The name of the gym is the Body Shop in Lakewood California, the head trainer there is a great amateur wrestler and IFL stand out Antonio Mckee. When you think of an elite Mixed Martial Arts camp what may come to your mind immediately is Pat Miletech’s camp, Greg Jackson’s camp and Randy Couture’s gym Extreme Couture. A lot of these high profile gyms take a lot of the spot light when it comes to the training aspect of the sport. One however is really never mentioned but is responsible for improving on many fighters techniques that are in the game today. The name of the gym is the Body Shop in Lakewood California, the head trainer there is a great amateur wrestler and IFL stand out Antonio Mckee.
Antonio Mckee has been involved in the sport since the late 1990’s, as a fighter he has an impressive record with 21 wins and only 3 losses. Throughout his career he has been in the ring with likes of IFL stand out Delson Heleno, UFC veteran Karo Parisyan and Pride and UFC veteran Marcus Arreola.
As a trainer he has worked with the likes of UFC LHW champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Pride’s absolute tournament champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Former UFC LHW champion Victor “the Phenom” Belfort. Weekly the Body Shop is visited by fighters who want to train with Antonio McKee and his team of fighters. On the mat on any given day you will find well known fighters like Eves Edwards, Andy Wang and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. You can also find Jujitsu players along with strikers coming in to the Body Shop looking for an intense workout as well.
On Antonio’s fight team you will find fighters like IFL LW superstar Savant Young, Invincible MW champion Jessie Juarez and the Gladiator Challenges HW champion Chase Gormley. Along with some great up and comers like Ismael Gonzales, Brett Cooper and Jason High.
His Pro MMA class is a Monday through Thursday regiment that usually starts at 10am and last till 1230pm. Antonio’s open book philosophy about fighting seems to be working for him and his Team of fighters. He as been quoted for saying “just because I can beat you doesn’t mean I can’t learn from you”. His diverse team of fighters incorporates kick boxers, wrestlers and submission grapplers. All learn from each other in hoping to gain what they need to strengthen their own weaknesses.
Cardio seems to be what McKee pushes for a lot in the gym. Everyday his fighters go through some very intense strength and conditioning drills. The backyard workout, as they like to call it is a set of drills designed to push the fighters to their limits. Weekly the team also takes the training outside of the gym to do a 2 to 3 mile run and sometimes to the beach to run some very unforgiving sand dunes. All this training just equals to one thing, wins. As many of the fighters on the team have demonstrated in there fights, accumulating more wins then losses and most of the time never getting tired.
Throughout the two days I spend as an observer at the body shop, I really could only say one thing about my time there. It is a gym committed to pushing its fighters to their limits daily in hopes to mold their fighters into an elite Mixed Martial Artist.