We left on a Friday and U.S. Airways decided to overbook the flight. I had a seat, but poor, little defenseless (blue belt BJJ, black TKD...kicks like a dude) Amanda and her sad puppy dog eyes did not. So I manned up and and gave her my seat. Just kidding, I wouldn't do a thing like that. :)
Actually, we just stayed home Friday night and made our way back. At least U.S Airways gave us vouchers, cash and a 1st class upgrade for the next morning! How awesome!
We repacked our stuff, learning from the dress rehearsal from the prior day and made it to the airport in record time. Las Vegas was warm and windy. I could smell the prostitution and gambling immediately upon landing. Foreign to Amanda, I had to point out the lack of grass everywhere!
The hotel was right off the strip, right across from an In-N-Out Burger. I don't eat burgers and fries; I bring this up because someone I know loves this place. I immediately had to txt her and tell her I was within smelling range. Txt responses had multiple mentionings of "FU", "devil" and "evil"...
Today's stop was with Shawn Tompkins at the Tapout Training Center. Immediately upon entering the facility, Shawn was right there! He graciously let us in and showed us around. "The gym is yours!", he said. I've never been to a gym where that happened. It immediately felt like visiting someones home rather than a place to get punched. The facility is multiple thousands of squarefeet of pure MMA. The floors are stained concrete with hand drawn cracks and the Tapout logo artfully drawn in. The walls are my favorite part. Adorned with images of gorgeous MMA girls and MASSIVE painted Tapout/Samurai images. When I say MASSIVE, I mean 30ft high, 40ft wide paintings! Even the trashcans were painted with Tapout logos. Seven zones, each with it's own set of "tools". One zone would be hanging bags, another a boxing ring, several cages, grappling mats and weightlifting/strength training zones. Each area was immaculate! I don't know who cleans the gym, but I need them for my house. One could easily sit down next to the cage and eat dinner, knowing nothing bad would get on his plate. No smells, no grime, no dirt, no dust (amazing for Vegas) no nothing.
The back area is a cage and a caged in grappling arena for the pro fighters. When we walked in, there was a grappling class for kids going on. It was PACKED! Must have been 40 kids from ages 6 to 14 in there. They were doing so well dropping levels, double legging each other. These kids will be smashing fools in the UFC in 10 years for sure!
In the main cage, Shawn was mitting one of the UFC's top fighters: Sam Stout. Sam immediately showed why he is in the UFC, ripping out a amazingly fast, staccato of punches as Shawn called out the combo. In between rounds of of striking, Sam would jump in with the grappling cage full of willing and very capable opponents. It looked tough and fun, everyone was having a good solid class of weekend training.
We hung out for a bit and watched some of the other fighters jump in with Shawn. Each one received solid, personal training in the striking game. One of the fighters whom trained with Shawn was a young 12-ish year old girl. She received the EXACTLY the same, very high quality training Sam Stout did. No differences in training material or style. How awesome is that! One thing I did notice, everyone who walked out the cage after training with Shawn were smiling. Tired, sweating, shaking...but smiling. Happy to have trained and happy they are now a tiny bit better than when they walked in the door.
I also need to mention the super cool and friendly Robert McMullin. He is the Tapout Training Center strength and conditioning coach. His website is on the way: Combat Performance I can't wait to see what will be posted so that I can
In my opinion this is the #1 MMA gym I have ever had the privilege of visiting (and I've visited a lot!). The people were absolutely awesome, friendly and very family oriented. If you ever make it to Vegas, do yourself a favor, call first, make sure Shawn is around and go visit. Bring your mouth piece!