Couple opens mixed martial arts gym in Dillon |

Couple opens mixed martial arts gym in Dillon

Kathryn Corazzelli
Summit Daily News
Special to the dailyLeah Wickham and Megan Blitzer work up a sweat during a morning boot camp class at 9150 MMA, a new mixed martial arts gym in Dillon.

Mixed martial arts fighter and Summit County resident Pete Baker didn’t have a facility he could train in locally. So he opened one. 9150 MMA officially started up in Dillon last month, and offers classes like Jiu Jitsu, kickboxing, wrestling, boot camp cardio and, of course, mixed martial arts.

Wife Shani Baker said Pete was driving down to Denver daily to train, which just isn’t feasible with a 2-year-old daughter, a dog and another business, Precision Paint Services.

“We figured the demographics of (Summit County) may actually support this kind of gym,” Shani Baker said. “So we decided to open it for our own personal uses and to fill a spot. This is his true passion – he would like to make his living completely doing this type of thing.”

Mixed martial arts is “the fastest growing sport in the world,” according to Baker. “There are gyms popping up all over the country.”

Many of these newer facilities are popping up in mountain communities, like Denver, because of the benefits of high-altitude training, she said. But most of those are only at 5,000 – 6,000-feet, so 9,150 – the gym’s altitude – has adopted the slogan of “higher altitude training.”

The gym started up a few months ago in a single room, but just moved just last month to its larger and official location in the Dillon Center. Shani said everything is about 90 percent up-and-running – there are still a few more classes they would like to add, like yoga or pilates, “to offer a more well-rounded schedule.” They also plan to eventually hold team mixed martial arts practices for people interested in amateur or professional fighting.

Right now, Baker said the morning boot camp class has proven popular for people not as interested in the fighting aspect.

“It’s all boxing and kickboxing; a lot of cardio and strength training,” Baker said. “You’re actually putting on gloves and hitting the bag, but he’s not teaching technique so much as trying to get a solid workout for people.”

But, if someone is interested in the more technical classes like jiu jitsu, mixed martial arts or muay thai kickboxing, Baker said the boot camp is a good starting point for getting in shape.

As an opening special, the gym is currently offering a free week trial so people can try as many classes as they want over the course of a week. Baker said the long-trial period, as opposed to just one session like most establishments offer, should give participants a “true feel if it’s somewhere they want to be.”

Baker herself is just starting to take her husband’s classes. She “grew up in a traditional fitness gym” and is now experiencing Pete’s form of fitness for the first time.

“They’re really fun,” Baker said. “I can’t believe I waited this long to get into it.”

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