Spartan Fitness MMA Team Hits the Big Screen in "Embattled" Movie filmed in Birmingham, Alabama

Spartan Fitness MMA Team Hits the Big Screen in "Embattled" Movie filmed in Birmingham, Alabama

“Embattled,” an MMA movie filmed here in Birmingham, Alabama features several of your coaches and teammates executing some high-level Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stunts on the big screen! "Embattled" is a film about a father and son’s tumultuous relationship, both with the world of mixed martial arts and with each other. The film was released this past weekend in select theaters and on digital platforms including Amazon Video, Vudu, iTunes, and On Demand. The movie was filmed in 2018 and when the cast and crew of “Embattled” came to Birmingham, we were fortunate enough to be able to share our facility and knowledge of martial arts with them and make lifelong relationships in the process. 

Spartan Fitness was host to a star-studded stunt team, as they trained like true martial artists to perfectly choreograph and execute fight scenes. Don Lee (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End), Fernando Chien (The Accountant), Ross Kohnstam (Deadpool), and Alex Benevent (The Punisher) are among the greats in the business and seeing firsthand the hard work required for stunts gave us a new appreciation for all of the action films we know and love. Lead actors Stephen Dorff and Darren Mann were all-in for the training as well, and the dedication to their craft truly showed throughout the long hours they spent on the mats. Our coaches were able to train alongside the crew, learn from some of the best in the business, and even help with the fight choreography. Thanks to them, Coaches Chris, Ethan, and David are now SAG-AFTRA members, and have already been able to take part in other films. We are truly grateful for the lessons learned and the friendships forged in the making of the film. 

We ran into some familiar faces on set, like the former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley, and UFC veteran and commentator Kenny Florian. Tyron even stopped by the gym to fill in at the front desk! The mixed martial arts community is truly like no other. The film crew did a fantastic job making everything as true to the fight game as possible, and we loved getting to catch up with some of our UFC family! 

In “Embattled,” you’ll find Coach Chris refereeing the bouts, and Coach Ethan and Coach David going toe-to-toe with the lead characters. Coach Kevin gets in on some gritty training sessions with actor Said Taghmaoui, and Coach Tyler gets to teach a tough lesson about sparring. If you take a look in the corners, the gym, and all throughout the movie- you’ll find several of your other teammates! We thoroughly enjoyed being part of the film and appreciate the opportunity we were given to be involved in the entire process. We are especially grateful to director Nick Sarkisov, producers Scott LaStaiti and Eryl Cochran, stunt coordinator Don Lee, and fight choreographer Fernando Chien for working with us and trusting us to be part of the project. The experience is something we will never forget! 

The film was written by David McKenna (American History X), directed by Nick Sarkisov, and stars Stephen Dorff (True Detective), Darren Mann (Giant Little Ones), and Elizabeth Reaser (Twilight). “Embattled” is available now on Amazon Video, Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and On Demand! 






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