Conflict, Resolution, And The Future of The MMAC

The Recent Conflict:

As many of you already know, the MMAC was facing a catastrophe in that we were being prohibited from using the teaching studio of the Athletics Centre as our ‘place to train.’  We were told by the administrators of that facility that our numbers were too grand, that we had no right to ‘demand exclusive use of the teaching studio,’ which we never did, and that the only way we could function using that room was to do so under them, via a certified instructor.  Basically that translates to 2 realistic options:

1) pack up and go home…
2) become ‘official’ by having an instructor affiliated with the club work for the Athletics Centre, which requires certification (from where?) and possibly insurance (I was told, and I quote, ‘there’s always that 1 in a million chance that someone becomes a paraplegic doing these kinds of things.’  For the record, I’ve been more hurt playing tag than practicing Muay Thai, partly because the ‘surprise factor’ of injury is removed).

With our recent order arriving the day after this news (+ $700!!), decking our most eager members in quality boxing equipment, as well as providing shin guards and hand mitts for general use, the very idea of shutting down the club (due to lack of training facility) was extremely lame to us all, and something we would not accept easily…

The Resolution:

I almost immediately asked my coach from Warrior Muay Thai Inc. to draft me a reference letter saying that I was capable of teaching this art. In addition, I asked my coach from my younger years to give me my teaching certificate, which I earned but never thought I’d need – until now.  After discussing the issue thoroughly with the executives and members, I was promptly provided several documents from both sources to bring the athletics centre in hopes of getting hired.  This included the financial history of the club, including donations and orders, an extensive club list, and a letter from a pleased member detailing their experience with us.  Long story short, I got hired.  Yes this sounds really awesome for me, but it also opened several opportunities for ‘the MMAC’ which we could never ask for in the past:

1) Exclusive time slots for the MMAC.
2) Permission to store our equipment in the Athletics centre – which means
nobody will have to drag it to the teaching studio or from it.
3) Access to the mats for grappling training, etc.

The Future:

With exams underway and Monday, August 6th being a holiday (gym closed), it is time we say goodbye once again until September.  I am sending a strong recommendation to all the members to keep up their cardio and strength because I have the intention of stepping up the intensity of the classes as soon as we begin again.  The executive members have just drafted a request for funding which we have already sent into the SCSU, which if approved, will provide us with even more equipment (resulting in higher quality of training).


We will be operating Mondays and Thursday from 8-10pm.  The classes have LIMITED ENROLLMENT, meaning that only 15 people are allowed to sign up per class (only 2 classes).  One of the downside’s to being official is that there will be a member’s fee of $15/semester/class, which must be paid to the teaching studio ($15/semester translates to approx. $1 a week!!).  I will see what I can do about increasing the person cap, but it won’t change until I am more established in their system.  Therefore, if you are serious about training and this club then sign up as soon as you can – I will send out another e-mail when I find out the exact date, but feel free to ask the Athletics Centre’s staff about when you can sign up (you are competing for spots since the program will be more publicized).

For those of you who also WANT TO TEACH each other on the side, I plan on leaving 30mins at the end of each class (after 9:30pm) for everyone to do whatever they like – this would be the time that people can either leave, hit the pads with friends, ask questions about martial arts in general, teach each other, etc.

Good Luck on your finals and have fun with the rest of your summer.
The MMAC sincerely hopes you all enjoyed the summer sessions.

See you in September!

Sherif Badr, President, The MMAC


The MMAC Records a Sparring Session

        During this current break in our operations as we desperately search for ways to keep this club alive (especially now that everyone has equipment), I decided to visit the teaching studio just to keep our pressence (sweat?) alive there – but this time Sean came, and he brought his camera.

We did 4 rounds of sparring, but unfortunately we could only catch a little bit of the 2nd round (no batteries/memory).  Click HERE to check it out on youtube. 

P.S. Please excuse my dancing in the beginning… I don’t know where that came from…

Sherif, President, The MMAC

MMAC E-mail Response #1

A concerned Questioner writes…

I have visited one of your classes and liked them very very much. The experience has now inspired me greatly to actually join classes rather than train from books and online videos. The only problem is that UTSC is quiet far from where i live… But I have few other MMA places near my place and I was wondering if they are the right choices for me … There are Salvosa BJJ and Ultimate Martial Arts-Muay Thai Kickboxing. I just wanted to have a professional view one these two training gyms. Also, could you advise me how to improve my stamia [in running]?

The MMAC’s Response:

Concerning the place you train:

I would suggest that you train at the place that most suitably satisfies your training goals.  First you can break down MMA into 2 basic categories; striking and grappling.  Next, decide which you like more or would prefer learning more.  Although some gyms teach MMA, they are often specialized in one aspect of the sport.  For example, if you are more interested in grappling then you may want to check out Toronto BJJ/Salvosa.  If you see yourself as more of a striker you may want to check out Ultimate Martial Arts.  However, the best way to see what gym is best for you is to take the free trial classes offered and judge for yourself.  You may see yourself as a striker but when you go to Ultimate Martial Arts, the low intensity of training may turn you off or may be just right for you.  If you are unsatisfied with the ‘way’ that gym offers striking you may just go to Salvosa to get higher quality training in Grappling. TASTE AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!

Finally, please remember that you have a free space to train on campus with the MMAC. Take advantage of this opportunity as we work hard to provide UTSC students with the greatest opportunity to learn MMA, especially the striking aspect of it.

