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Westheimer Student Highlight—Lee Omoruyi

What is your name and age?
Lee Omoruyi, 31 and I joined in April 2008

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
I decided to start taking martial arts because of my love for boxing and for self defense. After I graduated from college I had my mind set on going to a boxing gym. Then I thought, what if I have to defend myself against a Mixed Martial Artist? How would that scenario play out? So I decided the best thing for me was to go to an MMA gym where I could learn boxing as well as Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
College was the main reason I did not take martial arts earlier. I just didn't have the time and extra money to commit.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
Yes this is my first time taking any form of martial arts. I take Advanced Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu (Endurance), and Jiu Jitsu (Skills & Drills). I also like to box with some of the Elite students when the cage is unoccupied.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
The people that attend the gym and the employees were genuinely friendly which helped quell any concerns I had about joining Elite. It wasn't the stereotypical MMA gym with a lot of testosterone running around and guys try-ing to injure you. It was the complete opposite. What really sur-prised me was that it was family oriented but, at the same time had active professional and amateur fighters which meshed per-fectly well.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
Since joining Elite I have learned to respect any and everybody that I come in contact with and that you can't judge a person's fighting abilities by their looks. The meekest and most humble individuals can be the most danger-ous and highly skilled of them all.

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with mar-tial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?
If you are looking for a place to get in shape, learn self defense, and/or become a fighter, I think Elite is a wonderful place to accomplish those goals. They offer kids classes, fitness classes, ad-vanced martial arts classes, and beginner classes. Adding those things to how helpful the Elite stu-dents and staff are will make your goals so much more attainable.

Elite MMA at "The Equalizer" Movie Premier

Elite MMA was at the Edward Marq*E on Wednesday, September 24th to meet the moviegoers going to see the premier of the new Den-zel Washington movie "The Equaliz-er" and give them a demonstration of real life self-defense!

Kingwood Student Highlight— Kristine Heines

What is your name and age?
My name is Kristine Heines and I am 32 years old.

When did you join Elite MMA?
I joined Elite MMA in October of 2013.

What caused you to start practicing martial arts?
I was a soldier in the US military and I studied Kinesiology and Exercise Sci-ence in undergrad, so fitness and health are very important to me. Previous-ly I had been doing a combination of running and weight lifting, but I was put off the pavement when I suffered from Plantar Fasciitis. I had a difficult time coming back to running, so I decided to try Jiu Jitsu when my son, Gabriel Castillo, was old enough to join. It has been a great decision for both of us and I have suffered far fewer injuries because of it.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
I guess I was afraid that I would be the oldest one in the class. I really didn't want to be in class training with a bunch of children. It's funny now, but I had no idea that adults trained martial arts as well.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
In the military we learned some hand-to-hand combat, but as a commu-nications technician it was definitely not the focus of my career. I also took Tai Kwon Do for about a month when I was a kid, but I was not ex-actly the athletic type back then. I really hated it.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
Some people are worried about injuries when they first start out, but honestly that thought never crossed my mind. I was concerned that the mats would be overpopulated with muscle-bound meatheads. In actuality, even though my training partners are fit, and some of them look tough, the culture at Elite MMA Kingwood produces students who are humble, kind, and very willing to both learn and teach. We all help each other to reach our goals and I love that.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
Since starting at Elite MMA I have become stronger and fitter than I have ever been. I have made wonderful friends with great people who I plan to grow in Jiu Jitsu with. I have competed in five competitions and gotten a bronze, silver, and a gold medal. I look forward to competing in many more tournaments going forward. Above all of my personal accomplishments, I have watched my son to grow in Jiu Jitsu as well. My little buddy comes with me whenever I train and compete and we definitely cheer each other on. Elite MMA really is a family environment.

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 someone who works in healthcare I would first warn that it is far better to change to a healthy lifestyle sooner rather than later. You never want to wait until diabetes, heart disease, atherosclerosis, or any other health disorder has a chokehold on your well-being and quality of life. Definitely, you want to start right now. You don't have to wait until you are fit enough. If you just keep walking through the door the expert Elite MMA coaches and your wonderful training partners will get you where you need to be.

Greenway Instructor Highlight—Mitchell Norton

What is your martial arts teaching history and where do you currently teach?
I have practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai for 6 years. I started taking classes at Oklahoma State University in September 2008 and began training at Elite MMA in August 2009 when I moved to Houston. I have taught at Elite MMA Kingwood and I currently am the General Manager and in-structor at Elite MMA Greenway as well as an instructor at the Westheimer location.

What is your current rank in martial arts?
I am currently a 4 stripe purple belt from Elite MMA.

What caused you to start practicing martial arts?
Initially I wanted to lose weight and compete in MMA. Once I got started I fell in love with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and began competing locally and internationally as well as working to get in shape where I lost 60lbs.

What is your educational background?
I have a Summa Cum Laude Honor's Bachelor's Degree from Oklahoma State University in Manage-ment Information Systems with a minor in Marketing. I am also a National Strength and Condition-ing Association Certified Personal Trainer.

Do you have a competitive history in martial arts?
I competed in my first Jiu Jitsu tournament in March of 2009 in Oklahoma and continued competing in Texas when I came to Elite MMA. I have competed in many local and regional tournaments in Texas as well as the Pan-American Championships and the World Championships in 2011 and 2012.

What do you see is the main benefit the average individual can receive from martial arts?
The main benefits are having stress relief in your life, a way to defend yourself if it is ever necessary, and one of the most fun activities to stay in shape that anyone could ever create.

What is your favorite part about practicing martial arts?
I love the learning and giving aspect of martial arts. Though I have been at it for 6 years there is still so much to learn and I love it! I also enjoy giving knowledge to others as well as facili-tation knowledge sharing between Elite's amazing students.

Where do you hope martial arts will take you later in your life?
I plan to continue training and instructing for Elite MMA as the organization grows and expands. I hope to one day open my own Elite MMA schools and spread the vision of Elite MMA to many more people.

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