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Monthly Archives

July 2013

Munah Holland Satisfies Bellator Contract, Now Free Agent

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July 28, 2013 – MMA flyweight Munah “The Perfect Storm” Holland has satisfied her contract with Bellator and is now a “free agent.”

Arguably the best striker in women’s MMA today, and a member of the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Holland holds a 5-2 professional MMA record, transitioning from a successful boxing career, where she won the 2007 New York City Golden Gloves, and was the 2007 National Boxing Silver Medalist.

“I had a terrific experience with Bellator.  Everyone there has been supportive and professional; I hope they feel the same about me,” reflects Holland.  “I always tried to represent Bellator and my team and training partners and family in the best way possible.  Bellator has given me the go to fight anywhere I want – whether it be with Invicta, the UFC, back with Bellator, or wherever.  I really appreciate the opportunities they gave me.”

Holland trains with Tiger Schulmann’s MMA and among her training partners are #6 UFC flyweight Louis Gaudinot, and Bantamweights Jimmie Rivera, Nick Pace, and Julio Arce.

Holland is looking to showcase her ferocious style against a top-ranked opponent soon.

Her goal is clear.  “My plan is to win at least one belt in the next year or so.”

New Faces, Same Results for Team TSMMA at Hamburg PA

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by Joshu Shane Baker- TSMMA Cherry Hill

The TSMMA crowd overtook the Hamburg Fieldhouse Saturday night to watch 3 debut fighters, 2 fighters having only their second fight, and one title shot.

First up was Bryan Felipe from Allentown taking on fellow first timer Gage Fairchild of Team Hammer. It was Felipe’s first time in the ring but you would never have noticed from the poise and ring control that he had from start to finish. He overcame an early flurry from his opponent and then took control, pushing the pace for the whole first round. He landed crisp combinations highlighted by upper cuts that landed flush over and over again. The constant pressure from Felipe was bothering his opponent who thought he made it out of the round until a strong body kick dropped him at the bell. He got up after the standing eight count but was clearly hurt.

The second round was more of the same from Felipe who continued the pressure, landing uppercuts and crosses until he fighter dropped for a third and final time 1:25 into the second. Very impressive TKO victory for the 14 year old on his debut fight. Definitely a prospect to watch in the future.

Second up was Elmwood Park’s Erin Blanchfield who was training at TSMNA HQ on Friday when she was asked to step in and fight the next night. Her opponent was Samantha Rice from Dragon Gym. She not only accepted the challenge but showed how consistent training keeps you in such great shape physically and mentally. From the opening bell she controlled the distance and pace with stiff jabs followed by powerful crosses.

Each round she would only get stronger and there was no doubt who was going to get her hand raised at the end. Erin won be unanimous decision 30-27.

Next up was Maribel Estades from TSMMA Allentown squaring off against Heather Lawson of Team Brutter, who made their way down from Canada. She started off pushing the pace with jab-cross combos. The first round was back and forth, trading blow after blow.

The second round was more of the same fight of pure will with each lady standing toe to toe trading punches. The third round mirrored the first two with each lady digging down deep with whatever they had left to show the judges who was the best this night. Two judges scored the fight a draw with the last going towards the other girl. Tough fight for Estades, but definitely one to be proud of.

After a 3 year layoff following his first fight, Joshu Tony Billings, head instructor of TSMMA Princeton, stepped back into the ring. He took on Zachary Delay of Team High Voltage. From the opening bell, Joshu Billings looked much more poised and relaxed than his previous encounter in the ring. He kept the pressure and showed his beautiful technique with combinations hitting all three levels of his opponent. Hitting low kick after low kick started taking their toll on the front leg of Delay well into the second round.

Once the start of the third round began, Billings pounced on his hurt opponent and started landing stronger crosses and hooks to the body and head that dazed his opponent and caused a standing eight count. Once the referee gave the go ahead to continue, Billings didn’t give Delay time to gain his composure. He pushed forward with sharp and devastating combinations that dropped Delay one final time.

A strong performance from the TSMMA Chalfont product winning via TKO 1:25 minutes into the third round.

The fifth Team Tiger Schulmann fighter to take the stage was first timer William Brown of TSMMA Cherry Hill going up against another Team High Voltage member, Johnnie Morgan.

