Club MMA Offers More Than Fitness at HHS

What began as an idea from a student, is now Club MMA at the Holmes High School After-Hours Community Learning Center (CLC). 

When Holly Simkonis, CLC coordinator at Holmes High School, was approached with the idea, she wasn’t sure what to expect, but enough students garnered interest for her to explore the idea. Simkonis researched possible partners, which led her to Joel Lippolis of Club MMA Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness in Campbell County, Kentucky.  

Simkonis and Lippolis discussed objectives of offering Club MMA as an afterschool club. Lippolis said that the goals for the program are “to successfully teach students how to be better versions of themselves through learning martial arts. We want each student to be able to apply life skills such as focus, teamwork, self-control, and self-discipline as they learn techniques that can help them in a self-defense situation or as a sport for recreation or competition.” 

Now meeting weekly, coaches emphasize students setting goals and learning how to work diligently to achieve those goals. Sessions include fitness, but also include non-cognitive components with a foundation for development. Coaches stated that the largest success is often the gain of developed respect, courage, self-esteem, and ability to overcome obstacles. 

“I have seen a great deal of teamwork and dedication from each of the students,” Lippolis said of the students attending Club MMA.

A student who sparked the idea of Club MMA at Holmes High School also noted a change in a friend attending the sessions. He said he has noticed his friend come out of his shell, talk more, and open up to others.
Category: Education
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