• 1.19.8 Junior Merkel’s fight & TFA 9 Santa Monica, CA

    Junior Merkel is one of the star instructor at Krav Maga National Training Center. He is one of my favorites. Not only because he’s clean and clear technical demonstration, but also he is a very mindful teacher. I know I’ve learned a lot from him because his style is sensitive to individual needs. In my case, his belief in my ability to executing techniques is how I get over my own personal hurdles. 

    It was then natural that I, along with a ton of his students, colleagues, and friends would never miss any of his fights. January 19, being the second fight. He must have filled about 30-40% of the stadium seating. It seemed that everyone was rooting for him.

    Junior prepping for his fight

    Junior prepping for his fight

    Junior at TFA 9

    Junior at TFA 9

    Junior applying choke

    Junior applying choke

    Junior - victory

    Junior - victory

    Junior Merkel's victory interview

    Junior Merkel's victory interview

    TFA  , or the Total Fighting Alliance, itself is an interesting organization ran by Todd Meacham (CEO) and Richard Rasmussen (Director of Operation). This was my second time at a TFA event, but the first time I met them. They are outstandingly friendly. I was glad to see that, from the prior even in October 07 to this one, the size of the production expanded ten folds. TFA is not UFC, but I’m really glad it’s there to give the chance of smaller scale fighters a place to compete.

    Todd Meacham at TFA 9

    Todd Meacham at TFA 9

    TFA 9 Announcer

    TFA 9 Announcer

     Justin “Bully” Schalk before fight

    Justin “Bully” Schalk before fight

    hand wrapping

    hand wrapping

    Nick Quintong before fight

    Nick Quintong before fight

    Julio Sotomayor dominating opponent

    Julio Sotomayor dominating Chris Champagne

    Shane Rice of Rickson Gracie easily dominates from the ground

    Shane Rice of Rickson Gracie easily dominates from the ground

    Todd Guimond keeps the belt

    Todd Guimond keeps the belt