Wednesday, 30 October 2013

THE GOAT LOCKER BOXING GYM


(Left-right: Verna Batingal, Kaye Natallab, Winston Bayron Angel Umali[me], Yassi Benitez, Ferdie Munsayac)


   On the last week of June 2012, I have had this opportunity to train with one of the best gyms here in Marikina City, The Goat Locker Boxing Gym. Why would I say it’s one of the best? Well here’s the thing. When I started my training at The Goat Locker, they offered me a Muay Thai Scholarship. At first, I thought it was just like those other ordinary boxing gyms you see scattered around the city, but it’s not. As each day passed, I learned one thing, that particular gym I was training in possessed a special relationship between its fighters, trainers and scholars. They were a family. Honestly, I practiced Muay Thai at Goat Locker for months without even knowing much about it. All I knew was that, they took me in as their first female Muay Thai scholar. That was all I knew. I did not know anything about its agenda, its history and its primary goal. When I left, I had a lot of questions, questions I did not bother asking anyone. One time as I was browsing the gym’s facebook page, I was surprised to read some interesting facts about its true mission. To my amazement, I looked deeper into its history and was drawn to learning more about it.

(Below: 2012 training at The Goat Locker)


                                                                       
   (Above: training with Isagani Domingo) 

(The old Goat Locker family)



The Goat Locker

My First question was, “Why GOAT LOCKER?” It’s not usual for a gym to be named after a goat. A bulldog, a bull or a horse could be used to represent a gym, but not goats. You know how goats are, right? So, why “Goat”?
Well, the owner and administrator of the Goat Locker, Mr. Ferdie Abadilla Munsayac, is a retired U.S Navy Chief, and the main reason for giving the gym its unique name is that “The Goat Locker” represents the U.S Navy Chief Community.

(HMFIC Ferdie Abadilla Munsayac)

Five years before he retired, he knew he wanted to give something back to the community. He wanted to help the needy because he knows what it feels like to need guidance, support, and help but have no one to turn to. He wanted to see skilled and dedicated youth achieve their goals.
He tried putting up a car shop wherein they customize cars, and a tattoo parlor because those are two of his passions. But he thought again, none of those two would really be a big help to the youth. Good thing he was a lover of martial arts! The idea of building up a boxing gym popped into his mind when he came across his old friend who was a retired boxing fighter. This certain friend of his was once a successful boxer, but now sadly, his life had gone to waste. He did not want to see any more talented young people go through the same thing his friend did. He knew that a boxing gym that supports the dreams and goals of the young skilled and dedicated fighters would be a good way to give something back to the community, and at the same time, he will be promoting “Sports Tourism” for Marikina City. 

(Goat Locker's boxing fighters and trainors, Bernard Ferreras and Sem Bicaldo)

(Bernard Ferreras with Sir Ferdie Munsayac)

(Sem Bicaldo)


Do you guys ever wonder why there are a lot of gifted fighters here in the Philippines who are still lacking sufficient money, or still “poor” despite all their successful fights?
It’s because of the so-called promoters. As directly stated by our head, Mr. Ferdie Munsayac, “Most fighters in our land get treated like ‘fighting cocks’ ”. They don’t get paid the way they are supposed to be paid. Who gets the bigger percentage? Well you know who, the promoters/managers. In some events, the fighters only get paid about the fight, but not all the benefits are being given or compensated. The fighters go home with a black-eye, aching body, broken arm or injured knuckles and what do they get to bring home to their families? One or two thousand pesos? Barya??  It’s unfair and a total "BS".
This is one thing the Team Goat Locker wants to change. They want to make a difference. Fighters who fight under the Goat Locker’s league will surely be well-taken care of. There will be no more of the fighters getting "used, abused, and exploited". Professional athletes deserve to be treated well and get paid enough. They want to help their fighters achieve a very simple dream. 
  Yes, they do have simple dreams. All they want is to live a comfortable life, a house they can claim their own and a small business to where it is self-sufficient, or a stable source of income.

