Learn Self Defense, Discipline And Gain Confidence At Martial Arts Classes

By Cheryl Conway

Whether the goal is to become a fighter, compete, get in shape or build confidence, students have a diverse mix of classes to kick around at Victor’s Mixed Martial Arts in Budd Lake.

Opened nine years this July, owner/head instructor Victor Altinbas of Hopatcong offers a variety of classes for children and adults. There are close to 20 classes on the week-long schedule, as well as birthday parties, boot camps, parents’ night out and yoga classes soon be added to the mix as well as a different variety of classes.

For the summer, Altinbas is offering a special to new customers at Victor’s Mixed Martial Arts. Adults and children are invited to try unlimited classes during a two-week trial for $19.99.

“Our school is basically for everybody,” says Altinbas. “Whether you want to be a fighter, lose weight or get in shape, or build confidence. I have people wanting to lose weight; others wanting to compete.

“Whatever the individual needs are we will work around it,” says Altinbas. “As long as they are willing to work, we are willing to help them out.”

Altinbas got involved in mixed martial arts 42 years ago, when he was eight years old for self-defense and discipline.

“My father always wanted me to be involved in martial arts,” says Altinbas, for self-defense reasons. “I started in karate,” he says when he lived in Turkey. “I was an out-of-hand kind of child,” he explains. “I was aggressive. They wanted to calm me down and teach me discipline.”

As part of a “small population of Armenians” growing up in Turkey, Altinbas was a minority and was picked on often. “It was tough growing up like that.  I was always in a fight trying to defend myself. When they have something against me, you have to do something.”

When Altinbas was 18, he moved to the United States and that was when he started to learn Tae-Kwan-do and Hap-Ki-Do, and also cross trained in kickboxing and Sambo, eventually earning a variety of black belts in different forms of mixed martial arts.

He has a six-degree black belt under Grand Master Ian A. Cyrus in Hap-Ki-Do, a Korean Martial Arts Self-Defense form using kicking and punching techniques and joint manipulations; a third-degree black belt in Tae-Kwan-Do with Grand Master Duke Lee; and a black belt in Hayastan Grappling System under Grand Master Gokor Chivichyan and Grand Master Judo Gene LeBell.

“All my life, I’ve been doing this,” says Altinbas.

At Victor’s Mixed Martial Arts, three other instructors help teach classes with Altinbas, providing a variety of styles to each workout. He offers classes for children three years old and up such as Tae- Kwan-Do and Judo.

Women can enjoy a ladies only kick-box class or try an adult MMA or self-defense classes called Hap-Ki-Do offered on Friday evenings. To add even more variety, he offers an Irish Stick Fighting class every other Sunday and will soon be adding yoga classes.

Hours are Mon.-Fri., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. to noon; as well as morning classes on Tues. and Thurs.

For more information and the schedule, go to victorsmma.com or call 973-234-6454.

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