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from an email written to one of the instructors:   “After finally getting back to the Institute (and subsequently realizing how out of shape I was) and talking with you, I wanted to write a short message of appreciation for you guys.  It was almost a year ago when I came to the first class, Fighter Conditioning, and immediately knew I had found the right place.  I had always had the ambition to train to be a fighter and whether or not I would end up competing, I knew that being in fight shape was the best shape I could be in.  So after my first class with Rick I knew I had to sign up.  Since then, I've been in and out because I've had to travel a lot for work and been busy with school, but it's rejuvenating every time I come back.  Whether it's Rick's 30 minute conditioning gauntlet, bag classes with V, or Muay Thai with you or Dave, every one of the instructors clearly cares a lot for their students as well as the art that they're teaching.  It's clear that each one of the classes has been carefully designed for both skilled fighters looking to compete as well as others simply looking to get in shape.  However, even though the instruction and classes are incredible, the biggest reason I keep coming back is the people there.  I already mentioned the quality of you guys, the instructors, but also just the other people who regularly show up.  It's funny, but there's definitely a unique camaraderie among all the regulars to Fighter Conditioning.  Everyone I've met has been friendly and supportive and there have definitely been days where I've really been looking forward to that atmosphere after a long day of classes and work.  I mentioned this earlier, but I really want to impress upon you how wonderful a job I feel that you all have done.  I've recommended MMA Institute to many of my friends and will continue to do so for anyone who is interested, whether they want to compete seriously or just get into incredible shape.  Keep it up.” Luke Filipos, University of Richmond

 “All the MMA Institute instructors are very knowledgeable and always willing to help.  Thanks to the combination of the classes I participate in, I was able to finish my first 10K in 57 minutes.” Phil Evans, Richmond, VA

“I've lost weight, improved my strength and endurance and improved the flexibility in my bad knee. Some people thought I was crazy to train with this intensity at age 50 but it’s the best thing I've ever done. The staff couldn't be nicer and everyone is focused on improving and being a good partner and on top of all that the relatively new sport of Brazillian Jiu Jitsu is endlessly complex and fascinating.” Ward Good, Richmond, VA

“Every time you enter MMA Institute you will push yourself past all your possible expectations.  The instructors and more advanced students are more than willing to help guide you on the path you have chosen.  If you are a beginner, leave your ego at the door and choose to learn.  The competition will come later.  You will never forget your experience at MMA Institute.” Dr. Mason Sheehan, Richmond, VA

"When I joined MMA Institute I had practiced a very traditional form of karate for over twenty years and had absolutely no experience in any kind of grappling art. So I walked into my first class a total beginner and, with my karate background, feeling like a fish out of water. But the atmosphere was very welcoming and the instructors, as well as the students, were all very patient and helpful. It became apparent that they value good teaching at MMA Institute -- the instructors are not just highly skilled athletes but are also careful, thoughtful teachers. MMA Institute is a special place-- people from all walks of life and with a wide range of ages and skill levels, male and female, train hard together in an environment that is challenging but egoless. My original intention was to train a couple of months to sample different aspects of grappling but, three years later, I'm still here." Duane Keiser, of Duane Keiser Art Studio, Richmond, VA

"I want to thank Rick McCoy and everyone working at MMA Institute for helping my brother and I lose weight and improve our health" Todd and Scott Slaughter (lost over 100lbs each)

"I've traveled the world and been to a lot of martial arts gyms over the past 10 years.  In my opinion most of them are not capable of producing good fighters.  Many so called masters teach too many useless techniques, waste years of the student's life making them follow outdated regimens, and stifle the creativity and talent of their fighters instead of nurturing it and enhancing it.  There are few exceptions to this rule, and MMA Institute is one of those rare cases where you have a great training environment, a good stable of amateur and professional fighters to train with, and a great coach in Rick McCoy.  It reminds me a lot of Greg Jackson's gym of 2005/2006 when it was on the verge of becoming known as one of the best MMA schools in the world.  Having seen so many bad schools I was a bit apprehensive when first going to MMA Institute, but within an hour of being there I knew I had found another "gem."  Coach McCoy knows his stuff and teaches you what works without wasting your time.  He offers a friendly, positive environment free of ego to train in and you get to the good stuff on day one. I don't think most people here even realize how lucky they are, because if they did they would train harder to learn everything this man knows about fighting. If you are considering training here I highly recommend you stop by and give them a try. You won't be sorry." Aaron Cantrell, Richmond VA