The local mixed martial arts community is a small but tight one and most regular practitioners can be found at the innovative Cayman Fight Factory.
The gym was created like a cooperative after it lost its previous training facilities, where they trained under Poo Choi Grey Brett at the Rogue Gym and then at a mini-gym beside Duke’s restaurant.
After Brett returned to Canada a couple of years ago, there was huge void.
So the fighters decided share the cost of equipment and premises and by January of last year Cayman Fight Factory came about.
It has evolved from just a group of guys training in various styles into a full Muay Thai and MMA team that offers different levels of training six days a week.
Cayman Fight Factory is located in the heart of Cayman’s bustling industrial park at the Lincoln Drive Warehouses, just off Sparkys Drive, directly across from Progressive Distributors.
Head instructors and gym co-owner is Jesse Livingston who said they welcome all skill and experience levels.
“Not only do we offer a safe environment to train, we also treat one another with respect and have great team spirit,” Livingston said.
“Being a mixed martial arts gym, our classes cover various styles including Muay Thai, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, boxing and wrestling.”
The classes are relatively small, usually between eight and 14 people. The instructors firmly believe that exponents benefit more from smaller classes, as they receive more quality one-on-one instruction from the coaches.
The members have a diverse background, in regards to their years of experience and fighting style. This gives an extra dynamic to their training, Livingston said, since everyone is sharing their experience to get maximum results.
Classes are mixed gender and they will introduce women-only classes in the near future.
The trainers have a variety of backgrounds in jiu jitsu, judo, grappling, boxing and Muay Thai. They often work with guest trainers from abroad and they attend or organize training camps to improve their own skill levels which are passed on to members.
All the coaches volunteer their time and no one earns a salary and profits are ploughed back into the Fight Factory for new equipment and general overheads.
Canadian Livingston, 36, trained in Muay Thai under Brett and his goals this year are to complete his trainer instruction camps, compete in an amateur event and become a level 1 field instructor in the TACFIT Commando program.
Flloyd Moxam is another co-owner who has been involved in martial arts since childhood. Moxam has competed in many combat sports, including MMA, boxing, kickboxing and grappling. The 28-year-old Caymanian won gold at the UFC Grapplers Quest tournament in Toronto and took a bronze at Grapplers Quest 2012 in Las Vegas.
Rohann Exctain is also a co-owner and instructor. The 32-year-old Caymanian believes “there is a martial artist in all of us.”
“Cayman Fight Factory will work with you to increase all levels of physical wellness,” Livingston said. “You can expect increased cardio, muscle strength, flexibility, agility, mental sharpness and more energy. It’s proven that MMA training helps reduce stress levels and increases self-confidence.”
He added that the classes are designed to get maximum benefit out of time spent in the gym, partly by using high intensity interval training and circuit training.
“The classes are a great cardiovascular workout, often burning more than 600 calories per hour,” said Livingston proudly.
Even though MMA is an individual sport, he added that the strong team spirit is what keeps people returning there – and why a large percentage are female.
“We help each other grow and often we get together for team socials at Lone Star to watch the UFC events.” They will probably all be there this Saturday to watch Ronda Rousey’s expected tough fight against Cat Zingano.
Cayman Fight Factory’s recent surge in popularity has necessitated an increase in lessons and a little differentiating of training.
Bringing guest trainers from overseas on a quarterly basis and working towards fight exhibitions for amateurs and more experienced fighters is also planned.
Anthony Sansonetti will be visiting soon to train and host a MMA seminar. He is head coach of team Renegade MMA in New York, has over 30 years experience in MMA and holds several titles.
Livingston added that Cayman Fight Factory will launch its new website soon, combined with new training slots and special membership deals.