Middle Ground Martial Arts grasps purpose on fourth birthday
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Middle Ground Martial Arts got a share of kicks from support-driven growth on its fourth birthday. The dojo provides space for people to compete and pursue fitness through kickboxing and judo.
MGMA’s leader says these arts of self-defense are needed and desired in Harrisonburg because of their benefits for the mind, body, and soul.
“They’re both martial arts that let you do live training. You can get hands-on, you can go to the hard and fast, and you’re just not gonna get self-defense from cardio kickboxing. We need to have that aspect to it,” MGMA Owner Sensei Randy Simpson said.
The dojo bounced back from the pandemic and became more than a gym. MGMA regularly hosts Blue Heron Healing Arts for Chinese Martial Arts, and Staunton and Harrisonburg Kendo and Jodo.
The variety continues by offering embracing lessons for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease through Rock Steady Boxing alongside stroke recovery.
Women of different ages, body types, and capabilities make up 50 percent of the students with the kids’ judo class currently just girls.
Sensei Simpson says inclusivity is a driving factor as people of all genders, ages, and even those with chronic conditions, learn to challenge themselves.
“I started as a kid and it’s been one of the best assets in my entire life. If you want to have your kids in martial arts and you’re thinking about it, try it it doesn’t matter what you try, try something and then they’ll find out over time if they like it what else they might want to do,” MGMA Owner Sensei Randy Simpson said.
Simpson said he has 20 years of training in karate and kickboxing and 10 years in Judo, holding both a third-degree black belt and second-level brown belt in judo. The assistant coaches are two-time kickboxing world champion Jason Dunaway and Stephanie Higgs for kids’ judo and self defense.
Middle Ground Martial Arts, formerly known as Edge Effect Fitness, is located at 785 Acorn Drive, Suite 102 Harrisonburg, VA.
The takeaway instructors have from the journey so far is that it can welcome anybody into this combat sport without charging loads of money — creating a good community and providing a service that people appreciate.
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