Members of The Cellar Gym who meet the necessary criteria and gain approval from the head coach of their program may compete under the gym’s banner in any number of combat sports including Muay Thai, MMA, BJJ, and various forms of kickboxing. While there is not one singular set of criteria which guarantees a member the ability to compete for The Cellar Gym, there are a number of prerequisites that our coaches are looking for. Those who have trained and/or competed in the past may speak with the head coaches of their program about future opportunities to compete; however, previous experience alone is not a guarantee.
We, at The Cellar Gym, work hard to uphold our reputation of consistently developing and producing well-rounded athletes who demonstrate excellent technique as well as high levels of sportsmanship and professionalism. For this reason, students may not enter competitions using The Cellar Gym’s logo or name without express permission from a head coach; doing so is a violation of gym policy and may result in membership termination. Students who are interested in eventually transitioning from amateur to professional competitors should speak directly with the head coach of their program in order to develop a strategy to achieve that goal.
Muay Thai & Kickboxing
Those wishing to compete for The Cellar Gym in Muay Thai and kickboxing tournaments or participate in sanctioned fight events must be eligible to spar, as well as demonstrate consistent class attendance for several months. Additionally, aspiring first-time competitors will usually be asked to take part in exhibition-type events (sometimes called mock tournaments, scrimmages, or smoker fights) in order to gain experience in safe, lower-pressure environments.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)
To enter BJJ competitions representing The Cellar Gym, students generally need to have at least two stripes on their white belt or have a considerable amount of other grappling experience. While it may be worthwhile for some new competitors to gain experience in mock tournaments or other exhibition events before joining officially sanctioned competitions, this is generally not a requirement.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Students looking to compete in MMA must regularly attend Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu classes in addition to their MMA classes. They must hold at least an orange rank in Muay Thai, be eligible to spar, and demonstrate relatively high-level striking technique. They must also demonstrate reasonable proficiency with grappling. Generally, students who express interest in fighting MMA will be asked to compete in a few Muay Thai and BJJ events first to gain experience.
In-House Events & Exhibitions
The Cellar Gym regularly hosts Muay Thai and kickboxing exhibition events (smoker fights and scrimmages) as well as mock BJJ tournaments so that students can gain competition experience in a familiar environment. Exhibitions at The Cellar Gym are not scored, and no winner is announced; however, all participants receive written, constructive feedback after each bout so that they can make adjustments accordingly. Although these events do not count on a competitor’s official amateur record, one must always note any previous exhibition experience when registering for sanctioned competitions unless specifically instructed otherwise.
Light Head Contact & No Head Contact
Each year, we typically host two exhibition events where light head contact during bouts is allowed (smoker fights), and two events where no head contact is allowed (scrimmages). These events are designed to be an opportunity for youth members, new fighters, and those looking to compete with limited amounts of contact to gain experience without fear of injury.
Muay Thai Development League (MDL) & Youth Development League (YDL)
The Cellar Gym often sends new fighters to compete in the Muay Thai Development League (MDL) and youth members to the Youth Development League (YDL). Both of these organizations are aimed at teaching newer competitors the ins and outs of competitive Muay Thai. Youth and adults can gain experience by participating in multiple bouts during the weekend of the competition, where both light head contact and no head contact matches are available. There is no winner or loser announced during these bouts, but all students may receive written feedback. This is a fantastic way to build experience, and because of the no head contact/light head contact ruleset, fighters can increase their longevity in the sport!
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us in any way or speak with one of our many excellent coaches at The Cellar Gym.