NJ MMA

Kevin_Thompson_Picture_2

The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud of its fourth class of inductees to the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame. This class will be honored at the fourth dinner gala to be held at the beautiful La Quinta Inns & Suites on December 4, 2015.

On December 4th, Kevin Thompson will be inducted for his Kickboxing.

Kevin Thompson was born in Newark, NJ in 1961. He was raised in the heart and soul of the Ghetto or the “hood”. He has trained for over 40 years, first informally with his brother Mylo Thompson when he was five years old, then later when he turned 7 his formal training began. This was provided by Karriem Abdullah (Al-Mu-Assis) of the K.A. System. Kevin began teaching karate at the age of 10. He opened his first Dojo, the Shakil’s School of Martial Arts in 1981, in Newark, when he was only 19 years old.

During the 1980’s, Kevin was a member of the first ever professionally sponsored national karateteam “Budweiser National Karate Team”, which was coached by senseis Chuck Merriman and Skipper Ingram. He retired from the John Paul Mitchell National Karate team in 2012, where he held the position of team captain and competed in all three categories of competition, Kata,Weapons and Fighting. With his team, Kevin travelled around the world, exhibiting his system of Karate-Do’, He is humbly grateful for this opportunity.

Kevin was inducted into the U.S. Professional Karate Headquarters’ Hall of Fame in 1982 and the original Black Belt Hall of Fame in 1989. He shares this honor with such people as Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee.

During the course of his martial arts career, Kevin has won over 10,000 trophies, the majority of which are first place and grand championship awards. He has competed in and won at almost every major tournament in NYC and nationwide, and has travelled throughout the world competing, and giving seminars and performances on his martial arts concepts. Kevin’s face and form has even been displayed on the covers of many major magazines in the U.S. and Europe.

On the National and International circuits, they call him the “Total Package”, because he does it all! Kevin is the only male competitor to have won all three titles as Grand Champion in a nationally ranked tournament. This was accomplished through his defeating Nasty Anderson for the title in fighting, and Hosang Pak for the title in kata, and Mike Bernardo for the title in weapons at the Montreal Nationals in Canada. This previously unheard of feat, led him to receive the Triple Crown Winner Award from the Professional Karate League in 1989.

Kevin is a graduate of Newark Tech., and later Bloomfield College, where he earned his B.S. degree in Marketing. He has over 25 years of experience in education, where he worked primarily as a Crisis Intervention Specialist. Kevin completed his masters’ degree in Administration and Supervision in Secondary Education at Fordham University in New York City. Soon after receiving his masters’ degree, he took the Principal’s Examination to earn his Principal License for the N.J. Department of Education (2008). He later became a Vice Principal at Barringer High School, where he teamed his expertise and disciplinary skills, with other skilled education administrators, to help turn Barringer around, and produce the most improved school in the district.

We hope you will join us on December 4, 2015. Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of New Jersey martial arts history. Call 201-538-4843 or visit www.njmmaawards.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts. It is certain to be a terrific night with family, friends, fun, and music.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

Gary_Gudzak_photo

The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud of its fourth class of inductees to the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame. This class will be honored at the fourth dinner gala to be held at the beautiful La Quinta Inns & Suites on December 4, 2015.

On December 4th, Gary Gudzak will be inducted for his Inspector work.

My name is Gary Gudzak. I have been an Inspector for the New Jersey Athletic Board for 10+ years. I have been married to my wife, Lisa, for 22 years and we have three children. Haylee, 20, is a sophomore at Towson University and twins Cory and Cole, 14, are high school freshman. In addition to my position as an Inspector, I have been employed by the Ocean County Utility Authority for 27 years. Two years ago I became a Football Official and referee games for children at the youngest levels through high school varsity. Over the years, I have been a youth sports coach for several different sports teams my children have been a part of. Working with youth sports is a great passion of mine. My family and I reside in Forked River, New Jersey.

We hope you will join us on December 4, 2015. Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of New Jersey martial arts history. Call 201-538-4843 or visit www.njmmaawards.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts. It is certain to be a terrific night with family, friends, fun, and music.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

Sam_Photo_2

The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud of its fourth class of inductees to the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame. This class will be honored at the fourth dinner gala to be held at the beautiful La Quinta Inns & Suites on December 4, 2015.

On December 4th, Sam Marji will be inducted for his Amateur MMA Training.

Sam Marji is the highly-respected owner and head coach of Animals MMA in his hometown of Yonkers, NY, an impressive 10,000 square-foot facility, sporting ample mat space, a boxing ring, cage, and weight room.

