ECSA fighters continue to impress across WNY

SUBMITTED Photo ECSA fighter, Cody Farrington, lands a right cross on his opponent in the ring during his win by unanimous decision at Lace-Up Promotions: The Challenge, in Lockport.

The results are in and the Elevation Combat Sports Academy(ECSA) boys did not disappoint.

Competing in the Castricone Bouts in Buffalo, ECSA went 2-1.

Gerald Carr cruised to victory won and his match by TKO in the second round.

“In the fight, Gerald (Carr) came out guns blazing,” Owner/trainer of ECSA, Dave Harriger said. “He tagged the guy right off the bat and he never took his foot off the gas pedal. He just kept hammering the guy and the kid never recovered.

Gerald’s a lefty, so he causes problems for most right-handed fighters,” Harriger continued. “He’s got some good farm boy strength, you know, living out in Cassadaga — he’s got some raw power. I think he’s very highly underestimated.”

Malique Carter fought admirablely in his bout, but ended up losing by unanimous decision. “Malique (Carter) trained pretty hard and he worked his butt off. Unfortunately, he injured his hand in the fight and I think that hindered his performance,” Harriger stated.

“Malique is the most talented fighter I’ve ever worked with,” Harriger continued. “The kid’s absolutely gifted and if he puts his heart and soul into it, there is seriously nobody around here that can stop him.”

Cody Farrington also impressed at the Castricone Bouts, picking up a win by unanimous decision. Farrington also competed in a more recent event, Lace-Up Promotions: The Challenge, in Lockport, and picked up another victory in K1 kickboxing.

“He put everything he had into it (Castricone/Lace-Up),” Harriger recalled. “He was there (ECSA) every day except for one day in three months. Cody (Farrington) is the most dedicated fighter I’ve ever worked with. I’ll tell him to run 10 miles and he’ll go run 10 miles and not think anything of it because he knows what we’re trying to do,” Harriger continued. “Very dedicated. I have no other words to describe him. He just wants it really bad.”

ECSA, located at 4863 W. Lake Road in Dunkirk, has been making a name for themselves for sometime now.

Harriger, grew up in Brocton and has studied martial arts since he was 4 years old. He’s a fourth-degree black belt and has trained with some of the area’s best, from Joe Pagan, a former undefeated Muay Thai champion, to sparring sessions with legendary trainer “Stonehorse” Lone Goeman and his then-student at the time, former UFC Light Heavywieght champion Jon “Bones” Jones, at the old Masonic temple that burned down on Central Avenue.

Bottom line, Harriger is a top-of-the-line trainer and an expert in his craft, and his ECSA team is being widely recognized amongst the fighting community in New York State.

“In the fighting community, we’ve gotten a rep to be known as a real good gym,” Harriger explained. “A lot of other gyms, they respect us. They know what we’re about. We don’t go into the fight with any bad blood or bad intentions. … We’re competing against the best gyms in Western New York and we’re beating them.”

Though Harriger is proficient in karate, Judo, boxing, Muay Thai, and Jiu jitsu, he doesn’t restrain his students with precise, pin-point technique like robots. In fact, him and his team tailor their knowledge of martial arts and allow their students to express themselves freely as individuals in the ring.

“All of our instructors have a similar, but a different background in martial arts,” he explained. “We have multiple ways to throw any kind of technique just to accommodate our guys to their specific style and swagger to how they fight.

We don’t really believe in a right or wrong way as long as it works. They just know how to adapt to their style to what works for them.”

What is also important, is that martial arts teaches more than just how to handle oneself in the ring, but it also translates to a person’s character, and Harriger recognizes that and strongly incorporates that into ECSA’s philosophy.

“The main thing that we teach are our core values: Respect, discipline and integrity. … I don’t want that bloviated ‘gym’ mentality portrayed by my students. … Our guys are humble and we try and tell them, ‘You want to be humble in the gym and you want to be humble in life.’

“When they (my students) mess up in school or mess up in home, we want to know about it,” said Harriger. “I had a couple of kids who were extremely disrespectful to mom and dad, and I got in the ring and we corrected the situation — they’ve been nice as pie to mom and dad ever since.

You’ve got to be respectful,” Harriger continued. “Be a good person. That’s what we’re trying to teach here; be a good productive member of society.”

As a gym, ECSA is not just a fighter’s haven.

“I’ve had at least three people off the top of my head that have lost over 100 pounds,” recalled Harriger. We’ve also had a guy that has lost over 300, and now he’s our strength and conditioning coach.

ECSA is just another gem that is unique to Dunkirk and it’s community — fighting or otherwise. Harriger recognizes that and he couldn’t be prouder to work anywhere else.

“As far as Dunkirk with fighting, we’ve been on the map for a while,” explained Harriger. “Our boxing is making a comeback with Ivan (Hernandez), whose going to be one of our new coaches, and Elon (DeJesus) just crushed it at the Golden Gloves. I couldn’t be more proud of those guys. … The sky’s the limit for those guys.”

Even more so as boxers, Harriger respects them even more as people.

“It’s great to have those guys as role models,” Harriger exclaimed. “You don’t hear about Ivan or Elon in the paper doing dumb stuff, they’re just good dudes. They’re good quality people and their trying to better themselves. I’m proud of them for being good role models for the community and everything.”

ECSA is about to open in a new location, a 4,500 square foot gym that will be located at 87 E. Lake Shore drive.