2017: A Year in Review
2017 was another busy and successful year at The Cellar Gym! We are blown away by the amount of people who decided to try Martial Arts for the first time this year! Together, we were able to win 9 Muay Thai belts, travel around the world and compete for some of the most prestigious promotions in the country! To celebrate the closing of 2017, here is a look back at some of the big events from this year.
MAURICIO CARRA JOINS THE CELLAR GYM
On January 28th, 3rd degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black belt, Mauricio Carra joined The Cellar Gym as the new head Jiu Jitsu instructor. Mauricio is a great instructor and motivates his students to succeed. He has also been busy competing and won Gold at the IBJJF Dallas Open in April.
We are so happy to have him, Vanessa and Lucca in Minnesota!
Everybody’s favorite Muay Thai legend visited the Cellar Gym on February 9th. Saenchai has 354 fights under his belt (299 wins!) and is considered one of the best fighters in the world. The YOKKAO seminar was structured in 2 solid hours of pure Muay Thai technique focused on Saencahi’s dominating signature style, with an additional 30+ minutes of sparring/clinching and autographs.
We also had seminars taught by BJJ Black belt Leo Viera and Dutch Kickboxing coach Mike Van Itterzon this year.
On March 5th, The Cellar Fight Team went 3-1 at Driller Fights’ Mecca IX event at Canterbury Park! During the Muay Thai portion of the event: Darcie Thomsen won by 3rd round TKO, Katie Locken won by unanimous decision, and Pam Sorenson won by decision with a very near 3rd round stoppage. During the MMA portion Tom Krenzel lost by decision 2 rounds to 1 in a very good fight.
We are very proud of this team, the way they carried themselves in the ring/cage, and all their hard work during their training camps.
15 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
In May, we celebrated our 15 year anniversary. Over the past 15 years, the gym has expanded from a small kickboxing gym in the basement (cellar) of a convenience store to one of the premier martial arts facilities in the Midwest! We have also grown to include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, MMA and youth classes as well! With so much fitness, fun, and fights since our beginning, this anniversary made us excited to for the next 15 years and beyond.
In June, we embarked in our first year hosting a Youth Summer Camp. The kids participated in a variety of different Martial Arts classes throughout the day, played games and had fun with friends! The summer was a huge success and we are excited to see it grow in 2018.
4 BELTS WON AT TBA
In June, the team traveled to Des Moines, Iowa for the annual TBA Classic Muay Thai tournament. This tournament is the biggest amateur Muay Thai tournament in North America and features over 400 fighters each year. We had 9 fighters participate and came home with 4 championship titles!
PAM SORENSON WINS INVICTA FIGHT
On July 15th, Pam “Bam” Sorenson took on undefeated Ukranian, Helena Kolesnyk at Invicta FC. Pam controlled Helena from the top and after transitioning to “s-mount” she went for a great armbar and got the finish at 3:12 of the very first round. Pam improved her professional record to 6-2, bringing Helena Kolesnyk her first professional loss.
YOUTH MUAY THAI
In July, The Cellar Gym started offering Youth Muay Thai classes. The program has been a huge hit with both the kids and the parents. We are very impressed with the kids energy, hard work and growth over the past few months. We have many future Nak Muays!
TRIPLE GOLD AT IBJJF CHICAGO OPEN
On August 13th, The Cellar Gym Jiu Jitsu team dominated at the IBJJF Chicago Open this year!
Kenn Glenn won Gold in his Men’s purple belt gi division.
Michelle Donovan won Silver in her Women’s blue belt gi division and Gold in her Women’s blue belt no-gi division.
NATE RICHARDSON WINS GLORY KICKBOXING DEBUT
On August 15th, Nate Richardson defeats Rafal Dudek by unanimous decision and wins his Glory Kickboxing debut in Chicago! This year, Nate Richardson was also signed a multi-fight deal with Glory Kickboxing that brought him to New York City for an event at Madison Square Gardens.
Back in Minnesota, Caleb Merth won his LFA MMA fight by unanimous decision.
BEN LOCKEN WINS PRO MUAY THAI DEBUT
On September 9th, Ben Locken won his pro Muay Thai Debut at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. He had a fantastic performance. He fought a very intelligent fight setting up wicked low kicks and executing solid defensive skills. He picked up the win 30-27 on all three scorecards.
FIGHT TO WIN PRO 50
On October 6th, Fight to Win Pro hosted their first show in Minnesota. The Cellar Gym had 3 Jiu Jitsu competitors featured at the event.
Tom Krenzel won his F2Win Pro Jiu Jitsu match by unanimous decision.
Kenn Glenn won his F2Win Pro Jiu Jitsu match by split decision.
Pam Sorenson lost her Fight 2 Win bout by split decision. It was a great leg lock battle from 50/50, very exciting match!
Team Checkmat/Cellar went 2-1 on the night.
2 BELTS AT REVGEAR TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
On October 7th, the Muay Thai team travelled to Kansas city to compete at the Revgear Tournament of Champions.
Marty Voves won the Men’s Novice Light Cruiserweight Title at Revgear Tournament of Champions!
Toni Weinbeck won the Ladies B Class Featherweight title at Revgear Tournament of Champions!
Asel Kulmeshkenova fought a WAR in the Ladies Novice Atomweight division! She took an 8-count in the first round, but battled back strong in rounds two and three with some HUGE knees. She will learn a ton from this fight and come back even stronger.
We came home with 2 championship belts at the end of the weekend.
3 BELTS AT THE US MUAY THAI OPEN
On November 5th, the team went to New York City to compete at the US Muay Thai Open – East. We are very proud of this team! Judith, Ryan, and AJ all won their first Muay Thai championship titles. Medora and Darcie both had very close tough fights that they can learn a lot from and use to propel themselves to the next level. The team finished 7-2 overall and we are brought 3 belts back to the Midwest!
THE CELLAR GYM WINS OVERALL TEAM CHAMPION AT MNBJJF WINTER OPEN
On December 3rd, We brought home lots of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in both the kids and adult divisions at the 2017 MNBJJF Winter Open.
We won 1st place in “Best Academy” for team points and 2nd place in “Best Team Affiliation” for team points.
LEMMY STURUA IS PROMOTED TO BLACK BELT
On December 9th, we had our first belt promotion under Professor Mauricio. Many students were promoted to blue, purple and brown belt. Long time student, mentor and friend.. Lemmy Sturua was promoted to Black belt! Lemmy is only the 2nd student to be promoted to Black Belt at The Cellar Gym! He is also the first Black Belt at The Cellar Gym to be promoted under Professor Mauricio Carra. Congratulations Lemmy!
We’re so proud of all the accomplishments made by our team this year. We hope that 2018 will be filled with as many great training sessions, hard work, and memorable moments as 2017. We’re grateful for all the new faces that have chosen to train with us and we’re lucky to have the opportunity to continue sharing the skill.