MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. --
Five Members of the Combat Center’s Fight Club 29 journeyed to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for the Armed Forces Grapplers Extreme Tournament and dominated the competition Jan. 22, 2011.
The fighters fought the good fight, bringing home four gold, three silvers and one bronze medal.
The tournament’s focus on grappling differed from what Fight Club 29 usually participates in. With only five participating fighters winning an impressive eight medals, team coach Mark Geletko, isn’t complaining.
The focus on grappling made training easier for the fighters.
“Grappling is all about getting the advantage, the dominant position on your opponent and possibly submitting him,” Geletko said. “You can win the match without submitting by getting multiple dominant positions and scoring points, but the main idea is to get in there and get some type of submission. You don’t have to worry about strikes or anything like that. It is just diving in there and getting the advantage.”
The team started out strong with their only No-Gi competitor, Edwin Nunez, winning a silver medal in his event. “Definitely a good competition,” Nunez said. “I was injured and once I got down on the ground and he got on my ribs, I had to tap. It was definitely a good brawl and a good time.”
The team continued to perform well into the beginner’s brackets of the No-Gi matches, claiming a silver and bronze for the regular tournaments and silver and gold for the absolute tournament.
Though fighter Arthur Powell earned a bronze, he felt he redeemed himself by defeating the challenger who had bested him in his first match.
“That is just as good as getting first place. I was able to go back and rectify my mistakes,” said Powell. “I need to improve on some things, so I can go back to the drawing board and train for it.”
Powell went on to win gold in the absolute event tournament. The absolute takes all the fighters of a category and all weight groups. It pits them against each other to find the best fighter.
After the beginners finished their fights, the intermediate fighters took the stage and demolished their competition earning two gold medals for their weight groups and one for the absolute.
“It is a testament to the hard work they put in throughout the week, not only training at night with us but the extra physical training they put in,” Geletko said. “It obviously paid off with everyone earning a medal. So it is a testament to the dedication to the fighters not only at practice but outside practice.”
The next challenge will take place at Camp Pendleton’s Pankration tournament Feb. 26.