The humble beginnings of the Dominion Training Camp

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Dominion Fighting Alliance is hosting their second Ruling and Reigning Series of Texoma at the MPEC this Saturday and it is going to be an eventful night full of kicks and tricks.

Eric Villarreal began investing part-time in a gym to help his daughter. He never looked at it as a career, but he says destiny chose this path for him and now he doesn’t know what life would be without it

“I originally started it because of my daughter,” Villarreal said. “She had some bullying issues, some self-esteem issues. I started it because of her.”

A few years ago Villarreal’s life changed forever. He was laid off, leaving him with a choice of holding on to something that people said was a long shot, or ignoring the outside noise and going for it.

“While other people were sending out resumes and getting jobs, I put everything into a gym,” Villarreal said. “It made no sense. Out of that, multiple times of just wanting to give up, ‘I can’t do this, I’m not qualified enough, I’m not certified enough and I don’t have enough fight experience.’ That was the language and if I had listened to those then I wouldn’t be where I am at right now.”

What started as a gym to help his daughter turned into a lifestyle and a culture that not only benefited him, but everyone that chose to step into the ring.

“Say anybody who is just kind of bankrupt, spiritually, mentally and confidence-wise, it just became this bridge that kind of autocorrects all kinds of unbalances in a person,” Villarreal said.

“We call it the living room,” Miguel Alvarez, Dominion Training Camp fighter, said. “Everybody is really friendly. As soon as I came here everybody was like ‘hey, what’s your name, what’s your story, where are you from?’ Everybody was welcoming me and I was like this is really different from what I am used to. It was really nice, it is like a home atmosphere. Everybody is taking care of each other.”

Alvarez has been training at the Dominion Training Camp for about three months now. He said he was nervous when he first stepped inside the ring but the support from the community shook off all his nerves.

“I didn’t know anybody here and I hop in the ring and next thing you know I hear everybody screaming my name and I was like how do these people know me,” Alvarez said. “It helped me out because I was nervous and hearing them chant for me and stuff, I was like that’s awesome.”

Alvarez has one goal in mind and his coach said his intent for pursuing his career in the gym was meant to give everyone a chance to reach their goal.

“The goal is to be the champion of the world, man honestly,” Alvarez said.

“That’s what our space is about,” Villarreal said. “It’s just about giving the amateur the opportunity that they normally wouldn’t get to show their art and to progress from the amateur into the pro world. It all started right here in this ring.”

Villarreal said if you want to make something happen, you have to go all in toward it. You have to finish as strong as you started.

“You have to be able to look at that person in the mirror and be okay with that person and know that that is who you have to be for the life of that business,” Villarreal said. “If you are not okay with that person, just go change it, get back to it and try again until you get it right.”

You have the chance to see a bunch of Dominion Training Camp fighters in action this Saturday. They will have anywhere from 10 to 14 matches with three different types of fighting. Every superstar as humble beginnings, for some it may start here.

Tickets will cost you $30 each. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the first match kicks off at 7 p.m. All the action will take place in the Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall.

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