KnuckleUp’s Own Moe Travis on Winning Gold at the IBJJF

Moe Travis IBJJF

Already A World Champion in Muay Thai, KnuckleUp’s own Moe Travis recounts what it was like to add Jiu Jitsu Gold to her long list of accomplishments in the martial arts.

At first I didn’t even want to compete.  I fought myself mentally whether I should go for weeks.  My daughter’s birthday was the week before and so I had a lot to plan.  My husband also had a Crossfit competition the day before my competition.   I only get to train twice a week right now so I felt overwhelmed with everything coming up.  I even took my name off the white board we have upstairs in the BJJ room.  But a few days before the deadline to sign up for the Atlanta open, I spoke to my instructor Gui briefly about my decision and I was not even going to his class that day.  He made sure I showed up.  He said I should just go and have fun.  He was right.  I said, ‘Screw it,’ and signed up that night.

The day of the competition I had no kid and my husband, who is a firefighter, was on shift.  So it was just me.  I felt good and I was real excited to be heading out to the convention center.  I was in a great mood and ready to go.  When I arrived, the nerves started kicking in.  I focused on my breathing as I watched some of my teammates compete.

I saw so many old friends I’ve met from fighting throughout the years.  Some have had children and I got to meet them!  I love babies.  It’s like a reunion every time you go to a competition.

The IBJJF Atlanta Open is a pretty big competition for the Atlanta area. Usually, to get the chance to compete in a tournament of this size, people will travel to World’s or Pan Am’s, which is held in California.  It’s a fun trip but it is costly.  So when the IBJJF comes to your hometown, you show up!  The venue was packed and people from all over the country showed up to compete.

As I waited in the bullpen for my weight division to be called I tried to smile and take in my surroundings.  I weighed in 5.5 lbs. under the max for my division because I had gone up a division so as to not have to cut weight.   I tried not to let it bother me. My friends were nervous but I tried not to let them make me nervous.  I tried being positive for them. I was determined and ready to go.

As they called my opponent and me to our mat, Gui gave me a pep talk and it was go time.  My first opponent was tough and seemed so tall.  We went the entire 6 minutes and no one scored points.  I went for sweeps and submissions but did not finish them.  I think I won by judges’ decision because I went for more stuff.  My forearms were shot and I was tired.  I was able to watch some black belts compete while I was resting.  It was awesome to see the flow of their roll.  I also watched my next opponents compete. They were so feisty. The same girl I had just gone up against won that match so she was able to have a chance to fight me for 1st place.

 Master Murgel told me to believe in myself and be confident with what I know.  I listened to his advice and repeated it to myself right before I went on the mat.  I knew she would come at me hard.  We shook hands and went at it again. I told myself I could beat her again.  I ended up sweeping her and going to mount.  That gave me 6 points.  I remember Master Murgel telling me to relax and take my time looking for submissions.  While I was looking, I was giving penalty points for “stalling”.  They gave me two of those points really fast.  That was the first time I had ever experienced negative points.  I did win the match by points.  I have a lot to learn about points.  I was not perfect in my competitions.  I have a lot to work on.  The older I get, the worse my memory had become.  I am grateful I was able to be out there representing KnuckleUp.

This was my second competition as a purple belt and it felt great to win.  I was able to listen to my coaches and try new things out while I was rolling.  Even after 7 years, BJJ is still difficult for me.  That’s why I love it.  It’s a challenge and something I can continually improve at.  It will keep me busy for many years to come.  I’m looking forward to the next competition.

 

Moe Travis Wins at the IBJJF

 

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Posted in Atlanta BJJ, Knuckleup Fitness News

10 Years of Teaching Kali at KnuckleUp by Lakan Guro Chris Caban

Chris Caban

It all started with an idea.  I needed to get Sam Adams Light into Cowboys Country Night Club for my job at Empire Distributors.  How do I get Craft Beer into a Country bar?  How about I call in a favor from my old Kickboxing Gym, LA Boxing, and see if I can advertise on the ring cards for an upcoming MMA fight at Cowboys.  No one in Ga. had used MMA ring cards for advertising yet and I was bounced around to a few different folks before sitting with an old friend and training partner Chris Stolzman.  Chris and I talked about the ring cards for a while and then he asked me about what I was up to since I left LA boxing/ Velocity Kickboxing.  I mentioned that I was teaching Filipino Stick Fighting and he went blank. “What the hell is stick fighting?” I happened to have a camera with a few videos on it, so/and after watching them Chris said,” Man why don’t you come teach for us?” Read more ›

Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News, The Story of KnuckleUp

KnuckleUp Fitness New Location Grand Opening Schedule Update

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Announcing KnuckleUp’s updated schedule for the Grand Opening of our new flagship martial arts and fitness training facility in Buckhead, opening in September. The gym will open to the public next month so watch your inbox for more information on our Grand Opening Event.

