Stories

2016 Year-End Campaign: Let’s build the first free, youth-managed MMA gym!

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Because of your support, Level Ground will open our Athletic, Academic, and Job Training Center in January 2017!  The Training Center will also provide free & affordable Personal Training and MMA classes to all Boston residents, no matter income.

Youth will serve as our Personal Trainers, Fitness Instructors, and Managers!

Check out this video to see what the Training Center will look like in action!

The LG Training Center will include 2,700 sq. feet of mat space for athletics, the Beat 58 Personal Training Studio, and our Academic and Job Training Classroom.

LG aims to raise $35,000 ($20K online, $15K offline) by mid-January. Funds will go towards vital equipment and renovations, as well as wages for our Student Trainers.
Between our online and offline donations as of 11/22/2016, we have already reached 40% of this goal!

With your help, the LG Training Center will serve hundreds of more young people through our wraparound services. Together, we will also empower our Student Trainers to become fitness leaders in their community and address key health disparities in urban Boston.

November 22nd, 2016

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Coming January 2017: Level Ground Training Center

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We are so excited to announce that Level Ground has secured our own 6,300 sq. foot Training Center in urban Boston!

The LG Training Center will include 2,700 sq. feet of mat space for athletics, the Beat 58 Personal Training Studio, and our Academic and Job Training Classroom.

In March, LG will offer limited paying classes and youth-led Personal Training services for adults, and will expand our offerings in May.  Our goal is for the Training Center to achieve complete sustainability by September 2017.  Our primary staff will be our Student Trainers, of course! 

About the “Beat 58 Personal Training Studio:”

This Studio will offer free and affordable Personal Training services to low-income adults, and is managed by our Student Trainers.  Beat 58 catalyzes youth to use their passion for fitness and change the trend of early life expectancy in urban neighborhoods.  This initiative was inspired by a BU Study that found that the average life expectancy for Roxbury residents is just 58 years old, in large part due to preventable chronic disease linked lack of physical activity.

The Beat 58 Personal Trainer Studio is launched in partnership with ACCEPT Personal Training School and HoodFit, and funded by The Boston Foundation’s Collaborate Boston award.

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November 16th, 2016

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LG Student Trainers head to Fall internships!

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At our August 17 ‘Celebration Ceremony,’ LG announced 12 students’ transition to internships in the Fitness Industry this Fall.

Internship partners are committed to hiring our students within 6 months. In their placements, our students are shadowing trainers and instructors, performing sales and marketing, learning client management, and more!

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Internship partners include: 
The Club by George Foreman III, The UFC Gym, ACCEPT Personal Training School,
Rock Spot Climbing, Boston Public Schools, Turnstyle Cycle, Broadway Jiu Jitsu,
Redline Fight Sports, Chinatown YMCA, Huntington YMCA

September 8th, 2016

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LG Student wins second MMA competition

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William Graustuck (left) secured his second amateur win with Cage Titans. He was awarded “Submission of the Night” for his incredible arm bar finish within 19 seconds.

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In his amateur debut in June, Graustuck also defeated his opponent in under 3 minutes in the first round. He was given “Submission of the Night” for his performance in this bout as well!

August 27th, 2016

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LG Students head to the Ukraine through State Department-funded initiative

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Privet!

Level Ground is THRILLED to announce that this Saturday (June 18) 4 LG youth and our Executive Director (above) will be traveling to the Ukraine as a part of a U.S. State Department-funded initiative.

Our students have been selected to lead martial arts clinics for Ukrainian police and youth. They will also meet with Ukrainian officials to share how the martial arts has impacted their lives and can be used as a tool to facilitate dialogue and relationships among a range of community stakeholders.

This opportunity marks our students’ first time leaving the United States, and will be utterly transformative in their personal development and professional ambitions.

The experience is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, and facilitated by PH International’s Police as Leaders in Athletics for Youth: Ukraine (UA PLAY) martial arts program.

Our small organization is approaching our 3-year anniversary, and it brings me great joy to share how far we’ve come.

 

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June 15th, 2016

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First LG Athlete to make MMA Debut on June 18

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Our first LG Student will make his MMA debut in Cage Titans on June 18!  William joined Level Ground over 2 years ago, earning his blue belt with us, and competing in dozens of grappling tournaments.  It only seems natural for him to transition into the cage.  Join us in sending Will positive vibes this Saturday!

June 14th, 2016

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Another Student gets hired by LG Partner gym

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Little Ali was extended an offer by The Club by George Foreman III as a result of her internship placement through LG’s Student Trainer Certification program in January.  The Club was named Boston’s Best Health Club last year…not too shabby of a first job for this 17 year old!

Ten more LG students will be entering internship over the next four months.

May 10th, 2016

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LG Director Heads to Alabama as Keynote Speaker for 2016 Buildvention

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LG Alexandra Fuller heads to Greensboro, Alabama to serve as the 2016 Keynote Speaker for BUILDVENTION, a conference and service event for civically-minded martial arts school owners and martial artists alike (including UFC Fighter Neil Magny.)  Ali will share her experience in launching LG, and urge the martial arts community to take their impact beyond the mat and into the community.

April 25th, 2016

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LG partners with the State and Boston Police Department

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This past Wednesday, Governor Charlie Baker kicked off a celebration to introduce the 2016 CSI Shannon Grant partners, which includes Level Ground!

We are humbled and grateful to receive the support of the Boston Police Department and the State through this significant grant support.  We have also recently received significant support from the Lenny Zakim Fund, as well as John Hancock’s MLK Scholars program and the City of Boston.  All funding will be directed toward our Student Trainer Certification program so that urban youth may receive meaningful employment in the fitness industry.

February 5th, 2016

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Stories from the Mat: “Being here is like being with family”

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I’m a 14 year old girl who joined Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts in May 2015. Level Ground has had a great impact on my life ever since then. From the first day, feeling like I couldn’t do jujitsu but the support was so high, there was no way that “can’t” could even slip out my mouth. The encouragement made me love it but the advice, the laughter, and determination made me come back over and over again. I’d never seen myself doing Mixed Martial Arts in a million years but I wanted to try something new for a change. Before Level Ground I used to get into a lot of trouble by hanging with the wrong people at wrong times and it wasn’t getting me anywhere in life, it wasn’t helping me grow at all. My old mindset wasn’t like how it is today. I didn’t really care about how anyone felt about me because I didn’t care for myself. I was not only hurting myself but the people around me and it was like when I came to Level Ground they helped me grow and see things more clearly. The love they have for one another taught me that it’s okay to be happy and be loved. Getting on those mats helps me release the pain and anger and allows me to enjoy being myself and being here is like being with family. -M., age 14

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December 8th, 2015

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Level Ground
Mixed Martial Arts

50 Milk Street, Floor 17
Boston, MA, 02109
410-533-2210
ali@levelgroundmma.org

Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts
Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts is a tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organization under the IRS. EIN 46-3915852.