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  • Youth Skills Testing: Karate and Kickboxing

    Youth Skills Testing: Karate and Kickboxing

    Please join us for our monthly skills test and stripe promotion for our Youth Japanese Karate and Kickboxing students. This event is open to Kinder Kicks Karate and Youth Karate and Kickboxing students at all Mat Life Training Center locations. Please register your child here. ....

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  • Youth Skills Testing: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

    Youth Skills Testing: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

    Please join us for our monthly Youth Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills test and stripe promotions. This testing is open to all Junior Jitsu and Youth Brazilian Jiu Jitsu students at any Mat Life Training Center location. Register your child here. ....

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  • Spring Testing and 80s Party

    Spring Testing and 80s Party

    This SATURDAY, February 12, 2021 is Spring Testing! All events are at Mat Life Training Center - Gainesville. 9am - Karate Testing 11am - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Testing 1pm - Kickboxing/Muay Thai Testing We will have fresh empanadas and fresh squeezed juice during testing. All members, including junior members are eligible to test. 6-8pm - 80s Party - Potluck and Costumes are encouraged This event is kid-friendly. ....

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  • Looking Back: Mat Life's 44-Year Karate Legacy

    Looking Back: Mat Life's 44-Year Karate Legacy

    Mat Life Training Center’s Japanese martial arts history began in 1978, when Alex Heyman started teaching Japanese ju jutsu, Judo, and karate together as a complete martial arts system in Alachua County Heyman began training in these styles at the age of seven, and had more than two decades of training experience when he began teaching in the Gainesville area. Heyman with Jason Dodd at Global MMA Academy. In 1993, Heyman teamed up with Michael Black, who was leading the Florida Shorinji-ryu karate organization at the time, to open Heyman’s Martial Arts Academy on NW 10th Avenue in Gainesville. Mat Life founder Jason C á rdenas Dodd began training ....

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  • Looking Back: Mat Life's 16 Year Kickboxing Legacy

    Looking Back: Mat Life's 16 Year Kickboxing Legacy

    Mat Life Training Center, then Global MMA Academy, opened Alachua County’s first competitive kickboxing program in 2006 under Mario Shaur, who was an experienced striking instructor from South America. Mat Life founder Jason C á rdenas Dodd began training K1 rules kickboxing with Shaur when he first opened the program. Dodd had been training in full-contact karate since 1987, which made a natural transition into kickboxing, and then Muay Thai. Shaur, Global MMA Fighters, and Dodd at an amateur striking event in Daytona Beach in 2011. Dodd serendipitously met professional Muay Thai fighter and coach Stefan Butin Bik of Crystal River in 2011, and ....

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  • Looking Back: Mat Life's 23-Year Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Legacy

    Looking Back: Mat Life's 23-Year Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Legacy

    Mat Life Training Center, then Heyman’s Martial Arts Academy, opened Alachua County’s first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program in 1999 under Travis Shaddox, who was a purple belt at the time and student of Ricardo Teixiera . Mat Life founder Jason C á rdenas Dodd began training Brazilian jiu jitsu under Shaddox when he first opened the program. Dodd training with Shaddox at Global MMA Academy in 2006. In 2006, Dodd purchased the academy from his long-time instructor and mentor, Alex Heyman, opening Global MMA Academy, which offered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, and Karate, the foundation of our programs today. At that time, Dodd began ....

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