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Staying in Love with Martial Arts

MMA is not just a martial art. It is a motivator, a fitness tool, a confidence booster, a system of self-defense, and the list goes on! It’s easy enough to enroll yourself or your child in a martial arts program, but it’s not as easy to keep with it. The path is challenging by design, in order to strengthen your mind, body and spirit. If you are thinking about learning a martial art, you should read on. We have listed four reasons why we love martial arts and why you should too!


Physical Fitness


The key to staying physically fit is finding activities you enjoy doing. You are much more likely to stick to something if you enjoy it and if it motivates you to keep moving and improving. A martial arts program that gets you jumping, kicking, punching and increasing your limits will give you and your body everything you need to stay fit and active.


Mental Toughness


In order to get by in your day-to-day life, you need to be able to take a physical or emotional blow from time to time. In other words, you need to be mentally tough. Martial arts give you the tools you need to push through trying events and emotions in order to get through them intact. You will learn how to break down a challenge into smaller goals and to conquer them all individually in order to succeed.




The world is an amazing place, but it can be a dangerous one. Learning a martial art will help you stay vigilant and capable of protecting yourself if the need ever arises. This doesn’t mean only physically defending yourself, but it also instills you with tools you can use to live a safe and healthy life.




Schools become like another family to you and yours. Each martial arts program has its own unique characters, but within each program you will learn to face adversity head on and grow and support each other. Over a short amount of time, everyone begins to feel like a big welcoming and supportive family. All you have to do to be “adopted” into the family is to show up and participate.


The learning never ends


There is an opportunity to better yourself every time you step onto the mat. There never comes a point where you’ve learned it all and that you have completed your training. You can start at any time as well. It doesn’t matter if you are six or sixty! You will be able to find a lesson to be learned and a challenge to be conquered.




http://www.amadojo.net/5-reasons-to-love-martial-arts/ with minor edits


Kingwood Student Highlight— Kristine Heines

What is your name and age?

My name is Kristine Heines and I compete in the Masters division for BJJ, so I don't really answer the age question anymore. 

When did you join Elite MMA?

My son Gabriel and I joined Elite MMA in October of 2013.

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

I was always interested in starting a martial art, but I didn't make the jump until my senior year of college at the University of Houston. I majored in Kinesiology, so I was in to lifting weights, jogging, and group cardio classes. In 2013 I suffered from sciatica so severe that I lost all feeling from my right knee down through my whole foot. After about three months I finally recovered. Then, I was sprinting on a hard surface and got plantar faciitis and was unable to jog for a while. I hated being unable to stay active, so I decided to switch up my routine to include the gentle art of BJJ. 

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

My perception was that only children took martial arts classes. I didn't want to be the only adult. I had no idea what classes would be like. 

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

I took tae kwon do as a child for a few months. I hated it. I hated exercise in general as a child. 

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

I didn't have any concerns. I had no real idea what I was in for. 

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

I have competed in numerous local and IBJJF tournaments. I have won bronze, silver, and gold medals all over the state of Texas. I have been honored as the Female Masters Blue Belt of the year by TXMMA. That was amazing for me  as I have never won anything like that in my life. I have traveled to California to compete and I hope to win big at the IBJJF Pans this March. I have gained so much confidence. People remark all the time how I have become more outgoing and self assured. You can't put a price tag on that. I am also happier, have less anxiety and more friends. I value all of my relationships with my Elite friends including my Kingwood BJJ ladies, Stefanie, Madison, Aklia, CeCe, Chelsea, MJ, Megan, and my Super Smash Sister Leslie and if I left you out I still love you!!! 

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

Do it. Do it now because you only get one body and you only get one life. You deserve to be happy and healthy. 



Greenway/Westheimer Instructor Highlight: Jose Aguilar

What is your martial arts teaching history and where do you currently teach? I've been teaching martial arts a little over a year now. I started out assisting the kids jiu jitsu class and moved up to teaching other classes likecardio kickboxingadult jiu jitsu etc. I am currently teaching at the Westheimer and Greenway locations.

What is your current rank in martial arts? I am currently a two stripe purple belt in BJJ.

What caused you to start practicing martial arts? I have always had an interest as a child and ever since I tried my first class in 2010 I have been hooked.

What is your educational background? I am currently a sophomore at Houston community college. Then I will be looking to transfer at the University of Houston where I will be finishing with a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Do you have a competitive history in martial arts? Yes, I started competing three months into my training. Mainly jiu jitsu tournaments, I've won many local and international tourna-ments. My most recent accomplishment was taking a gold medal in the Abu Dahbi Jiu Jitsu Trials and the Houston International Open.

What do you see is the main benefit the average individual can receive from martial arts? The main benefit I see that the average individual will receive is a world-class support system. You are not just someone that comes in and out, you are a part of our community. We makes sure we are there for you and to help you in the goals you want to accomplish.

