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A Letter on Community from Eric Williams

Dear Elite Team and Family, 

First, I want to give thanks to God for blessing us with such an incredible, caring, and loving community. I know it seems like a dichotomy talking about “loving” in an MMA school but it is actually the combination of incredible, caring people practicing martial arts at Elite that repeatedly makes profound differences in one another’s lives. Below is a copy of Kyle McGuinness’s review. 

“READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU ARE A TEENAGER OR A PARENT OF A TEENAGER CONSIDERING ELITE. I walked into elite as a nervous 135 LB 15 year old. I was struggling in school and with self confidence. My medicine treating my ADHD would make me extremely unhappy/rude to my parents and peers. My confidence increased dramatically, Not only could i now defend myself but i had made friends and had a passion for something other than video games for the first time in my life. Receiving my blue belt was the proudest moment of my life. My biggest role models in life have been my coaches, who have taught me a lot about life through the sport. My parent's were scared when i started spending time with "Tattoo'ed Cage-fighters" but the first report card I received their worries disappeared. Teenage Kids: Learning the sport of Jiu Jitsu/to defend yourself is an amazing experience especially at Elite. Be prepared to be respected by all your training partners/adults regardless of your age. It may be tough being 10 years younger and 100 pounds lighter than the majority of your opponents but that is the best way to learn. A side from getting my blue belt at the age of 18, My best moment at elite was a peer who used to bully me a bit in middle school walked into the gym. He wanted to immediately jump into the MMA class (You need some experience to start sparring within the cage). So we let him for the day, I got to spar with him first and caught him in a submission very quickly. Afterwards, I taught him the Americana submission and escape. We bonded and both grew from the experience. When i walked into elite, I wanted to learn how to break peoples arms like him. Looking back on that experience has shown me how much elite helped me grow from a insecure teenager into a mature adult. I would also like to stress anyone can train at elite regardless of physical fitness, weight, age, or disability. If you are reading this review considering training at elite, Turn off your computer. Call Elite Today to set up your free 1 on 1 and group class. Elite MMA is a life changing experience, It was the best use of money in my life. Feel free to send me a message especially teens/parents with any questions as I was one of the few teenagers in the early days of Elite MMA. Ive also trained at 2 other gyms since leaving elite for college so i can give some perspective on what elite offers versus other gyms.” 

Thank you, Kyle, for sharing your life with us, thank you for your faith, commitment, and perseverance that life be great in the face of adversity and challenge. Thank you for being an inspiration to others, it really does make a difference. As I read Kyle’s recount of his arrival at Elite as a teenager, I began to remember vividly from several years back and the details of his journey through life’s challenges and his progression as a martial artist. What stood out so vivid, was the way the people at Elite have stood for one another’s greatness, stood in patience with compassion, and stood with open arms. Kyle’s review is a testimonial to YOU. YOU are inspirational. As I watch “the news” and read “the news”, I see a lot of people complaining/blaming/unhappy, etc. While I teach class each evening at Elite, I get to see people in combat and confrontation being incredibly great with one another to hone and sharpen one another physically and mentally. I see sacrifice, respect, discipline, integrity, tears of joy, and tears of frustration. I see a COMMUNITY that I am proud to have the privilege to be a part of. Thank YOU. 

Sincerely,

Eric Williams and the Elite Family

 

Westheimer Student Highlight— Mike Nuzzo

What is your name and age?

Mike Nuzzo, 48 

When did you join Elite MMA?

Winter 2009 

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

I had been drifting towards less and less of an athlete by age 40. Lifting weights always was a bore and jogging was getting a little harder.

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

In the early 2000s, I had unsuccessfully searched to see if there was some type of wrestling training for adults in Houston. After watching the UFC and learning about BJJ I found Elite MMA and got David C. on the phone. 

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

I wrestled when I was young. My father was a high school wrestling coach when I was little and I became a mat rat hanging with the team and going to their matches. I remember wrestling with the 101 pounder and he would shout out to my dad every time I used a new move "hey coach your son has a duck under too!". I can still name half of the team. At Elite I attend all of the gi classes with an occasional no-gi Monday night class. 

