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Local fighters will learn from a master

Jeff CaspersenPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

A big name in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world is coming to Glenwood. Jeremy Horn, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter, will pay a visit to the Art of Defense on Saturday to hold an all-day MMA seminar geared toward aspiring MMA fighters.Horn put together a storied MMA career across various circuits and is currently on a break from the granddaddy of the fighting outfits, the UFC. He has a career professional record of 79-16-5 and is best known for defeating former light heavyweight champ and UFC superstar Chuck Liddell back in 1999.It’s safe to say Horn, who’ll conduct the seminar with training partner and fellow fighter Justin Ellison, will have a valuable tip or two for up-and-coming MMA fighters.”It’ll be mostly grappling,” said Sabrina Carmichael, who along with her husband Patrick own and operate the Art of Defense MMA studio. “There’ll be MMA striking, pad drills, sparring, submissions, things (fighters) can take and add to their ground game.”The Carmichaels began offering a competitive MMA class at their studio earlier this year and have seen interest surge ever since. Taught by Patrick, the class is geared toward those who want to get into the ring. A handful of Carmichael’s students have already seen fights at either the professional or amateur level.A former fighter himself, Carmichael met Horn through various seminars he’s attended in the past. Horn’s fight experience is invaluable, he said.”He can teach these guys not only technique, but things he’s tried in the ring – ways to relax, ways to think about things,” Patrick said. “A person with that much fight experience, it’s invaluable to be able to get a class to work with him.”Relaxing and dealing with the atmosphere of a fight is what trips up many a hopeful fighter, the Carmichaels insist. You can be the best trained fighter in the world, but if you can’t calm your nerves once in the ring, all that training is useless.”We try to tell them it’s really tough,” Sabrina said. “The lights, the ring, there’s alcohol, screaming, booing. It’s all great and then all of a sudden they get nervous. It gets after them.”Added Patrick: “Sometimes that first hit will take the fight out of ’em. Everybody wants to fight until they get hit. That’s what I’ve found out.”The Horn seminar is open to the public, though the Carmichaels prefer those with at least a limited MMA background.”It is for everybody,” Sabrina said, “if they want to learn how to train like the pros. We prefer 16 (years old) and up.”A student in the Art of Defense’s competitive MMA class, Terry Rodgers is eager to glean what he can from Horn and Ellison.”As much as they’re willing to teach,” said the 19-year-old, who has his first fight coming up in November.And, who knows, Rodgers and others might just get the chance to grapple a little with a former UFC star.”The way Horn teaches, he’s known to get down and roll around with ya,” Patrick said. “He’s one of the only guys that will do that.”For more information about the seminar, contact the Art of Defense at 984-2109.


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