MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is a full-contact combat sport that incorporates different techniques from various martial arts from around the world. Some may see it as a way to defend one’s self, a way to master a new skill or a way to simply tone one’s body. But when one delves deeper, he experiences MMA as a form of self-expression.
Vagabond MMA Studio is a place where one can do all that. The studio, opened January 2016, specializes in kickboxing and Jiu-jitsu. It was founded by head coach Duane Gacasan. The studio is affiliated with Deftac Philippines, which Gacasan is a member of. Deftac is an organization established in 1995, founded by decorated martial artist Alvin Aguilar. Deftac has produced world-class champions in different martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ), wrestling, Filipino martial arts (FMA), Muay Thai and MMA.
Vagabond currently has approximately more than 80 students, some of which have won in various competitions like Jiu-jitsu tournaments (both local and international), Muay Thai and MMA events. Apart from the experienced students, beginners, and even children as young as eight years old (provided that they are supervised), are welcome to join the MMA studio.
Gacasan shared that apart from learning a new skill, he considers the closeness of the members of the group to be an important thing in his studio. “Instead of our bond like that of teacher-student, we’re like a family here. We want everybody to be close,” he said.
Gacasan has been training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu with Deftac Philippines founder, BJJ black belt Sensei Alvin Aguilar, for eight years and is currently a Purple Belt. He was also a former senior instructor of kickboxing and MMA gym YawYan Ardigma Cebu.
Vagabond MMA Studio was founded when one of Gacasan’s friends who is a tattoo artist (him being a tattoo artist as well) was looking for a place to train in boxing. He volunteered to train him and his colleagues. They would hold trainings in front of the tattoo shop in Mango Square Mall along Gen. Maxilom Ave., Cebu City. When it closed, they rented a time slot at ALLson’s Fitness Center. Word spread. The audience got bigger. The news reached friends of friends not just in the tattoo industry but also in the music industry. Thus, Gacasan opted to find a permanent spot, starting out with kickboxing then eventually adding Jiu-jitsu.
Vagabond MMA Studio is located at 96 J. Alcantara Ext. Sambag 1, Cebu City and open from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Monday to Saturday, 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday to Friday as well as 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday.