New MMA Strength And Conditioning Program At Derby City MMA


Joe Clark and I recently created an MMA strength and conditioning program for Derby City MMA. It came as a result of a conversation we’ve had many times about how many fighters and amateur athletes lack solid overall conditioning. They may be good at their sport but they often lack that extra push during their training and competitions that proper strength and conditioning can bring.

Think of it this way. If we took 2 athletes and placed them against one another. Both are identical in every way down to their skill and abilities. The only difference is that one is stronger, more explosive and has greater endurance as a result of strength and conditioning training. Who wins?

From my personal experience, being in better physical conditioning than my opponents has been helpful. Over the years I’ve had several matches where I was down but was able to outwork my opponent later in the match for the win.

It’s also important to add that with increased overall fitness you increase you’re ability to work harder on the mats. Also a stronger overall body will help you prevent injuries.

Who Is This Program Designed For?

  • If you are currently training in BJJ, Boxing, MMA (or any combat sport). This program will help you develop explosive power, useable strength and a deeper gas tank to rely on during training or competitions.


  • If you’re someone who is out of shape and wants to do one of the combat sports we offer. This program will help you get into shape faster so that you can get the most out of your training.


  • Do you want to get into shape but have no desire to compete or even do a combat sport? That’s fine too. You can take advantage of the exciting style of training this program has to offer. Even if you just want to look a little better with your shirt off.



I’ll stress to you that while we do have a Crossfit gym, this isn’t Crossfit style training. This program is a combined effort between Joe and I. Joe brings a wealth of knowledge when it comes to weight training in various forms and coaching. In turn, I bring the experience of over a decade of combat sports and competition preparation experience. This program is designed to improve overall conditioning to boost performance on the mats and in the ring.

Some of the exercises will be familiar like the strength training staples while many of the exercises will be new to your body. Either way, it’s gonna be fun.

So if you are currently at Derby City MMA, talk to Joe or Chewy about the new program. If you are not a member at Derby City MMA but would like to take advantage of this new program. Give us a call at 502-937-8797 and we will get you into the gym for your first training session!

As of right now classes are three days a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday!




Derby City MMA is different than your normal gym

Derby City MMA in Louisville, KY is a unique experience.

I can say from personal experience and those of my students that Derby City MMA is different than any traditional fitness gym that you’ve ever been to in the past.

In the video below I talk about the top 2 reasons I believe Derby City MMA is different than a traditional fitness gym. These differences will help you personally reach your goals whether it’s just get in shape or competition goals.

If you have any questions about our gym, please feel free to give us a call at 502-937-8797. Myself or one of the other coaches are more than happy to help answer your questions.

Hopefully I’ll see  you in the gym soon!


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Results from our last MMA fights in Louisville

2 weekends ago we had 3 of our MMA fighters take to the cage here in Louisville. Each one of the fights was significant for it’s own reason. This was one of our fighters first MMA fight. Another it was his first MMA fight in 4 years and another was rebounding from a loss.


Here is the first fight of the night. It was also voted MMA fight of the night. This was Morgan’s very first fight at he did a heck of job. His opponent was super tough and we are proud of him for winning such a tough first fight.



The next MMA fight of the night was with one of our coaches Robert Neats. He did a great job using his stand up to set up the ground attack initially. After that he did a great job transitioning from attack to attack on the ground with his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu skills. His opponent was gritty and toughed out many of the submission attempts.

In the end the fight was stopped due to an accidental elbow to the face. Elbows are not allowed in amateur divisions in the state of Kentucky. Robert was winning both rounds and was given the win.


The last MMA fight of the night for us was with our long time fighter Kevan Avery. Kevan had been preparing incredibly hard for this fight. It was his first MMA fight in 4 years. His opponent was a last minute replacement. We were really glad his opponent stepped up to fight.

The fight is super quick and Kevan wins with a tko. It was a great start back.



Again, great job to our fighters and we are looking forward to getting more of our athletes into the ring.

