I’ve known Ed for 8 years. He helped me get signed with American Top Team. He is one of the most well rounded MMA Trainers I know. Consider this, Ed Clay could compete at a professional level in ANY of the sports that are needed to be an MMA fighter. He's a black belt in BJJ, pro level Thai Boxer, college level wrestler, and most people don't know this, but his boxing is probably his biggest strength. His dedication to his students is admirable and his no nonsense, no BS approach to training has made him highly respected nationwide. I would recommend anyone to train at Nashville MMA as I have done a number of times over the years!
Jeff “The Snowman” Monson UFC & Pride Veteran Abu Dhabi World Champion
If you want to train real Mixed Martial Arts in the Nashville area, you
might as well train with one of the best trainers in the country. He has
been a part of my training camps over the years and I can tell you that Ed
Clay is one of the most well rounded MMA trainers around. Whether you want
to train BJJ, Muay Thai, Boxing, or wrestling, Ed has extensive background
in everything. Ed was doing real MMA before people knew what real MMA was!
I can't imagine living in Nashville and not training with him...There is
no other choice but Nashville MMA!
Brandon “The Truth” Vera UFC Heavyweight Contender
Martial Arts (NMMA)
Other "MMA" &
World Class Striking -- Our kickboxing coaches Ed Clay, Lance Patrick, UFC Vet Josh Schockman and Ryan Delorenzo, (amongst other NMMA fighters) have been coached and trained extensively for years under world renowned Muay Thai trainer Tim Vanderstek from Holland and arguably the best kickboxer of all time Rob Kaman. Our boxing coach, Lauren Ross, was a three time national champion as an amateur, and WBA world champion as a professional. Our coaches have learned from the best and have applied it successfully in their own professional fights!
Mediocre Striking -- A lot of the so called MMA gyms have decorated and proven point fighters; however, their striking is often mediocre at best. They spend years and years developing their fake tap and run Karate/ Taekwondo skills, but never really learn how to strike in a live situation which makes them a non-qualified coach ... and then they pass it on to you!
World Class Takedowns -- You will find amazing wrestlers and judo practitioners at Ed Clay's Nashville MMA. NMMA is known around the country for possessing very strong takedowns and its instructors have utilized them against the world's best submission wrestlers! NMMA head instructors learned to wrestle from certified wrestling coaches, Division I College Wrestlers, Judo Black Belts, and world class wrestlers! We have students that were members of international teams and NCAA all Americans!
Weak Takedowns -- Unfortunately, a lot of grapplers learn their takedowns from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ... and any educated grappler can tell you that BJJ has weak takedowns - their specialty is once the fights hits the ground... not before! Just watch their classes. Their advanced students begin all their submission matches from their knees! This is a practice only done by beginners at FFA - all our students with over three months training begin from their feet. And if an MMA school does have strong takedowns - sometimes they end up not having good jiu-jitsu ... or bad striking.
World Class Ground Grappling -- All of our head instructors are certified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belts. We are the first BJJ school in Nashville to have multiple Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts. Our NMMA team is the number one ranked non-chain school in the United States by NAGA (North American Grappling Association). Shawn Hammonds is a black belt Pan American Silver medalist, along with us having multiple students winning and placing at the Pan American championships and World championships at lower belts ranks.
Poor Ground Grappling -- There are many so called BJJ schools popping up in Nashville or MMA schools that teach poor ground grappling. There are even a couple BJJ black belts that are teaching an outdated form of jiu-jitsu that our blue belts could easily beat. Be aware of these schools and realize that many of the other BJJ schools in Nashville have blue belts and purple belts as there head instructor. At Nashville MMA we have over 20 purple and brown belts and would never let an un qualified person like this teach at our school. With the popularity of the UFC we can only expect this to get worse.BUYER BEWARE!!!!
World Class Fighting -- What good is knowing striking, takedowns, and ground grappling if you can't put it together! At NMMA, our head instructors are decorated professional fighters with victories earned in the ring or cage. They have been hit in the face before and know what works and doesn't work in a real fight - no theories, just proven facts that they can vouch for themselves. Our instructors can teach you what to expect as the adrenaline goes through your body and how to handle real fatigue as it sets in during a real confrontation - from their own firsthand experience.
