Who I Am:

My name is J.C Franco. A couple of years ago, I joined a sport that I quickly fell in love with and have been passionately involved in for many years: Kickboxing. Being part of the training, exercises, and a team was one of the best things I could have done for my life. I couldn’t get enough of it — it was like a never-ending search to see what I could become in the sport, pushing the physical and mental limits of what makes me who I am. However, with all the responsibilities of being a husband, a father, and a business owner, I quickly realized that I did not have all the time that I would have liked to be able to dedicate to my training. Regardless, I still put in the work that I could and got to where I am today.

For the last 10 years, I have trained in many private lessons, joined many different martial arts schools for Kickboxing and Boxing, and met many different coaches with different backgrounds, teaching different techniques and preaching different martial arts philosophies. I have had the pleasure of meeting dozens of pro fighters and ex-pro fighters, who are now teachers and students alike, from all backgrounds and levels of experience.

These experiences I have gone through and relationships I have gained throughout the years is what inspired me to create this blog — so I can pass this passion and information down to you.

Many of the blogs on our site will be written by pro fighters, experienced coaches, myself and other martial arts enthusiasts with amazing must-share tips and tricks that will benefit you on your martial arts journey. They will help you get better, fight harder, last longer in the ring, and get the most out of your martial arts experience.

If you have ever thought of pushing yourself just to see how far you can go, this blog is for you.

If you are looking for helpful guidance as you wade the waters of your new hobby, this blog is for you.

If you have any inkling of passion for martial arts and want to chase after it to see what can come out of this sport, this blog is definitely for you.

Why the Name:

Behind every great name is a story. For us, there lies no difference.

My group and I usually wrap our hands for kickboxing or boxing or put on our gee for jiu-jitsu or Taekwondo. After this, we always do ten minutes of stretching and 10-to-15 minutes of warm-up. During this time is when we can mentally and physically get prepared and zoned in on the workout that lies before us, honing in on the reason why we’re here.

Just as my heart begins to beat at the right pace, sweat starts to drip down my face, and I am feeling super pumped for the day’s class, the person I admire the most in the gym—Coach—comes walking in and with a strong voice that could raise an army, yells to the class: “GEAR UP”.

These two words have become synonymous with feelings that come with rigorous training, sweating, hard work, pain, and joy.

These two words could not be a better representation of what this blog is about.GEAR UP” means to be prepared, to be ready, to mentally and physically understand that you’re about to take on an intense workout, a fight or a cardio session that could possibly make you leave and never want to come back again. (However, the opposite actually happens. You keep coming back for more and more and more.)

These two words—“GEAR UP”— is an attitude. It’s an order. It’s a lifestyle. What martial arts have taught me the most is to approach every day equipped with the mentality and physical strength I need to perform and be the best person I can. Every day, I have to “GEAR UP”.

MMA has become very popular throughout youth and our society—no matter what age you are—especially with the media explosion of UFC and other fighting organizations. GEARUPMMA is what we are all about, what we love to do, and what we pursue on a daily basis.

Who is this site for:

This blog was created to help students of all backgrounds and experience levels meet their goals —and exceed them— in martial arts. Here, as you click through the pages, you will find amazing tips, tricks, guides, and product reviews that will help you get the edge you need or the one that’s been missing in your martial arts school. These blogs can prepare you to recognize how and what you want to learn.

This blog was created to help the busy adult that wants to push themselves further in their martial arts journey and might not have the time to take the necessary or extra classes. Here, you can learn techniques and open advice from experts and professionals, alike.

This blog was created for you, whoever you may be. It was created for the new student, the nervous teen, the young adult who wants to learn more about kickboxing or any other martial arts sport. It is for the pro boxer transitioning into kickboxing or a seasoned veteran in kickboxing looking to switch up his or her specialization.

This blog is for the pro fighter that has been training and following the same philosophy for years, even, and wants to experience the point of view of other professional fighters in an attempt to get the edge in their sport. It is also for those just starting out and wanting to build a philosophy while they’re out there training on their own.

