To Top

Meet Lemance McCurry of Vital Force Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness in Chino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lemance McCurry.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lemance. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my journey in mixed martial arts back in 2006 in the small town of Myrtle Creek, OR. I was 26 at the time, which is pretty late in life to be starting in a career like that. Even tougher was the fact that there are very few quality places to train in that part of Oregon. Most of the communities there have a population smaller than 4000 people. On top of that, I was a father of three, at the time, and very committed to giving my kids an amazing life full of experiences. None-the-less, I fell in love with MMA and started fighting up and down the West Coast in sanctioned and non-sanctioned events.

In 2010, my youngest was born. Unfortunately, within a few months, my kid’s mom lost her way to addiction and chose to leave our lives. Throughout the turmoil of it all, I decided that I needed to make a change and moved to Portland, OR to fight and train under Team Quest and One MMA. This was my move to make MMA and fitness my life.

The longer I trained, the more places I trained, the more I learned, and the better I got, the more I knew that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. I wanted to give people the chance to chase a dream that most only imagine. Also, the brotherhood that I had in the gym was something I didn’t want to live without, and something that I thought everyone should know. There wasn’t a single day when my teammates didn’t push me to be better. I’ve done things in my time training and fights that I never thought I could or would do. My coaches were constantly giving me one on one time and complimenting me on how fast I learned and how adept I had gotten at so many different styles of fighting. Everything was so amazing, but the whole time I was training, I was constantly battling the high cost of training, and gear, and raising my kids on my own. As I went through all this, my dreams started to take shape.

Fast forward to 2015. After moving to California and working for big name martial arts and fitness gyms as a coach and fitness director, it was time to make my move.

I had been training at Ralph Gracie Jiu Jitsu Chino Hills for a couple years already and had a good number of the other students ask me about teaching MMA. I had built a good relationship with the instructors and owners and approached them about letting me run my program out of their gym. I was super nervous because it seemed like such a long shot, and I REALLY wanted it badly!

I was incredibly lucky, they liked my idea and I was able to launch my own program. Vital Force Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness was born!!!

Vital Force Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness now runs 6 days a week with adult and kid classes. We specialize in Muay Thai and Boxing, both from pure sport and mixed martial arts perspectives, along with MMA classes for cage specific grappling and submissions.

Our membership prices are set to allow low-income families and individuals to train without breaking the bank, and we pass along our gear discounts to keep them in nice gear! Our program is about bettering people’s lives through fitness, martial arts, and community while teaching them a useful skill and helping them to build a better life!

I hope to continue to develop into a non-profit organization as our program continues to grow and we are always looking for sponsors to aid in keeping our prices low! The more we give, the more we get, and the better all of our lives will be! Come join the Vital Force family at Vital Force Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have battled with being a single parent with no help from the other parent, and trying to help that other parent to battle heroin addiction. I have dealt with financial the financial struggles of being a new business while also battling the financial struggles of being a single parent. One of the hardest things, though, was making sure that I don’t miss out on my children growing up! I am now in my second year of homeschool with them, and we work hard to spend a lot of time together while letting them experience the world and life as best as I can in our financial situation. As I said, though, I have had a lot of really awesome help and have been given a lot of opportunities for them and myself! You get what you give, and I try hard to give every single day!

Please tell us about Vital Force Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness.
To start, the most important thing about Vital Force Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness is that we are a family!!! We all support each other and work hard to foster growth in everyone that walks through the doors! We are a mixed martial arts and fitness gym aiming to give everyone a second home. We specialize in Muay Thai, Boxing, and MMA while offering boot camp and high-intensity interval training workouts along with personal training. Anyone that has trained with us will tell you that we are different because every single person matters just as much as the next. It doesn’t matter if you’re there just to learn martial arts or if you’re a UFC level fighter. Everyone is an equal on our mats!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Nothing! The struggles of learning to market, operating financially in the negative, and all of the other things that I’ve had to go through as a business owner are part of what makes this whole experience so amazing! I’ve learned far more and grown too much since day 1 to wish for change!

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Franklin

    September 26, 2018 at 22:29

    Crazy respect to this guy for not only willingly taking on the role of being a single father but also not letting himself use his hardships as an excuse to not try and achieve his dreams. Then again, maybe it was those exact hardships that gave him the motivation he needed to succeed. Sometimes we need our feet held to the fire because we get too comfortable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in