Father and son share medals

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Josh Hummer and son Jevik could pass as superheroes with the belts they have earned in mixed martial arts competitions. They both placed first in the same national event this summer.

It is pretty cool when one person wins a national championship, but it is even more unique when two do, especially when they are in the same family. The feat was accomplished by Josh Hummer and his son Jevik.

The two qualified for the North American Grappling Association tournament in New Jersey in July, and each came out on top.

“It’s unusual because a parent and child were both competing, let alone winning,” said Hummer, 40.

Both entered as experts in their divisions, based on age, weight and years of exerience. They walked out of the arena with belts, awarded only to champs in the advanced level.

“It felt awesome,” said Jevik, 11.

Both fought in the Gi and No Gi category. Gi refers to the robe worn in martial arts.

Jevik’s first major win came two years ago, and it was harder, he said. He finished 16 rounds in two days to emerge first that time. He has always faced advanced opponents because he started so young.

Hummer was introduced to martial arts at age seven, but his son beat that record, starting when he could walk.  Specific training began at age three.

“My dad has been my instructor since I was little,” Jevik said. “He put me on an exercise ball and rolled it around for me to learn balance.”

Family time

Hummer owns Tactical Combat Academy of Mixed Martial Arts in Greencastle. The sergeant for Maryland State Police opened the business seven years ago with his wife Robin.

TCAMMA is the place for men, women and children to learn self-defense, engage in professional fighting or get fit, said Hummer. He offers eight kinds of classes at the school, including boxing, karate, wrestling and muay thai. The disciplines come from cultures in Thailand, Japan, Brazil, the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico, China, the Phillippines and Israel.

Children can start classes as young as four, based on maturity, and enter the adult program at age 14.

“Competing allows kids to have small goals. They carry over into life,” Hummer said. “It builds camaraderie and confidence, and they learn how to automatically respond to situations.”

The younger set is exposed to bullying situations, learning both to prevent an incident and then to protect themselves. Adults are attacked for different reasons, and are taught combatives for those purposes.

People enroll with specific goals, Hummer said, but as they gain experience their reasons change and they frequently shift from getting in shape or learning self-defense, to entering the ring competitively. The main mat room of the facility is adorned with photos, certificates, ribbons, belts and other awards showing the successes of the students.