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

When looking for a place to train I was concerned that a school would be focused on their best athletes and everyone else would be used as a training dummy. At Elite we focus on everyone's goals. Everyone is different and the philosophy of support at Elite conforms to help everyone. 

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

My favorite aspect of Elite and training a martial art has been the relationships. After 1 month of training, I had more new friends and acquaintances than a decade of being a club member and playing golf around Houston. Training creates extraordinarily close interactions and you get to know everyone fast.

 

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

Any day of the week I go train I can say hi to many friends and share a technique, personal or professional experience. It is even better knowing how we are appreciated by our teammates. 

 

 

 

Kingwood Instructor Highlight: Jordan Rivas

Birth place: Houston, Texas

Profession: Martial arts instructor

What classes do you teach: Adults BJJ: men's and women'sAdvanced BJJKids BJJTeens BJJMMA

What martial art(s) have trained in: 
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – 2002-present 
Boxing – 2009-present 
Submission Wrestling – 2002-present

Number of years of training martial arts: I started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Eric and Hai in 2002. To become a more well rounded fighter and competitor, I have been training in boxing and kickboxing.

When did you start teaching at Elite MMA? I started teaching full time at the Baytown school in 2008.

What is a memorable moment for you at Elite MMA? Two moments really stick out to me; my first class when I met Eric and Hai. And the second one is the day that I received my black belt.

In your own words why do you enjoy Elite MMA? To me Elite is like a big family. The guys I train with are not just my students and training partners, they are my friends and family.

Do you have any martial arts accomplishments that you are proud of and why? I won silver at the Pan Ams of Jiu Jitsu, and Bronze the same year at the World Championships. As an MMA fighter, I have a combined pro/am record of 4-0, with 3 of my wins via submission.

Are there any professional accomplishments that you are proud of and why? I am proud of the way the Kingwood school has grown and developed the last couple of years. I also take pride in my students and the goals that they set for themselves.

What hobbies do you enjoy and why? I enjoy traveling, sushi, I am a conspiracy theory junky, and I like good movies and crossword puzzles

Any memorable family moments that you would like to share? I met my wife Alaina doing the kickboxing class at Elite, and we now have a 3 yr old son together (Thales).

Academic accomplishments: Graduated from University of Houston with a major in Accounting (2008).

If you could walk us through a day or week in your life what would it consist of? Monday through Saturday you can find me at the Kingwood Elite. I am always on the mat with students, during class and after class answering questions. I am passionate about my students advancement in BJJ, and it is really rewarding for me to see them progress through the art that has done so much for me.

Patrick Tran 2017 Kids IBJJF Pan American Champion!!!

Elite is excited to announce we have a 2017 Kids IBJJF Pan-American gold medalist, Patrick Tran.  This past month Patrick Tran traveled to Long Beach, California, to compete in the 2017 IBJJF (International Brazilian Jujitsu Federation) Kids Pan-American Championships at the Walter Pyramids.  Kids from all over the world came together to discover who is the best of the best, as well as who is the most dedicated of the most dedicated.  I don’t know any other kid as dedicated to competitions quite like Patrick.  Every possible competition there is to attend, you can bet that Patrick will either be there or know about it.  Patrick’s dedication and commitment to BJJ is truly inspirational.  When asked about his experience at the Pan-Am’s, he told me that he was nervous to compete with the best kids around the world, yet he was more concerned with having fun and learning more about the sport he loves:

            “I was really nervous on how it would all go down, but I just kept saying to myself ‘just go out there and give 100%’ and my dad just said ‘just have fun’… When I got to the Walter Pyramids and saw all of the other kids, I started to get nervous.  I just kept telling myself to keep the glory out of my head, which helped me relax and compete well.  Most importantly I told myself this experience was about learning not winning.”

            Patrick’s competition was won after breaking a tiebreaker in the first round (0-0) due to two advantages (one for an arm bar attempt and the other for an attempt to pass the guard) and winning the second round 14-0.  Patrick said the win wasn’t easy and remembers giving it all he had not to give up.  Patrick competed against a student from the school that previously won 4 consecutive competitions at the Pan-Americans (USA Art of Jujitsu Academy), yet this didn’t cause Patrick to waiver.  His proudest moment, he claimed, was the moment he stood on the podium after being awarded his medal: “I think I was happiest when I got to post my picture on the podium on my instagram.” 

