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Posted by Mika Frankl
Knuxx was recently given the opportunity to get an inside view of Lovato Total Fitness. Check out our interview with Lenny Lovato…
From wrestling coach to now gym owner and MMA coach, how did this career transition come about?
Well originally it started off when some of my former wrestlers joined in MMA and they started off at Jackson’s and one of them, namely was Damacio Page and Little Lenny- my son- and Damacio were best friends in high school so Damacio asked little Lenny hey you want to come and do this, try this and little Lenny did. They both have a lot of talent, so he started and since little Lenny getting into it; you know I felt like I wanted to get into it also. I just wanted to provide a place for you know being a wrestling coach and I just wanted to provide a place for that next step for those wrestlers that want to take that next step into doing something else with wrestling.
From you coming from that wrestling background, that’s a great way to start into MMA, but like any wrestler you were learning, how did it go you learning the striking and submission having that wrestling background?
I think wrestling is the main foundation for MMA. I’m a firm believer in that and once you have your wrestling background I firmly believe it’s easier to have wrestling as a foundation, as a beginning versus not have it. Having wrestling and learning everything else versus not having wrestling and maybe being a boxer or karate and then trying to learn wrestling after is a little more difficult.
Is it just by coincidence that since Lenny Jr. we also have Lynae and Mikey, is the whole family just now going to be known as a fighting family out here?
We’re a close family. We do a lot of things together. We’re very close and once one person goes into one thing all of us are either supportive of it or will just jump right on in and do the same thing with them.
From this past Friday- I was here- three successful smokers now where did the idea for the smokers to and have them here come from?
Well we have a great facility, we have 9,000 square feet of gym space and it’s ideal; we have a full size cage, a full size boxing ring. We want to provide the community something that we could be proud of and not only for us here at the gym but we want to do something good for our community. Which brings me to the original idea of why I opened the gym, it wasn’t just to provide a place for my son and wrestlers, I’m a product of the West Mesa community and I’ve always been very proud to be a part of West Mesa I taught at the School, I went to West Mesa High School, went and graduated from UNM, went right back to West Mesa High School in the Teaching and coaching there. I’m very loyal to this community and anything I could do to help this community out I want to do it, so the idea, it’s no accident that we opened up a gym where we’re at. We’re in the low income community, we’re in a community that doesn’t have a lot of positive things, we do have positive things but we don’t have a lot of positive places where kids to go and that was one of my goals; is to give kids a place to go not only during, but during the evenings, parents know where there kids are at, they know what they’re doing, and we’ve already had a lot of success turning some lives around here. I say we opened it for kids but it’s funny that we’ve had quite a few adults that come in and use the facilities and it’s been a positive life change for them too.
Play the video below to see this and much more of our interview with Lenny Lovato…
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