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Fady Madani, Head Instructor: Kickboxing & Jiu Jitsu

fady-madani-jiu-jitsu-instructor-team-pure-mmaWatching boxing and mma as a kid I couldn’t rap my head around the fact that someone would want to fight for a living or as a hobby. I had a hard time understanding why individuals would want to put their mind and body through the most vigorous training just to inflict and receive pain upon another individual.

After paying closer attention I started realizing that these guys weren’t just brawling, there was an actual game plan and strategy involved. The more I watched, the more I appreciated the sport. Understanding  how to slip a punch and counter, shoot for a takedown or just having the knowledge to know how to protect yourself from a choke is not an easy task because it takes a great deal of timing, precision and technique.

One day at a local gym I was persuaded by a friend to go train at a boxing gym in the area. I quickly realized this is truly the ultimate exercise, because not only do you get in the most amazing shape but you learn how to fight also. After a few months of training, my coach and I decided that I should fight in the NJ golden gloves, understanding that I wasn’t prepared because of the lack of experience I decided to go for it anyway.

My first fight I landed a big right hand in the first round which knocked my opponent out and I earned the boxer of the night award for my performance. As the tournament continued I lost a close decision in the semi final round. I continued to train and spar at other boxing gyms for about two years before taking a break to pursue other things.

 I began training again but in mixed martial arts at Tiger Schulmann’s in Wayne under sensei Scott Zapfel who is a 3rd degree black belt and a heavyweight champ for challenge of champions. Sensei zapfel taught me a great deal of the basics which helped me build a good foundation for mma. Furthermore, I moved on and began training with the Tiger Schulmann fight team at their headquarters facility, along side of bellator champion Lyman Good and the ultimate fighter standout Uriah Hall.

Training under their boxing coach Ray Velez, Daniel ‘’Tiger’’ Schulmann and other great instructors, I became sharper and more advanced. Although I was getting better I realized that my kick boxing was above and beyond my jujitsu so I joined the Marcelo Garcia academy in Manhattan to get a better understanding of the sport. Marcelo Garcia is a 5 time mudials (world) and 4 – time ADCC champion, he is also considered pound for pound one of the greatest in Brazilian jujitsu. His teaching curriculum, style and intense rolling with extremely high level students in his academy dramatically helped my overall ground game and understanding of the sport. At this time my kickboxing and jujitsu was good but I was missing takedowns, which is a big aspect in mma. I know In order to be a complete fighter I needed judo and wrestling experience.

I began working on my takedowns in judo under mahmoud  yehia who competed with the Egyptian national judo team and is a 6th degree black belt. I trained gee and no gee judo under Yehia who taught me amazing throws and takedowns. I also train under the expertise of boxing coach Colin Morgan. Colin Morgan trained multiple world champion boxers and continues to train professional boxers who come from all over to prepare for a major fight with him. Morgan and yehia coached me through my first two mma fights which I ended a minute into the first round with two major knock outs.

 

Kamel Abuharthieh, Head Instructor: Tae kwon do

kamel-tae-kwon-do-instructor-team-pure-mmaKamel Abuharthieh grew up in the Middle East and started training gymnastic at age 8 with his father and other members of his family which gained him exceptional conditioning and great flexibility. At the age of twelve kamel was invited to observe a Tae Kwon Do training session with a Six Dan black belt Korean Master yo yang yo in a simple warehouse in Amman -Jordan .It was his first professional training experience with older and stronger students. Soon after, Kamel became the center of attention with his strength and flexibility and became one of the highlights in the very first Tae Kwon Do school in his whole entire country.

     After one year of training and sparring in double sessions with his age groups and adult groups, Kamel gained his red belt and started sparring with 2nd Dan degree black belt adults. He seemed to become his Master’s hope to reach the Olympics in 1981. As a thirteen year old boy, Kamel didn’t have the vision his Master had for him and rejected the offer. Kamel couldn’t travel on his own and had to pass the opportunity to participate in the Olympics. A few years later, his Master had to return back to Korea and Kamel started training with other trainers and kept his passion for the sport.

