Decade of growth for Arena

Aiden BoyhamSound Telegraph
From humble origins in head coach Taff Davies’ shed, to 200 active members; The Arena MMA has grown tremendously over the past 10 years.
Camera IconFrom humble origins in head coach Taff Davies’ shed, to 200 active members; The Arena MMA has grown tremendously over the past 10 years. Credit: The Arena MMA Facebook

From humble origins in head coach Taff Davies’ shed to celebrating its 10th anniversary in its current set-up, The Arena Mixed Martial Arts has gone from strength to strength.

Head coach Davies, who has been at The Arena from the beginning, brings a background of military and police service to the gym.

For Davies, fostering the right culture and imparting his wealth of knowledge on his growing number of students is the most important thing.

“It has gone from a few of us training in a shed to having about 200 active members,” he said.

“We’ve got a couple of policemen, navy and army guys, a doctor, and a dentist — a lot of professionals.

“I’ve still a group of about 10 guys that I have been training with for 15 years.”

While MMA has seen big growth commercially over the past decade, Davies recognised there were still a number of people in the community who turned their nose up at the sport.

“Some people have made their minds up and there’s nothing you can do to change their perception,” he said.

“But you get people that come down and try it, particularly the jiu-jitsu portion; it’s super technical and that is what captures people and why they are so passionate.”

With the State election looming, WA Labor leader Mark McGowan has pledged to reverse the ban on the octagon cage that is traditionally used in MMA.

Davies supported the introduction of the octagon in WA, stating it was vital to stop fighters falling out of the ring.

“The only reason it’s in a cage is because it’s the safer way to do it,” he said.

The gym teaches students a combination of styles, including boxing, muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, with specialist coaches set aside for each discipline.

“My pleasure is teaching the students and watching them grow,” Davies said.

For more information, visit The Arena MMA on Facebook or head to www.thearenamma.com.au.

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