By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: June 2012
Thomas Longacre, owner of Thunderkick Fitness.
Thomas “Thunderkick” Longacre grew up in the community of Kellyville. For the past six years, he has lived in Tyler, Texas, where he opened his first Thunderkick Fitness facility in 2010 and taught mixed martial arts (MMA). Longacre is a well-known and respected mixed martial arts fighter and still competes throughout the United States. He has recently opened his new Thunderkick Fitness, which borders the line between Tulsa and Jenks. Longacre will be traveling back and forth between Tulsa and Tyler to help and support his Texas-based MMA team.
“It’s great to be back in the Tulsa area and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation,” says Longacre. His goal is to benefit the martial arts community and help those who are trying to get in shape. Thunderkick Fitness offers a variety of classes, including Kids Karate (4 to 12 years), Beginning MMA, Advanced MMA, Cardio Kickboxing, and Personal Training and Fitness. When you see and talk with Longacre, you’ll know he practices the disciplines he teaches.
“Growing up in Kellyville, I had a strong connection to this area and wanted to try to give something back to the Tulsa community,” he stated. “I hope Thunderkick Fitness will be a great benefit to all area residents, giving young and old alike a great opportunity to learn MMA and experience the great feeling of getting into shape.” Longacre says he’s here to stay.
Although the past several months have found Longacre working hard to get his new gym completed and open, he has still found time to reach out by speaking to kids in surrounding communities. He has had speaking engagements at his alma mater, Kellyville High School, and at a juvenile detention center in Enid. He enjoys sharing his experiences of life while growing up, his love of mixed martial arts, and his career. He is a great example that even though you may come from a small town, you still have the opportunity to do big things with your life.
Longacre teaches the styles he was raised on, which is a combination of taekwondo and Goju-Ryu. He and his staff also teach other disciplines that include boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, and of course, MMA. “I want to combine all of these specialties into one to help my students become true mixed martial artists and able to adapt to any situation,” he explains. “I want to challenge my students, young or old, not to be one-dimensional.”
“Some people think that mixed martial arts encourages violence, but in reality it does just the opposite,” Longacre adds. Students are not taught to go out and start fights. They are, however, taught how to defend themselves if ever they are in a situation where they have no choice. Longacre says that a lot of the fight stances they teach students are with their hands up in the air. This stance itself shows the aggressor that the person “under attack” is trying to avoid confrontation. Students are taught to defend themselves if, and only when, they have no alternative.
Longacre is currently focusing his attention on staying in great condition himself, on making a success of Thunderkick Fitness, and on helping others learn MMA, get in shape, and have a wonderful time accomplishing weight, conditioning, and fitness goals. Drop by, meet Thomas Longacre, and see the beautiful Thunderkick Fitness center.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.