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August 22, 2013
Ultimate’s New Dojo at 12 B Street
By Rick Winterson

Andrea Muccini, the Ultimate Self Defense founder, trainer, and black belt in her own right.

About 15 years ago, Andrea Muccini was asked by Gene Frechette, a student of hers, to help him complete his black belt training.  The “Ultimate Self Defense” dojo grew from that small start.  By the year 2000, Andrea was in charge of a thriving martial arts school in the basement of the Rent-A-Center building at 471 West Broadway.  Her reason for doing this:  “I wanted to do something for the kids.

”For many years, through floods and problems with funding, she and her expert assistants – often former students – taught South Boston’s young people martial arts, including her own specialty – Ten Chi Keno.  She has built a team of world-class instructors.  This is on top of her full-time responsibilities as Manager of Physical Therapy for Suburban Home Health Care (Boston).

Eventually, Ultimate Self Defense moved out of their basement quarters and into the second floor at 471 West Broadway.  But fate always intervenes at its own pace, time, and place.  The building at 471 was sold to Acorn of Newton; there wasn’t room to continue the Ultimate Self Defense dojo there.

This led to meetings, conversations, phone calls to ex-students at Ultimate Self Defense, and so on.  One alternate was for Andrea to close Ultimate Self Defense and its dojo.  But when she asked her students, “What do you want to do?”, it was unanimous – “Stay open!”  So she did.

Well, that’s easier said than done.  A rental deposit and the need for new mats were estimated to cost many thousands of dollars.  At one point, Andrea considered dipping into her own savings.  Mark Edwards and Acorn of Newton pitched in.  The empty 12 B Street location had been a warehouse in the past, so it was converted into a dojo.  Ultimate Self Defense moved in on July 1.  Many of her original students showed up to help rebuild.  According to Andrea, “We’ve come full circle.”

Andrea went to Las Vegas this year, and dropped in on Dana White, whom she knows well.  White is the President of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).  When Andrea explained about relocating Ultimate Self Defense, White immediately said, “I’ll help.”  That offer resulted in all new mats, which are essential equipment for martial arts training.  Take a look at them the next time you’re at the dojo.

So, South Boston Online is pleased (very pleased) to report that Ultimate Self Defense is up and thriving in their new dojo at 12 B Street.  We can only give you a few highlights about their activities and events, but you can see Ultimate’s complete story on the dojo’s website (ultimateselfdefense.com): 

-  Andrea has just started free – yes, free – classes for South Boston women to learn basic self defense after the recent violent tragedies here.  Check it out; take advantage of her offer. 
-  She recently was asked by her original student, Gene Frechette, to conduct the marriage ceremony between him and his fiancée, Kristin Abbott.  What a joyful event that will be. 
-  This summer, she gave free classes to the kids in the West Broadway development after her move to 12 B Street.  People like Andrea are just nice. 
-  There are typically several classes six nights a week in the dojo, plus selected daytime sessions.  There’s sure to be something that will suit you; check the website (ultimate selfdefense.com) for details.  -  This year, one of Andrea’s students – Maria Dhami – won the Judo National Championship (Junior); another student – Lennie Guerrero-Batz – has been accepted to San Jose State’s prestigious martial arts program. 
-  If you’d like to sponsor a scholarship at Ultimate Self Defense, log onto their website.  They’re a 501(3)(c) operation.

There’s much more going on at Ultimate Self Defenses – more than we have room to write up.  In her usual self-effacing way, Andrea Muccini simply says, “We’re now here at 12 B Street, just doing what we’ve always been doing.”

The spacious and well-equipped Ultimate Self Defense dojo at 12 B Street.

Class begins in the dojo of Ultimate Self Defense.

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