Thursday, July, 17, 2008. When asked what his favorite part of mixed martial arts is, 16-year old Cameron Lamb simply said, "Just hitting people."
Though Cameron's answer may not show it, the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) is a complex one with several forms of fighting involved. To learn them all, it is tough to find just one place.
"I would go to Lakeside high school and wrestle with the guys there and then get some martial arts training in jui jitsu and some boxing and some kickboxing," says Mark Greubel, owner of Greubel's Martial Arts. "But in order to do all that, I had to go 4 different places."
So Mark and his brother John opened up their own place. Now, MMA is surging in popularity, thanks in part to Evans native Forrest Griffin's success. It is even getting popular among kids.
'It's just something to do and I get a rush out of it," says Lamb. "It keeps you moving and you gotta stay aware."
"We do cardio, we spar and we learn techniques," says 13-year old Nicholas Torrance, who started boxing when he was 5. "I just like it. It's really fun."
And since the gym opened 2 and a half years ago, there's been plenty of success among Greubel's fighters. The gym has produced numerous world champions and this past weekend, not a single fighter lost one match at the East Coast Classic in Gaffney, SC.
"We've been very successful. We haven't lost an MMA or kickboxing match to anyone local since we've been open," said Greubel.
In fact, Gruebel has been named the assistant coach of the U.S. Kickboxing team and Cameron is going with him to Italy, something Gruebel never thought he could achieve this quickly.
"If you would've asked me that 2 years ago, I would've said no way," exclaimed Gruebel. "I didn't have enough experience but I met the head coach and he was very impressed with my coaching ability and it was God's blessing so, he let me do what I love to do."
This weekend, the team is competing in the International Kickboxing Federation's Kickboxing Classic in Orlando, FL.