Winning takes work

Published 5:49 pm Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It takes a lot of practice to become good at your hobbies. But what happens when you take your hobbies to a pro level?

After three years of participating in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) classes, Cody Cummings made one of his first big breaks. A few weeks ago he brought home a gold medal from the Alabama State Jujitsu Tournament. Although Cummings is only 17, his body weight placed him in the adult division with guys almost twice his size.

“I was allowed to participate in the 150 to 175 pound weight class, which was a lot more fun for me because I got to test my abilities,” he said.

The tournaments that Cummings is allowed to participate in are grappling and submission due to his age. He may already be a blue belt in his MMA but cannot legally participate in a full MMA competition until he turns 18, which is only a few months away for him.

During his matches Cummings was able to choke out guys that outweighed him by almost a 100 to 150 pounds. To him this was just the kind of outcome he was hoping for. He was awarded the gold medal for winning first in the 150-175 weight class and was then given the opportunity to be part of the competitions open, which consisted of anyone.

“I was really excited about being invited into the open, and I was hoping that I would be able to use what moves I have learn from my instructors to bring home another gold medal,” he said.

He may not have brought home two gold medals, but individually he brought home a gold medal and a bronze medal and as a team he and his gym brought home a second place trophy.

Cummings is part of the Spartan Fitness group and is working to spend as much time as possible practicing his moves. After graduating this year and attending college at Jefferson State, he is hoping to take his hobby to a pro level.

“This may have started out as just something fun that I joined but now it has become a goal and a very large part of my life,” Cummings said. “This is now a part of who I am and I want to continue doing for as long as I can and I want to take it as far as it will go.”