Mediocre or Non-Existent Fight Experience -- If you have been reading this report, then you understand that hardly any schools are qualified in the three major areas of fighting... which means they are not fully qualified to teach true mixed martial arts or complete self defense, period. And be careful with the instructors who possess certifications under respected fighters but have not entered the cage or ring themselves! People like this, in my opinion, are completely nonqualified to teach MMA or self defense. It would be like taking swimming lessons from an instructor who has never jumped in the water himself! Knowing that this instructor was taught on a chalk board by a swimming Olympic Gold Medalist wouldn't make me feel any more comfortable about his abilities! Furthermore, what does that tell you about his commitment to learning fighting and self defense? Fighting and self-defense are not all about techniques - it is also very mental... and someone who has never fought is missing out on a big piece of it. And remember, instructors with only competition grappling experience... have ZERO fight experience! They are not the same! They know the difference, that is why they have only competed in grappling.
A Structured Beginner's Only Course -- When you start out at NMMA, you will be going through a special beginner's only course that lasts about two to three months. In this class, you will be learning from an organized curriculum that balances striking, takedowns, and ground grappling. The classes are designed to work at a pace that beginner's can absorb. The beginner's class also takes into account that you may be totally out of shape - one of its principal designs is to get you into good shape and allow you to train harder in the next level.
Straight to the Wolves -- Many martial art programs mix you in with the regular class on your first day! Just think about it... how can someone teach a class of people who have been training for two to three years... and then teach you your first class at the same time? That is like getting a calculus and algebra class in one room and trying to teach both at the same time! Either the advanced guys are missing out or the beginners are missing out...
Student Safety -- A common misconception about MMA training is that to learn effective MMA, you have to get into wild and crazy sparring matches. FALSE. At NMMA, most of our students have families and jobs and can't afford to leave the gym with black eyes! The grappling and sparring that is done at NMMA is done with utmost control and in only when you are ready. Your first sparring sessions take place after you graduate from the beginner course and in the beginning you would only be sparring with an instructor or advanced student, so that you can get comfortable. The idea is to train smart and have fun. Only our amateur and professional fighters do some hard sparring - but because they have to prepare for a cage fight. Safety is our number one concern.
Brawling Time! -- Many MMA schools have this misconception that the only way to learn how to fight is to put on boxing gloves and swing for the fences! This is not true... and actually can be counter-productive, besides dangerous. Many gyms also lack the technique to spar with control and spar hard to compensate for their lack of technique. Brawling during training proves nothing and only hinders the learning process and injures people. If you really want to brawl, save it for the street or in the cage.
30 Day Free Trial -- 30 Days Free, Free Uniform, Free Private Lesson, Free Video, and nothing to buy or sign! Can't beat that!
Only One Free Class -- Good luck finding another quality gym willing to give you a free month, free uniform, free video, and free private lesson!
Amazing Facility -- Ed Clay's NMMA is one of a kind. A 20,000 square foot facility with two large mat areas, 2 full size boxing ring, a cage, 20+ heavy bags, a weight room, a Pro Shop, men and women locker rooms, showers, and much more! It is known as one of the nicest MMA gyms in the world. Plus, we are the most clean school in Nashville- we disinfect our mats every day with hospital grade disinfectant. We are the only gym in Nashville that takes mat cleaning serious . We also have a cleaning crew which cleans everything every morning and night.
Inadequate or Dirty small Facility -- If you are going to learn self-defense or MMA, you are going to need certain things. For instance, for striking you will need heavy bags, punch mitts, and a boxing ring or padded wall. If there isn't a boxing ring or padded wall - then you can't properly learn how to strike. Why? When was the last time you got into a fight in the middle of a football field? Where ever you fight, you will encounter boundaries - such as walls, fences, cars, and even groups of people like in a club... so you need to know how to fight with your back against a boundary. For wrestling and grappling - you need high QUALITY mats. Most schools have such small mat areas that you can't even start training on your feet and even with small mat are never clean... most gyms don't clean them! I know some gyms that clean their mats only once a week with a wet towel! The gym needs to be sanitary for your health.
Great Customer Service -- Above anything, this is what we take the most pride in. Our goal is to go above and beyond what you would expect from us. We are constantly trying to find new ways to please our students. It is hard to explain this because it is really the little things that makes our customer service stand out... you will notice it just from the way our staff will greet you when you arrive!
Customer Service? -- I didn't say "bad customer service"... I think the question mark is more fitting... because most martial arts schools don't seem to even know what customer service is! I've walked into schools and had staff stare me down like if I was walking in to challenge someone! Egos, bad attitudes, and insecurities fuel bad customer service.