Cayman’s mixed martial arts
community has plenty of reasons to be buzzing this summer. Now local fighters
get another jolt with the introduction of a new training facility.
Caymanian Andrew Ford, 24, started
his own mini-gymnasium called the ‘Ford Fitness Centre’ last month. In addition
to offering personal training and basic cardiovascular work-outs, Ford has also
implemented sessions for popular combat sports on the island, particularly
boxing and mixed martial arts.
Aimed at small groups, the facility
has only drawn a handful of members so far. A high percentage of that fold are
local fighters. Last Friday Ford led a Muay Thai kickboxing class at his place,
located in the MCR building next to the West Star Television Centre off Eastern
Three people showed up in Ryan
Charles, Rich Ebanks and Nick Pitman. Charles, 25, is the son of doctor
Clarence Charles and has been in the MMA scene for over two years. The tall,
lanky striker states the gym is a welcome sight for Cayman.
“I had a decent time here. I wasn’t
in the best shape heading into Friday’s session so it was tough for me. But on
the whole this is a good thing because combat sports are about muscular
endurance. That’s what you’re going to get from doing this work-out. At the end
of the day it’s functional training, it’s sport-specific and helps put you
through the pain barriers you’ll need to go through to fight.”
Pitman, 38, splits his time between
being a DJ and a magazine contributor. The Brit didn’t say much after the
session as he was visibly exhausted. However he did say in passing it was
amazing doing the routines straight through with no stops.
Ebanks, 25, has steadily grown his
commitment to mixed martial arts. He’s been sparring steadily with local
fighters and was one of the 90 attendees at the Kenny Florian MMA seminars last
month. As the electronics and motor sports aficionado states, the fitness
centre workout proved he has much to learn in the sport.
“It was good and very challenging.
I came in to being a member of the centre with the mentality that I was in good
shape. I was 285lbs not too long ago and I’m down to 210lbs now. I felt good
after losing the weight. After coming here I see I have a ways to go to feel
like I’ve achieved something in MMA.”
Ford got the facility started after
the Florian seminars. He also took part and stated his experience there gave
him further gumption to go ahead with the MMA aspect of his fitness centre.
“Before Kenny and Peter Welch came
I had it in mind that I wanted to start this facility. I attended the seminars
and helped with set-up. With my interest being in boxing I was most keen on the
boxing sessions with Welch. My technique was pretty good as Welch pointed me
out in particular. From there I felt like I wanted and needed to build on that.
I’m trying to help build up MMA here. I’m looking for people who want to learn,
train and get in shape.”