I had the pleasure of speaking with Luis Nazario in his new facility.
I originally met him at ATT in Fort Lauderdale in Muay Thai then later MMA class. His energy is easy going and instantly likeable. When he is teaching, everyone is welcome.
You want to fight? – over here. You want some conditioning and skill? – over here. You aren’t sure and are feeling nervous? – over here. As a coach, he is genuinely welcoming and inclusive of everyone’s goals.
Coach Luis is now 44, has competed as featherweight. If you check Sherdog he holds 2W – 4L but has had many other fights, in kickboxing especially. He was clear to tell me what he found out he loved pretty early on in his career is coaching.
Since 15 years old he was practicing martial arts, starting in Puerto Rico then in Florida. He has studied boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, then MMA. He says he really found a passion with MMA above other fight forms.
Once he achieved a certain level of skill, he began on the fight team at ATT Coconut creek, then started teaching and managing all over at various ATT facilities and has done so for 20 years.
Coach Luis started training with the fight team when they were still in Boca Raton, in the beginning stage of American Top Team, when there were only “10 fighters, 2 boxing bags, and 1 cage.” Nothing like the beautiful facility we see at ATT Coconut Creek now.
So, what has changed over the last 20 years of participation in fight sports and MMA? The training for one thing.
Coach Luis really encourages cross training between combat sport disciplines. A lot of young fighters can “get stuck” in their favorite fight form but MMA is its own form of martial arts, and the more striking and grappling skills an athlete has to combine and use in the cage, the better. We aren’t watching a boxer compete with BJJ at this point (although UFC 1 is still fun to watch!) As far as training to be a cage fighter, cross train disciplines and practice MMA.
Second, being closed off to training with people from other training backgrounds and training facilities is not beneficial to the athlete. Nowadays, MMA fighters need to be prepared to compete against all styles of fighters. Being part of a bigger fight sport community benefits all the athletes at every level. Share invites to fight camps, smoker fights, open mat BJJ and grappling are all positive in building the athlete’s skill set.
Coach Luis’ gym , Flagler MMA Club, is located at Upload Fitness in Fort Lauderdale. The idea is MMA for everyone, ”like Jesus when he came to the world, fish and bread for everybody”. While not everyone is going to start a MMA career, anyone can advance their technique, increase their conditioning, and become more fit through training.
His facility will offer MMA, Muay Thai, Boxing, group and private lessons, as well as conditioning. The full schedule should be posted by January, 30th 2022 and can be found @flaglesmmaclub on IG.
It is really important to support local athletes and coaches whenever we can. We all love the pro athletes; UFC and Fight Night are an event whether watching from home or arena. The whole process of achieving that pro, elite status deserves respect. There are so many years of training, poorly attended amateur fights, and coaches along the way that should be recognized for their quiet and faithful dedication to fight sports and the athletes.
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