North Texas Daily

Student ‘fights’ for new martial arts class

Student ‘fights’ for new martial arts class

September 09
23:19 2009

MULTIMEDIA – Freshman sets sights on jiu-jitsu club

By Morgan Walker / Staff Writer –
(Soundslide Compilation by Melissa Boughton / Photographer)

Amanda Fine is ready to fight.

The communication design freshman and mixed martial arts fighter is trying to start a training session for students who share her passion for fighting.

Unfortunately, she has no place to bring that passion yet.



“I don’t care where we train,” Fine said. “Almost anyone who wants to train doesn’t care where they are as long as there are mats and plenty of space.”

Fine needs only nine more people to start a Jiu-Jitsu club at UNT. (Photo by Melissa Boughton /  Photographer)

Fine needs only nine more people to start a Jiu-Jitsu club at UNT. (Photo by Melissa Boughton / Photographer)

The training, which would focus on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, would take place on the second floor of the Pohl Recreation Center where other group exercises are held, Fine said.

Practicing would allow fighters to box, strength-train, work on the ground and spar to practice with an opponent without a full-on fight.

Fine still needs more students to sign up to continue the application process for the club.

Fine’s background with martial arts started in her childhood. She took Taekwondo when she was younger but quit at age 12. She stuck with mainstream sports in middle school and high school.

After her junior year of high school she had enough of sports and was ready to fight again.

She returned to the gym where she trained in Taekwondo but her interest changed when her instructor told her about another class that taught students the fighting style of the Ultimate Fighting Championship battles seen on TV.

Now she has been training in mixed martial arts for about a year and a half.

Fine honed her martial arts skills in Rowlett and Lorance learned his in Copperas Cove. (Photo by Melissa Boughton /  Photographer)

Fine honed her martial arts skills in Rowlett and Lorance learned his in Copperas Cove. (Photo by Melissa Boughton / Photographer)

She loves working with her hands, using mitts and light sparring. Her favorite thing to do now is train in her new, hot-pink gi, a common uniform for martial artists which is usually white.

Fine just received her blue belt — the next category up from white belt — about three weeks before school started this fall.

She has competed for the North American Grappling Association in the women’s lightweight beginners category as a white belt, taking first place. She later won third place in the women’s intermediate category.

She then competed in the intermediate category at another tournament, Star Jiu-Jitsu in Carrollton, where she wore a gi for the first time. She won first place.

When she goes home to Rowlett on weekends, she trains at the Martial Arts Center.

Dustin Lorance, an engineering freshman and four-year wrestler, has been training in mixed martial arts for about a year and trained at Fighters Forge, in Copperas Cove, 70 miles southwest of Waco.

If UNT Recreational Sports allowed for a mixed martial arts class, Lorance said he would come in and train as often as possible.

“I don’t train up here in Denton, so I’m looking for something local,” Lorance said.

Fine hopes more people will get involved as the program hopes to grow.

“You’re the one who determines how good you get because you’re the one who decides how hard you work,” she said.

Amanda Fine, a communication design freshman, spars with Dustin Lorance, a engineering freshman, while practicing Jiu-Jitsu outside the Pohl Recreation Center. (Photo by Melissa Boughton /  Photographer)

Amanda Fine, a communication design freshman, spars with Dustin Lorance, a engineering freshman, while practicing Jiu-Jitsu outside the Pohl Recreation Center. (Photo by Melissa Boughton / Photographer)

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