What is your favorite part about practicing martial arts? My favorite part about practicing martial arts is that the art is not in one dimension, it is more than that. Its not just physical, it is mental and it involves other areas of your life. Martial arts helps you sharpen yourself in all areas of life, making you a more well-rounded individual.

Where do you hope martial arts will take you later in your life? I see myself sharing what has been given to me. Really showing people how martial arts really can do positive things in your life.


Sports Nutrition — It’s all about recovery

Since the time of the most ancient civilizations, athletes have attempted to enhance their athletic performance with various nutritional approaches. However, as our knowledge of athletes’ metabolic physiology increases, we have learned that recovery from intense exercise is just as important as athletic performance in the total training program. When an athlete can recover faster, they can train harder and perform at a higher level. This is the basis of sports nutrition.

In assessing sports nutrition and supplements, it is important to remember that not all athletes are the same. There are known differences in nutritional needs between endurance athletes and strength athletes, between conditioned versus re-conditioned athletes, between male and female athletes, and other problems and predispositions which point out the individuality of each athlete. Intense athletic exercise can be a major stressor for an athlete, and can jeopardize immune health and performance over time. That is why a solid recovery program is critical for any athlete at any level. Proper sports nutrition includes a foundational healthy diet, nutritional supplementation (both basic and sports-specific), appropriate rest time, and of course, ample water and hydration.

Certainly one of the key building blocks in an athlete’s diet is protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle. Perfect Protein Powder is an excellent choice for protein supplementation. Its liquid consistency provides for greater absorption of essential nutrients and amino acids. While it is a complete amino acid composition in itself, it can be enhanced further with the addition of singular amino acids such as branch chain amino acids (BCAA), L-arginine, L-carnitine, and glutamine. Essential nutrients such as magnesium, coenzyme Q10, ribose, and multivitamin supplements also can be added to supercharge the basic amino acid composition of Perfect Protein Powder. Athletes participating in intense exercise need to recognize that they will require vitamin supplementation above that of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) given their increased metabolic expenditure.

Given the high level of interest in sports nutrition today, certain products have been developed that will help the athlete with both performance and recovery. Perfect Protein Powder has already been discussed as a vehicle to enhance muscle recovery. Neo40 Pro is a unique product which increases blood flow, oxygen levels and stamina in athletes at any level, but particularly in endurance athletes. Ribose Complex provides ribose and other musclerecovery nutrients to prevent muscle fatigue and soreness. The enzymes in Proteo-Zymes Joint/Muscle Formula will help to relieve soreness and expedite healing in fatigued and stressed muscles. Finally, Ultimate Joint Complex will help minimize joint deterioration secondary to overuse, and help to re-establish collagen levels in the joint. These and many other products are available at the pharmacy, as well as advice on how to get the best possible outcome from your supplement choice.

  • Perfect Protein Powder
  • Neo40 Pro
  • Ribose Complex
  • Proteo-Zymes Joint/Muscle Formula
  • Ultimate Joint Complex


Ashley Nguyen, PharmD  

Zoetic Compounding Pharmacy


Ashley has been a student at Elite MMA since 2005.  She is currently a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  She founded Girls in Gi’s in 2009, which was a project she took on to empower and enroll women mentally and physically and by using BJJ as the platform for that. She is also a wife, mother, and a pharmacist that loves helping people to feel better, perform better, or just feel as normal as possible.



Westheimer Student Highlight— Stephanie Wei

What is your name and age?

Stephanie Wei, 24 years old

When did you join Elite MMA?

My fiancé and I joined in August 2014 

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

I was a competitive swimmer most of my life from a young age through college, so I’ve always enjoyed working out and being active. After I graduated college and stopped swimming, I found it difficult to come up with my own workouts and was easily bored with everything I tried. So instead of the typical weights and running, I decided to try kickboxing, which was something completely different and new for me. I also like the idea of being part of a gym where I could take classes instead of having to work out on my own. 

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

Since I was a competitive swimmer, swimming was my main form of exercise for the majority of my life. 

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

Yes, I had never done any type of martial arts training before joining Elite MMA. I now take all the kickboxing classes (cardio, fundamentals, and advanced) and join in on the BJJ classes every now and then. 

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

The people! I’ve never met a nicer or more welcoming group of people. The classes are awesome, but it really is all the amazing people that make me excited to be there and train. 

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

I’ve been able to really improve my kickboxing technique and have progressed to the advanced classes. I’m also much more confident in my self-defense skills. From a fitness standpoint, I’ve gotten stronger and more toned.

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

Just go for it! It’s one of the best workouts you will ever do, plus it’s a lot of fun! If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help or advice. Chances are, they’ve dealt with similar apprehensions and are willing to talk about it with you.

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