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April Newsletter — The Power of Forgiveness

The definition of forgiveness is to let go of your bad feelings for others when they hurt you. You develop real character when you learn how to forgive others. Forgiveness is a great, positive power. When you can forgive, then the quality of your life will improve immensely.

There are many reasons why you might feel bad about others. Some bad feelings are caused by accidental situa-tions that may not be the other person's fault. Your forgiveness is very important to help him or her feel better. In other situations, it may be very difficult to forgive someone who has been intentionally mean or unfair. You have the power to determine what reasons caused bad feelings, and then decide the best possible solution that could lead to forgiveness.

Are you a forgiving person? How you would respond to each of the situations below?

1. A friend accidentally spills his drink over your favorite pair of shoes. Would you:
a. Spill your drink over your friend in revenge?
b. Never speak to your friend again?
c. Forgive your friend because it was an accident and friendship is far more important than a pair of shoes?

2. You are told that one of your friends has been saying untrue, mean things about you behind your back. Would you?
a. Say mean things about him or her?
b. Stop speaking to your friend?
c. Approach your friend and ask what is wrong?

3. Your brother blames you for making a mess in the kitchen, even though you were not home all day. Would you:
a. Hit your brother?
b. Refuse to help clean the kitchen because you know that it wasn't your mess?
c. Explain to your brother that you didn't make the mess, but offer to help him if he needs the help?

If you answered (a), then you are a revengeful person and will most likely have more enemies than friends. If you answered (b), then you hold grudges and you will most likely lose friendships because you didn't practice for-giveness. If you answered (c), then you are smart enough to stop and think about situations before reacting. You know how to forgive others, so the quality of your life will be much greater and you will have more friends than you ever imagined possible.

Kid's Buddy Week at Westheimer and Greenway The Week of April 21st!!!

The last week of April will be buddy week for Westheimer and Greenway! The kids will be able to have the opportunity to share with their friends, family, and loved ones the fun they have in Jiu-Jitsu class! We'll have a special curriculum that week created around working together, re-discovering the foundations of jiu jitsu, and having fun! We'll finish off the week with a special game day with prizes for those who bring the most buddies, the one who teaches the most techniques to his/her buddies, and the buddy with the highest attendance! Be on the lookout for special announcements and invitations from your instructors.

Baytown Assistant Instructor Highlight: Matthew Perez

What is your martial arts teaching history and where do you currently teach?
I have assisted jiu-jitsu classes but very rarely. I mainly work the front desk.

What is your current rank in martial arts?
I am currently a blue belt with one stripe in Brazili-an Jiu Jitsu.

What is your educational background?
I am currently a senior at Goose Creek Memorial High School.

Do you have a competitive history in martial arts?
I competed at the 2014 IBJJF Houston Open, my first and only tournament so far, however I plan on com-peting more because the first experience was a lot of fun.

What do you see is the main benefit the average individual can receive from martial arts?
I think the main benefit is that it will change an individ-ual's mindset. It will help them become more confident in martial arts and outside martial arts.

What is your favorite part about practicing martial arts?
My favorite part is seeing everyone help each other and talking to each other.

Where do you hope martial arts will take you later in your life?
I hope it will take all that I've learned and not to change the person that martial arts has helped me to become.

Kingwood Student Highlight: Emmalee, Bryan, and Dylan Mills

What is your name and age?
Emmalee Mills and I am 26 years old

When did you join Elite MMA?
I started training in September of 2013

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
I wanted to beat people up. Just kidding, I needed to know how to de-fend myself. I'm 5 foot on a good day so being able to take care of my-self is a necessity.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
Time and being a mother of two kept me from training in the past.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
Yes. After, training with Jordan and Justin I started taking Kickboxing and now I train even BJJ.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
I didn't have any concerns. It was really convenient that Elite offers kids classes as well as adult classes. It was cool that they had private training. I was able to work one on one before easing into group classes.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
I have been able to learn striking, ground defense, takedowns. All in all I feel like I might be a real fighter. I have a lot of fun training with the guys and I don't even get that beat up in Jiu-jitsu. I have also lost 20lbs!

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?
Besides my friends calling me their bodyguard or mighty mouse even though I'm the smallest in the group, I think everyone should take martial arts.