The fight started with Brown having trouble closing the distance on his taller opponent’s jab. Cornerman Shihan James Simpson gave adjustments that motivated Brown to not take no for an answer and get inside and control the fight. The Cherry Hill product made the changes needed and started to put the pressure onto Morgan. He started to fight at his own range and body and head shots began to land and faze Morgan.

The fight came down to the third and final round where it would be more of a battle of attrition than anything else. Answering the question of who wanted the fight more was Brown who wouldn’t stop until his body gave in, which it never did. The result was a split decision win for William Brown showing what a win from pure will looks like.

Final competitor of the night was the veteran of the group, Nolan Wisser of TSMMA Allentown. He was going for the International Welterweight Muay Thai title verses Ben Pride of Team Siam #1 from Canada.

This was a long awaited title shot for the longtime fighter Wisser. However, the southpaw Canadian used powerful round kicks and the clinch to control most of the fight. Wisser had issues closing the distance and being able to use his quick hands.

Pride was able to withstand the late push by Wisser in the forth round to win via unanimous decision.

Following the decision, Irv Althouse, promoter of the Althouse Fight Night event immediately took the microphone and stated how much he enjoyed the even matchup and announced a rematch in the making already. Be ready to look out for Wisser to take another crack at his first title belt.

Overall, Team Tiger Schulmann and their raucous crowd owned the night and showed how hard work and dedication truly pays off.

 

Althouse Fight Night 7/27/13 Results

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971685_10152684859315190_1959969770_n7/27/13 – Hamburg, PA

Tony Billings (TSMMA) vs Zack Delay (High Voltage) – 165lb

Billings wins via TKO Round 3

Erin Blanchfield (TSMMA) vs Samantha Rice (Dragon Gym) – 130lb

Blanchfield wins via Unanimous Decision

Maribel Estades (TSMMA) vs Heather Lawson (Team Brutter)  -125lb

Lawson wins via decision

Brian Felipe (TSMMA) vs Gage Fairchild (Team Hammer) -135lb

Felipe wins via TKO Round 1

Will Brown (TSMMA) vs Johnnie Morgan (High Voltage) – 155lb

Brown wins via Split Decision

Nolan Wisser (TSMMA) vs Ben Pride (Siam) – 155 title fight

Pride wins via Decision

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Down 95 Pounds and Full of Energy and Confidence

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By: Jamie Garita – TSMMA Bayridge

It was time to do something about my health once and for all, so I vowed to myself once again that I would get into the best shape of my life.

During my pregnancy with my son Dante, I gained over 80 lbs. The day I gave birth I tipped the scales at 243 lbs. I remember telling myself that I was going to lose the weight and get in better shape. After a few weeks I started, running and used various DVD programs as exercise. Just from that, I lost about 50 lbs. But then I plateau and even though I continued with my exercise and eating a reduced calorie diet I couldn’t lose any more weight. About a year after I had my son I got pregnant again. I was already close to 200 lbs and quickly ballooned to 240 again. About 4 months in I suffered a miscarriage. I was devastated at the loss but decided that it was time to do something about my health once and for all, so I vowed to myself once again that I would get into the best shape of my life.

But where to start? I had a friend who was doing cardio kickboxing and she had seen some pretty amazing results. I thought I might enjoy it. When I was a child I wanted to be a boxer, but never pursued that dream. For weeks I checked the websites of different kickboxing gyms. Emailed them about free trials and then never showed up. Then one day I was walking up 86th Street and decided it was time to put up or shut up. I walked up those stairs not knowing at all what to expect. I talked to Poy at the front desk and we set up my free trial class for the next day.

Then one day I was walking up 86th Street and decided it was time to put up or shut up.

I will never forget that first day if I live to be 100. I was so nervous I was shaking. I thought I was going to be the worst. But I promised myself two things. One was that no matter what I wouldn’t walk off the mat to get water or rest until class was over and second that I wouldn’t do pushups on my knees. That first class was hard. At 240 lbs I was heavy breathing and sweating more than I thought possible. I made it through with no breaks. I was so energized and proud. I told Joshu Glenn I needed the night to think it over, and he told me to come back the next day for another class so I could be sure it was something I wanted to do. Walking home after that first class I couldn’t stop smiling. I could barely sleep that night because I was so excited to go back. Sure enough I took that second class and made the decision to sign up.

Fast forward two weeks later I had already lost 14 lbs. I felt amazing. I was happier, eating healthy became so easy because I was seeing results and wanted them to continue.