If you are personally interested in getting into the cage, ring or competition mat yourself. Give us a call, 502-937-8797

Training in Louisville: The Top 10 Questions We Get From Beginners


Everyday we have new people that come into the gym for the very first time or we talk to people who are interested over the phone.

These same people almost always have the exact same questions. So I’ve been keeping track of the most popular questions so that I could share them with anyone who is a beginner and interested in training.

Being brand new and starting your training in Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Kickboxing, MMA or CrossFit can be super intimidating. Take that back, being brand new in ANYTHING can be intimidating. I remember looking up dancing lessons once and I definitely over analyzed the situation because I was intimated and nervous at first.

So I get it.

Hopefully after reading through some of these, I’ll answer questions you might have. If I don’t answer any questions you have, just give us a call 502-937-8797 and I’ll be more than happy to help you with any additional information you need.




1. Do I need experience? Are beginners welcome?

A:I’m not even sure why this is a question. Of course beginners are welcome.

I know the idea of an MMA / CrossFit gym is intimidating but I promise you, our goal is to build people up.

I remember what it was like to be on the mats for the first time and because of that, nothing brings me more satisfaction as a coach then building someone up to a level of skill they never thought possible.



2. What do I need for my 1st class?

A:Just workout clothes. Nothing special. Be sure to come hydrated though, we’re going to make you sweat!


3. Will I get beat up? I don’t want to get punched.

A:Again, I think this question comes from people’s perceptions about MMA gyms. But trust me, we are not going to beat you up.

Whether you’re doing Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Crossfit or whatever. I promise, we won’t feed you to the wolves.


4. Do I need to pay for my 1st class?

A:No the first class is free. It’s a chance for you to check out the gym with no obligation.


5. Do you offer beginner classes?

A:Yes. We have dedicated beginner classes for all of the different training styles we offer. The classes are designed to ease you into training at your own pace and build you one step at a time.


6. What if I’m really out of shape? Can I still train or should I wait till I’m in better shape?

A:In every class, everything we do is scalable. Meaning that you can adjust the level of training to whatever you can do personally. If you can’t do something when you first start, it’s alright. We will help you work around it.

I’ll also say this, if you’re out of shape and want to improve it’s even more important that you come in the gym. Because what you’re doing right now isn’t working and we will help you get on track with your health, fitness and lifestyle goals.

All you need to do is show up.

Just a side story about this. One of the guys in our gym first started off overweight and out of shape. He would wheeze during the warmups. In just a matter of months he lost a tremendous amount of weight and won several BJJ competitions and even fought MMA about 2 years later.

Not bad for a overweight out of shape guy right?



7.Is there an age limit or preferred age?

A:Nope. Any and all ages are welcome. We have kids class and adults who are into their 60s training.

You’re not too old to get into great shape, improve your health and learn how to fight.


8.Do you have to compete?

A:While our gym has a rich tradition of competition in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Boxing, MMA and Crossfit. You don’t have to compete if you don’t want. We will encourage you because we like making people into champions but our competitors only make up around 10% of our members.



9. You guys have a full weight lifting facility and offer Crossfit?

A:Just the other day I had a couple of people checking out the gym and they were surprised to see that we offered a Crossfit facility. They knew we offered mixed martial arts training but were completely unaware that we have a Crossfit facility.

We definitely do and we’re doing a lot of cool things with it. If you’re interested in Crossfit and live in Louisville you can get more info at


10. Do I need an appointment?

A:You don’t need one necessarily. We like to give the coaches a heads up about who is coming to their class but appointments aren’t required.




So, I hope these questions and answers help you personally answer any of the questions you had about the gym. If not, just contact us and let us know.

As always, if you’re a beginner and interested in the gym. Don’t put it off. Just give us a call and check out the gym for the first time, for free. There’s no obligation whatsoever and it’s a great chance to expose yourself to something new and exciting.

As always, thanks for reading.




Easy Meal Prep For Weight Loss



Meal Prep is one of the most important habits to add into your lifestyle in order to achieve the best fitness and performance possible. You’re body is a machine, and just like a machine. If you put good fuel into the machine, it will run very well. Likewise, if you put bad fuel into the tank, don’t expect too much.