His journey into mixed martial arts began in the winter of 2000, opening Animals MMA just six years later. He won the Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship as a brown belt in 2010, and received his black belt in 2011.

Diagnosed with cancer within a year of opening Animals, Sam's passion for MMA, and his mission to develop a “homegrown champion” never wavered, as he accepted and won his first MMA fight in 2008, less than a year after his diagnosis, sending a powerful message to his students, and to the mix martial arts community as well, about the character and commitment you can expect from anyone that trains at Animals MMA.

Sam continues to forge and corner fighters in some of the best organizations throughout the Tri-State Area, such as, Evolution, Reality Fighting, Ring of Combat, WCKC, and Dead Serious.

Animals MMA holds belts in several weight classes, and currently sports an impressive 90 percent win record, with a number of fighters making their pro-debut this year.

Sam enjoys an incredible amount of support from wife, Amanda, and his two children, son Sam Jr., 16, and daughter, Savanna, 14, in his love of MMA. Sam Jr. and Savanna have been training since they each turned 4 years old, and continue to train and compete over a decade later.

Animals MMA looks forward to continuing being a positive part of the mixed martial arts community.

We hope you will join us on December 4, 2015. Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of New Jersey martial arts history. Call 201-538-4843 or visit www.njmmaawards.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts. It is certain to be a terrific night with family, friends, fun, and music.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

12182569_911206002296938_5907548517473285167_o

 

Trinity Kickboxing Championship V takes place on Staurday November 14, 2015 at Gamechanger World in Howell, New Jersey. The promotion is run by John Narleski, a former professional kickboxer with a reputation for putting on some of the best kickboxing matches on the planet.

For ticket info, check out their website at www.trinitykickboxing.com. And check out their Facebook page as well. Pro Glory Rules in effect!

 

Frank_Savannah_photo

The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud of its fourth class of inductees to the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame. This class will be honored at the fourth dinner gala to be held at the beautiful La Quinta Inns & Suites on December 4, 2015.

On December 4th, Frank Savannah will be inducted for his Boxing.

As a little boy I always felt small, scared and weak. So I wanted to grow up being a tough guy. The kind of guy that the old Jack Lalanne comics produced, showing the weakling getting sand kicked in his face in front of his girlfriend. Eventually growing muscular and knocking the bully out.

I loved superheroes and watched and played with them all the time. Always beating up the bad guy. That's what I wanted to be.

I remember vividly the comic where superman and Muhammad Ali were in the ring together and I thought of Ali as just the kind of guy who could whoop superman, so I wanted to be like him. Although it would be many years before I found a boxing gym that I would call home. The Brick PAL, in a converted chicken coop, behind R&R BBQ, that's where it started.

I started boxing at the age of thirteen although I had already spent countless hours, without instruction, pounding a bag I had in my basement. In my head I had a whole top 15 ranked fighters, all of them with names and different fighting physical attributes. I’d fight them all with the grace and poise of Ali and the brute toughness of Rocky Balboa. I always engaged in brutal fights in my mind and always managed to win by some dramatic finish, just like I had seen countless fighters do on TV.

I went on to win four NJ golden gloves titles, 3 Diamond gloves titles, three national PAL titles, two northeast regional titles, and the 1991 national golden gloves title. As a nationally ranked fighter I thought about sticking around for a shot at the 92 Olympics but decided I wanted to just turn pro, win a title and earn a ton of money.

I turned pro with Lou Duva as my manager and backed by top rank promotions. I won my first 15 fights before losing a shot at a minor title. After that, strangely enough, I just didn't want to do it any longer. I was ranked #12 in the world but my desire to continue fighting had left. I had one more fight, a draw, and I simply woke up the next day, looked at my beat up face in the mirror and just didn't want to do it any longer.

After 13 years of being a husband to the love of my life, Lara, and raising five children I received a call asking to help UFC fighter Nick Catone with his hands and it was like a light went on in my head. I couldn't wait to do it and I'm proud to say that not only did Nick become excellent with his hands and boxing, more importantly, we became great friends. I also got to work with fellow inductee Tom DeBlass, helping him with his hands for his last fight, a first round KO, and another great friendship was forged.

I've also worked with MMA veteran Jay Coleman and up and coming fighters, Ricky Bandejas, Corey Menafra, Cody Mooney, as well as many others. I can't wait to see what the future holds.

And I cannot forget to mention my lord and savior, Jesus, who has had his hand on my life all along, shaping me,  even through a couple of dark years when I was transitioning from prize fighter to blue collar civilian. Thank you Lord!

