Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Full-Time Fighter: Sean Salmon on opening SS Combat & Fitness

Originally posted on MMAjunkie.com

I am going to do my best with this column to describe what the last year and half has been like working to open SS Combat and Fitness, as well as address some of the questions or comments posted after MMAjunkie.com's original article about the gym.

I had my first fight in November 2005 in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. I started my first MMA training about one month before the fight. Actually, that was my first kind of training in any sort of combat sport outside of wrestling. I was doing most all my training in The Ohio State University wrestling room with just a small handful of guys. None of us were particularly well versed in anything besides wrestling.

In fact, shortly after that first fight, I signed to be represented by Gary Marino (a great guy and still a good friend) who flew me out to Boston for open auditions for season two of "The Ultimate Fighter." They did the wrestling/jiu-jitsu part first, and I was moved on to the stand-up portion at which time they said we were going to "hit mitts." The first thought to cross my mind was, "What the hell are mitts?"

Obviously, that was where my audition ended. I can't even imagine how ridiculous I must have looked to everyone hitting mitts for the first time. I find it humorous now.

Anyway, I was flying back from Boston and knew that my training needed an adjustment. I tried seeking out the best coaching in Columbus, but there was none. That's when I found my way to Cincinnati and Jorge Gurgel's MMA school. I made the 100-mile (one way) drive three times a week for almost a year. It was a very time- and money-consuming process, but my game was getting measurably better every day.

It was during those drives back and forth that I started thinking that I should open my own gym. I had a couple years of college, none of which were in business, but how hard could it be, right? Wow, I had no idea. Just finding a reasonably priced, reasonably located building proved difficult. Fast forward about a year and half through many close calls and nearly complete plans that only fell through at the last moment and now, through the help of family and friends, I have a building.

This has all been done with no corporate sponsorship or even any investors. You can imagine how tight money has been. Everything we got for this gym has been done through hard work, negotiating and even owing favors down the road. So, that leads me to my shameless request for sponsors. If you would like to sponsor the gym, we offer many different advertising packages from hanging a banner, logo on the mats, website or emails, as well as selling your product in our pro shop. You can contact me directly at salmonsean [AT] yahoo.com or MMAAgents.com's sponsor guy, Danny, at danny [AT] mmaagents.com.

Click here to read the entire article at MMAjunkie.com

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