Cody not only inherited the warrior gene, but also the Irish “gift of the gab”– Not in a boastful way, but with the confidence of someone who is truly grateful for what they have and opportunities ahead. He spoke with high regard and appreciation for his coaches, trainers, and teammates at Grudge. “This gym produces some of the top fighters on the planet,” pointing out a number trainers and champion fighters and giving briefbios he continued, “It”s like a brotherhood, we have each others back. People might think we just come in here and pound on each other, but we try to help each other be better fighters. If you don”t have a fight you help the one who does…it”s a beautiful thing.”MMA is a full contact sport allowing the use of boxing, wrestling, and other fighting techniques to be used during competition. Strategies include striking, take-downs, andsubmissions. Victory is determined by judges’ decision at the end of the scheduled fight or by stoppage by the referee, fight doctor, the fighter (tap-out or verbal), a cornerman, throwing in the towel, or knockout.MMA initially had received negative press and painted as barbaric but that image is changing through education and regulation according to Cody. “There is nothing new to the idea of the sport– organized hand to hand combat has been around since Pankration was introduced to the ancient Greek Olympics. With sanctioning bodies now involved at all levels it has become much safer.”Introduction of weight classes, rounds limited to 5 minutes, restrictions on the use of knees to a downed opponent, headbutts, eye-gouging, etc as well as properly trained medical professionals and referees are just some of the precautions set in place bythe professions overseers. Some analysts have put forth data suggesting that MMA is considerably safer than boxing with less emphasis on continued head strikes and more time spent with wrestling, grappling, and floor fighting.Still, with all of the quality improvements made to the sport stereotypes remain about MMA and those who compete. “People think that we are retarded meatheads, but my teammates are some of the smartest people I know. They”re all highly competitive very motivated- but to be the best you have to be smart and keep mentally in control in the ring. As in most sports, fighting is 90% mental, you have to get past your circle of concern and focus on your circle of control.”One intense fight early in Cody”s young career was a pivotal lesson in mental control and intestinal fortitude demanded by his profession. Physically challenged by broken bones to his face and handsuffered during the match, he struggled with a reason to continue. “I broke mentally several times during the fight,” recalling his fightwith Ian Berg, who is now a teammate and one of his best friends.Cody was able to make it through the fight and was given the win,but gave the respect to Berg. “When it was over we knew that we were in a war ” they gave the fight to me in a decision, but Ian and I call it a draw.”After a fight like that, many would have considered a gentler profession, but for Cody it helped galvanize his resolve to be a MMA champion.“I knew after that fight that the MMA was my calling.”A casual interest in martial arts lead Cody to Brazilian JiuJitsu while a student 19 year old student at Colorado Arts Institute. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree he got a job in graphics design and animation. “I hated it ” I just couldn”t sit still!” he laughed recalling his brief career at a desk.Cody studied Brazilian JiuJitsu (BJJ) at Nate Marquardt”s gym, High Altitude Training (HAT) in Aurora Colorado. It was Marquardt who initially got Cody involved in MMA by recruiting him to help another fighter who was getting ready for a competition and needed to train with someone who was big and had BJJ skills. (Marquardt, a champion MMA fighter, is also a teammate of Cody”s at Grudge). At 6″3″ and over 200lbs Codyfit the bill.Cody also teaches BJJ, MMA and Kickboxing at HAT. With his skills and positive disposition he is a natural to work with the young students. “I”ve been fortunate to haveso many people help me, so this is a way for me to give back to the MMA community.”Students train for different reasons, but for those who have high level of MMA aspirations it is helpful to have guidance from someone as grounded as Cody.“There is no Manual on how to become a pro-fighter. It would be a free-for-all if youlet fighters enter the ring without strong foundation. You could show them a few tricksbut they would fall apart. It”s like building a house– you wouldn”t install the crystal chandelier before you install a good foundation. At ever level of every sport you alwayspractice the basics to build and keep a good foundation.” Cody practices what he preaches. He trains 3 times a day, 6 days a week — alternating sessions of sparring, conditioning, and learning/teaching. Prior to a fight he goes through an 8 week “fight camp” where he trains in varying intervals and intensity. He will have to amend his 8 week fight camp routine as he accepted in mid July an August 7 fight with Ryan Lopez in Oklahoma. 29 years of age, Cody fights at 205 in the Light Heavyweight division.Although he looked ripped to the casual observer, he claimed he was a little overweight “I love Guinness and I love to eat” he chuckled, “Good thing that I love to train and stay in good shape.”Not a trash talker Cody analyzed his challenger succinctly. “He is a big scary looking guy, but I like my skills against his.” Cody talked about strategy and techniques and then added, “You have to believe that you can beat anyone in the world ” or get another job.”Grudge Training Center4298 Kipling Street, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 303-432-8858 www.grudgetrainingcenter.com Also find Cody at:www.myspace.com/donnybrookcodywww.highaltitudema.com
