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“When you’re on the mat, nothing else matters”

Filed by KOSU News in Public Insight Network.
November 30, 2012

MESA, ARIZ. — The Spartan Academy is a gym in Mesa, Ariz. that specializes in the American Pankration style of mixed martial arts. Many of the men who train there are combat veterans, recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan.

At Spartan Academy, these men have found a community that understands them, and a training regimen that helps them work through what they’ve experienced. Here are some of their stories.

After combat, a wait

Our ongoing look at the VA’s backlog of veterans’ disability claims

Justin Hayes, left, and Matt Coast compete in a mixed martial arts bout during fight night at the Spartan Academy gym inMesa, Ariz. Both men are combat veterans who spent time deployed in Iraq. (Photo by Brandon Quester for PIN)

Justin Hayes, left, and Matt Coast compete in a mixed martial arts bout during fight night at the Spartan Academy gym inMesa, Ariz. Both men are combat veterans who spent time deployed in Iraq. (Photo by Brandon Quester for PIN)

 

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