Monthly Archives: September 2013

September 30, 2013

Self Defense For Everyone At Scranton MMA

There are a number of motives why you may decide to embark on self-defense training. Perhaps you have been victimized by bullying, domestic abuse, or a physical altercation.  Perhaps you wish to transform yourself with physical conditioning and weight loss. Maybe you are looking for a constructive way to manage stress. These are all great reasons why our self-defense programs at Scranton MMA have maintained popularity for so many years. Whatever your reason, Scranton MMA has what you need! We offer many styles and philosophies relating to self-defense and can therefore accommodate anyone pursuing self-defense training! Let us help you choose a style that best benefits your goals, physical attributes, and the scenarios that you most likely will need to deal with.


Whatever your initial reason for beginning self defense training you will find the benefits cross-stitch with one another. A very common reason for people to seek self-defense training is fear of physical assault. Whether it’s bullying, sexual violence, or assault people want to feel safe. Self-defense classes are also great for physical conditioning, improving cardiovascular efficiency, and meeting and exceeding weight loss goals!


There are multiple martial arts styles that place an emphasis on striking as a means of self-defense. At Scranton MMA we offer two effective and fun programs; boxing and mma striking! Boxing uses the fists exclusively, and mma striking incorporates the kicks, knees, and elbows as weapons.


Scranton MMA offers other self-defense systems focus more on ground fighting and grappling techniques. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a very effective style for fighting off a larger attacker and neutralize their offense. In jiu-jitsu,  bone-breaking joint locks or vice-like chokeholds are the order of the day! Judo and wrestling both use takedowns and throws as a means for managing an opponent and defending yourself against attacks.

Specialized Programs

There are other considerations to make as well at Scranton MMA! We offer many specialized programs as well such as, BullyShield for children, Untouchable for women, and Gracie LEO for police officers! In addition, we offer private lesson for you or a small group! When deciding on self-defense training the only destination you need is right here at Scranton MMA!

September 30, 2013

Scranton MMA update – Medals and Wilderness

This weekend Scranton MMA instructors took part in two very different martial arts events. We had two instructors compete, and MEDAL at the no gi pan am championships and three of our Judo instructors taught self defense in the middle of the woods!?!??

First we had two of our instructors Jess Papi and Stephen Peragallo compete in the IBJJF no gi Pan Am Championships. This event brings out some of the best talent from all over the world! Stephen and Jess both had very tough divisions with great competitors. Steve and Jess both were able to reach the podium and they both took home silver medals. Im sure if you have been in the academy during the last few months you noticed how hard they both have been working in preparation for this tournament. It is awesome to see two of our very own instructors go out to test their Jiu Jitsu against the very best. It shows that what is being taught and practiced in our academy works at the highest level. It also gives everyone who trains at Scranton MMA the chance to learn from their experience. Only some of our students compete for one reason or another but the ones who do go out and compete are able to come back and share what worked for them, what did not work for them and it helps all of us improve. When you see Jess or Steve at the academy please take a second to thank them and congratulate them on their success.

So in a very different environment from an international competition three of our Judo instructors made a trek into the middle of the woods to teach scouts Judo and Self Defense. The scouts were at Goose Pond in North East Pennsylvania for a weekend full of adventure and very little sleep. The scouts got to take classes on a wide variety of topics and interests. The Judo event was one of the highest attended classes during the weekend and the only one where students learned to throw people, choke people unconscious and brake a persons arm. All of the scouts learned some very practical self defense techniques as well as some fun sport Judo techniques as well. The instructors Tom McGuire, Jen Williams and Vito Picozzo all had a great time as well. Teaching Judo outside right by a lake with a great view and great weather made for an awesome time. Then to get the chance to meet so many great people from the scouts to the staff made for a very memorable experience.

