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Arlington Kickboxing Academy members fight statewide, worldwide
ARLINGTON Alumni of the Arlington Kickboxing Academy are once again traveling across the state and around the world to show their skills.
Mixed martial artist Matt Coble has been training at the AKA under Landon Showalter for the past year and a half, and on May 2, hell be competing in the Conquest of the Cage at the Northern Quest Casino in Spokane.
Coble started competing only two weeks after he began training, and hes racked up eight fights so far, the furthest away in Illinois. The former high school wrestler first came into the AKA with his brother, and soon found himself hooked.
The everyday dedication appeals to me, Coble said. I like staying in shape and being competitive. The camaraderie is great. Im always here now.
Showalter praised his pupils commitment and talent.
Matt is just relentlessly aggressive, Showalter said. Hes already got that wrestling background, and he presses the action right to the edge. His striking is coming along well, and hes even caught his coach in a submission hold. Theres always room for improvement, but when a student can catch me, I know theyre ready to go pro.
Coble will be facing off against an opponent who caught him in a fight months ago, so both he and Showalter see this rematch as redemption, especially since Coble will be competing for the 155-pound state title.
In high school, I looked at going pro in something like this as something I couldnt do, Coble said. But now, as long as I put in my time at the gym, I know that anything I want, I can accomplish.
More locally, another Showalter pupil, J.J. Lopez, will be competing against a fellow undefeated 145-pound mixed martial artist in the May 17 Ax Fighting Championship at Everett Community College.
J.J. has won all his fights by knockout, and his opponent has won all his fights by decision, Showalter said. Its a striker versus a grappler.
Showalter noted that tickers for the match are available online at www.axfighting.com, or by calling the AKA at 360-435-8814.
Showalter isnt letting his students have all the fun, though. In addition to competing in the 170-pound category in the same match as Coble, Showalter will be heading to Seoul, South Korea, for a June 1 match for that countrys mixed martial arts belt.
Im half-Korean, so its always been a dream of mine to see the country, Showalter said. Itll be nice to see my relatives and Im excited to surround myself with the culture.
Showalters trip wont just be about sightseeing, though, since hes also got a score to settle with reigning champion Steve Bruno, whom he defeated in a previous bout.
Ill have to fight a few guys before I get to him, to prove to the Koreans that Im worthy of their belt, Showalter said.