UFC fighter Gilbert “Durino” Burns stood outside the Florida Fine Cars booth during a recent Cars & Coffee car meet and posed for photos with enthusiastic fans.
The popular mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter is training for a September 16th fight in Pittsburg, PA but took time out of his busy schedule for a meet and greet. Florida Fine Cars is supporting the Delray Beach fighter and also provides healthy snacks for kids’ classes at the Combat Club gym in Lantana where Burns teaches and trains.
“All the support is welcome,” said the Brazilian native, whose wife Bruna teaches children’s Jiu-Jitsu classes at the Combat Club. “It’s not very often we have it. When we have that the kind of support that makes my job easier.”
Burns is a world champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with an MMA record of 11-2-0 (win-loss-draw). He’s winding down 8-weeks of intensive training in preparation for his upcoming fight against Jason Saggo (12-3-0).
But fighting tactics, strategy, conditioning and diet aren’t his only focus. He’s also a martial arts instructor at the Combat Club with a soft spot in his heart for kids.
Burns runs the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school at the Combat Club where he recently conducted a formal “belt ceremony” to recognize the hard work of dozens of adults and children who train and take classes at the Combat Club. Nearly 100 people, along with Florida Fine Cars, attended the event. Florida Fine Cars provided healthy snacks and water.
During the ceremony, students received colored belts or received stripes for their belts in recognition of their advancing skills. Students ranged from preschoolers to adults in their 50s.
Burns, who’s been teaching at the Combat Club since January, presented two brown belts, two purple belts and two blue belts to his adult students during the ceremony.
The Combat Club is a unique place where pro fighters can be found training a stone’s throw away from young martial arts students, who get to meet and watch real MMA fighters put their skills to work in the ring.
“The kids love the program. It’s run by my wife and she just has natural skills with the kids. The program is growing fast,” said Burns, whose own young sons Pedro, 4, and Joshua, 3, have practically grown up watching their parents teach and fight. Like her husband, Bruna Burns has a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
The adult Jiu-Jitsu team at the Combat Club is already making a name for itself. The team took first place in the 2017 New Breed Ultimate Challenge U.S. Nationals in Coral Springs in June, Burns said proudly.
“We were the No. 1 team in just a couple months of working,” he noted with a grin. “We have a great facility. The first thing you gotta do if you’re going to get into a gym, into a martial arts school – you need to know the history: where do they come from, what do they do? You need to do the research and see who you are going to put your kids with. Who is going to teach your kids.”
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