Since September, many UNB students and community members alike have been practicing their mixed martial arts skills each Wednesday evening at the Currie Center.
For those who aren’t familiar with the practice, mixed martial arts — otherwise known as MMA — is a full-contact sport that utilizes both striking and grappling techniques from a variety of combat sports and martial arts.
Clint Kingsbury, the course instructor, has a long and varied history in combat sports such as these.
“I have wrested for almost 20 years on an elite level, and was a member of the national team multiple times,” he explained. “Currently, I coach New Brunswick’s high performance wrestlers as the provincial coach.”
As for MMA, he has served as the wrestling coach for several UFC fighters, including Mark Hominick and Sam Stout. Kingsbury also fought in 10 professional MMA fights, finishing with an 8-2 record.
Kingsbury was initially drawn to Fredericton in large part because of the opportunity to coach high-performance athletes within the province. His family has quickly adopted the city as their home, with he and his wife both working at the University of New Brunswick.
Given his wealth of experience within the sport, Kingsbury is eager to share his knowledge with the Currie Center patrons.
“I’m offering a high-intensity, fast-paced class that brings together kickboxing, Muay Thai, wrestling and strength and conditioning,” Kingsbury said. “We focus on the fundamentals that lead to a good workout, as well as learning forms of self-defence and furthering the understanding of what controlled MMA is all about.”
While MMA is often viewed as a male-specific activity, the current MMA session offered at the Currie Center is comprised of significantly more women than men. The course is open and accessible to all ages, with participants as young as 15 to those above 40 years old enjoying the unique workout.
“It has been a blast to see who comes out and how they enjoy the different training techniques,” said Kingsbury.
While the second session of MMA performance training is currently underway, anyone is welcome to attend a drop-in class. Rates are $9.50 for URec members and $11.50 for non-members. The instructor plans on offering the class again after Christmas for the winter term, with the hopes of expanding to more weekly classes for students.
While currently his goal is simply to offer a new and exciting form of workout, Kingsbury is willing to assist individuals in pursuing the sport further.
“If individuals in my class want to discuss other avenues, I’m happy to help. For now, however, it’s all about excitement, enjoyment, and a good workout.”
Kingsbury encourages those who are interested in trying out MMA to come check out a class.
“We go through an hour in no time as we learn the fundamentals of striking and combative sport. You’re constantly learning and it’s a blast.”
If that doesn’t have you convinced, Kingsbury notes that there’s no greater stress relief than hitting a punching bag or two — essentially, the perfect way to beat those exam time blues.