Whatever your reason might be for visiting, I’m happy you’re here. I hope that this blog can help guide you in ways that are essential for growth in martial arts. I hope that it opens your eyes to wisdom I didn’t have the access to when I was wading my waters —which I still am. I hope that it provides you with a brotherhood that supports you, gives you advice, and gets you to “GEAR UP”.

This blog was created to give you a heads up in:

  • Kickboxing – This sport is only one branch of combat sports that are based in a standing position with emphasis on kicking and punching. Sprouting from Karate historically, kickboxing has evolved into a mixture of Taekwondo and boxing. Perfect for self-defense, general fitness, and a feel of a contact sport.
  • Boxing – This sport is also a contact, combative branch where two people wear protective gloves and use their fists in throwing punches for a predetermined set of time. Within the boxing ring, the two athletes use attacks and defensive maneuvers to battle one another and compete to win.
  • Wrestling The combat sport is more westernized, and less like boxing or kickboxing because it does not involve kicking or punching. Instead, it involves grappling techniques like those used in grappling, clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. The two sparring partners compete to gain and maintain the superior position for a prolonged and set amount of time.
  • Jiu-JitsuThis branch of judo is also referred to as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which emphasizes ground grappling. Its founders, the Gracie family taught their version with a leniency towards the smaller person. Jiu-Jitsu teaches a person in a fight, even if they are smaller than their larger adversary how to fight and defend themselves with leverage and proper technique.
  • TaekwondoThis branch of martial arts uses a combination of combat techniques and self-defense mechanism and mixes them in with exercise and sport-like attributes. The first two concepts of this branch are kicking and punching, which attributes to the meaning of the word “Taekwondo” which is described as the Korean terms, “Tae (foot), Kwon (hand), Do (art)”.

Why you should read this blog:

It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned veteran or a newbie, this blog will have something for you. Even the highest of experts can benefit from learning about other techniques and philosophies. Reading this blog can not only advance your knowledge of the various types of martial arts, it can also introduce you to the ins and outs of equipment, basic knowledge, reviews of products, and other information that can help you on your way.

When you read this blog, feel free to browse our variety of articles ranging from different branches of martial arts, different levels, and different types of advice.

You will find this blog valuable if you:

  • Want to learn what you are missing in clas Real life hits you. Just like me, sometimes you can’t dedicate all the time to martial arts as you want. However, even if you are skipping or missing classes that are teaching essential moves and groundwork that lay the foundation for the advancing process of martial arts, or if you can’t go to a class that is showing that move that you have been wanting to master since you started, this blog can help give you a feel for that certain tactic or technique you’re missing and filling that gap that otherwise could hinder you in moving forward with your training.
  • Want to know the basics and advance tricks and tips to give you the edge in training and competition. There is only so much that you can learn while in class. Sometimes, you have to do your homework, as well. Let this blog help you advance in a theoretical way or give you the guidance and motivation you need to train at home or on your own time when a coach maybe isn’t present. Whatever level you may be at, my blog doesn’t want to discriminate. We have articles and information here for the newest of beginners and the most professional of advanced. Feel free to look through our site to find something here for you at GEAR UP.
  • Want to get unbiased reviews and recommendations on martial arts products that will help you in training. If you are looking for opinions that have no sway on your feelings. For example, if you are talking to someone who is sponsored by that particular brand or has a great amount of influence on your development in the martial arts, you might be subconsciously dragged one way or another. We want to offer you unbiased reviews and descriptions of products that can help you on your journey, without forcing you to purchase a certain product or feel like you can only support a certain brand. We lay out the facts.

Benefits of martial arts:

