The Legacy of Jackson Wink MMA
February 25, 2020
The history of MMA is a long and sordid tale that goes back decades. Since the beginning, the core of MMA has always revolved around families and close knit gyms. MMA was founded in dingy basements and garages where fighters got together to train in a sport that was not mainstream or recognized. This was uncharted territory and there were no predetermined blueprints to be a champion. The groundwork to succeed in MMA was getting together with fighters that had skills that you did not possess and learning from them as they adapted some of your own skills as well.
There are few teams that are more world renowned in this space than the Jackson Wink MMA team. The roots of this gym run deep in the MMA world and it almost seems like every major professional UFC fighter has trained with this team, or fought against this team. In fact, the beginning of Jackson’s Gym has parallels with the beginning of the UFC. While the UFC was still growing its fan base, Greg Jackson was in his garage sparring with other fighters and gaining experience.
Jackson and other fighters of the era saw this growing sport and developed an insatiable interest in it. The MMA fighter archetype that we know today is a well rounded fighter that is capable in all areas of confrontation, be it striking, wrestling, or submission grappling. Jackson was one of the first people to realize that the sport would trend towards this well rounded fighter type, as opposed to the one style dominant fighters of the early days of the UFC. This realization set Jackson on the path to open his own gym, as well as creating his own fighting style, Gaidojutsu, a style that incorporates kickboxing with wrestling and judo joint locks.
From Humble Beginnings
The Jackson Wink gym was born in the roughneck city of Albuquerque, New Mexico where founder Greg Jackson was raised. Living in a tough and challenging environment instilled in Jackson the drive and ferocity he imparts in his fighters through his training. He recalls fighting being a necessity to survive. Along the way, Greg Jackson teamed up with striking specialist Mike Winkeljohn to form the gym that would be one of the biggest driving forces in MMA.
Jackson Wink is known for taking high level fighters, or building them from ground up, and refining their skills and game-plan to become elite in the world of mixed martial arts. Jackson is particularly renowned for his mental fortitude and training fighters to use elite mental processes in the cage, as well as a rigorous game plan for every opponent. These skills have made Jackson one of the most famous trainers in all of MMA and brought fighters from all over the world to train at Jackson Wink MMA Academy. Coach Winkeljohn is a striking specialist and multiple times Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion, winning 18 Boxing World Championships with Holly Holm and as many if not more UFC World Championships.