MMA training centre opens in A’burg

By Joel Charron

Justin Smethurst, Chris Highton and James Barris have opened Amherstburg’s first Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gym.

Tuff Enuff Fitness and Training Centre, located just to the left of Dollarama opened its doors for the first time recently, hoping to attract both young and old to the sport the three fighters love so much.

The three fighters who train out of Maximum Training Centre in Windsor bring a combined 16 years of experience to the table.

Justin Smethurst, James Barris and Chris Highton are excited to open Amherstburg first Mixed Martial Arts training centre.

Smethurst and Barris have fought in numerous fights across North America while Highton currently hold the XCC Welterweight championship belt.

“We have to travel from here to Windsor, London or Toronto to train,” said Smethurst. “Now that we have the experience we want to pass it on to the kids in our community.

Smethrust, Barris and Highton all said MMA helped them keep out of trouble when they were younger.

“It kept me out of trouble,” said Highton. “It kept me focused and off the streets.”

Registration for Tuff Enuff Fitness and Training Centre has already begun and according to Barris, people are responding in a positive way.

“We already have a handful to people interested and inquiring about the services that we will be offering,” he said.

Tuff Enuff offers kickboxing and grappling to kids and adults, women’s cardio and kickboxing classes and on Sundays a father/son workout session.

Registration is $80 for a month.

From the outside looking in one may comment on the size of the new gym, however Smethurst said if the demand is there, Tuff Enuff Fitness and Training Centre would expand its operation.

“We thought it would be better to start out small and see if there are people interested in our product and then we would move from, there,” Smethurst explained.

Tuff Enuff Fitness and Training Centre isn’t only for those who wish to train to become a fighter, it’s also for the people who just want to stay in shape.

“We welcome everybody,” said Barris.

For more information on Tuff Enuff Fitness and Training Centre’s program please call 519-995-9622 or 519-713-9129. The gym opens daily at 11 a.m.

“I’m excited to pass on what I know to people,” said Highton. “To watch someone develop in something better than what I could have been if I would have started early is a great feeling.”

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