By Agustin Vilchis
Angel Barragan, a Spanish teacher at Summit Public School: Rainer, credits the organization Mixed Martial Arts with influencing who he has become.
- What got you into being a part of the MMA?
“My family has always been big on boxing, to be honest, when I was in middle school and elementary in Mexico.” Later on, in his high school career, he recounted how he was “jumped by six or seven people while walking down the streets.” His parents were concerned for his safety, so they enrolled him in MMA classes. While he was performing well, the costs of the classes were too much for his parents. In lieu of payment, he instead became an instructor while earning a black belt.
2. What is it that drew you to MMA?
Mr. Barragan spoke about how there are two things that greatly influenced his choice in sports. He believes that a mix of physical challenge and independence is what sparked his interests. Mr. Barragan remarked, “It’s a big accomplishment when you do it on your own.”
3. What were some hard challenges you faced?
“The first big challenge I faced was that admitting that I did karate because of the Karate Kid jokes.” Mr. Barragan initially had some stigma over being a part of the MMA community. “Eventually I got over it. I started to embrace [it] more, [which was] important because I was an instructor. I was influencing the kids I was working with, and for me to walk around and not be truthful to what I was doing wasn’t good.”
4. How did it help you in the long run?
“I learned a lot of discipline. If you ever started doing MMA, each belt gets harder to get, so when you get your black belt you have to do this crazy workout. You really need a lot of heart to go through that.” He then spoke about how his dedication and discipline are an important aspect of his life.
5. Do you think that people should participate in some sort of martial arts?
“I wanna say yes because I think it’s a good thing for anyone: people who are really stressed, out-of-shape, who don’t know how to control their emotions and anger issues. There’s a lot that comes out of MMA. I’ll recommend to my students if given a chance and family members. I think it’s something valuable.”