Douglas students run MMA club
By Adam Tatelman, Arts Editor
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has a reputation as one of the most brutal combat sports in history, although that criticism is somewhat unfair. In professional tournaments like the UFC, the referees are the best in the world, their decisiveness equal to that of the fighters they watch over. Really, it is the amateur bouts which boast the greatest risk of injury. But in truth, most people don’t study MMA out of a desire to compete. They merely seek a varied and dynamic training regime, as befits the MMA philosophy of taking all the most useful elements from as many styles as possible.
To that end, the Douglas College MMA club offers a unique method of teaching that is rarely seen in the martial arts world. Depending on the day, and provided you have had some prior training, anyone can lead class. Although club founder and president Ronaldo Ferreira is the primary instructor, he encourages students to share their knowledge of martial arts with the rest of the class. Ferreira himself has over 10 years of kickboxing experience, and he is currently seeking any students with wrestling or Jujitsu training to share what they know.
On the subject of training, there is a definite calisthenic focus in class, reminiscent of orthodox boxing training. The first 15 minutes of class involves a good deal of cardio, as well as the traditional pushups and sit-ups. If you don’t know how to jump rope, you will certainly have a chance to learn. Although there are some spare ropes, it is best to bring your own, as well as gloves and a mouthguard for the purposes of sparring.
The kickboxing-focused classes will be most familiar to anyone who has studied karate, tae kwon do, or muay thai. Given the uniform nature of the human body, there are only so many practical ways to kick forcefully while maintaining good balance. You’ll get a good deal of flexibility from training these kicks, although some of the turning manoeuvres are not as practical as the more linear techniques.
The downside to the Douglas MMA club is its availability. Monday classes take place from 5:30pm to 6:30pm, and include access to training tools like punching bags, speed bags and climbing ropes. However, Thursday classes take place from 7:00pm to 8:00pm in room 2221—a much smaller space with no such equipment. Although the room has a padded floor better suited to sparring, there isn’t often an opportunity to do much fighting due to the classes being only one hour long. This may be a turn-off for some MMA practitioners who want more of a sparring focus.
The greatest assets in Douglas MMA’s favour are its ease of access and no-charge policy. Anyone can practice for free, and since the classes are held on campus, they are extremely convenient to get to. This makes Douglas MMA an excellent supplement to any current ongoing training you may be doing. If you’re unable to make it to your usual dojo, you can drop in for a quick hour-long session keep yourself in practice, and share what you know.