The new gym, located at  4540 Roswell Rd. Sandy Springs, GA 30342 features over 13,000 square feet of gym space, 50 heavy bags to accommodate the best kickboxing classes in the industry, 5,000 square feet of mats and 2,400 square feet of circuit training space.

Acknowledging the slight delay from the originally scheduled opening date of September 1st, KnuckleUp Owner CJ Wilson is excited, saying when the gym opens, in only a couple of weeks, it will be the best of its kind in the country.

“The lease is signed and construction is going well, unfortunately the Sandy Springs permit department is running behind. So once we have the necessary permits over the coming weeks we’ll be ready to finish and have the grand opening.

The new gym will be the one of the main focal points for martial arts and fitness training for the entire Southeast United States and there will certainly be nothing else like it in the city of Atlanta. It will enrich the fitness lifestyle of the city for decades to come and we’re all incredibly excited to get rolling with the new facility.”

To celebrate the opening and for a limited time only, new members who preregister for the Buckhead location will get three months of training for only one dollar. During the three-month promotional period (September – November) we will include unlimited classes in all KnuckleUp programs including the new gym when it opens. For more information on how to take advantage of this offer contact Andy Stroud.

Pre Register Today

 

 

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Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News

Strong is Beautiful a Visual Essay Shot on Location at KnuckleUp Fitness Alpharetta.

Jessica Duncan Rolling

TO FIND OUT ABOUT HOW KNUCKLEUP USES THE POWER OF WORLD  CLASS MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTION TO MAKE OUR FITNESS CLASSES FUN, EXCITING, AND EFFECTIVE CONTACT US HERE.

Posted in KnuckleUp Company Wellness, The Story of KnuckleUp

Technique and Tenacity Propel Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt Jessica Duncan

CHI2

Four years ago Jessica Duncan, a lifelong athlete and fitness enthusiast, had a feeling her training at conventional gyms had plateaued.  Wanting something to take her fitness to the next level she came to KnuckleUp, attracted at first by the gym’s renowned Kickboxing and Muay Thai programs.  She enjoyed the Kickboxing program so much that someone mentioned to her that she should also try the gym’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Jessica, a natural competitor, immediately took to the new sport and has never looked back.  She says her life changed the moment she first stepped on the mat.  I spoke to her recently about her journey with the KnuckleUp BJJ program.

I did a month of personal lessons with instructor Gui Curry to introduce myself to the sport.  Then I dove into Master Murgel’s classes.   I really liked it and I competed in my first tournament almost exactly thirty days after starting Master Murgel’s class.  I lost by advantage but I got hooked.  I loved the adrenaline of competing.  You could say I got the Jiu Jitsu Bug.

 In addition to the physicality, strategy and frequent chances to compete that are a part of BJJ, the team aspect of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu appealed to Jessica strongly.

I’ve always really enjoyed being on a team.  I did track in High School and I’ve always loved competing.  I realized that Jiu Jitsu was something that I could do as an adult and still work and go to school and also get to be on a team and get to compete.  So it was the best of both worlds.  Starting Jiu Jitsu was definitely a complete win for me. Read more ›

Posted in Atlanta BJJ, Knuckleup Fitness News

Stunning Head Kick KO Wins Title for KnuckleUp Fitness Member Austin Childers

Austin Childers is the new Champion.

Last Saturday night at NFC 76 in Atlanta KnuckleUp added another title to the gym’s growing collection when member Austin Childers won the 135 pound championship with a second round knock out courtesy a highlight reel head kick. Austin said he’d been working on the move in the gym.

Austin Childers

It was awesome. I followed a game plan all the way! I set it up with leg kicks.  He was tall but I can throw head kicks at my coach who’s 6’3 so no problem it was just timing and execution.

SEE THE KNOCKOUT!

NFC 76 – Austin Childers vs Brien Calloway:

 

In other action Eric Phillips won his second straight and female kickboxing dynamo Maryia Arlova lost a closely contested split decision.

