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"Superman" spotted atop the podium at IBJJF Worlds in Anaheim, CA

Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"

We came to you just over six months ago to report that Syracuse, New York Featherweight; Shane "Super" Manley (5-5) who was working security at a bar (Orange Crate Brewing Co) in Syracuse, was shot in the stomach while disarming a gunman attempting to enter the establishment following an altercation with another patron. Manley was rushed to Upstate University Hospital, where he worked as a security guard by day, and would undergo emergency surgery to repair the wound left in his abdomen. Shane would eventually endure two surgeries to repair damage to both his small and large intestines as well as his colon.

Manley described the entire experience as "unreal" to me during a phone conversation this week, "I was the only thing between the bullet and a crowd of people," from what he recalls about the moment the gun went off, to showing up at Upstate University Hospital not as an employee but as a patient, in need of urgent care. "I remember showing up to Upstate conscious and fully aware of my injuries." Shane said, and that is where he would spend the next week of his life with a team of doctors and his girlfriend Marissa by his side. Shane was reminded of walking familiar halls with his walker, before graduating to wheeling around his I.V. bag and eventually being released.

After his release Shane found himself with a lot of time on his hands, clearly unable to work or train Shane began his physical recovery by going for walks with his new puppy. "There is a store about half a mile from my house, we would walk there, get him a treat and walk home." After four weeks Manley was cleared to up their daily walks to a brisk jog and after six weeks doctors cleared him to begin a light lifting regiment. "It was crazy," Shane recalled "I was training for a physical test for employment in the weeks leading up to the whole thing. I was 170 pounds, could run a mile and a half in nine minutes and was hitting 72 pushups and situps in 60 seconds. I left the hospital 150 pounds and in a wheelchair, but I'm not the kind of person to cry over things I cannot control."

"I'm not the kind of person to cry over things I cannot control."

Eventually Shane would return to the mats, at first as an instructor; "I began instructing techniques only from top position because my core was still sensitive when rolling," then he progressed to light rolling and eventually made it back to training full time with very few lingering effects physically from the wound. "I've got a pretty big scar down my stomach now, in most positions I don't notice it, but it can still become irritated from rolling." But with clearance from his doctors and one of the most dominant grappling games around in his back pocket, Shane Manley entered the IBJJF Pan No Gi Championships in Texas in October, winning the Lightweight Masters Brown Belt bracket Gold Medal on points (10-0) against last years (2021) IBJJF World Bronze medalist Christopher Han.

While in Texas for the Pans Manley not only brought home gold, he struck up a friendship with New England Lightweight veteran Leon "Dynamite" Davis (11-3, MMA, Tri-Force MMA), who also brought home Gold, his coming in the Purple belted division. "I had seen Leon fight before, back in 2016 at a CES event, when my boy Kenny Foster fought Calvin Kattar, I was there cornering....Turns out Leon and I both Wrestled in Junior College, not at the same time, but we had a couple mutual friends who introduced us in Texas at the Pans." Manley and Davis' performances in Texas earned them an invitation to the IBJJF Worlds last weekend in Anaheim, California, where the two east coast rollers; Manley and Davis would share an Airbnb for the week during the competition.

"Leon won his (Gold) Medal on Thursday so our schedules were a little off," described Manley who would not end up hitting the mats until Sunday, the closing day of the tournament. "I had never been to California before, my girlfriend and I got to ride bikes on Newport and Venice Beach but I didn't go too crazy with food or anything as I had to stay on weight." Manley checked in Sunday with his weight on point (162.5 pounds) as he looked to navigate through the best Brown Belt Lightweight grapplers in the World. Shane humbly described his performance in the Semi-Finals "I hit my finishing move in the Semis, I transitioned from cradle to finish the guy with a D'arce (Choke) in less than a minute."

A D'arce choke that would solidify his position in the finals against old friend Christopher Han, the very same man Manley handled 10-0 to win his Gold Medal at the Pans. "I felt ok at the Pans in October, but if felt exceptionally good at the Worlds last weekend in California." That improvement in condition would prove to be a very big problem for Mr. Han, who was dealt a lopsided shellacking (15-0 on points) at the hands on newly crowned IBJJF World Tournament Gold Medalist; Shane "Super" Manley.

Something tells me this is just the tip of the comeback iceberg for a very motivated Manley, who did not turn down the prospect of returning to the cage in the future. "I'm not opposed to it if the opportunity presents itself." said Manley on his return to the MMA realm. Either way after just 7 months removed from his heroics at the Orange Crate Brewing Co. Manley is making the best of every opportunity he has to be on the mats, whether its competing or teaching his craft to his young students. Speaking to Manley you can tell that he is grateful to be back on the mats and competing at the highest levels once again.

Manley would not let it go without mentioning that he was thankful for everyone who checked in on him during what he calls his "all time low." He mentioned the particular support from a former opponent; UFC Featherweight Bill Algeo (16-7) who donated his autographed UFC walkout hoodie to a benefit for Manley following the shooting. "Algeo is the man," Shane explained, "I reached out to many former training partners, who will remain unnamed, about donating to a fund raiser I was having...Bill was one of the only ones to answer the call." Manley also mentioned Ben Tallini of Haven Jiu Jitsu who was instrumental in getting Shane to both the Pan and World Championships this year.

So for those of you wondering what happened to Shane Manley following his heroic display May 15th in Syracuse, New York, you have your answer. Shane is thriving, continuing to use his Grappling skills and knowledge to not only win Gold Medals but to educate youngsters about his craft and assist in their transition into positive members of society. So next time you see Shane Manley, whether it be on the mats, in the cage or just taking his dog for a walk, make sure you understand his nickname "Super Manley" is more than just a moniker, but a way of life. And many of us could learn a thing or two from the selflessness of the grappling security guard from Syracuse, a hero in a society that needs a savior now, more than ever.

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