When Sensei Levy and Joshu Pace came to our school it only made me love the sport even more. Sensei Levy helped me get to a level I never thought I could achieve. Sensei helped me overcome my fear of getting hit during kickboxing and put me on a diet that accelerated my weight loss. Joshu Pace gave me an understanding of grappling I never thought I would have – teaching us to relax and use technique rather than strength. When he explains things you just get it. Joshu Pace’s love of grappling really resonates in his teaching.

Sensei Levy helped me get to a level I never thought I could achieve.

1 year later I was down 75 lbs and did my first COC tournament and won first place in kickboxing. I couldn’t believe it! I went from being this shy fat girl, to this confident martial arts competitor. Since then I did my second COC, won first place in both grappling and kickboxing. I did the east coast grappling tournament and won first place, and took first place in NAGA.

1 year later I was down 75 lbs and did my first COC tournament and won first place in kickboxing. I couldn’t believe it!

Now I am down 95 lbs, but health and fitness isn’t the only way this has impacted my life. I have since made demands for better pay and more time off at work and got both. And now I am pursuing a career in personal training, and hopefully MMA. I am not even the same person I was when I started. I am an energetic person who has the energy to run after a three year old. I walk tall with confidence. I am not afraid to talk to people anymore I just go out there every day and get what I want.

I walk tall with confidence. I am not afraid to talk to people anymore I just go out there every day and get what I want.

I want to send my biggest thanks to Sensei Levy for believing in me and pushing me to exceed my goals. Because of him, Joshu Pace and the staff at Bay Ridge, my health and looks has dramatically improved.

Student Prepares for Back to School Training by Mixed Martial Arts

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By: Sensei Thad Campbell – TSMMA Feasterville

There is nothing cooler than watching a young student blossom before your eyes. When you can see a young kids focus and determination turn into Self-Confidence, it makes the job of teaching students anything but work. Tyler’s transformation in the last few months has been exactly the kind of rewarding experience that has me still teaching martial arts with enthusiasm after ten years on the mat.

When he first started you could tell Tyler wanted to train. His focus for a new student was fantastic. He would stand at attention and listen to each and every part of class and that focus translated into way better than normal technique for a new student. When he would learn a new technique he would be determined to do it right, and if we fixed something he wasn’t doing perfectly he had the dogged determination to persist until it was done correctly. That’s not the most common attribute for a nine year old to possess.

While there was little to critique about his training the one thing I’ve seen grow the most in Tyler is his belief in his own ability. At the beginning of his training he didn’t always look us right in the eye and when he walked in the school you could tell he didn’t quite look like he felt comfortable.

One of the great aspects of training students in a mixed martial art is the street wise application of the techniques. You can’t fool a young kid. They know what a bullying situation looks like and they know whether what they’re learning is going to help them.

Thus when Tyler began his grappling class and started to pick up those techniques, you could see that growth in his confidence immediately. Even better was the more recent transition to Kickboxing Class, which he made look easy. He has translated his technique from Core class without a hitch and is using it against other students intent on stopping him.

It is so much fun now to watch him walk into the school now. He hasn’t gotten cocky or stopped having the level of intensity, in fact he recently earned the nickname laser show for that very quality. Instead he walks in with the look of a student who knows he belongs and is ready to prove again every class.

I was very proud to promote Tyler to his High-White Belt!

Student Finds Therapy for Life Through Tiger Schulmann’s

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 Student finds Therapy for life through Tiger Schulmann’s

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By: Dana Visi – TSMMA Stamford

At a very early age I was diagnosed with Hemiparisis: a form of Cerebral Palsy: A non-progressive non-contagious neurological condition. It affects muscle strength, coordination, and in my case, causes spasticity (involuntary tightness) of certain muscles. Those with cerebral palsy may have difficulty with walking, speech, hearing and arm/hand coordination due to Contractures (permanently fixed tight muscles and joints) Even though mine is a very mild form, I still dealt with motor delays and learning issues in childhood. The good thing about this is time was on my side and I had plenty of help from others to adapt and develop ways of doing things in a way that worked for me.

To this day I don’t remember much about those early years, but what I do is others repetitively saying how stubborn and brave I was. I have always been fighting something in my life; be it the expectations of medical professionals, my own body or society’s beliefs on what I’m supposed to act like. Being a fighter is not always about getting into the cage and throwing a combination of punches and kicks or executing a choke hold. Sometimes it is simply having the courage to try something new despite any personal obstacles and determination not to complain or give up when it becomes harder than you though it would.

