Dana White exploded onto the scene in 2000 after seven years of honing the UFC experience. He, almost singlehandedly, made the UFC synonymous with Mixed Martial Arts. If you think you might have what it takes to become a UFC superstar, here are the places you can learn the “art” of Mixed Martial Arts.
Reign Training Center
22600-F Lambert Street Suite #1201
Lake Forest, CA 92630
With extensive presence in the Orange County training scene, Reign’s facility is impressive. They offer instruction in various forms of disciplines including wrestling, kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, and standard boxing. Their schedule is varied enough to catch your favorite class when it fits your schedule, and those classes seem to be regularly scheduled. Reign offers a wide range of training options, from fitness to professional. They also offer special private events, tailor made for group bonding or just to make an ordinary day something extraordinary.
23211 Del Lago Dr. Unit B
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Lightning sets itself apart through its dynamic training options. They offer Muay Thai (Thailand’s specific brand of kickboxing), combat conditioning, Jiu-Jitsu, MMA specific training, and a special kids program. The schedule of moderately-priced classes runs throughout the day with the last class at 8 p.m. Lightning also offers a free guest pass in order to let you try out the classes before you make a bigger commitment. The trainers there are retired MMA professionals. It’s always nice to have someone with that kind of experience telling you what to expect before you step into the ring.
Rampage Fitness Academy
26381 Via Linda Suite B
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Started by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, the academy has been left in the capable hands of Quinton’s lifelong friend, David Roberts. Rampage Fitness Academy trains in the base disciplines of MMA, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and boxing. They also offer kids classes and classes specifically tailored for women. Their gym is a tight ship. It’s a large space and exceedingly clean. A free class is a good reason to stop by and join in. Need another good a reason? Rampage Jackson has been known to stop by and say hello during a class.
Sounds strange — a gym with boxing in their name being a good place to learn MMA? It would be until you learn that Dana White and his UFC brand just bought out LA Boxing and is converting the gyms to focus on MMA. The conversion may be slower in your area, so if your LA Boxing hasn’t adopted the UFC attitude and look, be patient — it will. It will also be more widespread as part of their company focus will be to take “UFC GYMS” worldwide. Check your local LA Boxing facility for MMA classes soon.
OC Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts
18241 McDurmott W Suite B
Irvine, CA 92614
This studio has shifted its focus in recent years to capitalize on the popularity of MMA. They now offer a MMA training regimen with kickboxing at its base. The studio also has Jiu-Jitsu classes in two disciplines: Brazilian and No Gi. In addition they teach Muay Thai, and the Bruce Lee-founded Jeet Kune Do. Strangely there is no specific boxing training, but their focus on kickboxing and various forms of Jiu-Jitsu makes up for that fact. If you’re looking for a good head start, OC Kickboxing offers a free 30-day pass where you can try as many disciplines as you’d like. If your kids want to get into the scene, they also offer children’s classes in MMA training.
Josh Calvert is a freelance writer. Follow him @Joshcalvert10.