  • Offers a total body workout. If you are just looking for a way to get in shape using an outlet that engages all the muscles in your body, martial arts is what you’re looking for. This total body workout focuses on your stamina, flexibility, strength, balance, and muscle tone. It also offers a total body benefit, from an improved cardiovascular health to lowering cholesterol and all the negative effects that come along with these statuses of your physiological system.
  • Works on a healthy lifestyle. Here we are not only talking about physical aspects and the effects of martial arts on your body. A healthy lifestyle also entitles a healthy diet, an improved self-confident outlook, a centralized focus and ability to be calm, still, and react to situations in a different way. Martial arts can easily transfer over the way you carry yourself in training to the way you go approach your life and learn where your weaknesses lie. Martial arts can help you be still, be challenged, and be focused.
  • Centers your morale. No matter what you believe in or what philosophy you follow, martial arts can offer not only a high amount of physical and lifestyle benefits, it also helps you centralize or develop a wisdom and discipline for your morality. Martial arts can help you control your aggressiveness and impulsive actions. It can help you become more patient, insightful or calm, especially in the presence of adversity. Overall, you will develop a better attitude, a right frame of mind, and virtues that can stay at your core for the rest of your life.
  • Puts you in a better mood. Not only do martial arts give your body an immediate effect because of the adrenaline, endorphins, and serotonin that are released during activity, it can also improve your mood, even when you’re not working out. You can relieve stress while you’re engaging in training, release frustration in anger at a specific target or goal, and you can overall become happier. What you are doing for your body and for your lifestyle can overall improve your outlook on life.

Benefits of having the right gear

  • Avoid injuries. When you’re competing and engaging in sports, getting injured is sometimes inevitable. However, if you have the proper gear, even the proper size of a specific gear, it can be the difference between getting injured and avoiding it.
  • Improve your form. When performing in the martial arts, most of your power and execution comes from having the proper form. When you have the right gear, for example, wrapping your hands the right way with the proper material, will give yourself the best chance to throw the most proper and most effective punch and receive the impact from blocking. Depending on how you are wrapping your hand, it can help instruct you on how to keep your form, which in turn can help you best perform.
  • Know the most important gear. When reading this blog, we can help inform you of the most important items you’ll need when you first begin or point you to some of the best brand products that you might already have. For example, when fighting, one of the most important items is a gum shield. Even though while you are training, most gyms don’t allow punches to the face, there is a great chance you will get unintentionally struck. Protecting your teeth is very important.
  • Most basic yet important details. For example, knowing that you need a suitable pair of shorts or if you’re a guy, to get a box or cup to protect yourself is information that you might not have even realized but it is just common knowledge among fighters. Too tight shorts will really put a damper on the entire experience or training session and so will getting hit when you’re not wearing a cup — for obvious reasons.

Benefits exercising the right way.

  • Knowing proper form can help you avoid injury. An injury is one the most common reason why people stop exercising or are not able to train. Even though they are quite inevitable, learning the proper form can help you decrease your chances of getting injured. For example, throwing a punch or landing a kick, if done improperly can actually get you injured. Learning how to properly stand to be able to easily and quickly defend yourself is also very important to be able to avoid injury. You will be taken through these steps in my blog and I hope it can help you.
  • Knowing how to warm up and cool down can help you learn and then teach. One of the most overlooked aspects of working out, in general, is learning how to warm up and cool down. However, they are two of the most important aspects when it comes to working out in a whole. Especially if you are looking to workout and then teach others martial arts, you will want to be able to do it in a proper way. Teaching future generations is even more important than teaching yourself. Even if you don’t plan on being a teacher, trainer or coach, you might be leaving more of an impression on young fighters than you would think.
  • Knowing the right amount for you can help enhance your experience. By this, we mean exercise and training. Sometimes, too much of a good thing can be bad. Through our blog and proper education, you can learn what the sweet spot is for you when it comes to how often or how much you should train. Especially with martial arts, you will need a break and off days to recover, especially from a tough day in training. However, through our blog, you will be taught all the ins and outs of this part of training, even what type of active recovery you can do.
  • Being open to everything can help keep you from getting bored. Sometimes, training for the same fighting skill or martial arts technique can get pretty monotonous. Here on the blog, there are various other sports that can coincide with your martial arts training and other ways or practices that can go hand-in-hand with what you want to accomplish through your martial arts training. Being able to vary your training and knowing the information beforehand to know that there are various sports and other types of training that can actually help you on your martial arts journey all the while keeping things interesting is something that you can benefit from early on in martial arts.


Enjoy going through our blog and website, from one article to another you will always find a new piece of information for you to put into practice, regardless if you are new to martial arts or if you’ve been in it for years.

If you like what you see, feel free to always keep coming back for more. There are new blogs coming from new authors to give you new views and information to best help you on your journey.

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