Elite MMA Competition News

Baytown Instructors and Students Compete in International and Invite-Only Events

This past March was a big month for Elite MMA Baytown as far as competition goes. Julian and myself literally had an event to go to every weekend either here locally to sup-port our students or nationally to test our-selves at the highest level. While we won some and lost some, we wanted to take the time and acknowledge our teens program for producing our first known IBJJF title. Damion and Austin Oranday with Julie Muldrow pulled in five medals. Two golds, two sil-vers and one bronze!! Great job to these young leaders and fierce competitors!! Damion and Austin along with Zoe Jones also competed in the Invitation Only BFA tournament. The fought the best of their age groups with no weight limit and sub-mission only style format. Zoe did amazing but got caught in the first round. It was her first invitation but it won't be her last. Damion and Austin won their respective age groups, 15 and 16 year olds and are what we know them to be. Humble, hard working and awesome!! Its been a great month for Elite MMA!! Way to go every-one, especially the future leaders that are empowering everyone with their strength, perseverance, and coachability!! Elite MMA All Day!!!

-Robert Yamashita and Julian Vega

Elite MMA Kid's Only In-House Tournament in Kingwood

65 competitors, their family and friends, as well as coaches stormed the Elite-MMA Kingwood location for Elite's first ever kids only in-house tournament. The purpose was to give the "little kids who never com-peted before the tournament experience" Said Kingwood Head instruc-tor Jordan Rivas, "Tournaments give students a purpose for their train-ing and we want to give them a taste of that experience."

That taste turned into the real deal as King-wood converted their mat space into 2 full rings with referees and score tables, giving the 5- 15 year old competitors an experience to rival that of Ibjjf pan ams. From the rules meeting forward the excitement grew. The traditional group warm up lead by Bay-town's Robert Yamashita set the tone as 65 students got warmed up for an exciting 4 hours of competing. Each student competed in at least 2 matches and the sportsmanship was nothing less than "Elite". Kingwood student and proud parent Vic Victorino stated "It was fun. The kids did great win or lose. It was our whole family's first tournament experience and I liked it."
-Justin McCravey

Greenway Student Highlight: Lee Carrier

What is your name and age?
Lee Carrier, 35

When did you join Elite MMA?
October 2013 at the Greenway location

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
I wanted to challenge myself and diversify my exercise routine. In March of 2012, I was 260 lbs. No longer recognizing myself in the mirror, I decided to change my lifestyle by eating healthier and introducing basic exercise (i.e. walking, then running and other calisthenics). In October of 2013 I was down to 140lbs and felt that I was losing too much weight. I wanted to increase my endurance and strength. Also, before I became overweight and while in my mid-20's I used to train as a boxer. I felt that kickboxing would be the perfect challenge to get me into shape vs. merely turning into a pencil by only having a weight loss goal.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
The only thing I knew about martial arts was from watching Bruce Lee movies. I never thought I could be as disciplined and controlled as Bruce Lee; therefore, me actually learning martial arts was only a fantasy.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
No, as I have taken boxing in the past. I mostly participate in Kardio Kickboxing but was recently approved as a Tier 2 kick-boxing student. Now that I am Tier 2, I've tried the Muay Thai, MMA, Kickboxing Fundamentals/ Advanced and the boxing classes at the Westheimer location. Becoming a Tier 2 student has increased my enthusiasm as a member of Elite MMA and motivated me to take my athletic abilities to different levels.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
As a former boxer, I was concerned about using my legs & elbows for striking. I did not realize how much muscle memory my body kept from my old boxing days. At first, unlearning my boxing roots felt uncomfortable, but now I really enjoy the challenge of using my whole body during class. Mitch made me feel comfortable from our first meeting. I felt safe with him as my instructor and he has proven to be an awesome trainer.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
I have been able to absorb the kickboxing training and actually execute kickboxing strikes that I never thought I could do. For example, the high kick, push kick, and knee strikes are fun. The lower body movements in kickboxing feel awkward sometimes but my confidence grows with each class. As the saying goes, "If it was easy, anyone can do it." Kickboxing is not an "easy" sport, but Elite MMA instruc-tors teach proper technique and the bond among students is close knit. With that in mind, you CAN do it!

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?
I encourage anyone wanting to challenge themselves in an athletic manner to join Elite. The classes focus on proper technique, emphasize safety, and encourage respect for your fellow classmates. Without realizing it, being an Elite MMA stu-dent has motivated me in other areas. I recently quit smoking cigarettes because I want to perform better in class. And I've adjusted my personal and professional schedules so I can attend more classes. Being an Elite MMA student is not just about getting in a good "work out". Instead, training at Elite MMA has become a positive addition to my lifestyle.

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