Whats been going on the last few months and what is coming up!
Wow is all I can say when I look back at what has gone on at the Lions Den over the last 3 months. While initially you would think things would have been uneventful with Covid still going on , it has been quite the opposite. Things are a rockin and rollin. First lets get to what has been going on at the Den in the last few months.
Lets begin with last weeks UFC event featuring one of my first students and current UFC fighter , Mike " Beastboy" Davis. Mike did exactly what we all expected in last weeks event and put on a great show. He fought an undefeated opponent whom was supposed to be an upcoming top prospect in the UFC. Mike not only got the win but also won the Fight of the night award and putting a nice chunk of change in his pocket. Mike has been in twice in the last 18 months to work with our students and we are currently planning on having him back in , in the coming months for hopefully a longer stay. Mike is sending us his wraps from this fight which we will display at the facility which is pretty cool! Stay tuned for his next fight!
Our coaching staff!! We have assembled what I believe is one of the top coaching staffs in the country today. In wrestling we have 2 current Division 1 starting wrestlers with a long pedigree of accomplishments. In Judo we now have Jason Morris who is a multiple time olympian , Silver medalist, Olympic coach etc and in Boxing we now have Jerrick Jones back at the helm. Jerrick has coached numerous World champions in the sweet science and I cannot tell you how good of a coach this guy is. The man is an artist and the ring is his canvas. Jerrick coaches a beginner fundamental class on Sunday mornings followed by an advanced Boxing practice directly after. If you have ever wanted to learn how to box this is not only your chance but a once in a lifetime chance to learn from one of the best coaches in the country. Jerrick has been on ESPN and Showtime events numerous times in the last year alone with his Professional athletes. In Jiu Jitsu you guys are stuck with me but I have trained some great practitioners in my time so far and learned from the best in the business ; ).
Promotions! We had a great belt ceremony go down a few months ago with a bunch of adults getting their Blue belts which is a HUGE accomplishment. Coach Jeremy also received his purple belt in BJJ. We saw our first belt promotion in Judo as well with 8 of our students receiving promotions for the work put in on the mat. Huge congrats to everyone promoted as well as their partners who helped them get there. Our next BJJ belt ceremony is slated for March 6'th and we have plenty of students working hard towards their next belts. Professor Secor will be in putting on another great clinic for the kids as well as adults followed by a huge spread of food via our schools pot luck . Bring some good stuff guys, none of the hot dog gelatins.
Coach Caleb!! After putting in a hell of a career as a high school wrestler followed by hard work this past postseason and preseason, Caleb was named the starter at 133lbs for the Division 1 Buffalo Bulls. Caleb started the first match facing the number 19 ranked wrestler in the nation and looked very impressive. Caleb was in the match the whole way and lost a close 3 point decision at the end.Not bad for a freshman and he is chomping at the bit to get back out there.
We are planning 2 upcoming clinics with UFC fighters in the coming months. Jimmie Rivera whom is ranked #7 in the world is scheduled to stop in following his next fight which is next week. Coaches Trent and Caleb have worked with Jimmie numerous times and he will be bringing some fun new techniques to our students.
Mike Davis is also scheduled to be back with us and we are going to hammer down a time to have him in for a few days this time. Mike has put on some great clinics with us and he always comes with some great new stuff that he has picked up at the main American Top Team facility in Florida. We are excited to have him back.
Naga!! We are planning to compete as a team in the NAGA Jiu Jitsu tournament scheduled for July 31st - August 1st in Wildwood NJ. We normally compete twice a year together at these events while held locally , however with everything shut down , we are going to have to travel. I am encouraging everyone who would like to compete to come. Wildwood is a great beach town with one of the nicest beaches in the US. The tournament is held at a convention center directly on the boardwalk which will be alot of fun. We are hoping to do the tournament and get in some beach time with friends and maybe do the boardwalk and rides with the kids at night. Should be a great time!!
Lastly , OUR EXPANSION!!!
We are expanding! We are taking over the unit next door to us and the project is scheduled to be completed by March 1st. This will end up almost doubling our mat space and we will be adding some different bags for boxing and kickboxing training along with a cage panel for MMA training. Aside from that we will have a little more seating for spectators and a storage room for supplies which has me psyched! It has been a long time coming and I cannot thank our loyal members enough for sticking with us during these crazy times and allowing us to not only stay in business but to grow. We have one of the tightest , close knit student bases I have seen in a lifetime of martial arts and I could not be more proud and grateful to you all for sharing this journey with me and the rest of the Lions Den fam.
see you on the mats!!