We hope you will join us on December 4, 2015. Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of New Jersey martial arts history. Call 201-538-4843 or visit www.njmmaawards.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts. It is certain to be a terrific night with family, friends, fun, and music.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

A1

 

Asylum Fight League 49 took place on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Here are the official results of all the night's bouts.

Paul_Querido_Photo_3

The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud of its fourth class of inductees to the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame. This class will be honored at the fourth dinner gala to be held at the beautiful La Quinta Inns & Suites on December 4, 2015.

On December 4th, Paul Querido will be inducted as Trainer / Cutman.

Paul began his martial arts training in 1988, one week after his 16th birthday to be exact. It all started as a way to participate in something that wasn't a "team sport." It was very clear, just two years later: it had turned into a full time pursuit of training and learning of the martial arts. 25 years later there's as much, if not more, drive and passion for the martial arts. Why? Simple. Because to this day, he's still an active student and instructor of the arts, but: more importantly, the calling to professional Cutman, was heard and added to the list of accolades.

The timeline tells it all. Just weeks after graduating high school, Paul was working full time for Tiger Schulmann's in Middletown, NJ. Starting off as a day manager and earning a position of assistant instructor. Very at home on the mat day one. The training was intense. Hard core sparring - no time limits - no weight classes, just round after round with some of the organizations toughest instructors.

Although it was developing both mental and physical growth, it wasn't without repercussions. Early 20's ready to prove, and not fully understanding the importance of rest and/or down time between sparring sessions, numerous concussions were suffered. Finally at the 7th, or 8th, the doctors gave the orders: Contact to the head could not happen again: Ever. Competition out? He his way into the coaching part of the competitions. Starting as a simple assistant to Tiger and Ron Schulmann, quickly growing in responsibility. It didn't take long to begin learning Cutman duties and to wrap hands. The travel and wrapping for amateur boxing, professional kickboxing and MMA introduced an entirely new view of combative sports. Four years ago call came: Bellator, Taj Mahal, in Atlantic City: to help wrap the undercard fighters for that night's event. Christmas morning type of excitement and so it began...

The new "local" arrived. Just a Cutman wrapping every fighter assisgned like they were stepping into the cage for the World Championships. Backstage with the best fighters from all over the world. Lights, cameras: Action! Totally oblivious to it all because only one question needed an answer: "Matt, can I stick around and shadow you for the night?" Yes. Answer that was very much wanted! Paul reflects fondly at how calm Matt Marsden and Dean Lassiter were, while watching their corners like hawks-everything prepared, mentally and physically - ready to jump into that cage at a moment's notice.

After all: One more round to their fighter is: Everything. Said he promised himself that he would just be a fly on the wall that night, but while reflecting totally admits the questions that night were shot out at Matt and Dean, rapid fire style. That was the bite. Got Hooked. Wanting to know everything about being a Cutman. Read everything he could about handling cuts, contusions, bloody noses. He followed up on all the rules and regulations of what and was not allowed by the NJSAC. He began asking Nick Lembo questions at all of the local events. While watching fights on TV he no longer really watched or paid attention to the coaches in the ring or cage he focused on the Cutmen. "Gone in 60 seconds" the unsung professionals that never wanted or needed any lime light, it wasn't about them, it was all about the fighter. A philosophy lived daily.

After being asked to help with two or three more shows that Bellator had when they came to either NJ, PA or CT and still hungry for more, approached the CFFC. The Cage Fury Fighting Championships, who were, and still are, growing by leaps and bounds. He just wanted to work to keep improving his skills to keep learning. He fell in nicely with this promotion and to this date he still the head Cutman. It was a few years after working part time for Bellator that he was asked to be part of their largest event (at the time) - their pay per view in Memphis, Tennessee. The love of being part of the greatest organization, the love of being on the road with awesome people and so, with the help love, and support of family and friends.

He followed his dream. Now a full time member of the Bellator crew. One of 4 Cutmen used at every show and loving every minute of it. In between traveling with Bellator and the local shows of the CFFC he brings back all the knowledge he takes from these great coaches and fighters, from Matt and Dean the best Cutmen out there-to his students on a weekly basis. Paul has proven you do not just have to be a fighter to be successful in any combative sport. You just have to listen to yourself, and follow your heart. I am extremely thankful to all those who attend, to share this honor and this night with me.

We hope you will join us on December 4, 2015. Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of New Jersey martial arts history. Call 201-538-4843 or visit www.njmmaawards.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts. It is certain to be a terrific night with family, friends, fun, and music.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

Asy

Asylum Fight League 49 takes place this Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Asylum Fight League is one of the East Coast's longest running MMA promotions. The card is always stacked, so don't miss it.

Check out the Asylum Fight League website for ticket info. These fights are insane!