We are all very proud of Patrick’s success at the Pan-America Competitions.  Here at Elite we know that we become successful through helping others be successful, so thank you Elite community for your contributions to Patrick.  Let us all continue to “push, pull, and empower one another to [higher levels].”

A Message from Morganne Thompson:

Greetings Elite Family! 

Hopefully you may have noticed a tall, blue wall with LEADERSHIP, ACHIEVEMENT, and SERVICE written on it at the Westheimer location, which is now known as "The Elite Wall of Fame."  If you haven't had the opportunity to check it out, take a quick run upstairs to see what all the fuss is about.  The Westheimer staff would like to start recognizing the Elite youth members for acts of service within their community outside of Elite; we would like to recognize the younger members for stepping out as leaders and taking initiative; and furthermore, we want to recognize achievements and accomplishments that our younger generation is striving to achieve.  There is no doubt that we need more strong, inspirational leaders in this world.  Elite is dedicated to "pushing, pulling, and empowering one another," which extends to building better leaders for all of our futures.  This "Elite Wall of Fame" is intended to inspire not only the kids but all Elite members to rise to higher levels of living.  One act of leadership inspires more acts of leadership; goals met inspires others to keep striving; and acts of selfless service creates a better world around us.  Please help us by encouraging all the younger members to be recognized on the "Elite Wall of Fame."  If your child has done any acts of service in the community please contact Coach Morganne with pictures.  Leadership and achievement recognition will be awarded through class participation. When you see students recognized on the "Elite Wall of Fame" don't be afraid to acknowledge them and encourage them to keep up their hard work and dedication.   

Morganne Thompson

Elite MMA Youth Program Director

Baytown Student Highlight—Maribel Chavez

What is your name and age?

Maribel Chavez and I am 46 years young. 

When did you join Elite MMA?

I joined Elite MMA in July 2016 

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

I decided to join in martial arts to improve my quality of life. To stay fit and strong. My family doctor had already recommended that I add some physical activity into my schedule since the results of my last physical exam were very disappointing. 

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

I thought I was to old and out of shape to take such a physical sport. I have never been involved in any type sports. 

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

Yes, this is the first time I take martial arts and I am currently in the kickboxing class and my kids Mike 11 and Melody 9 are in the Youth BJJ class. 

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

My age and poor health was of concern to me. I didn't have the courage and I felt intimidated to do something out of my comfort zone. I didn't know where to start or what to do. Every evening I would sit and watch my 2 kids do the Kids Brazilian Jiu-jitsu class and right after Elite MMA has kickboxing class as well. I stayed after one day to see what it was all about and then I saw a couple of students about my age, and that made me think that maybe I should try it. After talking to my Mr. Robert and Mr. Julian, they offered me to try it out under no obligation at all and that age or feeling incapable wasn't an excuse for not taking action. So, I did! I love the atmosphere, music and combinations. Trying it out is pretty much what helped me decide that kickboxing was right for me.

 

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

What I have been able to accomplish since I joined Elite MMA is maintaining my weight and normalizing my blood pressure. I feel stronger and on top of that I've learned some self defense techniques. I have also learned that my life is worth more than I think and we are never too old to try new things. 

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

As we are growing older we begin to see changes in our bodies, but this time after the age of 40 the changes are not as nice to us as when we were younger. If we do not do anything to keep moving and maintain our muscle tone everything can begin to go downhill quickly. I never imagined how much I would love kicking and punching a bag. I can tell you that after several past attempts of going to the gym and getting nowhere because it was too boring and bland, I found out that kickboxing is exactly what I was looking for.  I partner up with great people and our coaches are always there to motivate us, teach us, and help us in anyway possible. 

Thank you coaches at Elite MMA Baytown for the endless hours of encouragement, guidance, inspiration and motivation you instill in each and everyone of your students.

 

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