Mixed Martial Arts: Exeter kick boxers take the ring
Marshal Zachary and Travis Jordan of the Samurai Dojo prepare for competition in Fresno
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
EXETER – Mixed martial arts attracts many to its mats for a variety of reasons. Some begin as a way to get into shape. Others use it as a way to build self-confidence. Yet, others desire to one day step into the ring, and put their skills to the test.
Two fighters from Exeter’s Samurai Dojo will step into the ring for PAK 21 on Saturday, April 14, at the University Square Hotel in Fresno. Marshal Zachary will be going for his first belt of his career. He will be competing for the lightweight fight against J.T. Hernandez. On an undercard is Travis Jordan, who will be making his fighting debut.
A black belt sensei at the dojo Zachary has been a student since the age of 13. He was the youngest to receive his belt at the dojo when he accomplished the feat at 18 years of age.
“There is extreme discipline you need to be in this sport,” Zachary said. “I do believe it makes you a better person.”
A young man with a soft voice, Zachary lets his talent in kick boxing do the talking for him. When he steps into the ring in Fresno it will be his ninth time doing so. He currently holds a 5-3 record with two knock outs. He has never been knocked out himself, and all his losses have come by split decision.
Like many kids, including his training teammate, Travis Jordan was bullied as a little kid. His shy demeanor also affected how much he was learning at school. Not really standing out Jordan walked through the doors of the Dojo for the first time at 12 years old. While training he began to learn how to express himself, not just in the ring, but in all aspects of life.
“You learn how to assert yourself, and you can choose how to respond,” Jordan said.
With Jordan’s first fight only days away his view on training has changed. He has shifted from learning how to kick box to testing every aspect of his skills. His nightly trips home from the gym are evidence of his strict regimen designed to increase his endurance to overcome the effects of his asthma. However, he is not going to let his health keep him from stepping into the ring.
“This is going to be a great experience to be able to put my skills to the test,” Jordan said.