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Battling for Beds

I wanted to give the amazing Elite MMA community the opportunity to impact the greater Houston community in a new and different way and show Houston the kind of contribution martial artists can be!

Houston Children’s Charity’s, “A Better Night’s Sleep”, has provided mattresses, bed frames, sheets, pillows and blankets to over 5,400 children in need all over the Greater Houston area. Scientific research has shown that there are significant links between a child’s sleeping habits and their performance in school:

  • Children who nap longer during the day have longer attention spans.
  • Children who are diagnosed with ADHD have dramatically improved peer relations and classroom performances once better sleep routines have been established.

Mitchell Norton
General Manager/Instructor
Elite MMA Greenway Plaza

Elite MMA News

Baytown Student Highlight—Shannon Smith

What is your name and age?
Shannon Lynn Smith and I'm 36. (37 in December)

When did you join Elite MMA?
I started training in November of 2009.

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
My decision to start training in some type of martial art really began soon after high school. I was another one of those stories you hear about, being bullied for 4 years and being voted to never succeed in anything I do. I literally fell in love with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the summer of 2000. I was stationed in San Diego, California and was asked to participate in a seminar instructed by Royce Gracie. For two hours I got to witness greatness, it was absolutely beautiful what a little old 170 pound man could do to a young 230 pound man with a kimono. After discharging from the service in 2008, I found Elite MMA, spoke to Frost Murphy about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing and soon after I began my journey.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
I really wanted to start in 2000 after meeting Royce, there were so many local Jiu-Jitsu gyms inside San Diego. Those plans immediately stopped when 9/11 hit us. Even now looking back to 2009 starting here at Elite MMA, it was the fear of the unknown. Will I be accepted? Will I be able to learn this art? Will I get beat-up? What will everyone think of me? Can I really do this, be able to move and do the things the smaller students are doing?

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
It is my first time and I've taken Kickboxing, Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
It was my first conversation with Frost Murphy, about the goals he had for Elite MMA, the direction he wanted to take Baytown, the possibilities, and the great core of instructors he had to lead the students in any direction we wanted to go and help reach our goals on and off the mats. I saw a lot of satisfaction after training in individuals, families, and instructors. Lots of "yes sir", "no sir", "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am". Partners training hard, pushing each other, helping each other. Seems like the place was infected with camaraderie. Everyone was open minded from the white belt to the black belt level. People ask questions, they had no problems getting an answer.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
I've accomplished so much. First and foremost, I think it was the weight loss and the ability stop my night life. In 2009 I hit the scale at 323 pounds in my first Kickboxing class, today I'm floating around 230 pounds. Through the years after cutting weight, the different pains I had from training and the hunger to learn more, I literally gave up on alcohol. Second, the competitions. As I was growing and studying, Iwatched all the success my instructors had. Frost was winning super fights, Jordan and Trent were killing it in the cage, Robert and Julian dominated tournaments all over the state. I got the itch, I had to compete. My biggest accomplishment was 2013 as a purple belt. 2013 Dallas Open – 2nd in division, 3rd in open. 2013 Pan Am – 3rd in division. 2013 Worlds – 3rd in division. 2013 Long Beach – 2nd in division, 3rd in open. 2013 Texas Masters / Senior Grappler of the Year.

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?
Don't be afraid to ask questions. It's hands down the best investment I've made. Be open minded on learning new things, be coachable. It's easy to cheat yourself and your body by going down to the local fitness center and doing the bare minimum just to get by, skip those last few reps, or not run that last ˝ mile on the treadmill because you're sore. In martial art classes, you don't have that opportunity. You'll have a partner there pushing you, or an instructor looking over your shoulder making sure you do those last few reps. You'll see an improvement in your lifestyle and health by having these tools. Gives you self confidence, teaches you integrity and camaraderie. Everyone will notice the results, ask you questions, and you'll answer proudly, be able hold your head high on what you do with martial arts.

Greenway Student Highlight— Jennifer Garrison

What is your name and age?
Jennifer, age 29

When did you join Elite MMA?
I joined in January of 2014

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
I decided that I wanted to learn a skill in addition to just "working out". I had also slowed down on my weight loss efforts and wanted something new and exciting to keep me going.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
I was afraid I wouldn't be good at it or that other students would be more advanced than me and that I wouldn't be able to keep up.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
This is my first time taking martial arts, and so far I've just attended Kickboxing.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
I was able to do a 1 on 1 with Ana and then Mitch offered to let me try a class to see the setting. It helped me feel more comfortable to try a class and see what I would be doing each time.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
Since joining Elite in January, I have lost 29 pounds, and gone down 3 sizes (76 pounds lost since I started losing weight). I've been able to start running and doing more intense workouts, and have seen my level of fitness increase overall.

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?
I would encourage others to try a class before making a decision. Elite is more personal than places I've checked out in the past, and I've been really happy with the skills I'm learning. It's also a great place to go at your own pace and learn at your own speed. Mitch and Jose are really invested in your goals, so it's been helpful to have people on your side and hold you accountable.

Westheimer Instructor Highlight—Robert Jimenez

What is your martial arts teaching history and where do you currently teach?
I have only taught here at Elite MMA.

What is your current rank in martial arts?
I am a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Level 7 in Wing Tsun Kung Fu. My Father was a professional boxer who instructed me in elementary school which led to my joining a boxing gym in 1968.

What caused you to start practicing martial arts?
Bruce Lee movies and the television series "Kung Fu"

What is your educational background?
I have an Associate's degree from Massey Business College and completed a program in Process Piping Drafting at the University of Houston.

Do you have a competitive history in martial arts?
I competed mainly in Boxing, winning my last fight and tournament while in the US Army in 1985. I competed once in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and also in Taekwondo.

What do you see is the main benefit the average individual can receive from martial arts?
Self discipline, and the satisfaction one receives from personal growth and improve-ment.

What is your favorite part about practicing martial arts?
Learning new techniques and sharing them.

Where do you hope martial arts will take you later in your life?
I hope to be healthy through this form of physical training well into my old age.

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