SSF Submission Academy is all about the business of fighting — and those who train and work there are good at it.
The gym teaches mixed martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Krav Magna and Sambo fighting styles. There are also aerobic pole dancing classes that help building upper body and core strength.
The 11 instructors range from black belts to pro fighters. Owner and head mixed martial arts instructor Ron Dayley is a grappling expert. He has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a black belt in Karate and is a certified mixed martial arts judge.
He has trained with the likes of Ken Shamrock, Larry Hartsell, Pat Trey, Frank Cucci, Rick McCoy, Andrew Smith, and the Machado brothers.
And since 2007, he has been training the next generation of great mixed martial arts fighters here in Clarksville TN.
“I like all the great people we get to meet and work with,” Dayley said of owning his own business. “We are an elite training center but we are also a family. Our pro and senior students are all willing to help everyone advance and become the best martial artist that they can be. We train kids, adults, pros, amateur fighters and people that just want to get into shape.”
Dayley, who was a Department of Defense contractor in the northern Virginia area prior to opening SSF Academy, said the idea for the gym came to fruition so his wife could be near family after the birth of their first child.
Since opening, SSF Submission Academy has sent fighters to every major mixed martial arts show, including Ultimate Fighting Championship fights (UFC), Pride, Strikeforce and others. Dayley said SSF Academy is the only gym in Tennessee to do this.
The gym has had fighters on shows in Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana,, CA, Malaysia, Russia, Canada, East, Middle, and West Tennessee.
Dayley said his background with Joint Warfare Analysis Center, where he oversaw a $93 million project, helped him prepare for owning his business. But even with that experience, and his past training, he said running his own business — while rewarding — is not simple.
“Owning your own business is a lot more time consuming than working a 9-to-5 job but it’s worth it,” he said. “You have to know every aspect of the business from the subject matter, accounting, business development, marketing … just knowing the subject matter isn’t enough to grow a successful business.”
The Leaf Chronicle
Thomya Jenkins, Business Editor