old school


Absolute MMA has changed quite a bit since it began in 2002. Professor Rob Handley rented the garage you see above, which used to be a chop shop, and put in long days and lots of effort to get it ready for students.

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A look and some of the material that had to be scrapped and removed before the work of restoring the structural strength of the building could begin.


Rob had to replace a whole section of the lower rear wall by cutting it out, using blocks to hold it up and putting in new wood and material to make it stable. The concrete floors were stripped and repainted as well as the walls. Lighting had to be installed.


Those that were there in the early days will remember the construction light that you see above, on the floor that would shine in our eyes as we rolled in the evenings. I guess it was good for positional awareness, that thing was bright!


Sheet rock for the walls and ceiling was put in as well as new insulation. It was starting to come together.


Rob bought tatami mats for Jiu Jitsu and Judo and he was open for business!




The advertising budget was a bit limited in the beginning. Rob bought this sheet of plywood and painted it white. He brought it to the gym and we used a projector to stencil the lettering he wanted. He bought some Sharpies from Office Depot and we spent an afternoon coloring in the letters. That sign is still up today. We took these pictures the week of July 8, 2013. You can see it from 3300 south just east of 3200 west behind the car wash.

This gym is where we had our first seminar with Grand Master Flavio Behring. This is here Rob produced the first Pan Am Jiu Jitsu Champion from Utah.