by Derek Callahan
The Pit is what put the renowned John Hackleman on the map, and it shows through his experienced fighters, most notably Chuck Liddell and Gan McGee. Recently though in North Hollywood, some younger "Pit fighters" showcased their skills successfully.
Michael "Jaws" Sepulveda won his bout via 2nd round kayo, Preston Sharf lost his match by a single point, and according to the Pitmaster himself, "Hurricane" Ralph Alarcon was responsible for the fight of the night. While all the wins were great for Hackleman to see, of most emotion to him had to have been the 1st round kayo administered by his son, Johnny Hackleman, Jr.
"Johnny is tall and much more of a straight puncher than I was in my heyday," said the elder Hackleman on how his son fights compared to himself. "I was more of a bomber (94% KOs) but not much finesse."
While the new generation of Pit-trained competitors may not ever experience the inter-squad, knock down drag out brawls that forged their predecessors, they are Pit fighters nonetheless. Especially now that Hackleman has changed his schools name from Kuzen Martial Arts and Fitness. From now on, it's all Pit to him.
In addition to training his younger students, Hackleman has put on several of his own competitions. Most recent was "Kumite V" on October 24th. Participants can enter stand up, grappling and Jr. UFC divisions.
"It is a great chance for parents and all spectators to see how good these kids really are, and they are good!" said Hackleman.