Hamburg TSMMA Proving Grounds

by Sensei Thad Campbell



The next generation of TSMMA superstars are once again proving their mettle in Hamburg. Irv Althouse has been putting on amateur kickboxing events for more than a decade and he’s relied upon the Pennsylvania TSMMA Fight Team members and Shihan James Simpson right from the beginning. Saturday night it was Baltazar Belman, Bobby Smith and Javier Guzman putting the Tiger Schulmann’s style on display. 

Up first for Team TSMMA was Allentown’s 15 year old Baltazar Belman. The young Belman was coming off a disappointing loss in his first fight. He used that adversity to his advantage improving markedly on his skills in between fights. Most noticeably was his composure in the ring. Belman put on a display of heart and toughness in his first fight, but in this one it was his control that stood out most. To call it a fight would be a misnomer. “The BB Gun” made it look more like a one sided sparring session. He blasted his opponent with every technique in the curriculum. Mixing up straight punches to the body and head with low kicks and well timed hook punches. 

Belman’s well timed barrages forced the referee to step in on numerous occasions and each time it gave him even more motivation. It was a relief to those ringside when the ref finally waved his arms to call the fight a few seconds into the second round. Look for big things from the young “BB Gun” if his improvement from fight one to two is any indication. 

Next into the ring was 17 year old Feasterville Black Belt Bob Smith. The young Smith set a high standard in his debut fight when he scored a first round knockout over an older opponent who had already notched a victory. Smith ended that fight in under two minutes when a barrage of low kicks left his opponent unable to stand. That was a tough standard to live up to but if anything the young Smith outshone himself. Smith scored two first round eight counts before really putting the pressure on in the second. After the ref stepped in to break a clinch early in the 2nd Round Smith threw a running front kick. That sent his opponent all the way into the ropes. He actually got hung up WWE style. That forced another standing eight count. Sticking with what works Smith once again threw a charging front kick that literally lifted his opponent off the ground. Once again the ref stepped in to start the count but before he could get to eight the commissioner jumped off his chair and waved the fight off himself. 

Smith moves to 2-0 in his young amateur kickboxing career. Two KO’s both via kick. Look for big things for the young Feasterville fighter as he and Belman represent the next generation of a three decade old TSMMA tradition. 

Last up was 22 year old Javier Guzman looking to extend his impressive amateur kickboxing record. Unfortunately Chris Kopenhaver had other ideas. Guzman demonstrated the tenacious style he is known for chasing down his taller opponent from the opening bell. He used a steady diet of jabs and crosses to push Kopenhaver backwards. Unfortunately for the young Guzman his opponent used a bit of ring savvy to keep grabbing a clinch every time things got close. He wasn’t able to land much from the clinch but apparently did enough to win on the judges scorecards. 

It was a tough break for the young Guzman who showed the non-quitting spirit he’s been exposed to since beginning TSMMA at 5 years old. Look for him to bounce back soon!

It was another impressive showing for the Pennsylvania contingent especially in the two victories but even in the loss. Their technique and hard work earned the admiration of all the TSMMA fans who came out to support them.