My name is Beau Schexnaydre and I am 40 years old. I joined Elite MMA in 2007 starting at the Westheimer location. I became a fan of martial arts in 2005 when we started having UFC parties. One night, while watching a UFC event at my house, a buddy of mine who just returned from the Marines mentioned he was practicing Jiujitsu at a gym in Louisiana. I decided to attend a couple classes the next week to see what it was about. I gassed out very quickly each time, but I enjoyed the lessons. My work schedule kept me from attending anymore at that time, but I was always opened to it if my work schedule ever changed. The next year I moved to Texas for work. Coincidentally, we ended up in an apartment across the street from the Westheimer location. After a few months getting established in my new work position, I decided to take them up on the free lesson offered. I stopped in one day after I had been in the office to schedule my free lesson. Eric and I start talking and at some point, he convinces me to get on the mat with him. I was in a dress shirt and a pair of khakis from work, mind you. It was a slow build up, but eventually we covered the full spectrum: BJJ, freestyle wrestling and kickboxing. By the time it is all over, he had me doing mitt work at full speed. By this time, my khakis were soaked with sweat. I was hooked after that. It was everything I wanted it to be.
Karate gyms were big in the 80’s and early 90’s. There were a few around us and a few of the kids in my grade school classes were in it and gymnastics. Not sure how it came to be, but I can remember taking gymnastics for a while right around the time I started to get into sports. That would have been first or second grade. My father was a high school football and baseball coach though, so team sports was ultimately where I landed. The high school I attended did not have wrestling. A kid was injured some years before and the parish decided not to have it for a while. Powerlifting was my winter sport after football and swimming in the fall. As I got older, there were no martial arts gyms near us. As mentioned, the first one I did try out for a few classes was in 2005, but it was not very close to our house and I was often traveling for work.
Side note: (stares directly into the camera) I can still hit an excellent cartwheel even though it is frowned upon for warmups, lol.
Elite is my first time taking martial arts classes. During the first couple years I was a regular in the Kickboxing and Jiujitsu classes. I was 26/27 with a goal to eventually try MMA.
Naively, I had zero concerns. I viewed it the same as I did any other contact sport. Football was a big deal growing up, and I enjoyed the contact. So, my thinking was martial arts would just be a different type of contact. Looking back now, I had very little understanding of what I was getting into, and I mean that in a good way. I just wanted to get radical. It became so much more rewarding than I ever expected.
I became a father to a little boy named Owen in 2011. He lives with me full time in Baytown. Raising a child on the spectrum and working full time is not easy as a single father, but one day he will be the greatest accomplishment of my life. Owen wasn’t ready the first couple times we tried out the kids’ class, but he is making it 3 days a week now. He just received a gray stripe white belt and completed 25 classes. I couldn’t be prouder of his progress.
This November will be my 14th year with the same company. My role has changed several times, but I eventually landed in a position that no longer involves travel. This has given me the opportunity to focus more on Jiujitsu. Over the years, I had trouble finding the time to prepare for tournaments because of work and injuries, but the stars aligned recently, and I was able to enter a few this year. A first-place finish at the in-house tournament in February, a first-place finish at an AGF tournament in July and a 28 second armbar win in a Jiujitsu super fight in July. It was the fastest win of a night with 33 matches. The next day I was promoted to brown belt in one of the more difficult belt graduations I have been involved in.
Every chance I get, I talk up Elite. It is not a room full of alphas training ON newbies. From the day someone walks in the door, they feel as though they are a part of the family and they can progress at their own pace. Overall, it operates in the way I always imagined a church would. Growing up I was too young to grasp the community aspect of the church. Now that I am older, I understand the value of providing people with a sense of belonging. Religion was unable to provide that for me, but I have found it at Elite. It really is an Elite family, and I feel blessed to have met so many wonderful people along the way. I know how important the school is to the other students and how giving it is to the community. Therefore, it means a lot to represent Elite in competition and in the community.
For those that have never participated in sports, the intense physical exertion of martial arts is a positive outlet for stress while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It makes the hurdles in life easier to clear when you are healthy. Learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations is what we always say, and it is true. I can vouch for that because several things have taken me away from training over the years. Work, injuries and divorce to name a few, but I always find my way back. I can’t recall who it was, but someone told me once, “Don’t worry about scheduling days off, life will always schedule them for you.” My interpretation of that is we’re too busy loving our life to have time for any negativity. Or “NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING” To all my friends at Elite but especially those that came to support my super fight, EXPLODE!!!!!!!