This Sunday marks the ten-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The way America looked at itself was altered immensely on that date, and a decade later the world is a very different place. Memories of panic and uncertainty are still present, but the urge to keep moving forward is even stronger.
In remembrance of this anniversary, TheFightNerd.com, has released an exclusive short-film that commemorates this event alongside the New York MMA community. “A Fighting Spirit” is a video memoir that interviews members of the NY martial arts community and discusses where they were when the Towers collapsed, how they have coped, and how New York and America have grown stronger.
Directed by Kahleem Poole-Tejada (director of the full-length documentary “New York MMA”) and produced by Matthew Kaplowitz (Editor-in-Chief of TheFightNerd.com) in association with Ranger Up, the film takes viewers around a tour of downtown Manhattan and provides a glimpse inside several of New York City’s top MMA gyms. It features many NY-based fighters, such as Renzo Gracie, Chris Weidman, Pete “Drago” Sell, and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, as well as Stephen Koepfer of NY Combat Sambo, Mark Yehia of “Elite Plus MMA,” Rob Constance of “The Renzo Gracie Academy” and President of the “Ultimate Absolute” grappling tournament, and Emilio Novoa, President of ADCC North America. Also appearing is UFC middleweight fighter Jorge Rivera, as well as Strikeforce middleweight Tim Kennedy, who adds the voices of members of the U.S. Armed Forces to this emotional piece.