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MMA fighter Mike Carson locks in for League title

by Jaymi Gooden-Campus Talk Editor
Thu, Mar 9th 2017 12:00 pm
Photo courtesy of Gladius Fight League
Photo courtesy of Gladius Fight League

 Michael Carson, a senior at The College at Brockport, claimed the K1 Kickboxing Gladius Fight League Title on Saturday, Feb. 18, in Cortland, New York. He previously won the United States Martial Arts "Jinshang Cup" Championship in Flushing, NY last October and now he's back at it again, this time with a coach and his team firmly by his side.

Carson, a kinesiology major, is a member of Brockport's Boxing Club and stands as a local K1 fighter for Bedoc MMA located in Rochester, his hometown. He trains there alongside other local fighters. Although Carson states that kickboxing is a solo sport, he claims teamwork is a core value in mixed martial arts.

"Your teammates are the ones you practice with," Carson said. "Even though it's an individual sport when you step out, your teammates are the ones preparing you for that battle."

There are currently five fighters on the Bedroc MMA fight team. One of them is a female named Elizabeth Van Der Horst. Carson, an African-American, claims that the world of MMA is swiftly changing and making room for minorities like himself and Van Der Horst, who has the fastest recorded tap-out time in amateur martial arts.

"They play an equal role," Carson said when speaking about women in the fighting sphere. "It's not a gender-based world. She [Van Der Horst] knows things and can do things that I can't do."

Carson was introduced to fighting by the women in his family. His mother and grandmother enrolled him in a taekwondo school when, then 8-years-old Carson had dreams of becoming an "unstoppable" ninja. 15 years of perfecting his wrestling and kickboxing styles has led the Golden Eagle to his first promotional fight and title win for the Gladius Fight League.

He attributes a lot of his success to his affiliate, Bedroc, which has a habit of producing well-rounded fighters.

Other fighters by Carson's side have some major accomplishments under their belts as well, such as national and world championships along with titles similar to the one Carson has won.

"It just shows that with a team like Bedroc, we're able to turn good athletes into phenomenal ones," Carson said. "We all work so hard and that's where teamwork comes in again. We're pushing each other and we pick each other up."

Carson not only plans to continue his practice of martial arts, but looks forward to being an active member in transforming how martial artists are viewed by society today. He makes a point to introduce young community members, who grew up where he did, to the sport and the benefits it has for kids who need a positive outlet.

"People who look like me are not very common in the fighting world," Carson said. "I came from the hood too and I get it, but I'm just trying to show others that there are other ways and it's possible."

Anything is possible when you are determined and  surrounded by like minded teammates who care about you.  



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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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