During the second week of this November Karri will take time off from her work at Enterprise Auto Rentals, along with co-worker Trish Tesar, Kathy McGee (Kellogg”s), and Heidi Weidemiller (Computer Associates) and will be the first American team to join Irish-Based NMTT team in South Africa as volunteer builders. “We will walk into the city behind a bagpiper, put on our assigned team colors, and a week later we”ll hand over the keys for a new house to a family that had previously lived in a shanty ” very cool! Kerri added that team USA will be in the company of approximately 700 volunteers from Ireland, many who are professionals in building trades. Team USA is required to raise at least $5,000 apiece. About half goes toward travel and expenses and the other half toward building a house (cost is approximately 5,000 Euroto build one house, with a proper roof, running water, sanitation facilities and electricity).Last month they got off to a good start with a fundrasier at the Irish Hound in Denver as Kerri reported, “Troy Kahle (GM of the Irish Hound) was a great help for our Charity event along with his entire staff. Attendees that bought raffle tickets were treated to some Irish Beer or great wine, a taco buffet, and raffle tickets for some great prizes.” She added that there was a very good turn-out and great support from sponsors like Guinness, Lowes, The Artisan Center, Houston’s Restaurant, Little India restaurant, LaLas Restaurant, Cherry Creek Grill, The Colorado Rockies, Silpada Jewelry, The Tattered Cover, Encore Restaurant, Home Depot, Racine’s, and Dixons restaurant. “We are still in the fundraising stage— we are looking to finalize our fundraising by the middle or last part of august.” Donations can be made towards Team USA by going to www.nmtownshiptrust.com or www.irishtownship.com and click on the American Flag.“The Niall Mellon Township Trust is a great Charity and we thank everyone for their support,” enthused Karri, “We will be the first volunteer group from the US that will go to South Africa in November and we are very excited about that!!! PM
Colorado Scottish Festival and Rocky Mountain Games August 14 & 15 By Nicole ThomasNow in its 47th year, the Colorado Scottish Festival and Rocky Mountain Highland Games will be hosted Saturday, Aug. 14, and Sunday, Aug. 15, beginning at 9 a.m., at Highlands Heritage Park in Highlands Ranch, Colo. Each year, this community event draws approximately 10,000 people of all ages who come to experience and learn more about authentic Scottish and Celtic heritage, culture, music, dancing, food, history, genealogy and athletics in a family-friendly environment. For the first time, the Colorado Scottish Festival will host the 10th Anniversary Masters World Championships in Scottish athletics. The Championship will feature 114 athletes from seven countries, including one Hall of Fame recipient. Last year”s event was hosted in Inverness, Scotland. Another highlight this year are live concerts Saturday night and Sunday afternoon by Seven Nations, a Celtic rock band that has performed internationally for more than 15 years, including at the Dublin Irish Festival, Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the New York Marathon. Opening for Seven Nations will be Colorado”s own Angus Mohr, a Celtic rock band that combines Highland bagpipes and Irish whistles with electric guitars, bass, Hammond organ, synthesizers, and rock drums. More than 55 authentic Scottish family clans will be represented at the Festival. The 2010 Honored Clan will be Clan MacInnes, which will host its annual Clan meeting at the Festival. Each participating clan will display its unique coat of arms, tartan, genealogy and other historic items passed down from generation to generation. The Festival is enjoyable for people of any heritage and visitors can attempt to trace their ancestry at the Scots” Heritage Centre that features information on genealogy and Scottish clan history. Other Colorado Scottish Festival attractions include: Pipe, drum and Celtic music performances and competitions, featuring some of the nation”s finest bagpipers Irish Step, Traditional Highland and Scottish Country dancing performances and competitions British dog exhibition and British car show Rugby exhibitions Children”s games and living history exhibitions Scottish-style food and drink, including Haggis tasting The Colorado Scottish Festival (www.ScottishGames.org) founded in 1963, is a production of the St. Andrew Society of Colorado. The event is planned and produced entirely by more than 200 volunteers who care deeply about retelling and preserving the Scottish heritage. The tradition of this Scottish event goes back to days of old when rival clans or kings would meet. Competitions were organized beginning in 1819 at the Perthshire estate of Lord Gwydir in Scotland, to keep men-at-arms and camp followers out of trouble, as well as impress rival clans. Memories of these gatherings were brought to America by Scottish ancestors who started hosting similar events more than 125 years ago. The origins of games in the Rocky Mountain West are traced back to Scottish fur trappers, who continued the age-old games traditions in their encampments. Discounted event tickets can be purchased via www.scottishgames.org until Saturday, Aug. 7. Advanced ticket prices are $15 per day for adults, and $10 per day for children age 7-11, kids under 7 free, seniors over 60, and active military personnel. Each ticket includes admission to all Festival activities on a particular day, including music concerts. After Aug. 7, Festival tickets will be sold only at the Festival main entrance and will cost $17 per day for adults, and $12 per day for children age 7-11, seniors over 60, and active military personnel. Free event parking and free shuttle service is available both days of the Festival.