Sherif, President, The MMAC

Concerning the improvement of your stamina (for running as asked):

In order to improve one’s stamina – get moving. If your goal is to get better at running then the answer is simple – get out there an run!!! However, given that your interest is more geared towards martial arts fitness, I suggest you diversify your cardio to reap the maximum reward. Running may still be an integral part of your training as it is excellent for weight management aswell as general conditioning. However, I would suggest you never limit yourself. Try jumping rope for agility and footwork, cycling for leg strength and stamina, swimming for total body conditioning, the eliptical machine at the gym on a rainy day. The sky is the limit! the more things you expose your body to, the more it will continue to adapt and grow and you will steadily get into great shape. Also, since you are interested in mixed martial arts, I would suggest some shadow boxing or light sparring with all protective equiptment of course, to be some of the corner stones of your fitness regime. These are very sport specific (remember S.A.I.D. – specific adaptation to imposed demand, i.e. your body gets good at doing what you continuously make it do) and will also get you into great shape. For an added challenge, one of my favourite things to do is do shadow boxing while holding small dumbells eg. 1 – 5 lbs. Here are some useful links for you to get some ideas for your cardio. Just remember, get out there and try new and fun things because staleness kills motivation. And most importantly just keep moving!!!  Here’s a great skipping article from ROSSTRAINING.COM You may also be interested in checking out The 300 Workout as it will have you huffing and puffing in no time!! This workout was used by the actors for the movie 300 – and they were in phenomenal condition.

Off to training with ya!

Keep Your Hands up and Chin Down,

Durell Ramphal, Resource and Training Advisor, The MMAC

Thank you for your E-Mail. We sincerely hope you benefited from this response.

The MMAC Executive.

The Heavy Bag…

Hey guys…

I recently picked up a heavy bag (punching bag) on Craigslist for pretty cheap and have been working with it for about 2 weeks (3 times per week). There’s been a definite improvement in my endurance and fluency with many of the punches and combinations. I would highly recommend everyone find a heavy bag to work with as it seems to push the training envelope.

Some tips/details from ROSSBOXING.COM on heavy bag training

Heavy bag drills also make you push through your lactate threshold. They temporarily wipe you out. You feel spent.

In addition to stress relief, working the heavy bag activates all the major muscle groups in your body…It is a fantastic total body workout that builds functional speed, power, balance, timing and coordination.

To get the most out of your heavy bag workout, you need a plan. For example, you may want to start out with one minute rounds (work intervals), interspersed with 30 to 60 second rest/recovery periods.

You may also want to start with basic punching combinations. As your anaerobic stamina increases and your skill improves, you can gradually increase the length of your rounds to 3 minutes and incorporate more complex punching combinations.

During the round, or work interval, you should strive to punch continuously. Controlled continuous punching is the key to optimizing the benefits of your workout.

Some Excellent Heavy Bag Drills (for the Arms)…
  • Speed Drill – Throw your punches as fast as possible. A minimum of 4 punches per combination. Develops speed and anaerobic endurance.
  • Outside Drill – Throw your jab and straight power punch combination. Circle and jab. Throw your combination and move. Circle in both directions. Develops footwork and staying power.
  • Inside Drill – Get in close with hooks and uppercuts. Slip, bob and weave. Develops inside power and stamina.
  • Change Directions – If you usually circle left, circle right. Throw jabs while mixing in combinations as you move. Develops coordination, endurance and change-up ability.
  • Jab – Do an entire round with only the jab. Snap out single, double and triple jabs. Mix in feints. Move in both directions. Develops quickness, stamina and coordination.

I find the best thing to do is do 1-3 minute round of a certain drill (ex. Speed Drill), followed by a rest interval followed by another round of a different drill. Keep moving during the rest period to keep your heart rate up. Work your way through the drills and keep switching the order of the drills to develop skills continuously. Also remember to keep moving your feet, shuffling and paying close attention to technique and speed. Power will follow. And don’t neglect your other weapons. Simply modify the above drills to include the swing kick, the push kick, the knees, the elbows, the forearms, the shins and the blocks.

Remember to wrap your hands properly and use padded/bag/boxing gloves. Working at such an intense activity without equipment may hurt your wrists and fingers. If you need some boxing drills, comment and the Exec. would be pleased to oblige.

The Admin

Equipment Order!

Good news everyone…

On Saturday, the executive sat down and ordered all the club equipment from RINGSIDE. It was a huge order with over 25 pieces of equipment…All told, the bill came to $600!

The equipment should be arriving within a week or two. Among the equipment we ordered…

14 Pairs of Top Contender Classic Training Gloves – Hook & Loop (16 oz.)
Now safer and softer with a new technologically advanced molded foam system. All leather construction with a water resistant nylon liner. Wrap around Hook & Loop adjustment system provides a comfortable fit.

The Gloves we Ordered

Top Contender Classic Weave Handwraps – 10 Pack
Durable cotton wraps that help support and protect your hands. High end hand protection for boxers on a budget. Each wrap is 2′ x 170″ with a Hook & Loop Closure and thumb loop.

Hand Wraps we ordered

1 Pair of Top Contender Shin-Instep Guards
All leather construction with a reinforced instep guard and double layered form fitting shin for complete protection. Fully adjustable Hook & Loop straps.

The Shin Guards we Ordered

1 Pair of Top Contender Panther Punch Mitts
Innovation and performance don’t have to be expensive. Curved design is ideal for catching punches and putting together rapid fire combinations. Breathable open fingers and vented hand compartment for added comfort. Compact 1.5″ layer of shock absorbing padding.

The punch mitts we ordered

Alright…so the equipment should come in real soon. And once it does, we can increase the intensity of our training.

The Admin

Reliable Diet Site…

Hey Guys…

Sherif found an excellent diet and nutrition site that contains a lot of good information. The site doesn’t outline specific diets but does have a lot of material on the theory of dieting and motivational aspects on the whole subject of nutrition. Give the site a look by clicking HERE (

The Admin

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