September 23, 2013

Dont Tap Out To Cabin Fever

It is that time of year again. Summer is over. Fall is starting and for those of us who call North East Pennsylvania home it means that we will start to see less and less of that bright glowing ball of fire in the sky called the sun. A very sad thing indeed. Our days will continue to get shorter and shorter. Daylight savings time will rob us of another hour of ‘usable’ sunshine. The sun will soon be setting before 5pm. On top of that ‘cloudy’ season really starts to kick in to high gear in the fall and winter. So even during the day we might not catch a glimpse of the sun.

I could go on and on but I have to stop. There are real physical and psychological effects from having shorter days, less sun exposure and colder temperatures. Depression, anxiety, weight gain, stress and many more serious conditions can all be related to this season.

Luckily training at Scranton mixed martial arts will help you beat cabin fever. Getting in a great workout just a few times a week will help you feel better. It will help you beat any stress or anxiety that starts to creep up. You will have a much easier time maintaining your weight or even losing some body fat. You will able to see your friends, hang out, have fun and not worry about freezing to death as well.

It doesnt matter if you want to come in and learn how to defend yourself using Gracie Jiu Jitsu or if you want to come in and hit the heavy bag and get some sparring in. Maybe you want to try out some Judo and learn how to throw people around. Whatever your interest is we have you covered and if you want to try all of it out we can help you with that too. That is great for people who think they might get ‘bored’ workout out. Not a chance at Scranton MMA.

Also adults are not the only ones who are effected by the short daylight hours and cold temperatures. Children can also be suffer as well. Instead of playing outside and being active more and more kids will turn to video games and television for entertainment. This can lead to social issues and health issues. Having your child enrolled at Scranton Mixed Martial Arts will help them stay active and keep them in a positive mindset throughout the winter.

This post may seem a bit silly but I am sure I am not the only one who has suffered from ‘Cabin Fever’ or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Martial arts helps me fight it off no problem. I love being able to workout with friends and family and not having to rely on the weather to stay active during the winter. It helps me stay in shape all year round and keeps a smile on my face.



September 18, 2013

Are students required to spar?

Often times people who are thinking about joining a martial arts program wonder if they will be required to spar.  For a lot of people who have never trained in one of our styles this is a big question on their mind and today we will talk a bit about sparring at Scranton MMA. Many people are not quite sure what sparring is or how to do it.  They are worried that they might get injured or that the might accidentally injure someone else. Other new students are worried that they might not be in good enough shape to start sparring.

First to answer some of the more common questions that come up on this topic like:

  • Will I have to fight on my first day?
  • Do I have to spar with the instructor my first class?
  • Am I going to get punched in the face?

To make this simple the answer to all of the above questions are NO, NO and NO.  First we want you to realize that you will not spar your first day of class if you are a beginner and no one is going to punch you in the face.

After training hundreds and hundreds of new students we have a great system in place that helps beginners get started and ease them into the training process.  We have beginner only classes were the instructor(s) are focused solely on teaching the basic fundamental  techniques and skills.  There is no sparring in this class at all.  Students instead will first learn the basic positions that occur in self defense situations, competitions and sparring.  We go over all the positions and transitions from one position to another and then the most common submissions from each position.

This provides the student with the knowledge and ability to safely train from each of these positions and have an understanding of each position in a safe and controlled environment.  Then in a slow and deliberate manner we can start to increase the speed and intensity of the drills in the beginner class.  This slow steady increase is what sets up our beginner students for success.  With this gradual increase over time it is very easy for most of our beginner students to start sparring and when they do they normally have a great time as well.

Still some of our students prefer not to spar for one reason or another.  We have boxing students who will just drill and train and never do live sparring, we have Judo students who will learn the throws and practice them but not spar and we have Gracie Jiu Jitsu students who also prefer not to spar.  This is fine.  If that is what is best for the student then we will do everything we can to help them learn and progress as much as possible with out sparring.

If sparring or the fear of sparring is an issue for you please just talk to your instructor and we will work with you to create a plan that will work best for you.