Stock Martial Arts settles in as Rochester’s newest Martial Arts place in Hillcrest
Martial arts, specifically Mixed Martial Arts fighting, started out as an outlet for Ryan Stock as a teen.
ROCHESTER — Ryan Stock never sought to become a martial arts instructor, the opportunities to teach always fell in his lap over the years to where he is now.
Stock, the owner and lead instructor of Stock Martial Arts located in Hillcrest Shopping Center, just opened his first martial arts fitness studio in June of this year. Stock originally opened his own studio inside of Martial Arts Fitness Center on South Broadway in March of 2020. But the timing of the pandemic delayed his instructional classes by a year.
“I was always bound and determined to save my money and hope that the pandemic would go away," Stock said. "That we'd be able to come back and be where we are now. And so I always had the dream in the back of my head. But it was very rough for a good six to eight months there. We trained in the garage with just a couple of my best friends and I just had to keep that in the back of my head. So I can keep that morale going.”
Martial arts, specifically mixed martial arts fighting, started out as an outlet for Stock as a teen. He said that as a kid, he and his father would bond over watching Ultimate Fighting Championship fights together. Stock often got into fights as a kid and lost his father at a young age.
“I got in a lot of fights and unfortunately, got into a lot of trouble because of it. And I saw an outlet that I could take what I was getting in trouble for and do something good with it," Stock said. "And then unfortunately, my dad passed away when he passed away. It was the big push of either going downhill or finding an avenue. We're lucky enough in the town I was living in at the time, they had a team that did mixed martial arts.”
Stock, who grew up in Lake City, joined the local MMA team at the age of 14 and eventually had his first professional fight a year and a half later at 16. Now with his own mixed martial arts studio, Stock hopes to provide kids in Rochester with similar struggles he had growing up, the opportunity for a healthy outlet for emotions they cannot fully comprehend at a young age.
“I want to be able to give back to other kids that are in that position I was in and again to everybody else. Those are the kinds of kids that really stick out to me, the troublemakers if you will. I couldn’t do a lot of other sports, I couldn’t do a lot of stuff because I was so crazy as a young kid. Once I found this outlet with a bunch of other guys that kept me under their wing. It really turned into a blessing in disguise,” said Stock.
Currently, Stock has three other instructors working with him for the classes he provides which include gi and no-gi jiu jitsu, boxing, women's self defense, adult MMA, and teen kickboxing among many others.
Time and days of classes run from various hours depending on the class an individual is signed up for. Stock Martial Arts is open six days a week with Fridays being the only day of the week with no instructional classes.
For those unfamiliar with the types of martial arts taught at Stock Martial Arts, here is a brief summary on each:
- Jiu jitsu is a self defense based martial art that focuses on control over an opponent and submitting them into an uncomfortable position with their body where they will not fight back. Jiu jitsu can be practiced with or without a gi, which is clothing used in traditional martial arts fighting that allows opponents to have a better grip on an opponent's clothing for submission.
- Kickboxing is a mixture of boxing and kicking with American Kickboxing, (which is taught at Stock Martial Arts) does not allow any contact with boxers knees or elbows against each other. Nor is there any kicking below the waistline allowed.
- Mix martial arts focuses on strike, grappling and ground fighting attacks based on the Vale Tudo fighting styles which prevents very limited rules on combat strikes to opponents.
Anyone wanting to participate in one of these classes but does not have a gi of their own, there are plenty available at Stock Martial Arts for people of all sizes. Stock said he and his instructors work to make everyone new to martial arts classes get comfortable with the routines.
“We do have a variety of gis for everybody, as they can get the real feel of it. We'll put anyone new with somebody who's a little more experienced, and they'll make you feel really welcome. We're very lucky here that we have a very tight-knit group.
"I always tell everybody, I'd rather have 50 students, who are really close people that all know each other, hang out and go to barbecues. Rather than having 250 people who don't know each other," Stock said.