MMA gym opening in Clanton

Published 4:50 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Open for business: Jason Rawlinson, left, and Josh Hubbard have worked to open Life Brawl MMA on Second Avenue North in Clanton. Hubbard will serve as head instructor at the new business, while Rawlinson is a member of the competition team.

Clanton may not be synonymous with mixed martial arts, but Josh Hubbard thinks he’s found the perfect location to open an MMA gym.

Hubbard’s Life Brawl MMA opens to public Thursday, on Second Avenue North in downtown Clanton.

“There are no other full MMA gyms in Chilton County,” Hubbard said. “It’s a prime location for the fastest growing sport in the planet.”

Hubbard said the location is good because of access to Interstate 65 and Clanton’s proximity to both Birmingham and Montgomery, but the Thorsby resident also has connections in the sport to use to his advantage.

Hubbard said fighters such as Bryan Smith and Gary Kendall will help instruct participants. Hubbard said Smith is a World Masters Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee, and Kendall is an experienced wrestling coach.

Hubbard, a top-ranked amateur fighter, will be the head instructor, Hope Falotico will lead yoga sessions, and a competition team will feature Jason Rawlinson, Alex Chapman and Kevin Brasher.

A tentative schedule for the gym includes various morning and afternoon yoga classes. Grappling, kickboxing and cardiovascular exercise will be offered 6-7:45 p.m. every weekday. Private lessons will be offered, as well as women’s and children’s self-defense classes.

“About 90 percent of people we’re going to have come in here are brand new,” Hubbard said. “It’s going to be fun, but it’s going to be hard. No one ever really leaves this sport once they get into it.”

Hubbard invited anyone interested in the gym to stop by any time during business hours Monday through Saturday.