Thanks for visiting Beaufort MMA!

Beaufort MMA is Beaufort, SC’s first and only Mixed Martial Arts Studio. We train students to protect themselves and their families, instill important Character Traits, and hone skills for Competition. Beaufort MMA began in March of 1997 as McCullough Submission Fighting. The founder, Will McCullough opened the gym due to demand from friends and students of private lessons he had been giving in his garage. The curriculum he put together came to be called Zanshindo and focused on learning the techniques so well that they became second nature or muscle memory. In a self-defense situation, you don’t have much time to think, you can only react. So Will developed his curriculum as a way to build reaction based martial arts that covered self defense from standing, the takedown and on the ground.

In its early days, McCullough Submission Fighting became 1 of only a handful of martial arts centers across the US to be officially endorsed by the Ultimate Fighting Championships. In 2003, the gym was passed on to a few of Will’s top students and the name was changed to Beaufort Martial Arts Academy. The curriculum and instruction stayed the same, but more focus was added towards competition. A fight team was developed and students of Beaufort MMA have been in competitions across the nation. In 2014, the business officially became Beaufort MMA and added new classes including USA Boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The same self-defense training is always present even though many new styles and classes have been introduced.

Interested in MMA Classes in Beaufort? We teach mixed martial arts (MMA) and self-defense to all age groups and experience levels. Our students range from 3 years old to 50 years old and above and from brand new martial artists to seasoned competitors. Want to Try a Class? Our classes are very affordable for the experience you will gain, but we will give you an Absolutely FREE Lesson to Try Our School. We also have great family rates too! Need More Information? Take time to read through the information on our site and listen to what our students have to say before making any decisions. You can call or email us with any other questions as well.

Team / Class Gallery

We offer classes for self-defense, fitness, competition, and life skills at Beaufort MMA. Our team is very close knit and we work haard so every member of the gym gets the attention they need. Check out some of our students in class and at competition below.

Our Instructors

Our instructors offer a professional and safe learning center for all of our students. Read about them below or visit the Coaches and Instructors page.
  • Testimonial

    Abe Stem

    Black Shirt in Zanshindo
    Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
    Licensed MMA Cornerman/Trainer

    About Abe Stem

    Abe has been training at Beaufort MMA since 2001 and has been an instructor since 2003. He has competed an trained in many different venues and is the lead instructor at Beaufort MMA. He has extensive training in striking and grappling and offers students a dynamic and creative curriculum that helps them develop in multiple areas simultaneously. Abe enjoys teaching youth students as well as teen and adult students and has coached many fighters to success in amateur and professional competitions. He also dedicates his time to working with military and law enforcement and has trained several close combat and MCMAP instructors from Parris Island as well as with local Fire and Police Departments. Abe's first focus for students is to make sure that they are equipped to defend themselves from any number of threats from one on one altercations, to physical or verbal bullying, to multiple attackers, and even from an opponent in a competition. Because of this he offers many free or low cost seminars for women's self defense, military and law enforcement martial arts seminars, and bully prevention courses for children that are the victim of bullying. If you are interested in Abe speaking or teaching your group, please contact him below.
  • Testimonial

    Brittany Stem

    2nd Degree Black Shirt in Zanshindo
    Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    About Brittany Stem

    Brittany is a strong part of our instructing team at Beaufort MMA. She is gifted with working with children and is a great instructor for the Tiny but Tough class and the youth martial arts program. As an experienced grappler and striker, she is comfortable instructing any class at Beaufort MMA, but is especially beneficial for women looking for instruction in how to deal with a larger or stronger opponent. She has taken a few years off of classes due to having and raising her 3 children, but is dedicated to progress in her martial arts career.
  • Testimonial

    Jack Geren

    2nd Degree Black Belt Zanshino
    2nd degree Black Belt in Chun Kuk Do
    Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

    About Jack Geren

    Jack E. Geren, III, is a skilled 2nd degree Black Belt in the art of Chun Kuk Do, a 2nd Degree Black Belt in ZanShinDo and holds a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Jack began his martial arts training in 1990 studying Chun Kuk Do at Club Karate under the instruction of Master Chuck Elias (currently a 7th degree Black Belt). In January of 2005, Jack expanded his training regimen and began training at Beaufort Martial Arts Academy, a submission fighting school that teaches Zanshindo.  [···]
  • Testimonial

    Rebekah Bodkins

    Black Shirt in Zanshindo
    Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    About Rebekah Bodkins

    Rebekah Bodkins began training in Zanshindo (mixed martial arts) at the age of 13 in 2004. She did not show any hesitation in training with the adult class and solidified her status in the male and female class although she was younger and smaller than most of the other students in the class. She continued her training to earn her black belt in Zanshindo as a teenager (the youngest student to ever achieve that rank) and has since achieved the rank of blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As well as her training in martial arts, Rebekah as experience working with children as a former day care and nursery worker. As an instructor she is able to combine her experience in martial arts and childcare to provide excellent communication of martial arts techniques to her youth students.
  • Testimonial

    Michael Schools

    Black Shirt in Zanshindo
    Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    About Michael Schools

    Michael "Mike" Schools has been training for over a decade at Beaufort MMA. He began training after enrolling his two children, Rebekah and Charles, in our Zanshindo or MMA program. At the young age of 45, he started his journey in MMA and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and has been committed to learning and developing his technique. Mike has competed numerous times and focuses mostly on BJJ currently. He is a black shirt in our Zanshindo curriculum and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After a decade or more of training, he still is able to best most of the younger students that join the class.

  • Testimonial
    Teri Lyn Tamayo, Mother of Two Beaufort MMA Students

    Jheyden's been in speech and O.T. (Occupational Therapy) since December and this MMA group since March and he's only really opened up to people since he's been in MMA, so I really feel like it has been the MMA that's helped him with that. I love this place! Sensei Abe you all are amazing! Your patience and all you instill in those kids are priceless! What and how y'all teach at Beaufort MMA is everything martial arts is meant to be! My kids love it there and all of the wonderful teachers you guys have! As long as we are in Beaufort we will be there!

  • Testimonial
    Deandre Johnson, College Wrestler

    I ALWAYS get a good workout in at Beaufort MMA when I am there. It is very fun working with the kids and it is also a great learning experience as well. The instructors have taught me things that actually helps me from a wrestling point of view, and they know exactly what they are doing. I have never seen someone work so well with kids that are as young as they are... Beaufort MMA is the place to be.

  • Testimonial
    Nate Crocket, Amateur Boxer

    I've learned how to defend myself and also learned self discipline and have become more responsible and mature from training. Chris is a great boxing coach and cares a lot about his fighters and his students. He has taught me a lot about boxing and how to be a fighter.

  • Testimonial
    Shane Dwyer, Beaufort Firefighter

    I started going to Beaufort MMA nearly two years ago, and have loved it ever since. The instructors are knowledgeable and make you feel at home. The guys and girls that attended class with are friendly and will make you feel like family. I would recommend anyone to attend or at least try Beaufort MMA.