Suncoast MMA / Gulf Coast FCS Kali

Published on 21 March 2014 in Business
Katie Thomas (author)

Katie Thomas


Location(s): Suncoast MMA
Chris Scura & Ray Norton

Chris Scura & Ray Norton

Students find inspiration and learn to immerse themselves in an old age art form at Suncoast MMA/Gulf Coast FCS Kali, where they can train in ancient martial arts for success in everyday situations. Located on Old County Road 54 in Trinity, Suncoast MMA/Gulf Coast FCS Kali offers a diverse number of classes for youths and adults that teach discipline, knowledge, technique, power, concentration, stress-relief and self-defense through mixed martial arts training and Filipino Martial Arts with two very experienced instructors.

Ray Norton and Chris Scura have been friends and training partners for years. The two have a passion and great respect for mixed martial arts, which is why they chose to begin teaching in the Trinity community. Ray and Chris have a goal for the school to become a hub for learning and sharing multiple styles of martial arts, where trainers and students alike can meet to expand their knowledge.

Chris Scura began his journey with martial arts over 37 years ago at age 10, when a karate school opened up on his block. Originally from New York, Chris trained and instructed classes for 15 years before moving to the Tampa Bay Area. Chris was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2000 and has studied all over the world with Shihan Hansen, Joyce Gracie, Gokor Chivichyan, Grand Master Presas, Benny the Jet Urquidez and Master Gene Labelle. His background and unique experience has been an inspiration to local students at Suncoast MMA for the past five years.

“We do a lot of self-confidence and self-esteem building here,” says Chris. “Training in Martial Arts isn’t just fighting like some people think. We focus on passing down an art form of protection that dates back throughout known history. From listening skills to balance and hand-eye coordination, our students are taught a wide range of techniques that can be applied in everyday real world settings.”

Chris has two black belts in jiu jitsu and a 4th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He instructs kids from ages five and up at Suncoast MMA. Parents love the stability and concentration Chris helps instill into their children, as well as his instructing style.

Olivia has three children taking classes at Suncoast MMA. She says, “My daughters, ages 8 and 9, and my son who is 14, all attend Suncoast MMA. Not only do they love it; they have benefited so much from the time they spend there. Since starting over two years ago, we have seen positive changes in all three of them. Outwardly they have greatly increased their fitness levels. They are physically stronger and have a great deal more stamina than before they started. They are also more emotionally confident and have learned to interact with others in a self-assured manner. Thanks to Suncoast MMA, I now have a better comfort level with their personal safety and have no doubt they could put up quite a fight if they ever had to defend themselves in a violent situation. Sensei Chris is fantastic with students. He balances his classes with a strict, no-nonsense attitude, while still being fun, caring and age-appropriate. His approach with each student is slightly different; he seems to push them only as much as they need. We are very lucky to have found this dojo and we hope our kids continue to study for a very long time!”

Ray began practicing Martial Arts as a kid and in the 90s he became interested in Chinese Wing Chung Kungfu, which he studied for eight years. Ray then started a family and dedicated most of his focus to his home-life. Then in 2007, he decided to get back into training and he found his favorite of the martial arts, Filipino Combat System, a bladed Filipino Martial Art (FMA). Ray says, “Filipino Combat System or FCS is a weapons-based art that was created in the Philippines for protection. The Philippines were invaded a lot; so early tribes learned long weapon, short weapon and hand-to-hand combat in order to defend their land and families. The system I teach is in over 96 countries and is used by militaries. The system I practice and teach here at Suncoast MMA was developed by Tuhon Ray Dianaldo in order to combine multiple FMA styles. Tuhon’s style of FMA is created to share many different forms of martial arts and to be politics free.”

Ray teaches older teenagers and adults the art of FCS and finds that the mental and physical components in class offer him and others a way to overcome and release stress. Ray is the Indian Rocks Fire Department District Chief and for him, martial arts are a way to combat and ease his stress from work. “Everything simplifies when you are focused on your technique, movements, mental and physical aspects during class,” says Ray. “It is almost like a getaway while you’re here because the only thing you are concentrating on is your skill and the outside world just fades away for a little while.”

FCS is a great form of martial arts to learn as a beginner or to add on to existing knowledge.

Ray’s student Jay Stratton says, “I have been training FCS Kali and working with Ray for a little over two years now. Ray has shown me many different techniques and concepts for blade fighting through the art of FCS. I was a U.S. Army Paratrooper and Special Operations Medic for over eight years with multiple combat deployments. I have trained with a large variety of people with different concepts and styles. FCS is the first system I have ever seen that takes ancient martial arts of many different styles and combines them to fit modern combat. Ray has shown me concepts that I have never seen before nor have I ever thought of. The system that Ray teaches works well for gaining awareness of your body and surroundings, as well as modern day operational combative tactics. I highly recommend the FCS system to anyone who wants to learn a well-rounded combat system. I can say that from my little time training with Ray and FCS that I have become more diverse and lethal on combat techniques as well as self-defense.”

Learn an Ancient Art

Lose yourself in mastering an ancient practice that not only teaches defense and protection tactics, but also trains your physical body, mind and attitude in a way that can be stress relieving and confidence boosting. Ray and Chris are passionate about sharing and teaching the tradition of mixed martial arts to as many generations as possible. Both men teach for their love of the art.

You won’t have to sign contracts or agree to memberships at Suncoast MMA; but you will be required to have a willingness and desire to learn. There are classes for adults to children aged five an up. Whatever your fitness level or experience; Ray and Chris will help you find balance while teaching you the best form of self-defense available.

Mixed Martial Arts classes are offered on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; Junior Beginner is from 5:30 to 6:25 p.m.; Junior Advanced is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Adult class is 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Kickboxing classes are held every Wednesday from 6 to 6:45 p.m. Filipino Combat System (FCS) and Kali classes are taught on Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m.

You can also speak directly to Chris and Ray about other classes that are offered throughout the week during evenings and on Saturdays.

To check out a FCS Kali Stick Grappling Seminar featuring Guro (the Filipino word for teacher) Nate Hill, contact Suncoast MMA for information. The event will take place on April 13th.

Suncoast MMA is located at 8515 Old County Road 54 in New Port Richey (across the street from Carmelita’s Mexican Restaurant). For more information, please call (727) 809-9991 or visit online at or

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