When Genesis Gym opened at the beginning of the year, many new, interested people walked through the doors to see what it was all about. One of those individuals was a Texan named Chad Edwards, who had recently moved to the area. Within a few training sessions it was clear to all that Chad had a high level of expertise, but it took a few more weeks to eventually find the full answers.
It turned out that Chad was not only a former US Wrestling Champion himself, but also a top level professional coach, recently coaching at the highest level with several UFC Fighters. Initially from Houston, Texas, Chad is one of only a handful of American Wrestling Coaches in Europe. He has been involved in the sport for over 20 years, gaining a huge amount of teaching experience all the way from High School to the UFC.
With the success of American Wrestling skills in Mixed Martial Arts (several of the UFC Hall of Famers come from American Wrestling), and the lack of coaches available, this presented Genesis Martial Arts with a unique opportunity – to give our students the possibility of learning these skills and vastly improving their ground based Martial Arts. We quickly arranged for a weekly class for Chad to run, kicking off with a 3-hour weekend seminar.
The seminar date was set for Sunday 11th March, with the weekly class starting the following week, running every Friday evening, from 8pm.
Due to the quickness of setting up the class, we had little time to get the notice around, though with modern tools such as Email and Facebook has become less of an issue. Despite the notice around 20 keen Genesis students turned up for what was going to turn out to be a great, and very fun afternoon!
Chad started with a fairly regular warm-up, before moving into far less familiar drills, such as jumping in and out of forward rolls and spinning around on partner’s backs, great fun for all.
After a quick stretch it was onto the technical stuff. The first hour focused almost entirely on shoot takedowns, with Chad going into a greater level of depth on this subject than I’ve ever seen, coming up with a huge range of approaches and holds. He broke everything down into easy to understand stages, with the class attempting to drill each step before moving on. Needless to say he made it look far easier than it actually was! Keeping it all lighthearted, his Texan phrases certainly gave a level of fun and amusement to all!
With the offensive takedowns covered, it was onto defence, again with Chad going into far further depth than I’ve seen before, showcasing a range of takedown defences and movements for everyone to drill and practice. If anyone ever manages to take Chad down to the floor one day they would have done very well indeed!
After 30 minutes or so of takedown defence it was onto the highlight of the day – the open Wrestling Tournament! Everyone who attended was taking part, with an unbeaten winner to emerge.
Matt Vladar and Sam Balfour would face each other as finalists from the lightweight group, with Rugby player Matthew Helling coming up against Simon Lowe, a 6ft 6inch giant visiting from London for the day.
A close sudden death battle went Sam’s way in the lightweights, with Matt Vladar unable to force the takedown. After several very tough rounds in the heavy weights it was Matt Helling who emerged as the winner.
The final was a battle of two former Rugby players, with Matt Helling taking on Sam Balfour for the “title”! With only a minute on the clock Sam performed a technically perfect single leg shoot, taking Matt to the floor. Unable to come back before the time ran out, Sam emerged the winner, and taker of the £2 prize money!
A quick summary and Q&A session finished the day, with everyone exhausted and beaten up from falling on the floor and getting up so many times!
Chad certainly made the whole experience a lot of fun. With his teaching style and depth of knowledge his class is set to be huge success. American wrestling skills are in extremely high demand across the UK and Europe. With only a handful of coaches, Chad brings a lifetime of experience in this area to Genesis Martial Arts. THIS CLASS IS NOT TO BE MISSED! I will certainly see you there! Please note this class is for ages 15+ only.