After working out or during a busy day if you don’t have food handy, you’re just going to revert to eating bad food. It just happens, we’ve all been there, we’ve all done it.

The best way to avoid the temptation of bad food is to have healthy delicious food readily available. The best way to do this is to meal prep! Meal prep is a staple for most athletes. Basically you prepare your food for the week in advance and you then have all the good stuff you need for the week.

In the video below I show a really really easy way to cook 3lbs of chicken that can be use for the week. The recipe is healthy and delicious which will make it easy to stick with it. Remember just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean the food can’t taste good. Also if you dread eating the food then you’re unlikely to stick with it and reach your weight loss or fitness goals.

Enjoy the video below and if you have any questions or comments, let me know!






7 Reasons Why People Love Boxing (Hint:It’s not knocking each other out)

7 Reasons Why People Love Boxing (Hint:It’s not knocking each other out)

multiple heavy punching bags

Boxing is one of our most popular programs here at Derby City Mixed Martial Arts. Everyday we have tons of people coming in to learn the sweet science. Some train for the fitness benefits, others for self-defense and there are those who have aspirations of competition glory.

I’m always curious about why people come into our gym. I know the reasons why I love training personally, so I enjoy asking people why they enjoy training. I’ve asked literally hundreds of people over the years, why they train Boxing. I asked them why do they come in, day in, day out and why they like it so much.

Here are 7 of the main reasons why people love Boxing and the training here at the gym. . .

1.A great workout – Many people say it’s the best workout they’ve ever had. It wears them out and makes them sweat like no other.

2.It’s mentally engaging – Whether they’re hitting the bag, sparring or doing partner drills.They’re not thinking about working out like you are if you’re doing something boring like running on a treadmill or any other sort of cardio exercise you don’t like. Instead you’re focused on the next punch or the partner moving in front of you.

3.It’s actually fun – Here’s a secret. You’re not going to keep working out and improving your health if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. All the people coming in say it’s fun and it’s something they look forward too. Not something they dread.

4.It’s a form of self-defense – If you want the ability to fight for self-defense. Boxing is definitely a good place too look. I’ve had several members over the years that said their boxing tell me that they were able to successfully protect themselves outside the gym.

5.It’s a stress reliever – Do you have a crappy boss or do you sometimes just feel stressed out from all the negative stuff life has to offer? I think everyone does. I can personally attest to the fact that coming in and boxing after a long stressful day can be one of the most amazing things ever. Many of our members share this idea.

One member told me that he enters the gym a stressed out mess and leaves a brand new person. After he gets rid of all the negative stress through the boxing training he’s a much calmer, more relaxed person.

6.It’s a community – Unlike most gym experiences, if you’re a part of a boxing club you’re a part of a community. One where you get to know your training partners very well and end up making a lot of awesome friends. This is a big contrast to the solitary experience at a weight lifting gym where you’re by yourself.

7.Coaching and learning – Many of the members have told me that they really like boxing at the gym because they are learning constantly and they’re coached. One woman in particular told me that she had been a part of a regular gym for over a year and went daily but didn’t really get much out of it. Within 6 months of boxing training she made huge strides towards her weight loss goals. She said this was because she was being coached through the whole thing rather than her being by herself.




BJJ in Louisville, KY for Visitors

I know from personal experience that visiting a gym when you’re out of town can be a fantastic experience. It can also be a really awful one. Just depends on the gym and how they welcome visitors.

Here at Derby City MMA we have a fantastic BJJ program and we do our best to make people feel welcome when they are squeezing in a roll between work, family or whatever brings them in town.

If you’re visiting and looking for Bjj in Louisville, Ky. I did a video to give you more information. Hope it helps!

Again if you have any questions about BJJ training while you’re in Louisville, feel free to send me a message.



Louisville Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Open Mat 7/19/15



Last Sunday I hosted an open mat here at the gym. The turn out ended up being bigger than I expected. There were 50+ people representing half a dozen gyms on the mats together. Training, sharing moves and further building the community that exists here in Louisville, Ky.

