Hi, my name is John Allen. Everybody around here nicknamed me “Country”, so that’s what I go by. This is Forged Fitness, this is the place I like to train.
I’ve been training here about 4 years. When I started training here, I drove an hour each way to get here for 2 years, until I actually got enough money to move to Raleigh, just to be here to train with people. I like MMA, I like the [Fitness] side of things. [Fitness] really supplements my MMA fitness well, it helps me fight. The black belt instructors here are top notch, and they’re exactly why I came here to train.
Moving here has really made a difference in my fitness and what I’m capable of doing on the mats. I think everybody in the gym lives to help that person grow. When you’re in an environment where everybody is trying to get better, it doesn’t do anything but rub off on you. You’re trying to get better all the time, and the people around you are trying to help you get better.
Forged has a lot of guys, experienced instructors, who have been there and done it. From the striking and Muay Thai side, Ted Leiner and Mike Emory are both experienced fighters. Billy Dowey has a black belt, Jason Culbreth has a black belt, and both are experienced in competition.
The one thing I really like about training at Forged Fitness is the family that I’ve built here. Everybody’s always trying to push you. They say it takes iron to sharpen iron. If that’s true, then everything is here that I need to push my game to the next level.