Eric Phillips

We saw a chink in his armor at the end of the first round. I was able to exploit this in rounds two and three. I got off several hard body shots and appeared to have hurt him a couple of times. This was a fulfilling victory that forced me to make adjustments.

Eric and Coach Ryan between rounds. PC Action

Eric and Coach Ryan between rounds. PC Action

 

Maryia Arlova

I’m not happy about the loss. But I am not upset either. Caressa has so much experience and I don’t feel ashamed losing to her. She just pointed out what I need to work on more.

Maryia Arlova lands a left hook.

Maryia lands a left hook.

 

Promoter David Oblas summed up the big event.

David Oblas

NFC #76 was our second complete sellout at Center Stage and something that no other promotion in Atlanta has ever been able to do. The night was a success as well in terms of Knuckle Up fighters. With the kick heard all the way to Buckhead, Austin Childers put himself on the map as one of Atlanta’s fighters to watch for. He’s now 5-0 and the new 135 lbs. GFC champion.

FinalLogoKnuckleup_full

 

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Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News

KnuckleUp fighters vie for three titles on August 8 Card

August 8 NFC FIght Card

This upcoming Saturday, August 8 NFC #76 has a host of KnuckleUp fighters competing at Center Stage.

In the main event we have Dave Vitkay fighting for his first title belt. He’s been on the Georgia fight circuit possibly longer than most amateur fighters have been alive and he’s finally getting to fight for his first title.

 

 SEE DAVE WIN IN 14 SECONDS

 

On the other side of KnuckleUp you have Emmanuel Osho also competing for his first title. He’ll be fighting Jay Gray for his 185 lbs. Georgia Fighters Championship amateur belt.

Devious Tubbs will also see action in a pro MMA fight vs. the always-tough Pat Mandio from X3 Sports.

From the Douglasville KnuckleUp there’s Austin Childers competing for the 135 lbs. amateur Georgia Fighters championship.

The new Champion

Maryia Arlova with the Belt

The card will also see Maryia Arlova putting her 5-0 record on the line versus the incredibly tough Caressa Sudyod from Florida. Caressa is best known to Georgia fans for taking Mary Matia the distance three times.

Rounding out the show is Khalil Rice and Eric Phillips from KnuckleUp.

“We’re looking for this to be a complete sellout once again with three KnuckleUp fighters competing for their first ever title belts – Dave Vitkay, Emmanuel Osho and Austin Childers. This could be a very big night for KnuckleUp. We’ll see if they put in the work to be successful on August 8.”  Promoter David Oblas.

 

TO FIND OUT ABOUT HOW KNUCKLEUP USES THE POWER OF WORLD  CLASS MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTION TO MAKE OUR FITNESS CLASSES FUN, EXCITING, AND EFFECTIVE CONTACT US HERE.

Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News

KnuckleUp Fitness Elite Grappling Team Shines at New Breed Ultimate

Foster Kennedy, Alex Enriquez and Parker Graham on New Breed Podium

Once again KnuckleUp, under the guidance of the great Master Ricardo Murgel , showed why our’s is the most dynamic grappling program in the South.  At New Breed an elite team consisting of only a handful of members won an astounding 30 medals and placed second in the overall competition.  Here’s what they said about the big event.

 

Alex Enriquez

Alex Enriquez

“The team did a phenomenal job as usual from the kids/teens and adults. The kids especially had a tough tourney with exceptional competition showing that we all need to continue to put in hard work while training. The adults, especially our women, placed great results putting our team in second place in the adults division while only bringing around 8 competitors! Everyone from the kids all the way up to the adults placed in every division! New Breed was a great competition leading to the Atlanta Open. With our team hard at work, everyone should be on their toes to watch greatness and explosiveness on the mats on August 29th and 30th.”

 

Jessica Duncan

Jessica Duncan

“As usual, our team showed up and dominated most of the divisions! Every single person that competed made the podium, and most of them made the podium multiple times. All of the hard work that these competitors put in week after week on that mat paid off tenfold (as it always does!)

I also had the opportunity to see the tournament from another perspective since I worked as staff member.  It made me so proud to look out on the mats and see my team working hard and representing. I cannot wait for us to do it again at the Atlanta Open.”

 

Camille and Gui

Camille Malenko

“Competing is a great way to push yourself and test yourself both physically and mentally.   At the end of the day its crucial to be on such an incredible team.  I’m grateful for everyone I get to train with because they push me to work harder and be better.”

