MMA In The Community
Just a few weeks ago I was traveling through the southwest visiting family and decided to visit with an old friend in Colorado. He has been involved with the mixed martial arts community for many years and has some interesting concepts on growing acceptance for the sport of mixed martial arts. As both a promoter and coach, Gabe “Kuya” Charboneau, has brought together the communities of Pueblo and Colorado Springs. Every time I sit down and talk with him I am amazed at his unique way of uplifting the community. His approach is a very simple one, get the fighters involved with the community and the community will show their appreciation. As a promoter he requires anyone fighting on his cards to complete community service. What he has found is that during his events the support the city puts behind the fighters is astonishing.
What he began to notice early on was that when athletes from the same town were matched up to fight one another, fights would break out in the crowd. To bring order to his events he began creating a team atmosphere where athletes from Colorado would be matched up with athletes from other states. As his athletes began fulfilling community service requirements to be able to fight he also realized that more and more people were coming to the shows to show their support. As of right now athletes are actively involved in going to schools and discussing effects of bullying and helping out in shelters around the city. He firmly believes that it is also easier for the youth in the area to relate to his fighters being that they look like and at times act more like their audience.
I have shot a short iFight video featuring his gym, Pacific Warrior Rough House. In the near future we will be featuring an in depth interview as he discusses the mixed martial arts scene in Colorado from coaching, promoting shows and as discussed earlier, how he uplifts the community through MMA. Also be on the look out for some awesome mixed martial arts technique shown by Gabe himself. While I am usually not impressed by too many people in our industry, I will say that Gabe is one of the most helpful and selfless people in the game today. A special thanks goes out to both he and his team for allowing me into their gym to spend time with them and bring his message to all of you.