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Channeling the fury

Gym trains local fighters in an array of disciplines, skills

Jennifer Rivera, an instructor at The Breeding Ground, spars with her husband, gym owner R. Pedro Rivera. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
September 27, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — The men of the Breeding Ground fight team can't buy what they are looking for — adrenaline — so they make their own.

That process starts every morning at 8 a.m., Monday-Friday, at the Breeding Ground gym on Hamilton Street when the team starts practicing various forms of organized fighting, karate and mixed martial arms among them. When they are not practicing, the team is fighting in competitions along the East Coast.

Looking to give local children an alternative to a life of drugs and miscreant behavior, R. Pedro Rivera, of Southbridge, opened the facility Feb. 18.

"There's nothing for kids in this town," he said during an interview at the gym last week as fighters kicked and punched bags.

Rivera, himself a competitive fighter, said he also wanted to give fighters a cheaper alternative to joining gyms that specialize in teaching only one fighting discipline.

"Why doesn't someone just put them together in one room?" he said.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

Stonebridge Press
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