Preparing For An MMA Pro Debut

Bryanna Fissori makes her MMA pro debut Oct. 25 <br /><p id=LAWRENCE TABUDLO PHOTO” width=”300″ height=”450″ class=”size-medium wp-image-43790″ /> Bryanna Fissori makes her MMA pro debut Oct. 25

When Bryanna Fissori moved to Hawaii in 2009, she started taking classes at South Shore MMA for cardio exercise. But now, the 29-year-old is training for her pro debut Oct. 25 in San Diego. “I’m really excited,” she says about her contract with Gladiator Challenge. “This is completely different from anything I saw myself growing up to do.”

Fissori, a 135-pound fighter, has an amateur record of 6-0 and holds two amateur titles in her weight class with Destiny MMA and Fight Girls Hawaii.

She trains at UFC Gym and Relson Gracie Waterfront under coaches Guy Orogo and Rich de los Reyes. She also is part of MMA team LVL1.

“The thing about MMA is there’s no time for hesitation,” says Fissori, who works as a veterinarian technician and content writer. “People are happiest when they are living in the moment, and when you’re training and competing in MMA, there’s nowhere else you can possibly be if you’re going to succeed. You have to be in the moment, and that’s something I really fell in love with and I feel every time I go into the cage, whether it’s practice or competition.

“Also, along with that, there’s a bonding element between sparring partners and coaches that’s hard to find anywhere else because the sport is so intimate and aggressive, and you have to trust one another.”

Although she’s always been an active athlete, playing various sports throughout high school and college, Fissori says MMA has helped her to understand the science of an athlete’s training and diet, as well as taking care of her body and any injuries, including bruises and bumps, she may get. MMA also has made her physically stronger and more confident in her athletic abilities.

“(The confidence) comes from having such a supportive group of people surround me throughout this journey,” she says. ” Also, there’s the aspect of being able to walk around and know that I’m able to defend myself — that’s something very empowering, not just as a woman or an athlete, but as a person in general.”

In response to recent stories of domestic violence in the news, Fissori will host a women’s self-defense and fight foundations seminar Oct. 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Relson Gracie Waterfront (16 Merchant St.).

“There are three portions of the seminar,” she explains. “The first is self-defense — how to get out of vulnerable positions using traditional methods you would learn in any other type of self-defense class, and some fight styles.

“Then we’ll move on to fight foundation — learning the basics of punching, fight techniques and a little bit of ground work. And the last portion is anger management. The women will be on offense, and the men on defense. This is when we would love for men to come in, and all they have to do is block. The women will take those new skills they just learned and try them out.”

The seminar is free and open to the public, but donations in any amount are welcome, with proceeds going to The Hawaii Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Bry’s Fight Camp. For details or to sign-up, visit mmapro or contact Fissori on Facebook. You also can just show up.