     In 1996 Kamel found his second inspiration in the United States when he met a world champion from Morocco who came to fight in Madison Square Garden in New York. Realizing that he had walked away from his biggest life opportunity; Kamel redirected himself for the next 5 years assisting and training with the champion. Soon after, he started teaching and coaching with great emphasis on sparring techniques. Kamel became an independent 2nd degree black belt trainer and coach for 3 community centers in 3 different counties. Kamel has earned his 3rd degree black belt certificate from Kukkiwon, The World Tae Kwon Do Headquarters. He continues to serve as an active coach in the biggest local Tae Kwon Do tournaments such as Yong In, America Open, The Big East, Garden State Cup and more. Currently, Kamel works with all ages and grades including special needs as a school teacher and has been training and working with kids for more than 15 years.

 

Mark Yehia, Head Instructor: Judo

 
mark.pngMahmoud(Mark) Yehia hailing originally from Egypt, Mark comes from an athletic family where his father was an internationally renowned handball and swimming instructor. Like his dad, Mark played handball, but also played other sports including basketball. It wasn’t until Mark entered college in 1986, however, that he would discover his passion and talent for Judo under under Sensei Hussaen El-sheiwy and Sensei Mohamed Sobea. In his first tournament, the Under 20 Juniors, Mark won his first gold regional medal and also earned a silver national medal. Later, Mark would earn a spot on the Egyptian National Judo Team where he would study under Sensei Ohero Yamamoto, an 8th degree black belt and Sensei Helmy Hussen. When Mark finished college he moved to Alexandria, Egypt and began to study under Sensei Samir Aziz and Sensei Waleed Abd El-haleem . After moving to the states in 1997 Mark continued his Judo training under Sensei Ryohei Kanokogi, a 7th degree black belt, and his wife Rusty Kanokogi eventually training under under Sensei Matsamora (8th degree black belt). In 2001, Mark expanded his fitness knowledge by obtaining his personal trainer title while working at Equinox and later at Crunch Fitness then Excelsior Club. In 2010, Mark developed a new fighting style (Tu-Jitsu) meaning the throwing way, which combines styles from Judo, Sambo, Jiu Jitsu, and Wrestling . Tu-Jitsu was featured in a tournament held at the annual MMA World Expo in 2010 alongside Renzo Gracie’s Annual BJJ tournament and Take On’s Muay Thai fights at the Jacob Javits Center. Mark now teaches Tu-Jitsu at Elite Plus MMA and hopes to inspire the MMA world to adopt this invaluable style for Mixed Martial Artists. Mark Holds his 4th degree black belt and was recently promoted to 6th degree black belt under Sensei Samir Aziz. Mark enjoys his family, diving and motorcycle riding.
 
 

Colin Morgan, Head Instructor: Boxing

 
colin-morgan.pngColin Morgan is a world-renowned boxing trainer with more than thirty-six years of experience. Colin began his career as a boxer and fought professionally for eight years. Colin is an instrumental part of the New York boxing scene, with previous engagements with Gleason’s Boxing Gym, Crunch Fitness and Trinity Boxing Club in New York City. From 2004 to 2010, Colin trained professional fighters for Don King Productions and has trained world champions, including: WBC cruiserweight champion Wayne Braithwaite, WBC welterweight champion Andrew Lewis, WBO junior lightweight champion Gary St. Clair, Current WBA cruiserweight champion Guillermo Jones, WBC featherweight champion Elio Rojas. Other top ten fighters Colin has trained include: Larry Donald, who defeated Evander Holyfield in 2005, Andrew Murray, who challenged Ike Quartey in 1995 for the WBA belt, Elvir Muriqi, who lost a close decision to Antonio Tarver in 2007 for IBO belt and in 2009, Colin trained Ehinomen “Hino” Ehikhamenor for the season finale of “The Contender” boxing reality TV show. From 2004 to 2010, Colin also trained current WBO middleweight champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin to 21-0-16 KO and from 2010 to 2012, Colin trained Mike Perez, Luis Garcia and Alexei Callodo out of Watergrasshill Boxing Club, Co. Cork, Ireland. Colin has also trained numerous male and female amateur boxers, who have won Pan American gold Medals, US National Championship, and New York Golden Gloves Championship.