 Why I started

When I reached an age and my doctors decided that regular therapy was medically unnecessary my parents made sure I stayed active and signed me up for swimming lessons and other activities where my flexibility and building up my strength were the focus. For several years it didn’t matter I had some type of physical handicap, I was simply part of a team. I remained an active kid playing soccer and intramural sports through local organizations up until my early teens. Around that time I had to undergo surgery to correct a bone growth issue in my leg. After recovery and prolonged therapy there was no way I could perform at the level most others my age were required to. Competitive team sports took a backseat to academics and other types of extracurricular activities.

This was also the time I was becoming very aware and self-conscious about certain mannerisms related to my medical condition that I could not control or explain to others. My quiet nature made it easy for anyone, mostly male peers, to target me for punch lines to their jokes, ignorant remarks, and bullying. I tried to defend myself but realize now this was more of a reaction based in fear rather than an action fueled by confidence and repetition.

A couple years after college I was tired of going to the gym and in need a new athletic activity. I was not overweight, rather out of shape and knew that my flexibility needed improvement. Being a fan of the original Karate Kid, I knew it was going to be some type of martial arts. While shopping with a family member I noticed a place called Tiger Schulmann’s Karate; (yes I said Karate) next to a clothing store. About a week after Christmas I called the school and scheduled my introductory private lesson. It wasn’t until three weeks later I called the school again, this time signing up for an actual class. The current students helped me with my uniform and introduced themselves beforehand. What impacted me the most was having a female instructor “get me” right from the start and hold me to the same standard of everyone else. By the end of that class I had a white belt around my waist and immediately felt welcomed into something that was more than just a place to learn self defense skills.

 Obstacles in training

During each class, I deal with balance and coordination issues. To this day I struggle with mountain climbers and spinning back kicks. I’ll grumble and smile all the way through as I slip and stumble but never once have I quit. Early on I also knew I would never be able to safely and effectively perform a cross punch. I was upfront with my original instructors about this and all three discussed alternative moves. They finally decided on the backfist and incorporated it into my drills. I now alternate between a crossing elbow and this when sparring and doing rounds in class and explain to my partners how to hold the pads or their gloves so that they can defend it.

I decided from the beginning to train as a righty because it worked better for me. I’ve gotten so good at this some sparring partners and on lookers are surprised at how well I can hold my own using my left hand for offence and my right hand for defense. Those whose who have trained with me for many years will actually get mad at me for not trying hard or going too slow because they know what I’m capable of.

Due to lack of stability in my right wrist it is physically painful for me to perform a traditional push up on the ground. My first sensei realized this and had me do them against a wall. It wasn’t until Sensei Demetrius took over the Stamford school and asked me if I was able too support myself on my forearm. I said yes and he handed me a Muay-Thai pad. To this day this is how I do my advanced push ups, sometimes even with pops, and this is the modification I will be using when evaluated for my black belt test.

 

 Friendships and Support

Through the years of my training I have learned to be both upfront with the reduced sensation I have in my right arm and respectful of different people’s reactions to working with me because of it. The newer student’s are mostly confused when doing drills with the pads or mitts as sometimes it’s easier for me to work with just one. Certain regular students will still not want to perform a certain grappling drills with me probably not wanting to risk accidentally injuring me. Sometimes me explaining to simply go slower with the move works and others just choose to use another partner. A few students both past and present have come up to me and asked what it is that I have and I had no problem telling them. Others have simply approached me and said they admire me for certain things they see in me. I’ve gotten used to this and use it as part of my motivation to continue training.

 Goals and future training

Back when I was a blue belt my original Sensei suggested that I enter something called the C.OC. He explained what it was and suggested I start in grappling. I agreed to participate but felt more confident fighting. Feeling confident I actually made it to the second round that day. I also got a taste of how much faster and stronger my opponents were. At that time I decided I would keep competing until I earned a placement. Six years later, it finally happened. After my moat recent C.O.C and 2nd placement I have decided to take a break from this tournament to focus on my other training goals and challenges.

