Archive for Sunday, April 10, 2011

Group starts MMA club in Eudora garage

Friends in Eudora have put together a mixed martial arts club in a garage in Eudora, as the meet a few times a week to practice and stay in shape.

April 10, 2011

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Donavan Kuck, 24, bottom, and Eric Ramsey, 23, work on an armhold during a late afternoon session at a garage in Eudora Thursday, April 7, 2011. A few area men have put together an informal club to practice mixed martial arts.

Donavan Kuck, 24, bottom, and Eric Ramsey, 23, work on an armhold during a late afternoon session at a garage in Eudora Thursday, April 7, 2011. A few area men have put together an informal club to practice mixed martial arts.

Sean Sinclair 20, kneeling, works against Justin Barstow, 22, during an afternoon practice at an MMA club in a garage in Eudora Thursday, April 7, 2011.

Sean Sinclair 20, kneeling, works against Justin Barstow, 22, during an afternoon practice at an MMA club in a garage in Eudora Thursday, April 7, 2011.

Donavan Kuck, 24, kicks Justin Barstow, 22, as part of MMA practice in a garage in Eudora Thursday, April 7, 2011.

Donavan Kuck, 24, kicks Justin Barstow, 22, as part of MMA practice in a garage in Eudora Thursday, April 7, 2011.

Mark Farr has seen people lose their teeth in his garage. He’s broken a toe, and he’s had friends pop their knees out of place or dislocate their ribs. But none of those friends was upset about the injuries.

The walls and floor of Farr’s garage in Eudora are lined with padding. It’s where three to four times a week area men meet to practice mixed martial arts, or MMA. They call it “garage club.”

“Not a lot of people think getting kicked or punched or choked or tapped out is fun, but we do,” said Clint Moncrief, one of the club’s organizers.

Moncrief, 38, met Farr a year ago, when he chided Farr for driving through his neighborhood too quickly. The two discovered a shared love for MMA, and Farr offered to let Moncrief work out in his garage. The club was born.

“It keeps me in shape,” Moncrief said. “It keeps me prepared for the bad guys.”

Anywhere from six to 15 people meet in the garage a few times a week, practicing techniques, working out and sparring. MMA combines multiple styles of fighting, including karate, muay thai, jiu jitsu, kickboxing and wrestling.

Moncrief said more established clubs often look down on garage clubs, saying members just practice moves they watched on YouTube. But Moncrief said each member brings his own knowledge to the club, and a few have fought in MMA cage fights.

“We’re actually getting a little bit of quality training,” Moncrief said. “None of us are black belts or professional instructors, but we try to help each other out.”

Craig Welch, 33, won a light heavyweight amateur MMA belt in 2008. He intended to fight only once to try it out, and ended up taking 14 fights instead. Welch instructs the younger fighters on technique.

“If you don’t train, you’ll get murdered out there,” he said.

But proper technique doesn’t always prevent injury. Welch once had to stop fighting in Colorado to get multiple stitches under his eye. He’s also been kneed in the face. But injury is part of the game, and Moncrief said it’s something fighters get used to.

“We don’t mind having the other guy punching you in the nose,” he said. “It’s worth it as long as nobody ends up in the hospital. We’re not trying to hurt each other.”

Between punches to the nose and knees to the face, the men at the gym have formed a bond. The club is boys-only, by the rules of Farr’s wife. The guys are lucky enough to practice there for free, although Moncrief leaves a tip jar on a shelf for help with bills.

The workout equipment — a heavy bag, two speed bags, a grappling dummy, weights — was brought there by club members.

“It’s like a pot luck of workout equipment,” Welch said. “We’re all friends, with the garage dojo.”

Moncrief said it’s great for people who might not be able to pay the monthly bill for commercial clubs, and many just want to stay in shape. In fact, Moncrief used to train in martial arts, but fell out of practice. He decided to start again so he could keep up with his kids, and eventually became hooked.

All the other guys are hooked too, despite the pain they could endure. Some members, most whom are in their mid-20s, were high school wrestlers, and others started karate as youngsters or have taken MMA fights. They all have the same goals, though: stay in shape, learn MMA techniques and stay out of the hospital.

“Some of it is painful,” Moncrief said, “even in practice.”

Comments

eotw33 4 years, 3 months ago

isnt their some zoning violations going on here? Wether private or public im pretty sure a club for 15 people requires more then a garage space if inside

eotw33 4 years, 3 months ago

And then there is parking requirements too of course...and no I dont really care

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, no, but I do speak from a bit of experience.

Back in the day (long ago, but not that far away,) I did my share of martial-arts sparring. Most of it was what's called "point fighting," i.e., very controlled with full pads, and a break was called as soon as serious contact was made, which prevented it from turning into a brawl.

But I also did a fair amount of what was then categorized as "full contact," and the PKA was based on that style of fighting. It was more akin to boxing, so you could get hurt, but even in that version of the sport, there were limits, and most people participating weren't looking to inflict mortal injury on their opponents.

I understand the adrenaline rush that drives these guys, but MMA and similar sports have eliminated any sort of limits, and the fact is, most of the people who go to this garage likely have no idea (or they just don't care) how badly they could hurt each other. And they probably won't get it even after someone gets badly injured.

hip_gma 4 years, 3 months ago

To quote my mother "if they had to carry out the trash their back would hurt" HA. Not a fan of MMA but everyone has different interests.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

It's probably to exaggerate how badly they put the hurt on each other whenever the news media come around.

puddleglum 4 years, 3 months ago

isn't someone gonna comment on the homoerotic photo?

spawn11 4 years, 3 months ago

EVERYONE is entitled to their own opinion! I am one of the guys who train in this garage and i want everyone to know that SAFETY is ALWAYS on our minds. We have gloves,pads,shin guards,head gear,etc that we can and do use to protect ourselves,then aside from all the equiptment we also show restraint while sparring and grappling. The fact is someone can slip while walking to their car and break their neck,someone could get a nose broken during trainning and we are totally aware of that however that is not our goal. We do what we do for many reasons. The general love of martials arts,the desire to get some form of exercise,or possibly for some, the dream of maybe someday being an actual UFC fighter,but whatever our reasons may be our most common link is the fact we love this sport and most of us can't afford to pay a monthly rate to go to an established business to train. We ALL feel LUCKY to have the garage to workout in,with good friends who ACTUALLY do have MY safety in mind,unlike the guy across the ring from you who REALLY does want to HURT someone or the thug on the street trying to mug a person. THANK YOU to ALL my garage brothers,and everyone else KEEP the opinions coming that is what makes our country so GREAT!

agent0024block 4 years, 3 months ago

mark farr here..owner of the eudora mma/garage...iv been training mma for 5 years now and i have been in the cage...so to all the shi% talking punks that leave all the negative comments on my gym and my fighters..i say come on up...we will match you up with someone in your weight class and see how well you can hang other wise you can kiss my ass because your a scared bitch

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