Local wrestling family opens MMA/performance center in Selma

Selma resident Archie Tovar, far left in white, is helping open up a MMA/performance center in Selma. The opening will be April 7 and will offer Cleber MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes. Tom Knox, Bruce Tafoya and Julian Tovar are also instructors at the performance center.

Selma is known as a town with talented wrestlers and teams who have won state wrestling championships.

For the local Tovar family, members of some of the championship teams, wrestling has become a passion that they hope to share with the residents of Selma.

Archie Tovar and his family have opened Bear Crossface  Mixed Martial Art & Athletic Performance Center in Selma.

Arcides Tovar started competing for the Selma Youth Wrestling Club in 1996 when he was six. He wrestled for Selma High and recently at Fresno City College.

He says his wrestling experience has prepared him to start competing in mixed martial arts (MMA).

He will fight on Friday, April 4, at the Fresno Convention Center. He currently holds an amateur MMA record of 3-0 and recently received his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) blue belt from Cleber Luciano Costa, a fifth-degree black belt. For info on tickets call 246-8959.

“I have been blessed with the right coaches and teammates along my athletic career,” Arcides Tovar said.

Tovar is pursuing a career in law enforcement and is training full-time as a MMA competitor and trainer. The MMA organization he competes for is from Selma called 559fights.com promotions.

He is not the only member of his family who is involved in MMA. Younger brother, Julian Tovar, has a MMA record of 1-0 and is a BJJ blue belt under Cleber as well. Julian is concentrating on being a trainer for MMA and is a college student.

Their father, Archie, holds a BJJ blue belt and is a trainer for wrestling and BJJ. Youngest brother, Isaiah Tovar, is a junior at Selma High School and wrestles for Selma High, although he has been injured the last two season.

The new training center offers training in BJJ and MMA style fighting.

“Over the years, it has been known that the art of wrestling and BJJ are the most useful for MMA competition and daily balance,” Archie said. “Bear Crossface Mixed Martial Art & Athletic Performance will have low-, medium- and high-impact training available based on developmental needs and goals. Camps, clinics, seminars and nutritional engagements will be available year round. Private and group lessons and training will also be available.”

The core teaching of the performance center will be from fifth-degree black belt in BJJ, Cleber, who is located in Huntington Beach, where he runs the Cleber Jiu Jitsu Academy.

Cleber started training in BJJ at 7 and received his black belt at the age of 19. Prior to his exposure to BJJ, Costa trained in judo beginning at age 5 and holds a black belt in judo as well. Bruce Tafoya a 1st degree Black belt will be the primary instructor in Selma, who trained under Cleber out of Huntington Beach.

 “Bear Crossface Mixed Martial Art & Athletic Performance is very proud to have been able to team up with [Cleber] and the Cleber Luciano Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teaching system,” Archie said. “There are currently six [Cleber] Jiu Jitsu schools in California, four in Texas, and two in Wisconsin.”

Details: 246-8959.

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