By: King Eddie
Zac Shepard recently relocated to San Diego, California to train at the famed Blackhouse Team Nogueira. For Shepard, this was an easy choice. He had gone to CA for a jiu-jitsu competition and to visit family when he decided to check around the gyms and see if there was anything that interested him. He tried many of the top gyms in the area and found that Blackhouse Team Nogueira was a place that he felt he could call home.
Upon his return to Hawaii, he packed what he could and immediately headed back out to California. Back to the gym that was calling his name, Blackhouse Team Nogueira.
Since his start at the gym, he has developed his skills immensely. He noted that his wrestling game had improved the most, and that added new dimensions to the other facets of his all around game. Working with some of the top trainers in the industry, Zac gets the benefit of seeing world class fighters in MMA and Muay Thai walk in and out of the gym daily. His sparring has stepped up a notch and his overall abilities are getting stronger.
On July 16, Zac tested his newly improved skills in the ring at Xplode Amateur Fight Series in San Diego. Within the first minute of the first round, Shepard defeated his opponent via Flying Triangle. It was something that he and his coaches had been working on, and Zac just felt that it would work in that particular situation. He says that his confidence in his finishing ability is high as long as he can get his legs around his opponent. His confidence was correctly places, as he leaped into one very spectacular finish.
Also from Hawaii, with a victory on the same fight card, was Jojo guillaume. As a matter of fact, according to Shepard, Hawaii fighters are all over the California fight scene. with 10 to 15 local fighters training at Blackhouse Team Nogueira alone.
The difference, Shepard says, between fighting in the mainland and in Hawaii, is that he no longer has to fight his friends or his friends teammates. There is more of a aura of the unknown. He is not able to ascertain his opponents style based simply on the gym he trains with. Unlike here in Hawaii, where everyone pretty much knows every gym and it's style, the depth in California is much more vast. And pinpointing exactly how an opponent will fight is much more complex. It forces Shepard to be evenly distributed in his skills.
As Shepard and the rest of the "Hawaii Skrap Pack" evolve in the mainland, we here at MMAhawaii.com will be watching them closely and keeping the MMA Hawaii Nation up to date on all that we can.