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Martial arts business offers varied-level classes

April 3, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Looking to start a career as an MMA fighter, kicking and punching in the octagon?

Or just want to learn to defend yourself and more self confidence?

Futures Mixed Martial Arts has a class for that.

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Owner Jeremiah Rodriguez and fighter Pablo Caballero at Futures Mixed Martial Arts at 931 Pondella Road.


Futures, at 931 Pondella Road, opened in July. Owner Jeremiah Rodriguez has brought in a range of students old and new to his business.

Rodriguez has been doing martial arts for more than 20 years, even competing at a national level. For the last eight years, he taught kickboxing locally.

"The direction the gym was going wasn't the way I saw fit for what we were trying to do. I separated myself from that gym and started this one," Rodriguez said. "The name came from wanting to help athletes who want to get to a higher level and for youth who want to defend themselves and be empowered."

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Futures teaches many fighting disciplines such as Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, fight fitness, mixed-martial arts, Jiu Jitsu, women's classes and more.

The big difference is that they teach to be competitive. Most of his students go off to tournaments, with some even fighting in the octagon, with the matches televised by the UFC on its app.

One of its fighters, Nico "The Hybrid" Price, fights in the UFC and calls Futures home. Pablo Caballero is another, who has been trained by Rodriguez for two years.

"I like the coaches, the team, the place, everything," Caballero said, who will fight next on April 20 in Tampa at the state fairgrounds.

While the gym has only been open a short time, the school is being recognized as an up-and-comer in the fight world for training top fighters, often fighting people at gyms that have been at it for years.

"We take them into the cage, we take them to kick boxing events and wrestling and jiu-jitsu. We take them everywhere. But we train professional fighters to fight inside of a cage," Rodriguez said.

But the sign on the door says "All ages and all skill levels."

Futures is not afraid to teach kids or adults from scratch. There are classes devoted just for children every weeknight at 5:45 p.m. and on Saturday morning.

Rodriguez said he also has women and kids in his classes who have been abused or bullied and started going to his class to blow off their energy through boxing.

"These women have come in here and they love it. These people have self-esteem issues and it helps them build confidence," Rodriguez said. "I have kids who have been bullied and their parents brought them in and they were very shy at first. After a while they come out of their shell and interact here and in school."

Futures is currently open in the mornings and evenings, Monday through Friday, and mornings on Saturday. Check the schedule for times and disciplines being taught.

For more information, call 997-2834 or go to



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