WESTOVER, W.Va. – Black Cat Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Self Defense held its grand opening event in its Morgantown Mall location on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 between 12-6 p.m.

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, this new MMA gym offered free clinics and demonstrations to celebrate its new beginning, as well as the upcoming new year. They were also giving away free t-shirts, memberships and discounts to a few that stopped by before regular hours began.

A master schedule of all activities that took place over this weekend can be found here. However, on Saturday, a few of the activities that were held were:

  • Beginner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and open mat
  • Kids kick-boxing
  • Women’s self defense seminar
  • Knife combative demonstration
  • Kids wrestling clinic
  • MMA seminar

Josh Fowler, owner and general manager of the new gym, mentioned that he wanted it to be accessible for all demographics. While MMA is a sport, this gym likes to focus on the self defense aspect. A couple ways people can learn to protect themselves at this gym is by having a grappling base and learning how to punch a kick. After learning these things, they can start adding weapons and concepts where there are no referees.

Fowler believes that this style of MMA is important, in which he said, “mixed martial arts is a very fundamental base for fighting, right? It teaches you a broad overview of skills that will help translate as you progress into, you know, a sporting environment, competition, or it will help you branch off into more self defense and kinda street level stuff. There’s not a lot like that in Morgantown.” He added that everything has its own flavor, and that he wanted to bring in his own flavor of stuff to the community.

The owner has had almost twenty years of experience in MMA and weapons, and he wanted to be able to offer his knowledge to others. He wants everyone to feel welcome when coming to the gym and wants people who may be interested to come visit.

As Black Cat Mixed Martial Arts and Self Defense begins its regular hours, they will be open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and kids classes will begin at 4:30 p.m., while adult classes begin an hour after. On Saturday mornings, the gym will have open mats and beginner classes for those interested in joining. If interested in joining a class, you can call 304-396-0203, or click here and fill out your information.