Competitive Clubs

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New club encourages beginners with dreams of UFC

Photo: Marta Keirkus

One of the fastest-growing sports in the world will soon have its own club at the University of Ottawa. With the immense popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), mixed martial arts (MMA) has become a phenomenon that has attracted some of the best young athletes across the world.

A combination of various forms of martial arts and striking comes together in one of the most physically demanding sports ever established. Although the early days of the sport garnered a negative reputation because of the brutality, it has since become safer for the general public to enjoy.

The MMA Jedis Club at the U of O has the simple goals of getting people into the sport and showing students it can be a great workout. The club focuses mostly on sparring and grappling for an authentic experience.

“It’s a great way to get together and stay fit at the same time,” said Phil Lachance of the MMA Jedis. “We all have a passion for the sport and we are all trying to improve ourselves.”

The club is looking to add more members as they meet weekly in Montpetit’s martial arts room. You don’t need a black belt—the Jedis’ philosophy ensures all new members are given the opportunity to grow and expand their skill set.

“We have varying skill levels,” said Lachance.

“We’re by no means experts in MMA, we are all new in different aspects. If you’re brand new, don’t worry about it. We all have to start somewhere, we try to really cater to everyone.”

Although the club doesn’t fight in any competitions yet, they are certain they can give the skills necessary to reach a level to compete.

“I would rather make people like the sport, so they can start training outside the university,” said member Thomas Roucolle. “I would love to see this sport grow because it has become a lifestyle for me.”

The MMA Jedis will use their Facebook group to announce plans for drop-in sessions at Montpetit.