Our Story

Brazos Valley Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness is a local, homegrown gym that has served the Bryan/College Station community for over 20 years. It has helped thousands of members find their passion, their strength, and their self-confidence, amidst a community of like-minded individuals.

While our MMA & BJJ programs boast unrivaled success in competitions worldwide, it is our "Help Each Other Grow" culture (committed to improving the lives of our members through the journey of martial arts) that has kept BVMMA friendly, accessible, and welcoming to absolutely everyone.

Today, there are so many programs under one roof that you're sure to find what you need.  
When you fit in here, you can truly stand out anywhere!


 

 

It took a long journey and a lot of great people to make BVMMA & Fitness the gym it is today.


BVMMA began as a grassroots effort by a few passionate martial artists to help everyone around them get better - because it made them better, too. The very first iteration of what would eventually become BVMMA was "Brazos Valley Martial Arts", and was started in 1999, in Bryan, TX, by David McClung. Dave set up shop in the Manor East Mall, and showed up to train by himself for weeks before his first students ever joined him.  In these early days, Dave was occasionally joined in his training by one of his first coaches and training partners, Steve Shoemake.  While Dave primarily taught full-contact Karate, it was Steve who introduced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) to the mix.

 

 As the gym reached 12 students, the strip mall was demolished.  BVMMA moved on to a second location, fondly referred to as "the Red Floor Studio" (due to the red floor mats they now had to train on).  Those 12 students quickly grew to 100.

 


Unfortunately, the recession of 2002 meant Dave could no longer afford the new studio space.  Undeterred and unwilling to let his students stagnate, he began training on Saturday mornings in the park.  Rain or shine, sometimes on folding mats, sometimes on the uneven grass, the fighters continued to pursue martial arts excellence in the face of the odds.  Coach Steve eventually followed suit, training in another park and sometimes cross-training classes with Dave.  It was only a matter of time before these two Karate Black Belts joined forces again.  In 2006, they teamed up with a third Karate Black Belt and self-defense specialist, Janet Kamps. 

 

The three of them renamed Dave's efforts "Brazos Valley Mixed Martial Arts" to reflect their desire to offer a more complete system of fighting, and BVMMA was well and truly born.

 




Coaches McClung, Shoemake, and Kamps pooled their resources to find a place to train, and scraped together enough for a few months of rent at the 540sqft basement racquetball courts of an Aerofit.  It was here that Bubba Bush joined as a student, and began his journey both with MMA and BVMMA.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To train in those days, folding mats had to be laid out for each class on a racquetball court, then cleaned, dried, and stored in a closet at the end of each class.  Buying "fancy" things like cages, wall mats, or even punching bags was a struggle.  For "cage work", two members held up a 6-foot section of folding floor mats against the wall so other members could practice takedowns against it.  A single (borrowed!) punching bag was available for training.

But train they did...


That same year, Dave McClung accepted his first professional MMA fight.  It was on the first show of one of the earliest MMA Promotions in Texas, the Lonestar Beatdown 1.  Owned and operated by current UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard and his wife, Andrea, the show eventually grew into the "Legacy Fighting Championships" and then its current form, "Legacy Fighting Alliance".  Soon after, in April 2007 at the Lonestar Beatdown 2, two more BVMMA fighters made their professional debuts: Bubba "The Fighting Texas Aggie" Bush, and Avery "Fat Boy" Bingham.  Both fighters won their debut. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Encouraged by his fight result and by Coach McClung, Bubba and his two closest training partners (Jayson Pilosi and future-pro-fighter Matt Steward), began a tour of Texas to expand his training.

As the years passed, Bubba's professional MMA career gained steam, and he continued to rank up in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He had a desire to start coaching but didn't want to compete with his own coaches.  Fortuitously, Janet Kamps was moving out of College Station at about that time, and when it was time for her to leave Coaches McClung and Shoemake offered to let Bubba buy-in as BVMMA's third partner.  He accepted, and shortly after they were able to move BVMMA to its first stand-alone location; still modest, but almost four times bigger than the racquetball court at 2100sqft,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even better: they wouldn't have to store their mats in a closet after every class anymore!  Lacking the funding of an international franchise to lean on, or a rich benefactor to pick up the tab, BVMMA's community stepped up to help with the new space.  Alan Boedecker, a long-time member who loved the gym, personally welded cage panels, as well as a rack big enough to hang a couple of punching bags. 

Bubba began coaching BJJ, assisted with the flagship MMA program, and introduced wrestling to the growing list of classes offered at the gym.

After three years of successfully leading the gym together, Dave and Steve approached Bubba and asked if he would buy them out.  Bubba was, at the time, working 40 hours a week in retail, and training four hours a day for his second attempt to win the Legacy Fighting Championship Middleweight title.  He saved every penny he could with the goal of taking over the gym.  On July 19th, 2013, Bubba won the gym's first professional MMA title and became the new LFC Middleweight Champion of the world. With the money he won from the championship (and the rest of his life's savings...), he was able to achieve his goal of taking over BVMMA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bubba found a new location in Post Oak Mall, a comfortable 6000 sqft that doubled the mat space of the gym.  During the transition, Matt Steward joined him as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of a new program, RAZR Fit.  With a permanent home base, proper equipment, and now offering kickboxing, BJJ, and RAZR Fit, BVMMA 3.0 emerged.

 

 

 

 


Bubba continued his MMA and kickboxing training, traveling around the country to train under the best (including extensive shadowing with UFC fighter Tim Kennedy), and even making a pilgrimage to Thailand to study Muay Thai.  He continued to train BJJ under Coral Belt Carlos Machado, and Ground Dweller's Eddie Avelar.  Over the next few years, Bubba successfully defended his LFC Middleweight Belt twice more before fighting in the UFC.  He invested his winnings back into the gym, upgrading to new Dollamur mats, a professional strength & conditioning room for the new RAZR Fit program, and a veritable "bag forest" of Thai bags.  He invited Daniel Anderson to help him start the first BJJ kids' program in College Station, and Nio Mino to create BVMMA's homeschool program for kids. Austin Blanks and Justin Harper helped him create a Kickboxing program for kids shortly after.  In 2015, Bubba Bush earned his Black Belt and became the first BJJ Black Belt coach in College Station. 

In 2018, Bubba Bush was promoted to first-degree Black Belt by Carlos Machado.  Soon after, BVMMA, under Bubba, became the first and only place in the BCS area to create new black belts.  The first Black Belt promoted by Bubba was Tony Williams, a BCS local who started the 6AM  BJJ program for BVMMA, and who now coaches at the Machado Headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

Steve Shoemake, one of the original coaches and founders of BVMMA, remains a pillar of the BVMMA program, coaching both kids' and adults' classes weekly. 

It's exciting to think that back in 2007, Bubba "The Fighting Texas Aggie" Bush simply walked in the door as a college student and signed up as a member, long before fighting in the UFC or dreaming of coaching at BVMMA.

He is now the Head Coach, and a very active owner and operator.

So you should know we're waiting for you to make your mark, and this isn't even our final form!
 

The Beginning

Growing Pains & Gains

Passing the Torch

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To Be Continued...