About Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts
Crazy 88 was founded in March 2005 by Julius Park as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in Elkridge MD. We were open three nights a week, one class per night. The only option on the menu then was Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Today, we operate two thriving Mixed Martial Arts gyms in the Baltimore area. We offer a wide range of classes, from Jiu-Jitsu to Boxing to MMA to Muay Thai Kickboxing to Fitness training, to all ages and all experience levels – from complete novices to Professional athletes. During our 9+ years in business, Crazy 88 has been recognized nationally for our exceptional training that has brought our students to the highest levels of competition.
Why We Exist by Julius Park
Like many people, my interest in the martial arts exploded when I saw Royce Gracie win the first few events of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). I clearly remember watching UFC 3 on VHS and being shocked at how different it was from what I had seen in Martial Arts movies and in my childhood Tae Kwon Do classes. This little guy was defeating all these giant challengers, without punching and kicking, but with grappling?!? It was amazing.
What I wanted to do with Crazy 88 from a cultural standpoint was combine the best of the Jiu-Jitsu world and the Wrestling world.
What I loved about wrestling is its disciplined no-nonsense attitude. It was REAL. You knew if someone had gotten the better of you that day. You knew you were going to work hard. I’m always reminded of Olympic Gold Medalist Tom Brands’ quote “You don’t DESERVE anything. You have to earn it.” This emphasis on hard work and accomplishment rather than entitlement is so important.
Like wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu had that feeling of “realness” but maintained a greater emphasis on team. Teammates are not all competing for that 1 varsity spot and so there is more reason for everyone to help each other. It also brings different types of people, who might never interact with one another in their normal lives, together – from aspiring fighters to bankers, from kids to senior citizens. They were all able to learn, train, and if they wanted, to compete, at their respective levels. Probably the only sport in the world where that occurs.
What I wanted to do with Crazy 88 was combine the best of these two worlds. To have a training environment where a casual student as well as a serious competitor would be able to progress and achieve their goals. There would be a place for older students as well as younger ones. This environment would always be based on REALITY. We would never sell belts or become an untested “self-defense” school.
The other important reason for Crazy 88’s existence was the lack of appropriate training environments for competition-minded athletes. Its not easy for athletes to find environments where they can receive the skill development and guidance that they need in order to be successful long-term at a high level. Every year I would go to the World Championship or the Pan, two of the toughest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions in the World, and I would always see individuals who looked invincible at the local level, lose before the medal rounds. I would see so many promising MMA amateur fighters make the jump to the professional level and end up being journeymen – just a stepping stone for another better-trained athlete. I wanted Crazy 88 to provide a training environment where these high-potential athletes would receive the proper mentorship and training to break through these plateaus.
In other words, we would compare ourselves to the best training environments in the world, seek out the toughest challenges, and remain on top of the latest developments. We would work to improve our teaching methodology in order to maintain high standards, instead of lowering standards to accommodate everyone. We want to produce World Champions as well as help people lose weight.
Since we opened our doors in 2005, we’ve maintained these values as we grew from one location to two. From 600 square feet to 18,000. We’re proud to be helping over 600 students actively pursue their fitness and martial arts goals. Our students have become World Champions, Amateur Champions, and we’ve coached and cornered all over the World in the most prestigious events, from UFC to Bellator to OneFC. Its been a wild ride and we’re still going so please come in and join the fun!
Our Core Values
1. Dedication to the team and teammates.
2. Never-ending improvement.
3. Respect for the foundation of what you learn and teach.
4. Do the right thing (even when no one is looking).
5. Smart decisions based on a Plan and Reality.
Dedication to the team and teammates.
Be a person that others look up to and can rely on. Treat the team’s goals as your own. Help your teammates develop their potential and become successful!
Don’t be a braggart, prima donna, or negative Nancy. Develop a measure of tact. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to talk. Don’t be like most people.
Ask yourself, if everyone did what you did, would the school become better or worse?
Understand and identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Never stop learning. Look for those who have established themselves in areas where you wish to succeed and study them. Strive for perfection and rebuff mediocrity. Learn from your mistakes. Challenge yourself.
Under this philosophy, you’re never “good enough” but that doesn’t matter. It’s the process that counts.
Respect for the foundation of what you learn and teach.
Respecting the foundation of what you learn and teach means understanding that you’re teaching and learning a real skill that has unlimited room for improvement.
We’re not about opening a boxing gym after we’ve fought (and lost) one amateur boxing bout. We respect the art of boxing too much to do that.
Because we respect each martial art, we are always seeking to become better at mastering it – from a competitive as well as teaching standpoint. It means respecting competition enough to always come prepared. It means making weight. It means putting in the work.
Do the right thing (even when no one is looking)
Be behaviorally congruent. Be a person of actions, not intentions and words. Maintain high ethical standards.
When competing, give 100% even when victory no longer seems possible.
Develop positive habits (discipline) and love hard work. Be willing to take the long hard road. Do not cut corners. Accept the development process. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Pay attention to details. Small disciplines become small victories. Small victories become big victories. Small errors become large failures.
Doing the right thing means doing what you should even when you don’t feel like it or it’s hard. It means not quitting after a bad day. It means not becoming a selfish prima-donna after a good one. It means being an athlete (or anything) 24-7 not just when you’re surrounded by people who are watching.
Smart decisions based on a Plan and Reality
Making decisions based on goals and a plan means you focus on what matters. It means you keep things simple because you know what’s important to you. It means you understand that sometimes, simplicity requires ruthlessness.
Temper dreams with accurate and realistic perception of challenges and results.
Too many times, we have students come to us with a goal that will take years. For example, to become a UFC fighter. In order to accomplish this feat, the correct actions have to be taken from day one – it’s not just about wanting it.
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