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Coaches Corner: Belt Test by Eric Williams

I want to congratulate everyone from February's Belt Exam. The reviews of the exam varied from feeling excited and empowered to being frustrated and thinking of quitting. How can the same exam create such varying reviews?

Martial Arts are a small microcosm of life. At times in life we feel accomplishment and fulfillment, at other times we feel discouraged and frustrated. Both of these experiences are important to our physical and mental growth. Achieving the Black Belt is a priceless journey. I challenge you to ask the black belts at Elite to place a monetary value on their journey of their black belt, what would it cost for them to delete the journey from their life, and you will almost always find it to be priceless.

When you become frustrated during your journey to black belt, I encourage you to request coaching from those of higher rank and the coaching staff. I would not have achieved the journey to black belt alone. Actually, it would not have been much fun alone.

Have fun! Enjoy the camaraderie, enjoy the friendship, and enjoy the peaks and the valleys. Hot fires harden steel. Support others in their greatness and let others sup-port you inside of your greatness.


Fundraiser for Heartgift Foundation

The intention of the fundraiser is to have a community of great people to enjoy each other's company. At the same time raise money for a child to have a life saving heart surgery, through the Heartgift foundation. Also for fun it will allow everyone to have some fun with a bachelor & bachelorette auction and silent auction raffle. Come out and support a great cause.

HeartGift was founded in Austin, TX in 2000 with the mission of providing lifesaving heart surgery to children from developing countries where specialized treatment is scarce or nonexistent. Since this time HeartGift has grown to have chapters in not only Austin but San Antonio, Louisiana, Dallas and Houston. With the help of these communities and unique medical partnerships HeartGift has provided lifesaving heart surgery to more than 200 patients representing 28 different countries.

Right here in Houston HeartGift partners with Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital to do this lifesaving work. In March of 2014 HeartGift Houston will welcome 7 year old Jafet from Honduras. To find out more information about HeartGift or make a donation visit www.heartgift.org. If you would like to receive email updates about Jafet's incredible HeartGift journey email rwright@heartgift.org.

Elite MMA News

Dragon Dance to Ring in Lunar New Year

On Sunday, February 2, 2014 the dragon came to Elite MMA Wes-theimer to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Kids and adults were en-tertained by the dragon who traditionally comes to push out the bad luck and spirits and usher in good luck for the new year.

Psychology of Batman Demonstration @ Episcopal High School

3 Elite MMA Instructors, Hai Nguyen, Mitchell Norton, and Ana Alvarez did 2 martial arts demonstration for Mr. Devoll's Psychology of Batman class at the Episcopal High School. Merging the mental and physical aspects of Batman's training, the students had a blast learning basic self-defense techniques with their classmates!

Kingwood Assistant Instructor Highlight: Bardo Martinez

What is your martial arts teaching history and where do you currently teach?
No History - I currently train BJJ at ELITE MMA in Kingwood and en-joy helping other progress in BJJ. On occasion when there's a stressful day at my job; helping others in class is the best fulfillment for me.

What is your current rank in martial arts?
I am a Blue Belt w/2 stripes.

What caused you to start practicing martial arts?
I always wanted to be a black belt my whole life. I'm on my journey on becoming a black belt . Like they say a black belt was a white belt that never quits… I started my fam-ily at age 29 and in my 30's it was all about my three kids, taking them to baseball, football and volleyball games and practices. So when I turn 41 I told myself it's about me now, my kids were playing middle school sports that gave us time in the evenings to train. So my boys and I started training BJJ at my cousins school off Jones rd.

What is your educational background?
I went to Sam Houston High School then went into the workforce immediately. I've been working as an labo-ratory technician for 22 yrs. at LyondellBasell Industries.

Do you have a competitive history in martial arts?
I competed one time in my first BJJ tournament last year 2013. Learned a lot about myself just in that one tournament.

What do you see is the main benefit the average individual can receive from martial arts?
Learn Self Defense, Improve General Fitness, Develop Discipline, Builds Confidence .

What is your favorite part about practicing martial arts?
Meeting awesome people, training with guys and gals that will push you to greatness. Yes I said GREATNESS!!!!!!!! Here at Elite MMA you are able to train at other lo-cations. That's a Bonus; training with The Baytown Crew as well as Greenway and of course The Headquarters Houston. Amazing people that will help you stride for Greatness!

