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Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

Inside the gym: River City MMA

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

Eric Clarkson was born and raised in St. Louis and has studied martial arts since we was 11-years-old. After years dedicating himself to many aspects of the sport, he has now opened his own mixed martial arts facility.

Alongside talented female martial artist, Liz Turpin, the two opened River City MMA in the heart of Soulard.

Check out the video tour below to go Inside the Gym.

Clarkson holds belts in many systems and is currently looking to earn a black belt in Budoshin Jujitsu some time after the first of the year. He has spent many years as a personal trainer and worked as a performance enhancement specialist for the National Academy of Sport Science since 2006.

As the head coach of the River City Warriors fight team, Clarkson has coached rising prospects Ronnie and Jesse Farmer, Greg Caldwell, Jonathan Stotler, and Turpin.

"My main function for the gym is to make sure everyone is meeting their technical and fitness goals and are prepared for competition," Clarkson said. "Should they choose to compete, I am also the assistant judo coach and no-gi jujitsu instructor."

Clarkson and Turpin have enlisted the help of Justin Pollette as the judo instructor, a black-belt in Kotokan Judo and soon to be brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Pollette also splits time at the sister-school Anaconda MMA in the Mid-Rivers Mall.

Roberto 'Bob' Martinez is the boxing coach.

"Bob brings a mix of old-school methods and modern science to our Boxing program," Clarkson said. "We are very happy to have him on staff."

Clarkson and Turpin are planning a grand opening event on March 1st but are open for business now. A grappling tourney and K-1 fights are currently being planned. Check out their website at