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Ultimate Martial Arts Mindset


BJJ encompasses so many different mindsets, goals and beliefs...but there is one trait that every long-term practitioner has developed…

Resiliency. Possibly the most valuable character trait that can be cultivated in a sport where the majority of those who start quit within the first year or so. It is arguably the hardest trait to have in a society that is quick to remind you that you are entitled to walk away from anything that is no longer easy or comfortable.

Most people spend their lives avoiding adversity and skirting discomfort, never building the discipline that grows resiliency. Resiliency does not come overnight, it comes from continuous exposure to things that knock you down and force you to stand back up. It comes from making mistakes. It comes from losses…getting ‘’tapped out.’’ It comes from continuing forward when all you want to do is listen to the voices telling you to call it quits. It comes from taking the mistakes, losses, heartbreak and disappointment and using the lessons they taught you to move forward in pursuit of your goals.

Resiliency is the absence of excuses. Life will give you thousands of opportunities to grab onto an excuse, and some will seem like very good ones, and let it be the reason you never move forward. Excuses are the most readily available option. The loudest voices are the ones telling you that your efforts are worthless so you should grab on to one the many excuses available to you, you need to learn to ignore those voices.

Resiliency is choosing to drop the excuses and choosing instead to listen to the quieter voice telling you that your efforts are not in vain. The secret to getting good at jiu jitsu is the secret to getting better at anything in life- become resilient. When you become resilient, you become unstoppable. It doesn’t mean that you will never be knocked down, experience setbacks or stray from your path. It means that you will not stay down, you will find your way back onto the path. Resilience is the ultimate BJJ mindset.

Kingwood Student Highlight— Ariel Malicse

What is your name and age?

Ariel Malicse, 55 years old 

When did you join Elite MMA?

February 16, 2016 

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

I re-took martial arts for three reasons: a) for the health benefits associated with working out, b) increased knowledge and application of self-defense, and c) meet people who will share your passion for martial arts.  I train at 24 hour every now and then, however, I find that taking BJJ is far more effective in pushing you to workout.  The obvious reason is that BJJ requires a well-developed core and stamina, especially when you are “rolling” with partners. 

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

The main reasons I hesitated on re-taking martial arts is time.  I work in the energy corridor, which is about 40+ miles one way from my home in Kingwood. My brain is typically exhausted from work and my body tired from driving daily through Houston traffic.  The other reason is that I might get serious injury.

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

I took Cha Yon Rhu (Korean Martial Arts founded by Kim Soo) from 2000 to 2005.  I reached purple belt and was literally a rank test away from being a brown belt.  

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

I have always wanted to learn BJJ even when I was taking Cha Yon Rhu because I saw the practical application of Jiu Jitsu.  Many fights and even when I would spar at Cha Yon Rhu, I noticed that most fights end up in grappling.  I am also a big fan of UFC from the beginning. 

I called several jiu jitsu classes around the Kingwood and Humble area and visited a few of them. I called Elite MMA but really never visited the place.  Mr. Jordan called me at work and I thought he was one of the BJJ I visited that weekend.  He invited me to come visit Elite MMA and observe.  I noticed the kids coming out of the previous class and the adults going into the 7PM class. Mr. Jordan was going through the drills and started teaching the techniques, while I watch.  The class was organized and I noticed the respect of student to each other and to Mr. Jordan.  I did not see people who act like Rambo rather I saw healthy and passionate people learning and practicing. 

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

It has been almost 4 month since I joined.  I feel my core and stamina significantly improved.  Of course, I am still a long way from where I want to be.  My brother in the Philippines thought that I was going to gym and doing weight training again because he noticed the improvement in my ab section. I think that my knowledge has improved as well.  

I would also consider gaining new friends an accomplishment.  The people at Elite MMA, Mr. Jordan, Mr. Tyler, higher belts students, and my fellow white belts are so helpful and really nice.  BJJ, by nature, is a mixture of complex combination of techniques.  Elite MMA is very methodical in going through each technique.  I noticed that rather than intimidating, the instructors and higher belt students are really there to help and make it a wonderful learning experience. 

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

BJJ to me is the most practical self-defense when compared to other stand up techniques. The health benefits from the workouts, drills, and rolling are major plus.  BJJ forces you to improve your core and stamina while activating the neurons in your brain.





Greenway/Westheimer Instructor Highlight: Austin Apodaca


What is your martial arts teaching history and where do you currently teach?

I've been teaching martial arts for almost 3 years now. Mostly kids, but now I teach adults and kids. I currently teach at the Greenway location.  

What is your current rank in martial arts?

I am currently a 3 stripe blue belt in BJJ 

What caused you to start practicing martial arts?

Keep me out of trouble. I wasn't heading in the direction i thought would benefit me the most so I needed something to get me on the right track. I always thought martial arts was a great way to grow discipline so i said 'why not?". I also wanted to learn self defense and have a new sport to try.   

What is your educational background?

I graduated from Kingwood High School in 2014 and I currently attend Lonestar college.  

