I was in Albuquerque on a business trip last week and stopped into the Jackson/Winkeljohn Gym.
What a cool place. Everyone was super nice. I got pictures and watched Rashad, Marquardt, and Jardine train. Jackson was in California for the Strikeforce show so I didn't get to meet him but apparently Mike Van Arsdale teaches grappling there now. Been a fan of his for years so it was great to actually see him.
Tait Fletcher was training there. I was astounded at how tall he is. I am 6'3 and was wearing shoes and I think he was still taller than me.
What also struck me was how small Rashad really is, he didn't seem any bigger than Marquardt. Makes his wins over the heavyweights even that more impressive
in my mind.
Everyone was training hard and looked to be in great shape.
I have been a fan since UFC 2 and have never missed a PPV but I have never been to a live show or met any fighters, so this was a huge treat for me. The professional fighters were training with everyone it seemed. I wish I had brought some gym clothes so I could've gotten my ass kicked.
Really, the people and fighters could not have been nicer. The guy at the front desk, I think his name was Rick (and I apologize my friend if I got that wrong it was a long damn week) chatted with me about upcoming fights and some new fighters and just all around could not have been nicer or more accomodating.
Great experience for a big fan and I hope to visit again sometime.