New Mexico's Nomadic Vadiano La Luz Makes Kickboxing Debut at 'Combat in the Cage 5'
Vadiano La Luz is a name well-known in combat sports circles in Albuquerque, NM. A professional cagefighter and kickboxer, La Luz has been a part of New Mexico's martial arts community for the last seven years.
La Luz considers himself a pioneer of intramural training and association around the area; choosing to train and teach at multiple facilities around town, giving and gaining everywhere he goes.
He will be making his kickboxing debut at Combat Zone's "Combat in the Cage 5" on Saturday, August 25, 2012, at Westwood Fitness & Sports Center in Sterling, IL, in an exhibition match against Westwood's own Head Kickboxing instructor, Brent Sisson.
Originally from New York, La Luz attended high school Illinois from 10th grade; he participated briefly on soccer and basketball teams, but was a troubled youth and soon dropped the sports, but began training in Wing Chun Gung Fu at the age of 14. "It was mostly for street self-defense, and street-fighting."
After high school, he wanted to get out of the dangerous lifestyle he'd adopted, and to that end, migrated to New Mexico, to be with his family. Shortly after he arrived, he enrolled in a Kung Fu school in Albuquerque, and began working in the electrical trades, becoming a journeyman electrician.
When a friend suggested he try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a growing art with the advent of Royce Gracie to the UFC, he signed up at Albuquerque Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He trained there for several years, earning his four-stripe blue belt under William Carpenter, and taking his first amateur MMA fight there, against FIT NHB's Jerome Rethmel.
Although he lost that fight, he became friends with Rethmel, and eventually, with the blessing of ABQ BJJ and William Carpenter, made the move to train at FIT NHB also. He trained and fought out of FIT for a couple years, garnering an 8-2 amateur fight record, along with a 2-2 amateur boxing record.
Throughout the last several years, he has participated in many grappling tournaments, including Grappler's Quest, NAGA, and Grapplefest, usually bringing home medals, many times gold, in advanced No-Gi division. Due to a management disagreement almost three years ago, La Luz matriculated to Jackson-Winkeljohn in November 2009.
About nine months later, he took his first professional fight, after consulting Coach Greg Jackson and obtaining his approval, against Terrell Davis. Although he lost that fight and the next, by decision, his won most recent fight, for Mescalero Warrior in February 2011, by submission (arm bar) in the first round.
He needed to work full time to pay bills, so he took a break from fighting, but not training, and in fact, became a full-time Certified personal trainer, as well as a martial arts instructor; teaching boxing, kickboxing, grappling and MMA classes at Mean1 MMA and LA Boxing.
In the last year or so, some high school friends of La Luz created an MMA promotion called "Combat in the Cage"; about six weeks ago, they asked La Luz to be on the card, as the main event. Ready to fight again, La Luz eagerly agreed, and has been focusing his training on kickboxing since then. After this match, La Luz is interested in getting an MMA fight, hopefully before the end of the year.
When he is not training himself or others, or teaching classes at various gyms, La Luz is an avid snowboarder and likes to spend time with wife, Jennifer, and with his two dogs.
PHOTO BY WILL FOX