Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jorge Gurgel Academy Reshaping Midwest MMA

By Sean McClure

If your success is measured by the respect you get in your profession then MaxFighting friend, Jorge Gurgel has it in spades. He is one of the most talented jiu-jitsu black belts in North America and possibly the world. Have you ever been rolled up like a basketball, dribbled around the mat, and then 360 degree slam dunked in to arm bar? You have if you have grappled with me.

Gurgel now owns a brand new training facility that has the largest continous grappling mat in the country. It also sports a full size cage, cardio equipment, two large workout mats in the back, and even weight training equipment. As for the using the cage, "You don't just get to walk in there", Jorge said. "You have to earn it. It is a right, a privilege." Basically, if Jorge tells you that you can step in to their cage, you have accomplished a lot. Maybe even impressed him...........a little. It is not an easy task to impress a world class fighter and trainer in his own school of outstanding MMA athletes.

On Saturdays you can visit the school and find a large number of MMA enthusiasts, amateur and professional fighters, and professional athletes from other sports all training together. Former UFC middleweight champion, Rich Franklin is there every Saturday and spars, rolls, and boxes with anyone, including yours truly. Did I mention Rich has a cannon for a left hand?

"We have top-notch wrestlers, a muay thai world champion, several pro boxers, and so many other different types of athletes that call my school home. Each one of them trains here for a different reason, but they all train and that's what is important. None of my fighters are allowed to do their training halfway. If you want to compete on my fight team you have to be serious about it. That is my name and reputation on the line whenever they step in to the cage".

Serious, they most certainly are. Rich Franklin, Dustin Hazelett, and Jorge all fight in the UFC currently. That's not where it stops, though.
Professional fighters come from all over the country to train in Jorge's school. West Chester, OH isn't exactly the MMA capital of the world...but it could be if this school's growth is any indication.

Jorge has stated on numerous occasions that he would never let his school become commercial. Gurgel said, "I would rather be poor and keep my school's integrity than be rich and watered down", when asked if he would ever teach some of the watered down, mainstream martial arts.

All of this being said, there is still an open door policy for anyone who wishes to start their training in MMA. I have trained there as much as possible for over two years and don't see myself stopping anytime soon.

For more information you should visit their website at

Jorge's next fight in the UFC is sometime in June. Visit his website

Rich Franklin's website is


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