Do you have a competitive history in martial arts?

I try to compete as much as possible. I've always been competitive when it comes to sports, so as soon as i found out about jiu jitsu competitions i jumped in as soon as i could. Competition is a great way for me to see where my jiu jitsu is and where my strong and weak areas are.  

What do you see is the main benefit the average individual can receive from martial arts?

Self defense because jiu jitsu can teach you to use leverage and technique to overcome a stronger and bigger person. Self Confidence because the speed bumps that you encounter and surpass can help you overcome any obstacle in life. 

What is your favorite part about practicing martial arts?

My favorite part about training is being able to train at such a high intensity and still being able to shake my partners hand after trying to choke each other. I don't think you could do that in any other sports. It teaches you to be humble.  

Where do you hope martial arts will take you later in your life?

I hope martial arts will help me grow as a person on and off the mats, so I can show my family and my students the growth that I went through in order help to them in their life. 


Do You Feel Pain While Training?

If you train martial arts at some point in time you will have some pain.  For most people, having pain means you either live with it and train through it or take some kind of pill to mask the pain.  Topical pain management has become a popular approach to treating localized pain. Whether the pain is due to arthritis, trauma, neuropathic issues or a host of other possible causes, the topical pain approach can be very beneficial. The initial advantage of localized topical pain management was to minimize systemic distribution and adverse effects from opioids and other systemically acting analgesics. However, the utilization of various oral nutritional agents, along with the topically applied agents, can significantly improve overall pain management. 

Pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be debilitating as the joints begin to lose the spongy cartilage that protect the bones from rubbing against each other. Topical agents have proven helpful for localized arthritic pain. However, oral agents such as glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and hyaluronic acid have been shown to actually contribute to restoring the sponginess of the joint cartilage, something that topical agents alone cannot do.  Certain herbal agents are well-established in the medical literature for their effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects on a wide range of pain challenges. Curcumin or the combination of boswelia, turmeric and devil’s claw can significantly improve outcomes in topical pain management. 

Pain from sports injury or any other type of trauma can be treated with a combination of topical pain creams and focused nutritional support. Certain proteolytic enzymes have been shown to expedite healing and pain relief in cases of sports injury and muscle trauma. Nitric Oxide enhancers increase vasodilatory effect, can help to improve healing and blood flow into injured muscles and minimize lactic acid build-up in the injured or overused muscle. 

Neuropathic pain is always challenging to treat. But incorporating oral nutritional support along with a topical cream approach, will greatly expedite remission and improve outcomes. Inflamed, hyperactive nerves are one of the major signs of neuropathic pain. Studies have shown that Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500mg can positively impact nerve pain from multiple mechanisms of action. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) 300mg is another nutritional supplement with a documented track record for treating neuropathy. A unique approach to addressing nerve pain is to enhance body stores of the essential neural antioxidant, glutathione. The combination of glutathione found in and methylcobalamin, can help to improve nerve function and protect the nerve cell from additional damage. 

When attempting to improve and manage pain, it is important to look past simple anti-inflammatories and consider the utilization of appropriate nutritional supplements to support the underlying muscle, nerve, and other cells that are creating the perception of pain. 

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— Jose and Ashley Chavez

What is your name and age?

Ashley Chavez 30 and Jose Chavez 29

When did you join Elite MMA?

A: In September of 2011

J: I joined Elite in 2011

Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?

A: I was running from a bad relationship and living by myself I needed as much protection as I could get

J: Initially it was only to get in shape but I then fell in love with the sport

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

A: I never really thought about it before then. I was actually scrolling the Internet when I saw Elite MMAs ad

J: I was on and off with training previously because of my job I worked 10-14hr days Consistently

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

A: Yes it is my 1st time. I've never been to another school and don't see myself leaving. I currently take cardio kick boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes but I have taken self defense and fight fit in the past.

J: Yes, I love all the Jiu jitsu classes offered.

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

A: I don't think I ever had any concerns. I just knew that I needed to act quickly

J: I joined Elite because of the openness I can come any time of day and train whether it be a class or on my own, there's always someone there and you don't find that anywhere else.

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

A: Training at Elite I feel capable of defending myself. I feel more fit and agile. I've overcome my anxiety and depression, made new friends, and I found my husband and created a family I couldn't imagine myself having before.

J: Since I joined all aspects of my life improved from confidence within myself to improving in my sales at work. Elite MMA is great in many aspects from being open all day to having a weight lifting area to having amazing instructors who take the time to answer any questions you may have whether it be about MMA/ Jiu jitsu to anything personal you're going through in life these people have you're interest at heart I can honestly say that I can go to any of them if I need advice any form of advice.

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

A: Not everyone has the same story but I believe training mixed martial arts can help everyone. From overcoming weight and health issues that they struggle with to learning self defense to protect themselves and their loved ones. Or even if you're just looking for a different kind of atmosphere. I believe Elite MMA has something for everyone, regardless of age, weight or body type.

J: When you join elite you become a part of an amazing family.


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