Written by: Penny Buffington
for Scotsman Press
Hermes Franca with his teaching partner Guybson Sa
Former UFC lightweight fighter Hermes Franca recently announced his retirement from mixed martial arts competitions and has relocated to Liverpool, NY. This is an incredible opportunity for Onondaga County and surrounding areas. Hermes is teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at a gym in Bayberry Plaza called East West Combat Club.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport and a form of self-defense that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. Achieving a dominant position on the ground is one of the hallmarks of the BJJ style. It was derived from the Japanese martial art of Kodokan Judo in the early 20th century. The Gracie family continued to develop the system throughout the 20th century, during which it increased its focus on ground fighting and refined its techniques.
It promotes the principle that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger assailant using leverage and proper technique. Jiu Jitsu can be trained for sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition or self-defense.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also known as BJJ ranking system awards a practitioner different colored belts to signify increasing levels of technical knowledge and practical skill.
Hermes Franca, Guybson Sa and students
Franca a former UFC lightweight contender and WEC lightweight title holder talks about his decision to retire, "It's really hard in my situation to train and teach. I made my decision because you have to spend a lot to be a full time fighter. I go to some camp and stay there for 6 weeks before a fight and it is expensive. I have to travel and bring some fighters. The food is really expensive to eat well. Twenty percent of your purse has to go to taxes and another ten or twenty for your manager. Another ten or twenty percent for expenses and pretty soon you've got nothing."
"I want to try to keep more to my business side. It's not a big business. I'm not saying I’m going to be a millionaire but that is what I like to do. I make a living. I know every month I'm going to have my money.”
Injury is a constant concern for a professional MMA Fighter. Hermes knows all too well injury’s can be costly. "After I hurt my knee I thought of retiring. Sometimes when you train hard and get hurt and have to stop for a year or six months it’s hard. Sometimes you do not know how you are going to pay your bills. That is what you do when you are a full time fighter; you do not have another job. I am a good Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor so I am going to take advantage of that."
He goes on to explain, "I'm still going to compete at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and grappling events and I'm going to teach. That's what I like to do; run my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program and maybe you will see me outside the cage cornering some of the fighters.” Hermes mixed martial arts record stands at 19 wins and 9 losses.
The 35-year-old native of Fortaleza, Brazil says, "Liverpool is a small city but the East West Combat Club is huge. It's all over the United States. Actually it started out United Professionals; that is a company that teaches you how to run your own business. They invited me to do the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program. A lot of schools are interested in BJJ and my program.”
He also adds, "I'm doing what I like to do so I'm blessed."
Whether you want to get in shape or learn self defense or break into the fastest growing sport in the nation you can be taught by a true professional former UFC star right in Liverpool, NY! Stop by or give them a call at 315-715-9417 for information on the mixed martial arts, karate facility and all it has to offer.