It's sometimes a little tough to know what to call the gym on Bank Street. It's a single second floor space, but a handful of programs run out of it.
This video helps clear things up a bit, as Darryl MarcAurele discusses his experience with mixed martial arts as both a competitor and a coach. MarcAurele is the owner of Team Strike Zone, a martial arts gym that opened in 2009. It shares the same space as Whaling City Boxing and the Heavy Hitters USA program, the latter of which is a nonprofit program to teach kids boxing, wrestling, and conditioning as well as developmental skills such as good attitude and work ethic.
MarcAurele says in the video that the young people involved in mixed martial arts are also learning similar skills and values.
"These athletes are not just learning to compete. They're learning discipline, desire, work ethic," he says.
The interviewer in the video is Mark Tullius, a California-based author and fighter. He's published some fiction books, including one on a dystopian future and a collection of horror short stories, but is also working to publish Unlocking The Cage. This will consist of sociological studies and personal interviews of MMA fighters, with Tullius' personal narrative woven into the work. According to his website, Tullius is traveling to every state to meet fighters and train with them.
In the interview, MarcAurele says he has had two spinal surgeries and that doctors have been reluctant to clear him to fight since the second one. However, he says he's still eager to get back into action.
"I'm in the gym every day anyway, and I'm doing what I'm doing with the guys, and I've got good guys and decent guys and I can still hold my own," he says. "And it's nothing like standing in the cage, or standing in the ring, with your hand held high. There's nothing in the world like it. The winning becomes an addiction."