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Happy New Year for 2014! We sent out a questionnaire about what classes you the student wanted to see on the schedule. After collecting all the responses and meeting with our great staff we have come up with some great classes for everyone. The new schedule begins this Friday January 10th, 2014 at the Westheimer location.

Listed below are some of the classes that have been added or changed at Westheimer.

Classes Added
6-6:45am Kardio Kickboxing - Monday and Wednesday
7:30-8:15pm Kardio Kickboxing - Monday and Wednesday

Classes Changed
6-7am Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Application - Tuesday and Thursday are Tier 1 & Tier 2 classes.
11:15am-12:15pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Application - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are Tier 1 & Tier 2 classes.
11:30am-12:30pm Teen Boxing - Saturday
12:30-1:30pm Adult Boxing - Saturday
11am-12pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Application - Saturday is a Tier 1 & Tier 2 class.
12pm-1pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Application - Sunday is a Tier 1 & Tier 2 class.
7pm-8pm Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Application - Friday is a Tier 1 & Tier 2 class.

Elite MMA News

Upcoming Belt Test Dates
January 18, 2014
All School Belt Test At Westheimer!!!

Welcome New & Returning Students
Brayden W. Mikey S. Jose C. Jacob S. Luca M.
Brad C. Kyle M. Dorota T. Tayloranne W Trenton P.
Exidous A. Chris L. Ahmet Z. Ethein C. Fernando V. Frank V. Katrena W. Sid P. Christopher L. Jaime L.
Chris A. Stoyan P. Isabela S. Christian N. Phuong B.
Logan W. Josh J. Sheena M. Reid S. Josh M.

Thank You For The Referrals!!!
Bryan U. Shane T. Bill M. Kyle M.

Instructor Highlight: Jose Aguilar

What is your martial arts teaching history and where do you currently teach?
I've been teaching martial arts a little over a year now. I started out assisting the kids jiu jitsu class and moved up to teaching other classes like cardio kickboxing, adult jiu jitsu etc. I am currently teaching at the Westheimer and Greenway locations.

What is your current rank in martial arts?
I am currently a three stripe blue belt in BJJ.

What caused you to start practicing martial arts?
I have always had an interest as a child and ever since I tried my first class in 2010 I have been hooked.

What is your educational background?
I am currently a sophomore at Houston community college. Then I will be looking to transfer at the University of Houston where I will be finishing with a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Do you have a competitive history in martial arts?
Yes, I started competing three months into my training. Mainly jiu jitsu tournaments, I've won many local and international tourna-ments. My most recent accomplishment was taking a gold medal in the Abu Dahbi Jiu Jitsu Trials and the Houston International Open.

What do you see is the main benefit the average individual can receive from martial arts?
The main benefit I see that the average individual will receive is a world-class support system. You are not just someone that comes in and out, you are a part of our community. We makes sure we are there for you and to help you in the goals you want to accomplish.

What is your favorite part about practicing martial arts?
My favorite part about practicing martial arts is that the art is not in one dimension, it is more than that. Its not just physical, it is mental and it involves other areas of your life. Martial arts helps you sharpen yourself in all areas of life, making you a more well-rounded individual.

Where do you hope martial arts will take you later in your life?
I see myself sharing what have been given to me. Really showing people how martial arts really can do positive things in your life.

Kingwood Student Highlight: Omonele Nwokolo

What is your name and age?
Omonele Ohen Nwokolo and I am 33

When did you join Elite MMA?
June 2013 but actually started training July 2013

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts? In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
I wanted something fun and new to do with my son and to keep in shape as well. I'd al-ways wanted to try martial arts; I just never had the opportunity or will to do it.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
Time constraints mostly. I hate doing things half heartedly, so if I can't fully commit, I don't do it. I've had to learn that I can't do it all and be superwoman, I will do the best I can; so for now, I don't make it to training everyday, nor do I even have a set schedule for training. I train when my schedule permits and surprisingly has been a lot more frequent than I anticipated.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
Concerns? Yes, of course. The same concern I have when I go skiing that I am going to break my neck or my arms or my legs! I but I have learn not to be scare and enjoy the ride, this is a work on process.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
I had always been an athlete. I played soc-cer and ran track. But then I went to medi-cal school, started residency training, had children and all of a sudden my life had a lot more other important things than me. I stopped exercising under the guise of not having any time. I started eating poorly and accordingly, I gained a lot of weight. Janu-ary 2013, I decided enough was enough after looking at several recent photos of my bloated face. The hard truth of the fat ex athlete hit me. So I got on a diet and exercise program and in 12 weeks I lost 30 lbs and went from 34% body fat to 17%. I picked up running, but would get hives and trouble breathing after about 8 miles so my hopes for a marathon were dashed so I wanted to do something that would be fun, not give me hives and also keep me close to maintenance of the work I just put in for the trans-formation. Since joining, I have been able to stay within range of the fitness I want and get stronger with my self-defense skills and confidence. I have regained my confidence and I feel I can do essentially whatever I want in terms of fitness.