(Goat Locker Fighter, Andro Ippo)

 The main goal of this gym is to assist the young fighters and those who are aspiring to be one, develop their craft and guide them to a brighter future.




Growth of the Gym

   It took 6 months before they could find a perfect spot for the gym. The first Goat Locker Boxing Gym was located at the rooftop of Boeings Gym, owned by Boeing Paz along General Ordonez, Marikina City. Boeing’s Gym gave the Goat Locker their first break. The Goat Locker Boxing gym was established on January 9, 2011.
  From then, they took in scholars, boxing scholars, and trained them well for upcoming tournaments. One of the gym’s pride and very first boxing Scholar was Winston Bayron. He won a lot of competitions and has been the gym’s scholar for three years now. He got the gold for “Batang Pinoy” NCR, two years in a row.

Winston "The Golden Boy" Bayron, TGLBG's first boxing scholar

(Winston Bayron, 2012)

(Winston Bayron, 2013)


From the very beginning the team was focused on taking in young scholars for the gym, make them known to the word “discipline”, treat them as family and assist them in focusing on a better tomorrow.  

                             (New Goat Locker Boxing Gym)

  After two years, it was time to relocate to a bigger environment due to the growing family of the team.
It was finally time to grow some more.
 On January 2013, Mr. Ferdie Munsayac with the help of Dr. Joshua Muhammad, again found a place that would be perfect for the new gym. The new venue was bigger and was an open area, perfect setting for training. Aside from the ring, they now also already have a 30 footer octagon cage. The new gym was inaugurated on the 28th of April 2013.


(Doc J- Dr. Joshua Muhammad)

 

Aside from boxing, muay thai and MMA are beginning to be popular here in the Philippines. With these major changes happening in the fight industry, the team decided that they could help a lot more people if they transitioned from teaching only boxing to being able to teach other forms of martial arts. Now they don’t only teach boxing, they offer other lessons such as Muay Thai, MMA, Arnis and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well.


                                       (The octagon at the Underground battle two, Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall)

                                     


Scholarships

  I have mentioned that the gym offers scholarships, right? Well, that’s actually the gym’s primary goal.
The gym only offers scholarships to those who are “willing” and “dedicated”. How does one become a Goat Locker scholar? Most scholarships are offered to the “mahirap” or poor. But this doesn't mean that it is randomly given to poor/homeless kids, you must also have the skills, and of course, a dream. That’s why it’s called “GYM NG MAHIRAP NA MAY PANGARAP”. You will have to undergo an interview. You will be assessed. Once the team sees that you deserve to be a scholar, they will give you that chance. But be sure not to blow it! This opportunity comes only once in a lifetime.

  What are the benefits of being a scholar, you may ask? Aside from being able to train for free and compete in tournaments, you will gain self-confidence and discipline. You get paid well, daily monetary allowance, shoes, uniforms, boxing gears and vitamins shall be provided for all the fighters and scholars of the gym. Right now, there are 28 fighters in the team goat locker, ‘amateur boxers, ages 11-20 years old and Professional Boxers, Professional Muay Thai fighters ages 18-30 years old and Mixed Martial Artists, ages 22-42 yrs old. The majority of these fighters have competed, participated & won in various boxing, Muay thai & MMA tournaments.’


                                                                   Sir Ferdie with some of his scholars and fighters










As of today, both the gym and the team continue to grow. They surely have come a long way and deserve every success they have accomplished now. The Goat Locker is now affiliated with NMKBCP (National Muay thai Kick Boxing Council of the Philippines) and TGLBG’s owner, Ferdie Munsayac, has been appointed as the council’s Vice President for the whole chapter of Luzon.



Beneficiaries of The Goat Locker Boxing Gym: Fighters and Scholars;  Red Cross Philippines; Manila Boystown Complex




3 comments:

  1. SUPERB write-up, Angel!!! Thank You very much!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. OT: I found this Limited Quantity Manny Pacquiao Signed Everlast Gloves is a must have for Manny Pacquiao fans. Grab one now!

    ReplyDelete