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Greetings , we are back with our newsletter to fill you all in on what has been going on at the Lions Den as well as what we have coming up. We are happy to say things have been running very smoothy since we have reopened after the closings due to Covid. We have about 90% of our members back on the mats and we have also added a bunch of new students who have been a great addition to our classes.

This is my favorite time of year with the fall weather , wrestling season about to start up along with all of the fun holidays that aren't so far away. The first thing , I will touch on here is our upcoming expansion. In the coming weeks you will notice some changes around the facility. We are adding 1000 sq feet as we are taking over the unit next to us. The wall between the units will be coming down which will give us a larger main matted area to train. We are also adding a 2nd bathroom which will also have a shower in it. We will also have a few more punching bags for our Boxing and Muay Thai classes. We plan to add a boxing class for both kids and adults following the expansion which should be complete by sometime in December.

Wrestling season is here and it is a big part of the Lions Den. We are happy to hear, that they expect to have both a High School and College season this year. Let's however start by talking about the youth season. With the uncertainty of having youth tournaments in our area, we have decided to host 4 youth tournaments with will take place through November and December . Tournaments are a HUGE part of a wrestlers development and kids should take advantage of this. There is no going back in time and once you get on that high school mat , you reap the rewards of the hard work you have or have not put in. I see many high school kids who look great in the practice room but that does not translate into wins in matches . This is mainly due to their inexperience in live situations. Sign ups for these tournaments are limited as the tournaments are limited in number due to covid restrictions. Masks will be worn by coaches and parents during the tournament and only 16 wrestlers will be in the facility at a time with 1 coach or parent. High school season ! We will be adding our in season practice to our schedule in November. This practice is filled with the best wrestlers within section 2 each year . The last 2 years we have had over 10 section 2 champions and last year we had 6 kids on the podium at the STATE championships. Not bad for a practice limited to 12 kids. This practice is not for the weak at heart , it is one hour of live wrestling with the top kids and a few College D1 wrestlers sprinkled in from time to time. Coach Trent will be in each practice pushing the pace and staying in shape for a possible return to the mat ; ) . College D1 wrestling !! Coach Caleb has been working hard at the University of Buffalo. He is all cert'd and after a 2nd try has made the 125 weight class. He has been hitting the weights hard and we may see him on the mat in January at either 125 or 133 lbs. He has been doing vey well in the room and I would say exceeding expectations so far for a freshman.

Ok , time for some BJJ . Our next belt promotion and clinic with Professor Secor is slated for November 28'th. This is an exciting time and with us being open close to 2 years now have a bunch of students getting close to receiving their blue belts. We also have a bunch of kids who have been working hard in the room and have some belts going out to them too. This is a pot luck event and be sure to sign up on our facebook page as to what you plan to bring. These events are 3 times a year and mandatory for anyone in our BJJ programs. We are hoping our next tournament will take place in March at the NAGA tournament at the Albany Armory. Our youth and teens have taken 1st place as a team in the last 2 events since we have have opened and we plan on a 3-peat. Our Adults have taken 3rd and then 2nd the last times out as a team and we might have more steam behind us this time to take that top spot. With all the local schools competing as well as over 40 schools from the east coast and Canada this is a heck of an achievement and I cant tell you how proud I am of our students for their dedication to the sport.

Lastly , We are planning a Christmas party for December. This will be for kids and adults. We will have a tree up at the facility and each student will bring in a pot luck dish and an ornament to place on the tree. There will be a secret Santa for the kids and Santa will be in take make an appearance and hand out the gifts. The entire family is welcome to attend. Kids are urged not to assault Santa , we don't need anyone on the naughty list before Christmas .

- See you on the mats!!

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