Thread: Nashville MMA

  1. #1
    Torakaka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Kaka village
    Kitty Pow Pow!!!

    Nashville MMA

    I trained at Nashville MMA for just over a year and it went through a lot of changes since I first started training there, so things may have continued to change, though I think things have settled into a pretty organized setting since I left and are pretty well set in how it was when I left.

    For striking, Nashville MMA has a class they call "Combat Thai" which is basically a class suited towards preparing it's students for MMA competition and self defense, focusing about 70% class time on muay thai techniques while the other 30% focuses on grappling and some MMA-centric skill sets (ground&pound, safely getting to your feet etc.). The Combat Thai class is taught primarily by Ray Casias (a veteran MMA fighter with 10+ years of fight experience and purple belt in BJJ) and Ryan Delarenzo (an extremely talented, undefeated MMA fighter with awesome muay thai skills).

    The Combat Thai class is probably not going to be the best training for someone who's main focus is serious competition in muay thai/kickboxing, though it will provide solid basics for them and is a good class for anyone interested in getting started in MMA. The Combat Thai class also has a colored belt grading system, certified by Lloyd Irvin. The belt testing is free and requires the skill sets learned in class be applied in a live sparring session.

    For more advanced students who are serious about competition and real fight training, there is the Combat Athlete class which is an intense session of MMA fight training. The Combat Athlete is a very rigorous session usually run by Ed Clay, the owner of the gym (undefeated MMA fighter, brown belt under Lloyd Irvin). Ed Clay is a very no-nonsense coach and pushes his fight team extemely hard.

    Shawn Hammonds (brown belt under Lloyd Irvin) generally teaches the BJJ classes, which run several times a day. The BJJ classes have a large focus on wrestling takedowns and rolling sessions start from the feet. There is also a takedowns class several times a week.

    There is also a cardio kickboxing class usually held twice a day and a kids class held 3 times a week.

    One of the best things about Nashville MMA is the facilities. Nashville MMA is HUGE at 16,000sq feet. There are two very large matts for BJJ, two full size boxing rings (one elevated, one floor level), a full sized cage for MMA, 6 heavy bags, a rack with (I believe) 20 150lb banana bags, 3 speed bags (they were kinda cheap when I was there, but Ed may have replaced them), and other equipment.

    Nashville MMA has a very successful fight team, last year winning 9/10 MMA fights.
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    Ranked #9 internationally at 118lbs by WIKBA

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    wu tang
    yeah, I trained there for about 6 months in bjj and it was great. Shawn is a brown belt with lots of competition experience- good guy and you can tell he likes teaching. One of the best things is there is a ton of mat space, nice for sparring. We always started on our feet, so you get lots of takedown practice, which seems to be an exception for bjj schools. I moved away and I miss training there.
    One caveat- if you move make sure that you give 30 days notice and get some proof of a new address to the billing company that handles contracts or you will get harassed. A guy at the gym took care of the problem for me eventually. My own fault b/c I was too casual about it.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    San Diego
    Muay Thai & BJJ
    Very nice review!

  4. #4
    RoninPimp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    Rex Kwon Do
    I've been on the mat with Ed and Shawn and they are great guys.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    CMA,Muay Thai ,Yudo,TKD
    Recently took my heavyweight down to Nashville MMA at the invitation of their new team Manager Mike Camp. It was a great gym and great workout for my guy. They currently have pro Dave "Pee Wee" Herman training there regularly as well as a few other pros.

    Ray Casias and Shawn Hammonds are both BB now and Pan Am gold medalists as well. Their striking program is essentially still the same with Ryan Delarenzo and Lance teaching it, both are excellent strikers and show great Muay Thai skills. In my book this place gets a 10.


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