As anyone who has seen the movie “Fight Club,” can tell you, the first and second rules about fight club are you don’t talk about fight club.
For Dave Fields, boxing coach and founder of the new CSU-Pueblo College Combative Club, however, talking about fight club is exactly what he wants you to do.
“We just want to get the word out there and get the fans behind us,” Fields said. “This (club) is here, so come take advantage of it.”
Fields, a graduate student at CSU-Pueblo and passionate fight fan who boxed at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, founded the club in order to “lay the foundation” for fight sports at CSU-Pueblo.
Although formally registered as a boxing club in order to allow members to compete collegiately, the CC club teaches and promotes a vast variety of fight sports including judo, boxing, mixed martial arts, tae kwon do and wrestling.
The club will soon be officially eligible to compete against other schools across the country in boxing and judo, but Fields hopes that someday, clubs like the CC will lead to collegiate level MMA competition across the country.
“MMA is the future,” Fields said.
With undergraduate students, post graduate students and CSU-Pueblo engineering professor Nebojsa Jaksic as instructors, MMA and fight sports certainly seem to be establishing a future at the university.
Although the CC club offers comprehensive training for fighters who wish to either hone their skills or take their abilities to the next level of competition, its doors are open to any student who wants to learn.
After three orientation sessions with the club, members can choose whether they wish to train competitively, get in better shape or just want to gain some experience with self-defense.
“You determine if and when to go to competition, whether you want to join for weight loss or even just for more self confidence,” Fields said.
The orientation workout sessions are open to all students, although any wishing to train competitively must officially register in order to spar against other competitors.
In addition to weight loss, increased self-confidence, and some pretty sweet bruises, Fields believes the CC club also provides its members with a unique sense of community.
“MMA is everywhere. It’s a mold of opportunity to connect to other cultures and it’s a world sport so it gives great social perspective,” he said.
“Here in Pueblo we might not have the population of a Virginia Military Institute or an Annapolis, but there are a lot of great people in this town that are willing to connect. It’s a large Hispanic community and boxing is their lifeblood,” he said.
Virginia Military Institute and Annapolis are military academies and boxing powerhouses.
Interested students are encouraged to seek further information through the club’s interactive Facebook page, which contains training techniques, club logistics and informative articles and videos about fight sports.
Although Fields and the CC club are certainly not a group to shy from a fight, students should not expect to see any “meet me at the flagpole” schoolyard challenges or bare-knuckle brawls behind the student center any time soon.
“We’re ambassadors for MMA. We don’t street fight,” Fields said.
So whether students are looking for a tough workout to burn calories or an intensely competitive sporting event, any student who joins the CC club is guaranteed to have their mettle tested.
“Fighters are serious athletes, you have to live like a fighter and that’s 24/7. It’s your weight, it’s your diet, it’s not going out and partying all night,” Fields said. “A fighter is a certain kind of guy or girl.”