Name of Gym: American Top Team
Name of Owners: Ricardo Liborio and Dan Lambert
Address: 4631 Johnson Road Coconut Creek, FL. 33073
Number of Members: 600+
Square Feet: 20,000
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday: 9am - 9pm
Saturdays: 9am - 1pm
Number of Trainers on Staff: 9 full time
Founders/Owners: Ricardo Liborio, Dan Lambert
[ Q ] How did the gym start and why did you decide to begin (or work within) the gym business?
We started out in a small 1200 sq. ft. academy. The guys were competing and having a lot of success in BJJ/grappling tournaments. After competing, most of our guys wanted to start fighting in MMA events.
As the team grew, we decided we needed a much larger space to accomplish our goals. So we finally settled on a 20,000 sq. ft. academy in Coconut Creek, FL. Now we have over 50 professional fighters competing all over the world in the worlds largest MMA events such as; UFC, WEC, Strikeforce, DREAMS, K-1, Sengoku, etc.
We also have an amazing kids program, summer camp and after-school program that has taken off. In addition, we have programs for the regular person looking to get in shape and learn self defense where they can train in BJJ, Muay Thai/kickboxing, MMA, Boxing, and Wrestling.
What started out as a hobby for most of us, has now became a full time job.
[ Q ] Can you give us a description on what went into opening your awesome establishment?
Obviously a lot of money, but also a lot of hard work from everyone involved, and a tremendous amount of sweat equity to get things up and running. Not everything went perfect, but we learned and grew from all the experiences.
[ Q ] What makes your gym different?
I think what separates us from most gyms is that we were able offer everything under one roof. I believe we were one of the first teams to offer all the various types of training (BJJ, Striking, Wrestling, Conditioning, MMA, etc), not only for the pros, but also for the average person at one location. Most people looking to train in multiple disciplines had to go to 3-4 different places to get quality training. With us, we have everything right here for them in one convenient location. Saves a lot of time, money, and energy.
[ Q ] What sort of people do you attract into your gym?
We get a pretty diverse mix. From the top pros who want to come and train with us based off our reputation, to the average person looking for something different. Most people are tired of just going to a regular fitness facility or a gym that offers limited training in only one area. Some want to just get in shape, others want to learn self-defense, lose weight or just be part of the whole atmosphere of being associated with the team.
[ Q ] What inspires people to train at your facility?
Well, on any given day a student can bump into and interact with a Mike Brown, Thiago "Pitbull" Alves, Din Thomas, Hector Lombard, Jorge Santiago and so on. All the fighters are approachable and willing to take pictures, sign autographs, and lend a quick word of encouragement. There's not too many places out there where you can tell your friends "I just got armbarred by a UFC fighter or taken down by a World Champion in practice!" It's a pretty unique experience.
[ Q ] Do you have any top trainers and why are they so good?
We feel we have a great staff of trainers on board and all are deserving of praise.
We have Olympic Gold Medalist (1976) Howard Davis Jr. who oversees our boxing program. Muay Thai coaches Vitelmo "Katel" Kubis, and Fernando Falkenbach from Brazil, both of whom have extensive records fighting and coaching the top fighters. They bring a great mma perspective to the striking game. We also have and Chutiphat "Cha" Rungsawang from Thailand who has over 100 muay thai fights! Marcos 'Parrumpinha" DaMatta takes care of the BJJ for the pros. He's an old school Carlson Gracie black belt with a ton grappling championships to his name.
We have Stefane Dias who is in charge of our S&C. He has stepped in and done a great job. Kami Barzini, who is just a monster on the wrestling mat and is able to provide all his knowledge of wrestling specifically to mma. Then we have our head MMA coaches "Conan" Silveira and Ricardo Liborio. Both guys started in the beginning back in Brazil under Carlson Gracie and are able to use their vast knowledge and experience and bring that to the table.
Click To Enlarge.
We Feel We Have A Great Staff Of Trainers
On Board And All Are Deserving Of Praise.
[ Q ] What special services do you provide?
We offer classes in BJJ, Muay Thai/Kickboxing, Boxing, Wrestling, MMA, and cardio classes for adults. Kids have their own special classes according to age, and we have added after-school and summer camp programs due to the demand. People can come and train one on one or in a group setting. We also provide training seminars for the military and law enforcement community.
[ Q ] Who are your most notable present and past members?
Wow, there are a lot!
Jeff Monson Thiago "Pitbull" Alves Din Thomas Mike Brown Jorge Masvidal Thiago Silva Yves Edwards Luigi Fioravanti Cole Miller Micah Miller Denis Kang Rafie Dias Ben Saunders Alessio Sakara Dustin "Clean" Denes Hector Lombard Dan Hornbuckle Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante Jorge Santiago Wilson Gouveia Mario Rinaldi Steve Bruno Tyron Woodley Rich Attonito Kimbo Slice Gleison Tibau
And I could go on...
[ Q ] What was the hardest part about operating your gym?
In the beginning, just explaining and educating people on what Mixed Martial Arts ("MMA") is all about. Also, getting the word out that we are open to the public and not only train pro fighters, but have regular programs that they can train and learn.
[ Q ] What makes you competitive over the large gym chains?
I'd say our personal approach. We try and offer so much more to our students. We care about their development and want them all to succeed know matter what their goals are. We started small and try and keep that family atmosphere no matter how big we get.
[ Q ] How have you been able to remain so successful and how do you hope to remain so?
Our reputation and word of mouth have really helped us grow. We have learned to never sit back on past success. We listen to our students and use their feedback of where we need to grow or what areas we need to work on. Same thing with our instructors. They are always looking for ways to improve on how they teach or structure the classes. It's a never ending process for all of us. At the end of the day, it's about everyone from staff to coaches coming together and working as a team providing a great experience and training atmosphere for all.
[ Q ] Anything you'd like to add?
I want to thank Bodybuilding.com for selecting us as Gym of the Month!
Also would like to thank all the students and parents for their continued support, and all the fighters, coaches and trainers who have literally left their blood, sweat, and tears on the mats to help us be one of the best MMA teams in the world.
You can follow us on Twitter.com/AmericanTopTeam
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