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Michael Davila - Getting Up

From Prison to Pride, MMA Inspires Father of 6

My name is Michael. I am 42 years old. I've been to prison 5 times, give or take. I have 6 kids. And until I was 32 years old, I pretty much was a menace to society. I sold drugs, held guns, stole cars, hit on women, and would fight a person for looking at me wrong. 10 years ago, I discovered mixed martial arts, and it changed my life for the positive more than anything else has. I've been through it all. Prison multiple times, I've been stabbed, shot. It's amazing I'm alive to write this even.

Martial arts saved me from myself. I started training in Vale Tudo in 2007. I instantly fell in love with it. It consumed my life and kept me out of trouble. Instead of running the streets and getting into trouble, I started training. I wanted my kids to have a better life than I did. So I stepped up and got custody of all my children. My life has consisted of training, working, and raising my kids to the best of my ability.

I grew up fighting because it was a necessity. Being locked up as a youth, I realized I had to fight in order to gain respect. I've never been one to back down. ''Fighting Spirit'' is one of my tattoos I have, which is wrote in Japanese. And that's exactly what I have, a fighting spirit. I wish I had gotten involved in fighting as a young man but I didn't know how to get involved in something like that because MMA wasn't a popular sport at that time. It probably would have saved me from lots of the problems I've had. Once I did get involved, there was no looking back. It's more of a passion than a hobby.

I've been training for a solid 10 years now, and even my kids get involved in training and working out now. They look up to their Dad instead of looking down upon me for my past mistakes. One of my son's even placed 3rd in the state for wrestling. My kids know my story and I'm honest with them about my past. My only goal is to raise them to be better than I was. I try my best everyday to direct them in the right direction.

MMA has taught me discipline, and respect, that which I don't think I ever really had. I am now a certified instructor in my state, and I train other fighters. I am currently training a professional MMA fighter named Adam Roll, as well as my fiance. Her first fight is coming up in October.

I have my own dojo at my home. I have 2 large rooms, one for training/sparring and one for working out (weights, treadmill, pull up bar, etc.). I love coaching as much as I do training. Sometimes I miss training with everyone, but I'm passing my knowledge to others, which is rewarding, especially when they win!

I take pride in the people I train because they are a direct representation of everything I've learned and passed on. It's not about falling down. A real fighter always gets back up and is ready for more. I know whatever is thrown at me in life, I can constructively handle it.

Thank you for taking time to read my story and considering me for the mats. We could really use some new ones. I appreciate the opportunity to tell my story and how martial arts changed my life completely, and made me a real man!

Learn more about Greatmats Most Inspiring Martial Arts Story $1000 Giveaway.



Michael Davila
Cutthroat MMA
Springfield OH 45506
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