Monday, June 18 , 2018, 7:08 pm | Fair 68º


Surf Meets Turf: Learn Mixed Martial Arts from Pros

Check out the new Valhalla Training Center during Saturday's grand opening

Saturday will mark the grand opening of a new martial arts and fitness gym in Santa Barbara.

Pro surfer Tarik Khashoggi, retired pro fighter Michael Mac Donald and business community leader Nena Mac Donald will lead an open house/grand opening of the Valhalla Training Center, 1722 State St.

The event will feature demonstrations by students and instructors as well as a mixer expo with pro and amateur fighters, trainers and instructors.

Valhalla ETC is a collaborated effort between the two pro athletes. The gym features a full-size cage, as seen in competitions such as the Ultimate Fighting Championships, a fully functional weight room, cardio equipment and three workout areas totaling more than 6,000 square feet. Lessons are offered to all ages and skill levels, including a preschool class all the way to a professional fight team.

The grand opening will feature a Lion Dance festival, Capoeira demonstration and Filipino catered food.

The environment is family orientated and conducive to those parents looking to get in shape and feel like they are participating in activity with their child.

Khashoggi, owner of J7 surfboards, started this endeavor after training for a few months in mixed martial arts. He says it was a way for him to stay in shape outside of the sport of surfing.

Michael Mac Donald, who retired from professional fighting in 2004 after fighting for the WEC, leads most of the coaches and instructors at the gym teaching Chinese Kung fu systems, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Jiujitsu, Russian SAMBO, mixed martial arts and Japanese the sword art of Kenjitusu.

His mom, Nena, as been brought on board later as a community spokeswoman whose latest endeavor was the hosting of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao during his last championship bout.

Stop by the Valhalla Training Center to try out a group of classes for free, or click here for more information.

— Michael Mac Donald is a head instructor at the the Valhalla Training Center.


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