One of the more difficult periods of my training journey is the one I’m currently in now. I obtained my current rank more than 4 years ago. Many students have been promoted at a faster rate than me. Some are still training and others have left. It took me awhile to accept it would take me longer to move from this level to the next because of the subtle yet critical personal adjustments I had to master in order to become more aggressive and fluid at my advanced level. For this reason I have had to focus much more on my grappling. I have had to get myself caught in submission positions in order to learn how to get out of them. Learning how to hold and finish certain submissions is also something I am constantly working on because of the reduced strength and range of motion I have in my right arm and hand. When the regular way of doing it doesn’t work for me, I’ll ask both Sensei and Joshu how I can perform the move in a way that plays to my strengths rather than my weakness. I also have to learn how to relax my body so that I can transition from one position to the next during free grappling and not gas out. Whenever that moment comes when I get to retire this belt, I know I will have earned it.

Sempai; Black belt

This is my main goal and I will obtain it. For a while I put a timetable on when I thought I’d earn it but I’ve long since thrown it way and focused on the training journey itself.

 

Lyman Good Completes Bellator Contract, Now Free Agent

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After four years, Bellator MMA’s first welterweight champion, Lyman Good, has completed his contract with the promotion and is a free agent.

Lyman in his own words –

“I have nothing but positive things to say about the experience I had with Bellator.  I was their first Welterweight Champion and while I wasn’t able to regain the title, I feel like I accomplished good things there. I was with the company from its start many years ago and hopefully, I helped move the company forward in some way.”

“The entire team at Bellator has been really good to me throughout my career and now they’ve given me the green light to go and fight anywhere I want.”

“I don’t know where I’ll end up next, but I’m going to keep fighting and, you never know, maybe I’ll be back at Bellator at some point.”

Stayed tuned on future developments on the next step in Lyman’s Pro MMA Career.

Parent Testimonial – How My Son Overcame Bullying

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By: Jon L., Rego Park Student/Parent

“After watching Bully, the movie you both strongly recommended to me, I felt compelled to write this e-mail to the two of you and any parent with a child between the ages of 10 and 17. This movie was not a feel good movie, with a happy ending, but real people sharing their stories with regard to their children’s endless torment at school at the hands of a Bully/Bullies (to the point they felt absolute despair with no light at the end of the tunnel). I highly recommend to all parents that they watch it with their kids!

What was so interesting to me during the movie was that I certainly related to several of the parents with my own child. David is an easy going, and empathic kid, who was picked on due to his weight and was perceived as being an easy target. Of course, I would tell him to try and reason with the Bully and defend yourself as a last resort. However, when you have a really good kid, who is intimidated, they have a tendency to yes you to death (instead of taking action they don’t believe will help the solution).

In my case, there is a happy ending with my child David. I have been in martial arts on and off for the last 35 years; however, it was joining Tiger Schulmann’s that truly enforced the words I have been telling David for several years. First, I sent David to the Bully seminar that you ran and David thoroughly enjoyed the class (he brought his friends to a subsequent seminar). Next, I addressed his nervousness in taking classes, telling him that he will work-out with kids his age and at his level (I was studying at Tiger Schulmann’s for several months at the time). Once he started, you can see the change in his confidence almost immediately. You could tell that the words kids used had much less effect on him (certainly this was a combination of Tiger Schulmann’s teachings and constant positive reinforcement at home telling him that it’s the Bully who has the insecurities and not you…you are a wonderful and positive kid).

Fast forward to today, not only will the Bullies avoid David for the most part but when he defends one of his friends they leave them alone as well. I am not saying he will not get picked on in the future; what I am saying is the Bully will have their hands full if they want to push it to the next level (Bullies tend to pick on the “sheep” in the group).

To further illustrate my point, let me tell you the last incident I had with David’s school and two Bullies in his class. As usual, David initially took a passive role in interacting with two completely disruptive and nasty kids (they were physically and verbally abusive); however, this time David told me that if these kids didn’t stop touching him and/or verbally berating him he was going defend himself.

Instead of telling him everything will be alright, I told him if either one of these kids touches you again with a pencil to defend yourself (I certainly don’t condone violence but these kids were out of control in his class…my wife was not very happy but understood my logic). The 2nd thing I did, I wrote a letter to his teacher telling her that my child trains at Tiger Schulmann’s and if either kid goes to stab my kid with a pencil again I am giving him permission to defend himself….of course, this was after David repeatedly asked the teacher to move his seat). As you would suspect, the teacher stepped in and took care of this issue beautifully.

Jon L.”