Calling all comers to Steel Athletics Gym in Tamuning on Friday night!
Kicking off its fourth mixed martial arts event, Steel Athletics' fourth edition of Glorified Sparring welcomes all amateur combatants to its gym tomorrow night.
Proceeds from Glorified Sparring IV will benefit the Pacific War Museum in Asan-Maina.
“It’s crazy how the stars line up every time we do one of these events. Something happens and a charity presents itself,” said JJ "Superman" Ambrose, who is pleasantly surprised at the community support.
Past fight nights helped Tamuning Skate Park, typhoon-damaged coffeeshop
The first Glorified Sparring collected donations for The Shack, a coffeeshop on Saipan, which was devastated by Supertyphoon Yutu. Glorified Sparring II, in March, helped refurbish the Tamuning Skate Park. Each event collected more than $1,000.
The Glorified Sparring III fundraiser pulled in a whopping $3,200 to help benefit local Brazilian jiujitsu instructor Bob Sales, who suffered a heart attack and required off-island surgery.
“We were blown away,” Ambrose told The Guam Daily Post. “It was very personal with Bob and brought out a lot of people.”
Ambrose: War museum needs money to stay open
Ambrose said the plight of the Pacific War Museum recently caught his attention. He said it has lost its government funding and is in danger of being closed. The Pacific War Museum was established by Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran John Gerber and contains vehicles, equipment and weapons used by the American and Japanese military in the Pacific in World War II.
“It's perfect timing to help give them a boost and keep them afloat and hopefully the government grant will kick in,” Ambrose said. “It would be a terrible shame for a piece of history to close like that. Not only all the WWII relics, but what John Gerber was about and what he represented and did for the island; I want to keep that alive.”
All fighters welcome, from all gyms on island
Besides benefiting worthy causes, Glorified Sparring events also give local fighters a chance to duke it out in a controlled, safe environment, Ambrose said.
“It’s a great way to get fighters, that want to fight, that experience without going off-island. … We welcome all fighters, from all gyms on-island.”
Araian Scherer, 21, started working out and training jiujistu at Steel almost two years ago. Scherer, looking to lose weight, dropped 80 pounds and will be competing in his fourth Glorified Sparring on Friday.
Scherer’s advice to first-time fighters: “Trust your training, be confident in what you do, always stick to your game plan … and always respect your opponent.
“Come here and enter Glorified Sparring, come and do it where it’s safe and controlled,” Scherer said. “It’s a great atmosphere and a great way to showcase what you can do.”