Wildwood, NJ, August 4-5, 2012 – Maybe you cut the grass. Or read a book. Or watched a TV show. While you had a typical August 4th weekend, several members of Hammer Training & Fitness’ MMA Team spent their Saturday and Sunday shining new medals after defeating some of the nation’s best amateur Jiu-Jitsu and grappling practitioners.
Four of Team Hammer’s grapplers left the Allentown, PA training facility to join over 1,500 talented competitors at the Wildwood Convention Center. The opportunity to win a prestigious NAGA medal was well worth the ride.
The North American Grappling Association (NAGA) is the nation’s largest and most renowned submission grappling tournament. NAGA offers Gi and No-Gi divisions and then divides the athletes by weight class and experience level.
Anderson Amaya, 17, took home a gold medal for placing first in the No-Gi 149lb Intermediate division. “The championship match was tough,” Amaya said, “but I’ve been working on keeping a cool head and to think and just trust in my training. That’s been my biggest improvement.” Amaya is no stranger to grappling as this was his fourth tournament. “Winning a gold medal always feels good,” Amaya remarked, “it’s like a stamp of approval on the hard work I’ve put in with Team Hammer.”Amaya applied a Triangle Choke to win the championship match via Submission.
Two of Hammer Training & Fitness’ young aspiring Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, Chase, 13, and Gavin, 11, participated in the No-Gi Kids division. Anxiously watching these two athletes was Jeff Morber, father to both boys and Wrestling coach at Hammer Training & Fitness. When asked about watching his sons compete, Morber said “as a fan, I love watching them grapple. But as a dad, I’m proud to see the boys encourage each other, develop confidence, and have fun.” Both Chase and Gavin earned a silver medal for placing second in the tournament.
Morber also competed in both the 200+lb Gi and No-Gi Advanced divisions. Despite progressing in the tournament, Jeff did not take home a medal. “NAGA brings in tough guys. You win some, you lose some,” Jeff humbly admits. “My boys were saying that I did well. And that I looked good for an old man.” He laughed. The smiles on each of his young athletes, both with medals around their necks, certainly prove to be a win his book.
Gavin and Chase are keeping their medals. Anderson plans to hang his on Hammer Training & Fitness’ growing wall of fame. Rodney Guignet, owner and head instructor of the brand new 18,000 square foot fitness facility in Allentown, allows his students to hang their achievements on ‘The Wall of Accomplishments’ in one of the hallways.
Guignet says “the ‘Wall’ is my way of permanently celebrating our achievements. It’s also a great visual motivator for people coming into the gym.” Guignet, at age 47, recently added to ‘The Wall’ with a title belt of his own after defeating a man about half his age in a pro-rule MMA bout. Talk about motivation.
Hammer Training & Fitness is Lehigh Valley’s brand new, 18,000 square foot neo-fitness facility that includes a full gym, Mixed Martial Arts training center and mind-body studio. In addition to an open gym, Hammer Training & Fitness offers Grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Kickboxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Fitness Kickboxing, Isshin Ryu Karate, & Ashtanga Yoga classes, Private Training, and Massage Therapy. Stop in to try a free week and participate in any of the martial arts and fitness classes. Hammer Training & Fitness is located at 420 Allentown Drive, Allentown, PA and can be contacted at 610-841-7010. For more information about Hammer Training & Fitness, check out www.hammerkicks.com and ‘Like’ us on Facebook for health and fitness tips.