Where do you hope martial arts will take you later in your life?
If you don't mind me saying at few things. Follow your dreams " I always wanted to be a black belt my whole life "and I'm on that journey now. The time is now otherwise you will always put it off, I believe that you are never too old to do what you always had your eyes set on. Remember one thing if it was easy everyone would be a black belt- challenge yourself. Why do par-ents push their kids to strive for greatness when they are laying on the couch watching TV. I BELIEVE IN SETTING AN EXAMPLE for your kids. Let them see you challenge yourself in whatever your heart de-sires and they will follow. Thank you Mr. Jordan, Justin, Robert and our newest black belt Julian for your support. ELITE-MMA !!!!!!!

Baytown Student Highlight: Sang Jun Shin

What is your name and age?
Sang Jun Shin 45

When did you join Elite MMA?
March 2013

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
For self-defense, fitness and camaraderie.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
I'm blessed. The main things that prevents me from attending classes, are when unexpected work functions conflict with class times. Luckily, those are few. Other than that, I have programmed myself to not miss class, if at all possible.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
I have played many years of judo prior to jujitsu and some karate. Judo is something I immensely enjoyed. I have found that I like jujitsu just as much. At Elite MMA, I attend the Adult Beginner's Jujitsu class, the Advanced Jujitsu class and the Endurance class.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
I learned of the school through a friend who was training there. I witnessed that the training was very sound. I moved to Baytown in February of 2013. I saw a billboard advertisement and recognized the name and logo, so I called. I was reassured to definitely visit the school upon speaking with the coaches by phone at the Baytown location, by their enthusiasm. Upon watch-ing the classes, meeting the coaches and teammates, I knew I wanted to train there.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
First and foremost, I have made some good friends here. We are like a family. That is such a bonus to the training. My fitness level has peaked for my age and weight. I have a very low body fat content now. And I feel stronger than ever. I have made 2 promotions thus far. At my age, I thought I'd never compete, but I decided to try a few and now have 3 medals to show for it. And the experience was amazing.

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 personally recommend martial arts training to everyone. The benefits that you gain from good training flow into all other aspects of your life, even personal and career. I know that might sound rehearsed, so allow me to provide a few details. Here's what I have personally experienced at Elite MMA.

My teammates are awesome. Everyone from the kids up to the adults are very courteous and highly respectful. Martial arts training demands courtesy and respect. A good environment to get good training.

So while we are helping one another to get our defensive skills in order, your fitness level increases dramatically. Fit-ness level and technical skills increase, self confidence follows suit. It's great seeing each other setting and then meet-ing our fitness goals.

The technical level of training is tops. Champions training champions. My coaches are constantly training, with each other, then with us. They understand that grappling is evolving and they put in the time and effort to stay at the lead-ing edge of the sport. They keep tabs on what the world community is doing and incorporate the best parts into our training, in addition to the volumes of fundamentals and advanced techniques that have helped them succeed. The teacher/student interaction is tops and it trickles down from the highest belts all the way down to the beginner levels.

The way I see it, you can get incredibly fit, while learning very useful, practical skills, around a bunch of good people, in a great environment. That's a tough combination to find anywhere.

Westheimer Student Highlight: Jeff & Megan Hogg

What is your name and age?
Jeff and Megan Hogg
42 and 32 years old respectively
Senior CAD Drafter and Instructional Coach (teacher) respectively

When did you join Elite MMA?
July 2012

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
We decided to start taking martial arts because Megan thought it would be a fun way to achieve her weight loss goals and Jeff wanted to add more cardio to his weight lifting routines.

In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
Mostly time for Jeff. For Megan, it was a fear of being found subpar. That is what is so amazing about Elite. From the very first time we walked in the door, the people there made us feel like this was some-thing we could do.

Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
Yes, this is our first time taking a martial arts class. We both take Cardio Kickboxing. When we have time we also take the fundamentals of kickboxing and Jeff does Jiu-Jitsu.

If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
The first time we went to Elite there was no one there and the place looked so intimidating to Megan that we decided not to go back. Then we got a flier on our door that mentioned the classes and we de-cided to call and give it a try. The moment we walked in everyone was welcoming and friendly. It is a community where we feel encouraged and supported every time we come in.

Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
Megan has lost 40 pounds since joining Elite (halfway to her goal) and we both have felt our overall fit-ness increase greatly. Jeff has improved his reaction time and fast twitch muscle.

Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?
Our favorite part of Elite is that it is a community of people that all help each other to accomplish their goals. It doesn't matter if you are training for a fight, trying to lose weight, or just keeping in shape, everyone supports each other. They also focus on the whole person and not just the exercise. We know that when we walk into Elite we are walking into a place with smiling faces and people who not only know us, but truly want us to succeed, not just in the gym, but in life.

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