MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Mixed martial arts fighters from around the country visited the station Oct. 28 as part of the Train the Troops program, dedicated to training the U.S. armed forces in different martial arts fighting techniques.
Working in conjunction with some of the best fighters and coaches in MMA, the program is designed to provide active duty service members with cutting edge martial arts training and the opportunity to meet and train with the stars of MMA.
Approximately 60 station personnel attended the two half-day clinics. The first two hours of each clinic were dedicated to an active training and demonstration seminar, while the last hour was open for autographs and photos with the fighters.
“We try to give back to the military whenever we can,” said Lex McMahon, event organizer and former Marine. “After all, your job is the most important job in America.”
The program was designed by former and current members of the military who now work in the MMA industry. Ranger Up, an MMA clothing company, organized and sponsors the Train the Troops program.
Marines went through three training stations to learn striking, takedowns and ground fighting techniques.
Matt Phinney, professional boxer, and Jorge “El Conquistador” Rivera, mixed martial artist, took a whack at teaching Marines striking techniques.
Nick Palmisciano, Ranger Up president and coach, and Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Tom Amenta, ran a station on takedown techniques.
Tim Credeur, mixed martial artist, and Tim Burrill, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor, showed the Marines useful ground fighting techniques.
“If there is an opportunity to bring something to the Marines and sailors, I’m all about it,” said Amenta.
The air station was the last stop for the Train the Troops program on the West Coast. However, they hope to bring similar events to installations on the East Coast in the next few months and also to Afghanistan by summertime, said McMahon.
“It was great,” said Cpl. Tracy Smith, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron training clerk. “Tim Credeur is one of my favorite MMA fighters and I actually got to learn some techniques from him.”