 

Foster, Alex,Parker and Murgel copy

Ricardo Murgel

“Once again, our warriors, with a very small number of competitors dominated this competition and got more than 30 medals!  Alex Enriquez, Parker Graham and Thomas Foster Kennedy together won ten medals, nine of  them gold.  They showed excellence in all areas  competing in the Gi and No Gi divisions,  against teens and adults, at their weight division and in the Open division.  Alex had an especially strong tournament winning six medals, five of them Gold.   Even though she fought against adults, some who outweighed her by 70 pounds, she won all her fights, most of them by submissions.

The whole team had extraordinary performance. I`m very proud of each one that stepped on the mats at New Breed,

Thanks should also go out to Brown Belt Guilherme Cury and Blue Belt Ryan Mancilla, for all their support helping train the Team. Finally, let me pay my utmost respect to all the parents and KnuckleUp and UNION teammates that attended the event and showed support for our victorious warriors.”

 

TO FIND OUT ABOUT HOW KNUCKLEUP USES THE POWER OF WORLD  CLASS MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTION TO MAKE OUR FITNESS CLASSES FUN, EXCITING, AND EFFECTIVE CONTACT US HERE.

Posted in Atlanta BJJ, KnuckleUp Boxing

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu develops my mind and body says 16-year-old Grappling Juggernaut Parker Graham

Parker Graham

Recently returned from a triumphant tour of New York which saw him win two Gold Medals KnuckleUp Brazilian Jiu Jitsu standout Parker Graham recently shared with me what attracts him to the Arte Suave.

What I love about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that it develops your mind as well as your body. It is the only sport that truly conforms to the practitioner’s strengths and weaknesses. There is no specific body type that you have to have in order to be successful. What allows you to succeed is hard work, determination, and the will to train whenever possible without excuses.

Although just sixteen, Parker has already competed in over 600 matches.

Competing is important because it allows you to test yourself and your technique. It exposes your mistakes and lets you see your hard work payoff. Competing is the most important thing in my life. There is nothing better than waking up the day of a competition knowing I get to reap the rewards of all of my hard work, sweat, and hours in the gym.

Parker’s instructor the great Master Ricardo Murgel has been training his young American protégé for over eight years.

Parker started training with me when he was just a little shy of eight years old.  I can tell you this, in 58 years of being involved in martial arts, I have never seen greater commitment than the commitment Parker and his family have to Jiu Jitsu.  The whole family is involved; his sister, his father, his mother, himself. Over last 8 years I’ve seen him grow from a young kid to a young man and develop some really amazing skills in Jiu Jitsu and have at a young age an already amazing career.   

 He has one of the most impressive competitive records for someone of his age that I know of any where in the world.  He already has over 600 matches.  That’s an unbelievable number for any level.  I don’t know many Black belts that have that many matches.  His titles speak for themselves.  He’s won the NAGA many times both in the Gi and No Gi divisions and he usually wins by submission.

Parker will be traveling with Master Murgel to Brazil to train and compete.  He is the first of the Master’s students from KnuckleUp to be afforded this high honor. If you would like to help support his international training, visit his Gofundme campaign.

 

 

Parker Stretch Graphic

Parker Graham at Podium

PArker and Master Murgel

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Posted in Atlanta BJJ

Maryia Arlova Wins Big Again at the IKF World Classic.

The new Champion

KnuckeUp’s own Kickboxing sensation, the lovely and deadly, Maryia Arlova took home another title this weekend.  Maryia won the IKF Super Lightweight Amateur Title when she defeated Angelica Aizpurua in a dominant decision win in Orlando Florida.

Maryia’s trainer at KnuckleUp, Coach Ryan Raleigh, said that this was her best performance yet.

“ It was a complete domination,” he said of his star student’s victorious effort “ but Maryia was also very technical in the fight. “

The new Champion said she was excited to bring home another belt to Atlanta and her home gym of KnuckleUp Fitness.

“It was an exciting and successful weekend. It’s an honor to receive a title and a belt from such a respected and widely recognized organization as IKF. Thank you for all the support I received from my family, friends and the KnuckeUp team!”

Never one to rest on her laurels, Maryia will be back in the ring next weekend, August 8th, at the NFC 76.

 

 

 TO FIND OUT ABOUT HOW KNUCKLEUP USES THE POWER OF WORLD  CLASS MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTION TO MAKE OUR FITNESS CLASSES FUN, EXCITING, AND EFFECTIVE CONTACT US HERE.

Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News