For the Fagliers, mixed martial arts has always been a family business.
“I was in his corner and now he’s in my corner,” Jason Faglier Jr. said of his father, Jason Faglier.
The elder Faglier competed in various martial arts events through the years, including professionally. While training and competing, the younger Faglier would be by his side as a training partner and supporter.
“I’ve had other training partners and supporters who went with me, but it’s been a family affair,” Faglier said. “We do it all together.”
His growth in the sport at such a young age for Faglier Jr. culminated in an International Sport Karate Association South Carolina title on Jan. 28 in Columbia. He defeated Mitchell Hatton in a first-round submission at 1:20, earning the state title belt at the Caged Chaos event at Jamil Temple.
The win pushed Faglier Jr. to 5-0 in his career. The 19-year-old bantamweight competitor, who fights at 135 pounds, claimed his third first-round victory, and none of his five fights have lasted more than three rounds.
Faglier, trainer for his son, said his pre-fight training led to a well-executed fight.
“As far as preparation goes, we had a really good training camp,” he said. “We had a plan to fight specifically for this guy, what we were expecting from him, and we executed perfectly.”
The relationship of father as trainer and son as fighter began early. Ever since he was old enough to walk, Faglier Jr. has trained with his father, working toe-to-toe to reach the level of professional fighter. The top goal is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and father and son have the confidence he will get there.
The younger Faglier attributes the motivation of the elder Faglier for his success and own dedication to the sport.
“Ever since I was a kid, I just did whatever with daddy at the house,” he said. “He would teach me at home. We finally got our own school, so I come up here and train all the time. I was born into it.
“He’s definitely the most influential person that I’ve ever had in my life. He does everything you would expect a father to do and more. Everything I’ve ever learned he’s showed me. I’ve always had that I want to be like daddy attitude.”
The shadowing of father remains evident. Faglier owns Kempo Karate School on Peach Orchard Road in Augusta, a school designed to welcome anyone willing to try self defense or martial arts, as well as an outlet for kids in the area to keep them out of trouble. Faglier Jr., along with his two brothers, help their father teach at the school. Faglier said he sees some in the classes who go straight to his sons for help before him.
As a teacher, Faglier said it’s not only rewarding to help others improve in the sport, but it also helps improve the teacher as a fighter.
Faglier Jr. agreed, saying it’s rewarding to see when it clicks for someone, but it also helps to analyze and break down each move in order to improve himself.
Faglier Jr. is a freshman at Augusta State University, with expectations of becoming a physician’s assistant. It’s his backup plan if professional fighting doesn’t work out, but his initial climb through the ranks has been a success.
The climb continues as he goes for the North Carolina state title on March 30 against Salah Hemidach, who is 5-2. Faglier Jr. also has a match tentatively scheduled for May 5 as a South Carolina title defense, although the opponent has not been officially announced.
For the Fagliers, as preparation begins for upcoming matches, it is certain that father will be there to train son.
“All the training partners come and go, but we’re always here together,” Faglier Jr. said.