2016 marked the birth of DMV Combat Fanatics. This website was born out of my love for martial arts and combat sports. But it was also an accident that I began writing articles and posting content at all.
Earlier this year, during the course of my own martial arts training, it seemed that I couldn't shake the injury bug. From March to July, I was seemingly recovering from an injury or getting injured. It was a depressing period. During one of my personal pity parties, my wife, Zoe suggested that I started writing about the "fight stuff" I watched on-line all day. So on a whim, I started a Facebook page and began sharing the videos that I subscribe to on YouTube and receive in my daily streams. I was basically killing time and I had no expectations.
Facebook requested a website address for my page and that was the first time I really thought about generating content. I'd written before for a newsletter and a friend's blog. But this would be something different and I was already brimming with ideas.
I produced my first post in May, Ground Control Welcomes Dorian Price. I got to meet some cool guys in Columbia, MD and I was pretty much satisfied. Next, I figured I'd interview the owner of the boxing gym I went to (Jason Farrell of Level Up) and play it by ear from there. I continued to share videos I regularly watched on Facebook everyday and sprinkling in my articles along the way.
Through some of this early work I became aware of the regional combat sports events that were taking place in the area. I was shocked to learn that more people didn't know that these events were being held. So I wanted to write about them and let fight fans know they were happening. Because I really wasn't sure of my status or my long-term intentions, I bought my ticket to these events and just enjoyed the shows. I wrote about what I saw and experienced later.
You see I'm not a journalist. I'm a martial artist first and foremost. I'm a fan, and a budding amateur fight analyst. Most folks never even responded when I finally begin requesting press passes. So I bought my tickets and kept writing. A couple of interviews and a few more events later Glory Kickboxing granted me a press pass. The UFC then allowed me access to the press area of their website. I'm having fun!
When the Facebook page "likes" got to 200 I was ecstatic! When they reached 500 I was floored. I'm now just over 3,300.
In 8 months, DMV Combat Fanatics has had nearly 18,000 page views with 10,860 unique visitors. All of this from a brief conversation with my wife. I've been able to meet some fantastic people this year. But what I've been inspired by the most is the competitors that I've met and captured photos of this year.
Most of these men and women will never move to the next level. There will be no UFC payday or HBO Boxing contract for many of them. These are people with full-time and part-time jobs who train in their spare time and strap up to walk on stage to test themselves. Placing their bodies in harm's way purely for the love of what they do. It's a beautiful thing to see and from my perspective they are all winners.
This time last year I had no thoughts of doing any of this. It was happenstance. Now I'm excited about what lies ahead and I know that I'm just getting started.
Thank you for the "likes". Thank you for the words of encouragement and support. Thank you for making 2016 a great year!
DMV Combat Fanatics Favorite Posts of 2016
DMV Combat Fanatics Most Popular Posts of 2016
About the Author:
Darryl Keeton is an avid striking, grappling and wrestling fan living in Upper Marlboro, MD. He holds a black belt in ITF Tae Kwon Do and is also a practitioner of Combat Jujutsu, Boxing and Muay Thai.