Reintroduced to MMA in 2005

Spike TV began to broadcast a show that would put mixed martial arts on the mainstream map.  16 fighters lived in a house and competed in a tournament to see which two fighters would win a six figure UFC contract.  The Ultimate Fighter would change television and the UFC for good.  At one point during the Finale, ten million households tuned in to watch the fight between Stephan Bonner and Forest Griffin.


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The sport evolved considerably over the past seven years.  The sport also helped to revolutionize a lot of martial arts programs in this country.  I was preparing to test for my 1st Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.  The show and my own instructor’s black belt in Judo convinced me to start studying Judo also.  It was a lower cost alternative to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but it was perfect for me.  I had a great instructor in Mike Dickerson and trained with a great bunch of guys at the Jeffco Judo Club.

As I progressed in both arts, I continued to watch and study Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).  It was good at first but when I began to try and implement some of the things I was learning from MMA, I met lots of resistance.  I mean “this isn’t Taekwondo” resistance.  It came from unexpected quarters but it was widespread enough to cause serious frustration.  I began to question the effectiveness of traditional Taekwondo as a self-defense system.

Eventually, my sons and I started our own academy focused on self-defense.  Initially, we called our classes Taekwondo but since started calling the classes the Zimmerman Self-Defense System.

We include multiple striking and grappling arts in our system.  We also incorporated self-defense training with the cane as well mixed martial arts training methods.  Our biggest focusing is helping each student discover their personal self-defense style.

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