Elite MMA’s Buddy Week is designed to give you the opportunity to bring your friends and family in to share in the martial arts training you love so much! They get to find out where you are 2-3 times a week and what you have been doing that is getting you in great shape, skyrocketing your confidence, and making you a self-defense beast! It is also a chance to share the amazing community every one of you have built and know that the people you train with are going to take care of your friends and family as if they were you.
See you on the mats!!!
Westheimer Student Highlight— Omar Bryan
Omar first started his martial arts training when he was 12 at Gold's Gym MMA and later began training at Warriors for Christ until he was 17. He noticed a boost in his confidence after learning how to fight and defend himself, which further encouraged him to keep training. He enjoyed working with his coach, Tilman, who believed in him and "truly had his best interest at heart (as his mother described). Coach Tilman motivated Omar to keep training even through his losses and hard times in his life." After a few years of training Omar's coach had to quit training with the school, which Omar told me made him feel like he had no one to encourage him or lift him up despite his downfalls. A few months past that, Omar tragically lost his step-dad in an accident leaving his family in an economic downfall. His mother told me he wasn't able to continue his martial arts training for a time being, but she wanted to find a way to make it work.
This time of Omar's life he lost himself and a future he wanted to live into. Omar knew he needed to find a school that offered all the training he was interested in as well as a school that had a community that would empower him. He heard from a friend about Elite and stopped by. Omar quoted: "I remember the first person I met was Coach Cruz, and we had a lesson in the cage. I thought it was so awesome to be working in an actual MMA cage." He badly wanted to continue training, yet at the time his mother wasn't able to make it work.
Omar's mom worked hard to turn things around to provide Omar with the opportunity to continue training and support the family, which lead Omar to come back in the middle of last year. This time when Omar came back he worked with coach Trevin. He told me he was fascinated by a move Trevin showed him: "He taught me a take down that was unique and one he used to win a fight. It was a sneaky way to get a choke, and I really liked it." At the beginning of the next year Omar began his training with us here at Elite. "I remember the day exactly. It was January 11th when I first signed up and started my training." At first Omar admits it was difficult: "during the KKB class I wanted to get a drink of water, but Cruz told me there weren't any breaks. I thought alright I can make it through this." At the same time Omar began his training he was also running for his high school track team as well as working hard to make his grades. After coming in 3rd during a track meet and realizing his grades were suffering, he decided he would rather fully dedicate himself to his school work and MMA training, which has greatly paid off for him. He has worked himself up into the level 3 MMA classes as well as the Tier 2 classes in BJJ. He continues to excel at a new job. I often see Omar walk to the school from work in his nice dress suit just to say hello. I know for myself (Morganne Thompson) I am inspired by Omar's dedication and strong will to accomplish what he sets his mind to.
I was astonished by Omar's mother's perspective of how she has seen him transform through his training here at Elite.
"Elite MMA has been beneficial in guiding his focus past the outside distractions and internal turmoil of his emotions. Having something to demand his performance really enhances and molds his focus in a positive way. His training has provided a positive vehicle to express all of his emotions. It is a catch all for all for his trials and everything in between. When he started training at Elite, Omar told me, 'I'm back.' I'm proud of what he has accomplished due to his perseverance. It is impossible not to mention Elite MMA. Elite has provided the tools and community for him to develop his character to be a better person. This has changed all of our lives."
It is not easy for anyone to overcome life's circumstances or tribulations. We have all watched another struggle through the resent natural catastrophic events, yet we have seen it is not the event that defines us but how we respond to it. Omar has risen above all that life has thrown at him and continues to live into greatness. He has inspired me to persevere and keep working toward the goals in my life. I hope this article brings you empowerment and motivation to keep training and working past the circumstances in your own lives. Be bigger than the world around you! Empower one another!
Words of Wisdom from Omar:
"Don't let your emotions get the best of you; Don't let the emotions continue to grow stronger."
"The ones that laugh at you are the same ones that are gonna hate on you when you are big."
"Don't let your anger get the best of you. BJJ taught me how to remain calm in stressful situations. (in other words Omar suggest you do more BJJ!!)."
What is your martial arts teaching history and where do you currently teach? I've been teaching martial arts about 3 years now. I started out assisting the kids jiu jitsu class and moved up to teaching other classes like cardio kickboxing, adult 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 four 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 have been given to me. Really showing people how martial arts really can do positive things in your life.
Kingwood Student Highlight—Joseph Harrington
What is your name and age?
Joseph C Harrington
40 years young
When did you join Elite MMA?
Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
I was watching my son participate in a belt test and it just looked fun.
In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
BJJ was the first martial art that I thought hey I could do this for the rest of my life.
Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
Yes, BJJ and Kick Boxing
If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
I had no concerns
Since you have been part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
I have went from a size 40” pants to 34” pants and from 279lbs to 219lbs. It has minimized my social anxiety.
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