This type of thing happening is significant  to me because I’ve seen where the Louisville Brazilian Jiu-jitsu community started.

Back in 03 when I started it was hard to find a gym, and if you did, the gyms were typically very closed off to one another.

Now there are multiple flourishing gyms, each with their own styles and cultures, constantly mixing it up and growing.

I was incredibly happy that we had such a big turn out and really happy to see how much Louisville Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has grown.

If you train in the area and would like to mix it up with us. Be sure to look for the next open mat! We’d love to have you out to train with us.

If you’re interested in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and live in the Louisville area. Click here.



1 easy diet change to lose weight and be healthier



Do you drink sodas regularly? Are you trying to lose weight or get into the best shape you can be?

Many people, when faced with a thirst start to reach for an ice cold soda. What they may not realize is that sodas are not thirst quenchers, in fact they can make you continually thirsty. Before I get into the information let me share that I occasionally have a soda. My favorite is cherry coke. I’m not condemning soda drinkers and it’s ok to have a soda from time to time. But they shouldn’t be a daily occurrence.

Now, lets examine three key ingredients and their effects to understand why.

The Sugary Salty Caffeine Loop!

Sweeteners – One of the key ingredients in sodas are sweeteners, usually in the form of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup. You may see some sodas label “natural” as if it’s some how better. In the end though, sugar is sugar and your body’s response to it is the same.  Our bodies crave sugar and sodas are packed with it! Regular sodas contain massive amounts of sugar. An example to give you an idea is a sugar packet. A typical sugar packet contains roughly 4g of sugar. A 20oz bottle of coca cola contains about 65g. That means you’re drinking over 16 packets of sugar in one 20oz coke!! What would you think if you saw someone dump 16 packets of sugar into their coffee?

Salt – Drinking the same 20oz soda will also cause you to consume 75mg of sodium. Now why is so much sodium needed for a sweet drink? Well it helps keep it fizzy, and your body, just like with sweets, craves salt. It also makes you thirsty. But the salty is masked by the sweet.

Caffeine – Caffeine can give you that boost during the day that you desire to stay productive. However, this stimulant is also very hard on your adrenal glands and can become addictive over long periods of continued use. Requiring you to up the dosage to get the same effect. Caffeine is also a mild diuretic and can cause you to get rid of free water.
Fun Snippet of information. Often times sodas are paired up with salty, greasy foods at restaurants to off balance the flavors. When your body gets overloaded with too much of one type of food it sends signals to your brain to stop. This is why you might eat some greasy, salty or sweet food and then feel the need to stop. By drinking a sweet soda it washes away the salty and greasy taste allowing you to buy more and eat more food at the restaurant. Another reason to drink water!

Now lets combine the loop!

Alright, so you are thirsty and need something to drink. You consume a soda in order to quench your thirst. However, you didn’t give your body what it actually desired. Instead of quenching your thirst with a valuable liquid such as water. You consumed a liquid loaded with sugar which will quickly convert to FAT! Next you are taking in a healthy dose of salt which is not a helpful thirst quencher, and in fact, can make you thirstier! Finally you get a jolt of energy from the caffeine, which your body will come to want. The worst part of all of this is that you never satisfied your thirst. Instead you are on an artificial sugar and caffeine induced high and you’re still thirsty. What do you do next? Well, you’re still thirsty, so you drink another soda, then another, and so on.

How much weight would you gain from just 1 soda?

Assuming you were not gaining or losing weight on your current diet, if you were to drink just 1  soda a day then you could end up gaining upwards of 35lbs!!! 35lbs??? That is a serious amount of weight!

So If you currently drink sodas on a regular basis and are trying to lose weight. Stop! Instead stick with water and enjoy actually quenching your thirst as well as giving your body what it needs. If you need the caffeine boost start drinking teas or coffee. Oh, enjoy the accelerated 35lbs of weight loss!

Why do people train at Derby City MMA?

So the other day I went around with the camera asking people, “Why do you train at Derby City MMA?”

No one was prepared for the camera or the question. The reactions and answers were pretty funny.



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