year career and has had broken bones from head to toe. He’s suffered a broken neck, wrist, foot and hand, in addition to tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.

If you play a sport, expect to get injured at some point during your playing career. Certain sports are more likely to hurt you than others. The injury rate in football, for example, is 100 percent.

MMA is no exception to injury, and its athletes are prone to a few not too pleasant injuries.

Something noticeable about fighters’ appearances is their swollen ears. This is an external deformity known as “cauliflower ear” and is seen in many of today’s fighters.

Cauliflower ear, or auricular hematomas, is caused by direct trauma—a blow to the ear is one way it is caused. When trauma occurs, the ear bruises and the torn vessels bleed. This leads to blood and fluid collection in the ear, which separates the cartilage and often causes new cartilage to form. This new cartilage does not usually grow symmetrically, which is why fighters’ ears look swollen and deformed.

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Athletes prone to cauliflower ear include wrestlers, mixed martial artists, grapplers and rugby players, and it is sometimes thought of as a badge of honor by athletes.

Despite this, cauliflower ear is not something to take lightly because it brings major health effects and risks, as well as pain. The ear could possibly become infected, so antibiotics may be needed. If it remains untreated, the ear will harden and the ear drum often ruptures, making stitches necessary. Hearing loss often occurs with cauliflower ear.

To drain the fluid, a compress is needed to help strengthen cartilage and to avoid future fluid buildup. To prevent cauliflower ear, wearing some type of headgear is highly recommended.

Fighters often choose to still compete when suffering from cauliflower ear. However, other serious injuries may occur in a match, leaving fighters unable to compete in future events for some time.

According to an injury report from for MMA (2002-2007), it was reported that in over 600 professional MMA matches, there was a reported general injury rate of 23.6 percent (300 out of 1,270 fighters).

The most common injury reported was lacerations. Other injuries included hand, nose and eye injuries, as well as various upper extremity injuries. This confirmed a previous study done by the same university from 2001-2004, which also reported that up to four injuries may have been recorded for each fighter during a match.

Hand injuries have been common in recent events. In a June 2009 fight against Mike Brown, Urijah Faber broke his right hand during the match and fought through the pain to lose by decision. His left hand also was injured as well.

Also noted in the study is that concussions were documented in three percent of matches. Concussions are a brain injury that occurs occasionally in full-contact sparring sports due to a blow to the head. They often lead to long-term damage. Every year, there are around 300,000 sports-related concussions.

The study concluded that overall risk for sports-related injury in MMA is fairly low. This is often attributed to the strict rules that the sport has in place to prevent injury.  In addition, depending on the severity and type of injury received, a medical suspension may prohibit a fighter from competing for a set amount of time.  This allows a fighter time to rest and heal.

Despite precautions, mixed martial artist Zach Kirk broke his neck and was paralyzed in May 2009 in an event in Iowa. Doctors are unsure if Kirk will regain his ability to walk.

Other injuries that mixed martial artists are prone to are broken bones, knee ligament tears and ankle or shoulder sprains. These injuries usually do not occur in training situations.

Well-known fighters to receive other various injuries include B.J. Penn who broke a rib during a match against Matt Hughes, and Matt Serra who suffered from a herniated disc.

Steroids and MMA

Steroid use is a hot topic in sports today. Is he “juicing” or isn’t he? Are his muscles all-natural? Recently, it’s an issue most associated with baseball and the recent Congress hearings on steroids.  Those hearings connected nearly 90 players to steroid use. If you’re successful in a professional sport, expect to answer accusations of steroid use.

 

Generally, steroids are banned because of negative side effects and health risks they can cause, the effect that professional athletes’ steroid use will have on younger and impressionable athletes and to make play fair for all participants.
 

With the rigorous training that MMA fighters go through, it’s to be expected that they will be muscular; it’s their jobs. While accusations are flying around in all sports that an athlete is on steroids, UFC and MMA are no exception.

 

In June 2007, a report from California State Athletic Commission said that Royce Gracie tested positive for anabolic steroids. Gracie has reportedly denied the claims that he’s used steroids. Gracie was suspended until May 2008 and was fined $2,500, which was the maximum penalty for the state of California.

 

Around the same time, fighter Johnnie Morton failed his pre-fight drug test, which came back positive for high testosterone levels. EliteXC fighter Tim Persey’s drug test found amphetamines in his system. Persey was charged $1,000 and was suspended for six months. In March 2009, Ken Shamrock was suspended for a year after he tested positive.

 

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California enacted a new steroid policy in December 2008 which complies with the standards of the Olympics and the World Anti-Doping Agency, who will perform the tests. The new policy for MMA and steroid use tests fighters for every match.

 

With the policy, all fighters will be tested for steroid use that are participating in major matches. For fights of less importance, random fighters will be tested for recreational drug use.

 

New bylaws are in early stages of passing and propose that fighters be tested all year, allowing fighters who use steroids in the off-season or pre-season to be caught.

“If this testing forces people to deal with issues ahead of time, it may allow their families to have more time with them, save them from health problems in later life or even premature death,” Bill Douglas, assistant executive officer of the California State Athletic Commission and in charge of operations said.

 

WADA’s testing lab, located at UCLA, also performs tests on athletes from leagues such as the NFL.

The NFL’s steroid policy states that a player may be tested as many times as 24 every year. Players that test positive for the first time are suspended without pay for four games. If the player continues to test positive in the future he may be released from the NFL.

 

While these two policies are different, they are both effective in cutting back steroid use– for now.  Until the negative side effects overtake the positive ones, expect athletes to continue to use despite the risks it could give their sports career.

 

Although most people associate steroids with substances like Human Growth Hormone or Anabolic Steroids, other substances, such as caffeine, are classified as steroids and are banned in some sporting events. Amphetamines and alcohol are also often prohibited substances.

 

Most use HGH and Anabolic Steroids to increase their strength and muscle mass, reduce the recovery time needed between workouts and reduce body fat.

 

When using steroids, other negative effects often occur that one might not have bargained for.

 

Anabolic steroids are said to cause heart problems, liver disease, blood clots, tumors, certain types of cancer and aggressive behavior. HGH brings joint swelling and pain, and a risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and diabetes to its users.

 

However, these side effects are often disputed and few studies have been done to show the long-term effects of steroids.

 

Because nearly all fighters are extremely health conscience, they’re aware that using steroids brings the possibility of decreasing their health, including the numerous lasting side effects.

 

So, why are athletes still using steroids? Of course, they’re by no means capable of miracles. They won’t turn athletes into mega-super athletes. Regardless, they’re effective in building muscle quickly; in a few days you can notice a difference at the gym—in strength, endurance and motivation. But is it really worth it?

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