The boxer: Shutesbury man opens martial arts club in Greenfield
GREENFIELD — Aaron Snow has been boxing since he was a kid.
“Fighting is a part of me — it’s in my blood,” said Snow, who has opened Sitmangpong Thai Boxing and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) at 20 Chapman St.
Kru Snow, which means head teacher Snow, said his grandfather Henry Snow was a professional boxer and his father and brothers have also boxed.
“We grew up in the woods in Shutesbury with not a lot to do, so we fought,” said Snow, who teaches Muay Thai kickboxing, boxing and mixed martial arts in his club. “My favorite movie is ‘Kickboxer’ with Jean-Claude Van Damme.”
Snow said he learned Muay Thai martial arts in Boston, training with world champions, and has traveled the country learning new techniques and honing his skills with masters.
Now, the 30-year-old father of four wants to teach others.
“I traveled the country to learn and work with the best, so that I could become the same, though you are always learning,” he said.
Snow, who has fought as an amateur and professional and said he has been athletically inclined since he was very young, said he always dreamed of opening his own studio or club.
Snow said people who want to get in shape, stay fit, lose weight, build muscle, relieve stress, have a life-changing experience, or just have some fun, should join the club.
He said martial arts are good for children, because they teach them discipline and respect and keep them active.
He said Muay Thai is the leading form of women’s self-defense.
Snow said he will offer a seminar with Ajarn Nelson Siyavong, a professional Muay Thai fighter who fought more than 300 fights during his career, at his Grand Opening on Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. in the club. He said the seminar is open to the public.
“It’s rare to get a master of his calibre to come to New England,” said Snow. “He’s the best, and proof that you don’t have to be big to be a good fighter.”
Snow, who offers classes for men, women and children, said he wants his club to be more than just a place people learn martial arts. He said he wants it to be a place where people feel comfortable and just want to hang out. He said he wants children to feel comfortable doing their homework there.
He said the Thai tradition is to eat, live and train together as a family and that’s what he wants to do in his club.
“I want people to understand that we are welcoming and very professional,” he said.
But, Snow said, anyone who wants to join will need to understand that there will be no arrogance and no over-confidence and that egos and bad attitudes will have to be left in the street.
Snow said people who want to achieve all different fight levels, from those who just want to have fun or get in shape to those who want to train to be professional fighters, will find classes that fit their needs.
Sitmangpong Thai Boxing & MMA is open Monday through Friday from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Snow said he will offer a free introductory class for a short time and said over time he will bring many professionals and masters to the club to run seminars and workshops and teach classes.
“I just want people to come in with an open mind and a willingness to learn,” he said.
Snow, a former hotel manager, said he opened the club at the encouragement of his mother and father, who taught him to go after his dreams.
“I did just that,” he said. “I drew up a business plan, which was four years in the making, and I used my savings and got a loan to open the place.”
Snow said he is leasing the 1,200-square-foot space on Chapman Street and said he will be offering discounted membership fees to those serving or those who have served in the military and those in law enforcement and firefighters.
For more information or membership prices, call 617-717-4264 or visit: www.413MMA.com.