Larry_Cureton_photo_3

The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud of its fourth class of inductees to the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame. This class will be honored at the fourth dinner gala to be held at the beautiful La Quinta Inns & Suites on December 4, 2015.

On December 4th, Larry Cureton will be inducted for his Kickboxing.

At the age of 55, Larry *Thunderfoot* Cureton has accomplished a lot. From Jersey City, he got in involved in martial arts when he was 14 years old. In the 41 years since he has earned a 7th degree black belt and has studied a number of styles.(Go Kai Ju ,Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do and Kung Fu)

Thunderfoot has fought in numerous kickboxing bouts and holds a record of 28-7 with 25 KO*s. He holds titles of WPKO World Hvy.Wt. PKF World Super Hvy Wt. FFKA North American Super Hvy. Wt, USKBA US Super Hvy. Wt. WPKO US Super Hvy.Wt, and the PKF International Super Hvy. Wt.(2 titles were after last photo shoot).

Thunderfoot even tried his hand at MMA fighting. He fought in the early UFC’s #5 & #7. That’s before they started wearing gloves. It was bare knuckle and no holds barred. I asked Larry about the experience and he said. “It’s just another form of fighting. But it lacks the discipline and the Bushido Way of the Warrior.”

In 1988 Larry joined the forces of the Jersey City Fire Department were he continued to fight in several charity shows on behalf of the Jersey City Fire Department, Benefiting fire victims and widows of firefighters. Thunderfoot, when he’s not fighting in the ring, has been fighting fires and served the City of Jersey City for 28 years. (He retired in 2012). But this 6’1”, 280 pound giant turns gentle when he takes off his gear. He enjoys touring the public schools of Jersey City lecturing kids on the evils of the streets, drugs and crime.

Thunderfoot is a RETIRED veteran firefighter with the Jersey City Fire Department, the town where he grew up with his mother and three sisters.

Thunderfoot also possesses talent in front of a camera and has modeled for sportswear and trade shows. He is interested in acting and his current aim is to land a movie deal. He has read a few scripts, but has not yet found one that fits his goal. He’s an extra in the Block Buster Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. With his past track record in persistence, it will probably be just a matter of time.

He is also a personal trainer, bodyguard, a poet, a photographer, a writer and an artist with eye on acting.

When asked why a firefighter. Larry said I didn’t chose the job. The job chose me. “I never thought about being a firefighter. I would see them running into burning buildings and say. Those guys are crazy. I took the test when some friends told me about the obstacle course. I took the test just to see how I would do. They called me three years later. I had forgot I took the test. But it was a great opportunity so I took it. And I’ve been loving it until I felt that it was time to move on. I retired July 1st, 2012.

Now I’m enjoying life doing what I want. When I want. It’s a great feeling”………

Larry "Thunderfoot" Cureton motivational speaking and poetry recitals at High Schools and Colleges across the country have carried a powerful and positive hip hop message.

Larry has spoken to audiences ranging from primary school children to board-level directors of some of the world's largest corporations, and speaks with honesty, humility and passion about goal setting, teamwork, success, failure, risk-taking, overcoming adversity and achieving what we set out to achieve, no matter how steep the odds. His reputation has grown into one of the best motivational speakers on the east coast.

Upon meeting Thunderfoot, you are impressed by his physical stature: 6 ft. 1in., 280 lbs of massive rock solid muscle. There is more here than meets the eye: holder of an impressive list of achievements as a boxer and kick boxer:

Thunderfoot is an individual who chooses to evolve while still being true by what the martial arts have taught him. He is driven by a boundless spirit to create from everyday experiences. His intensity is infectious, poignant and inspiring. Did I forget to mention he is extremely funny?

We asked Larry how did you get the nickname “Thunderfoot”?

Larry said: “When I began working out I would train in the basement of a church. One day I was kicking the bag very hard. The instructor came in and asked, “What is that?”

Some of the guys training answered, “That’s Larry in the back kicking the bag. It sounds like Thunder!” That was it. The church was located at the corner of Ocean and Linden in Jersey City. Classes taught by the late Grand Master Ron Jeter oos……….”

We hope you will join us on December 4, 2015. Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of New Jersey martial arts history. Call 201-538-4843 or visit www.njmmaawards.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts. It is certain to be a terrific night with family, friends, fun, and music.


Here is the complete list of award winners:

Poll

Is Jon Jones the Greatest LHW of All Time?

Kimbo Now and Then

  • Kimbo Boxing
  • Kimbo Street Fight
Could Cris Cyborg Beat You in a Fight?

MMA's Ultimate Shit Talker: Chael Sonnen or Nick Diaz?