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Westheimer Instructor Highlight: Hai Nguyen

 

Birth place: Saigon, Vietnam

Profession: Martial arts instructor

What classes do you teach: BJJ: men's and women's, No-gi BJJ,Fundamentals of Kickboxing, & MMA

What martial art(s) have you trained in: 
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – 1997-present 
Grappling – 1993-present 
Muay Thai/Kickboxing – 1993-present 
Jeet Kune Do/Kali – 1993-present 
Wu shu Kung Fu – 1991 (6 months)

Number of years of training martial arts: I started training in Wu Shu Kung Fu for 6 months when I was 14 years old. Met Eric in 1993 and we have trained everything we could get our hands on.

When did you start teaching at Elite MMA? I started teaching in 1999 when Eric and I founded Elite MMA.

What is a memorable moment for you at Elite MMA? There are so many days to count. If I had to narrow one down it would have been when I got my black belt in BJJ in April of 2006.

In your own words why do you enjoy Elite MMA? Elite is a place where people can come in and be themselves. The past and the future does not matter when you are here it is the present being of yourself that you can be in the moment.

Do you have any martial arts accomplishments that you are proud of and why? I have competed and won tournaments, but all those accomplishments did not amount to the black belt in BJJ. It was not a matter of receiving it, but it was a day I could reflect on my journal from when I was a teenager to a grown adult. I reflected on the journal and all the good people that I have met on the way.

Are there any professional accomplishments that you are proud of and why? Having one of the biggest martial arts school in the country is satisfying. The only reason it is there is because of all the great people that help to make it what it is - the students, staff, and instructors of Elite. 

Any sports/activities that you participated in that you are proud of? I played baseball my freshman and sophomore year for Bellaire and Sharpstown when I was in high school.

What hobbies do you enjoy and why? I went to Costa Rica in 2007 and took surf lessons, it was a great rush. The mental and physical coordination to be one with nature was unreal. Video games and movies when I want to zone out.

Any memorable family moments that you would like to share? When I got married in June of 2009 was just awesome!!! We had our wedding in Tulum, Mexico with close friends and family and it was a great time. Everybody was together and we all shared the present time with one another. Time stood still and the love that we had for each other was in celebration with everyone there.

The new great addition to our family was our daughter, Lexi. Just being with my family at Elite and my family at home is a dream come true. Love creates love and I am so lucky to experience it everyday of my life!!!

Academic accomplishments: Graduated Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a Major in Managing Information Systems and a Minor in European Studies (2000). Cisco Certified Networking Engineer (2000).

If you could walk us through a day or week in your life what would it consist of? During the week I am in and out at Elite MMA – Westheimer. Teaching and training with my students is what inspires me to come in everyday.

 

Greenway Student Highlight— Kristen and Cokie Nerz

What is your name and age?

Cokie Nerz 17 and Kristen C Nerz 50

When did you join Elite MMA?

April for Cokie and June for Kristen

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

Cokie thought it would be a fun way to get in shape while at the same time learning how to defend herself.  Kristen joined because she saw how much Cokie was  enjoying it, the transformation of her body, and her attitude towards her health.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?

Cokie didn’t know where to join and her friend, Morgan Rogers, introduced  her to it.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?

Yes for both.  We take kickboxing and fight fit.  We are interested in joining Jiu jitsu.

 If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?

No concerns.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?

Cokie: Met a lot of new friends, lost a lot of weight and reduced my body fat significantly.

Kristen: Have met a lot of great people, I too have lost weight, have increased my core strength and have a great time with my kid!

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?

MMA makes you more aware of how important your health is.  The Elite MMA family is so tight and makes everyone feel so welcome, no matter what their level skill level is.

 

 

 

Baytown Student Highlight— Sonny Salinas

 

What is your name and age?

My name is Sonny Salinas and I am 32 years of age

When did you join Elite MMA?

I joined Elite MMA in March 2009 when it opened up a location in the Baytown area 

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

I decided to take martial arts since I am always looking for something to challenge me.  At first I said I was going to train for the workout but it became a love, inspiration, motivation and my stress reliever. 

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?

In the past I never thought of taking martial arts but just going to workout at the local 24 hour fitness and  hanging out with friends. I was not a believer of outside the box.  Until I wanted something new to add in my life.  

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?

This is the only time I have ever trained, I wish I would of started a lot younger but age is nothing but a number.  I mainly train Brazilian jiu jitsu and wow its such a great sport. 

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?

I have never had any concerns about Elite MMA.  The coaches there have always treated everyone like family.  Coaches act very professional, courteous, and kind and never do they or any higher ranked students put fear in new students.  

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?

Since I started at Elite MMA I have been able to cope with stress, anger much better and discover new passions.  I love reading books more than my younger days, do memory training, and I am much more of a better role model to my wife and children.  So now I’d rather train at Elite, keep developing myself in and outside the gym, and spend my time with my family to develop together. 

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?

If anyone is looking for a challenge, a competitive edge, or to get a great workout with a good team of coaches and students take that leap of faith come on over to Elite, no matter what age, gender or curiosity of martial arts you have I guarantee you will love it and discover something in you.    As Bruce Lee said there are no limits but only plateaus and we must go beyond them.

 

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