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get in-volved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?
Stop making excuses; if I can find time to do this, I dare anyone to compare schedules with me. There is no better feeling than that of getting stronger and feeling like you can defend yourself should you ever need to. Best of all, when you finally submit someone bigger and stronger than you, the smile and pride in your head is uncontain-able… but you smile a simple smile and say good job!!

Westheimer Student Highlight: Ben & Trevor Robertson

What is your name and age?
Ben Robertson, 45 years old, CPA & Audit Partner. My son, Trevor Robertson recently turned 5 years old and will hopefully be a student for the next 20 years.

When did you join Elite MMA?
I originally joined Elite in 2006. Trevor joined in August of 2013.

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
I started taking martial arts at 11 years old after getting into a 4-on-1 playground altercation - my dad told me to never start a fight, to always walk away when possible, but under no cir-cumstances to ever back down from bullies. The next day he promptly enrolled me in a local Tae Kwon Do school. I loved it. Trevor started his journey because his mom and I believe that people should be enabled to make decisions based on their strengths (and common sense), not on their fears.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
During recent years I have struggled internally to make time for myself. Working at two Big 4 international accounting firms, subse-quently founding our own CPA firm, having my first child (both the firm and Trevor were born during the start of the recession), all while consistently working an average of at least 70 hours per week, were excellent and noble justifications to neglect my health – both physically and spiritually. But, to paraphrase Eric Williams, "Great excuses are great, but they are still excuses", so now I am starting my journey again – older and with more humility. Once Trevor was old enough for Elite to accept him as a student he has-n't looked back!

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
In the past I have studied Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Praying Mantis Kung Fu, Muay Thai and Boxing. I am now beginning to study BJJ and various striking classes at Elite, with the goal of building a solid MMA skill set. Trevor is currently studying BJJ at Elite.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
I had known of Eric for years and had trained with Ed Liem back in 1994. There was never any concern in my joining Elite – in my opinion it is hands-down the best school in Houston. Since joining, I have learned that Elite is actually an extended family that does its best to help each other. In my experience the culture at Elite is unique. Elite was the only school we considered for Trevor to study at. The school has a structure and approach that encourages kids to take ownership of their given situation and make smart decisions. Both my wife and I appreciate seeing many of same lessons that we have taught Trevor at home being echoed by his Elite instructors. As parents, we all try to do our best for our kids - it is nice to get it right every now and then.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
In the past, I did a number of private lessons with Eric primarily in striking. During that time I learned numerous things I had never realized about close quarter combat – from the physics of movement and balance to understanding why we feel as we do when put in a combative situation and how to harness your emotions and step in. With that said, now my journey is brand new and any ac-complishments are in front of me rather than in the past. Both Carisma and I have witnessed a tangible growth in Trevor. What had started as something that we insisted he do quickly became his own "thing". His journey is now fully owned by him. As such, I have been happily reduced to being his chauffeur. Trevor recently found himself in the position of being the highest ranking belt in the class. It was amazing to watch a 5 year old confidently lead the warm-ups and instruct first-time students in the exercises! He later admitted that it was really scary, but that he knew he could do it anyway because Eric had been scared before and he knew Lucho would not let him mess up (thanks to you both).

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?
This is the second, and final, time in my life that I will get myself into shape – I currently have 140lbs to lose. It sounds cliché, but being healthy is not a goal as much as it is a process that starts new again each day. Finding an activity that is both physical and spiritual for which you have a true passion for is critical, as participating in the activity itself becomes the overriding goal and being healthy becomes merely a "side-effect". It really is "one foot in front of the other". Lastly, if you are a middle-aged guy and out of shape (like me) then acknowledge that you are not still 25 years old and pace yourself while giving full-effort – no one at Elite will judge you if you cannot immediately do what they can do. Keeping one's ego at bay will go a long way in reducing dumb injuries and will keep you on the mat in a more consistent manner – a lesson that I am currently learning.

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