With three black belts and one All-American wrestler on staff, CrossFit BattleFit Gym is ready to turn things up a notch … or two.
The gym, which opened in May at the Santa Cruz Commerce Center, will begin teaching mixed martial arts classes in July.
Mixed martial arts, or MMA, combines the disciplines of boxing, kickboxing, grappling and traditional wresting into a fighting style that is now one of the fasting-growing contact sports.
“We’re expecting people to cross over from the training portion and enter the classes,” said Matt Lincoln, one of the trainers.
Lincoln will be teaching a Sambo class. This is a Russian grappling style used by Andrei Arlovsky, a former UFC heavyweight champion. Sambo translates to “self-defense without weapons.”
Lincolnstarted out as a wrestler when he was a kid and then expanded his repertoire to include Sambo. He still competes with this style of fighting. At 36, Lincoln feels he hasn’t lost his speed and said he actually feels stronger. His Sambo class will be for teens and adults.
Cloti Tate, an All-American wrestler from Iowa State, will be teaching kids and teenagers.
Kenny Buckland will bring his black belt experience and teach judo for teens and adults. Charlie Rogers has been teaching karate since 1995. He plans to teach both Karate and Kung-Fu to all groups and like the other classes, it will not just be about the techniques, but about strength, confidence and discipline.
“I try to teach the kids life skills and we focus on honor, respect, patience, and kindness,” Rogers said. “It’s not just about punching and kicking. We train kids to protect themselves by using their brains. I want to teach them to avoid danger first and that only in self-defense should they protect themselves.”
CrossFit BattleFit MMA will also have a boxing class for teens and adults. The combined grappling and striking class and MMA class will be for adults only.
“All of the staff have many years of competition and coaching experience in our respective arts and some of us have cross over experience in several arts,” Lincoln said. “We invite everyone to come see what we offer.”
CrossFit BattleFit Gym is located at 12501 N. Murphy Road off the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. For more information, call 480-223-8843 or 623-238-5592 or visit www.crossfitbattlefit.com.