The current state of MMA is one of resilience and an increasing growth of explosive proportions. There are often arenas contained within it that touch and stimulate the human emotion and senses on all levels from the innately primal to the core of sensitivity. There are athletes that fuel their career on chaos and drama. There are athletes that appeal to the sensitive nature of the public's relation to hard work, productivity and sacrifice. The latter being the case in both dynamics. Within the theater of marketing, promotion and created personalities, one is compelled to step back and take stock in what the future holds. What will the next generation bring born out of the current? Optimism is what I prefer to land my hopes on. Will it be a generation that will stay true to the bedrock of what builds the foundation of success and achievement with the implementation of integrity, character and honesty? Will the sacrifice and faith remain the mainstay?
I recently had a very refreshing and encouraging conversation with a young athlete that contributed largely to laying some of my concerns to rest in what will be someday soon, "the passing of the guard."
Madison Peavler, otherwise becoming widely known to the MMA community as "Mad Mad Madison."
Madison is a 12 year old girl who lives in a quiet city in Indiana along the Ohio border. She is a young girl with her sights and goals firmly visualized and marked in what direction she is going. That goal is to be an elite class MMA athlete.
Her road to that goal is well under way and from all points and indicators, she is paving the way to do just that. Her athletic achievements in the martial arts are already vast, numbered and distinguished.
This is her Facebook Bio:
Madison started karate when she was six years old. She got her nickname Mad Mad Madison long before that though. Her parents started calling her that when she was just a baby because of her crazy curly hair that reminded everyone of a mad scientist.
Madison took karate two days a week for the first couple of months but soon realized that it was what she loved to do and began taking classes four nights a week. She started competing in 2008 and was hooked immediately. In 2009 she began training in the cage. Madison loved to cage fight but unfortunately it was outlawed for minors in her home state in 2010. She remains undefeated at 3-0.
Madison received her adult black belt in September of 2009. It was a four hour belt promotion and pushed Madison to her limits. She did it along side two adult men. She said it was the hardest thing she has ever done and absolutely her biggest accomplishment. Madison just got her blue belt in BJJ on February 18th 2011 and her adult second degree black belt on March 12th 2011. Madison was also named Sensei of her Dojo which is a great honor that few are given.
In 2009 Madison delivered her first knockout kick to the head at a tournament. She realized then that she might be good at kick boxing. Turns out she was right. She became the 2010 USAKA Kick boxing National Champion.
Madison still trains four days a week for three to four hours each night. She teaches her own under belt karate class four nights a week and sometimes five if something special is going on like a belt promotion. She travels on the weekends to compete.
Madison has a lot of hobbies that she enjoys outside of martial arts. She just recently started deer hunting with her dad. She has not shot a deer yet but is sure she will next season. Her dad says she is quite a shot and will have no trouble if one gets in her sights. She also enjoys antique tractor pulling with her dad and grandpa. She just recently got tall enough to compete. She won both competitions she entered. She managed to pull off both wins with a field of all adult men. What a great thing to see happen.
Madison is an honor roll student and has maintained that status her entire school career. She loves school and is hoping to one day to become a medical examiner after she is too old to fight.
Madison goes to church every Sunday and loves Sunday school. She is very grateful to God for the opportunities she has been given and the ones he has in store for her in the future.
AWARDS:2008 Circle City Classic-1st place sparring
2008 Circle City Classic-1st place point sparring
2011 AAU TKD State Championships- 1st place point sparring
2011 AAU TKD State Championships- 1st place continuous sparring
2011 AAU Junior Olympic Taekwondo Silver Medalist- Olympic Sparring
2011 AAU Junior Olympic Taekwondo Bronze Medalist- Point Sparring
The achievements that are contained within 2008 and 2011 are impressive and I would invite you to view the specifics on her Facebook Page at Mad Mad Madison and on her website; http://www.madmadmadisonfight.com/
Madison is a very soft-spoken young girl with the sincerity and innocence of a normal girl her age. She is for all intent and purpose girl that enjoys the things that children her age enjoy.
" My mom and dad used to watch the UFC and I think at first they didn't want me to watch it because of it being violent. I did finally watch it and found it to be something that really interested me and I could see in it that it was something that I wanted to do. I started to train in Karate and worked my way up to an 2nd degree adult black belt in 6 years. I love to teach and my range of students range from 6 years of age to 59"
When I made inquiry to Madison about her interests outside of martial arts she shared with me:
"I love to go to school. I am an honor roll student and proud of it. I feel that I work very hard in what I want to do in achieving my goals. I love to go to church every Sunday and am very involved in church and the community. I also like to hunt and fish with my father and I compete in "tractor pulls" in our area that are allot of fun also. I live in a small town and the the things that I like to do usually include my close friends and family. I'm a country girl and don't at all mind getting my hands dirty."
We talked more about her aspirations in the MMA arena and what she would really like to do and who she looked up to.
" My favorite MMA athletes are Urijah Faber, Gina Corrano and Meisha Tate. I remember watching Gina fight thinking she was awesome. I love watching Urijah also. Urijah talked to me on Facebook and put my link on his page. That was very exciting to me that this athlete that I looked up to was actually taking the time to think about me and thought enough of me to put my link on his page. It was very exciting. I'm going to be traveling to the Fighter Summit in Las Vegas in December with my mom and I'm looking very forward to that. I'm looking forward to meeting Meisha Tate. I think she is amazing and that she is the Advance Sports Labs spokes person. Advance Sports Labs and "Patch" have been very good to me and are providing me the chance to go to the Fighter's Summit.
I hope to one day fight in the cage but it's illegal for me now because of my age. That's what I really want to do. My passion is kick-boxing and looking to improve upon that skill set constantly. We are from a small town and it takes some traveling to get to events and train. I train BJJ as well and have a blue belt under my coach here at home. I'm really focused on rounding my skills so that I'll be ready when the day comes that I can compete in the cage."
Madison and I spoke for a little while longer about the sport and various personalities in it and then she politely said good bye and expressed her appreciation and excitement that only a 12 year old can. I appreciated that.
In reflection; I felt hopeful and in that was a sense of security that there are communities, families and children out there that believe that hard work, appreciation, faith and just good old fashioned moral exist and are being instilled in the coming generation.
What will the next reign of athlete represent in the sport and to the people and children that look up them? If they have any semblance of value and appreciation with foundation that Madison and her family and community do; I think I'm feeling pretty good about it's future and what it holds.
Madison would like to thank her sponsors:
Advanced Sports Labs, and Hydro Tech, Mud Dawgs, Prolific Mat Wear, HouseCat, Karate Depot, LoveBug Photography, PC Design.