STUDENT OF THE MONTH has been awarded to FIT KID Chloe!!! Chloe always works hard and has a very positive attitude all the time. Our Fit Kidz class has grown so much and Chloe is a great example of what our team represents! Chloe has also became a part of the FIT KIDZ ANTI-BULLY TEAM helping stop bullying and bringing awareness. Keep up your hard work ClHloe! We are very proud of you!
Our FIT KIDZ Anti-Bully campaign is still in the beginning stages of building our foundation for success. We are starting with educating our own students and plan on doing student demonstrations on the martial arts we learn as well as demonstrations on ways to fight bullying using the discipline, hard work, and confidence we gain through martial arts to help stop bulling without violence.
This week our FIT KIDZ MMA Anti-Bully Campaign “DON’T BE A BULLY” joined forces with actor Eric Martinez’s Anti-Bully campaign “I GOT YOUR BACK”. I was inspired by all the positive things Eric Martinez does for Anti-Bulling and had to reach out. I look up to Mr. Martinez as a mentor and want to help him with his campaign as well. I feel that by collaborating with his campaign we can be that much more powerful by spreading our wisdom and positive message with hopes of making a difference.
I was honored to have Eric Martinez invite me with him to Bernalillo High School to spend the day going from class to class speaking on anti-bullying and also having an assembly on anti-bullying. It was a great experience. and I am looking forward to doing more events and hope we can make a difference in these children’s lives that will carry through their adulthood. Thanks for everything Eric and I looking forward to your “I GOT YOUR BACK” celebrity basketball tournament coming soon!
FIT KIDZ Student of the Month has been awarded to FIT KID Sergio! His hard work has made him a stand out. Sergio comes from a family of fighters. His father trains and fights out of FIT NHB. His mother also trains boxing and kickboxing. His big bro FIT KID Hondo is also one of our Top students who leaves BIG shoes for little Sergio to fill. I have grown close to his family over the years and consider them part of my own. This kid is absolutely larger then life. He first started training with FIT KIDZ at age 5. He is now 8 years old and has more fight experience, skills, and fighting style then a lot of adults who train MMA. As soon as I felt this kids energy flow, I knew in my heart he is destined for stardom, at whatever he decides to do in life. It is very rewarding and I feel blessed to teach, mentor, and attempt to make a positive influence in these children’s lives. To see Sergio grow as a martial artist for three years now is absolutely amazing. Even at a very young age he has proved to be a true warrior and representative of our team. We are proud of you Sergio! Keep up the hard work Champ! Congratulations! You deserve it Kiddo!
There was this one night in 2007 I couldn’t sleep. I had an injury or something that prevented me from training and when I can’t train, I can’t sleep. That night I just stayed up jamming out music. Mikey had just turned me on to some new underground hip hop tracks I had never heard before. One of the artist was MF Doom. Dooms lyrics blew me away on how clever and intelligent he was and i was hooked. That night I downloaded every MF Doom track I could find. When I saw how he looked i was surprised because dude wore a metal mask never revealing his face. I began to wonder why he wears the mask. After listening to his lyrics and noticing a lot of times he would talk about himself in the third person and realized he was story telling and the mask represented a character or alter ego. I related that concept to the way we feel before we step into to the cage. I feel like I have to become the character, find my alter ego, the person I need to be when I’m in there. The mask symbolized change. That night I pulled out my old painting supplies. I hadn’t painted since 2000 because of a permanent injury from being stabbed in a street fight years ago. I had to express the feeling I had about the mask so I painted a picture of it. I also painted two fist with mma gloves to symbolize the fighter version. I knew there was only one person who would understand this picture. Mikey! Next time i went to practice I took it with me to give to him. I was embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to see it so i left it in the car. After practice I told Mikey i had something for him in the car so he followed me out and I gave it to him. A huge smile came on his face which Mikey always had a poker face…he got all excited and was pumped I was giving it to him and gave me a big hug. He loved it. The gift was a token of appreciation of his friendship. Mikey and I both agreed it would be sick to walk out to the cage with a mask like dooms. I searched and searched and ended up finding one online and ordered a couple one for me and Mikey. I remember texting Mikey asking if he would be cool if I wore it too because I have had friends in the past who wouldn’t of been cool with it. Mikey was like hell ya! Rock that shit! and reminded me…that’s why we friends because we are into the same things. made my eyes water. felt good to have a true friend. We both wore them for our next fights and kicked ass. After Mikey passed away in 2009, I ended up back with the painting…I just thought it was time to share it…
On behalf of The Fit Kidz MMA Fight Team, I would Like to announce that we will be forming a FIT KIDZ ANTI-BULLY TEAM and launching the “DON’T BE A BULLY” campaign. We would like to send the message to everyone, child or adult to “DON’T BE A BULLY” especially those who learn MMA! Mixed Martial Arts is an artform and should not be used to bully. MMA can give someone the confidence to stand up for themselves or someone that is being bullied…Sometime all it takes is words.
I was once asked, “What is your biggest accomplishment?” My answer was “Becoming a teacher of children.” I was not talking about only teaching martial arts to children, although that is a big part of what I consider success in my own life. I love making a difference in someones life, mentoring and teaching, is something that means lot to me. When I look back at my own life, I remember specific people and experiences that had a major impact on my life and my path. Sharing some of my wisdom is a way of giving back that positive energy flow to the universe.
I was also talking about raising my own child. I became a father at a young age and I am now raising a young adult. She is already in high school dealing with teenage issues. I am so proud to see her learning and dealing with things in positive ways. It is a beautiful thing to witness your seed grow into a beautiful flower. I feel blessed.
My parenting style may be different from many traditional sheltering parents although I am very strict. I do not powder coat anything. I have always been brutally honest with her about my past, my family’s past and about life. I was raised by the streets, and grew up in a family struggling with drug addiction. I am happy to see many of my family members overcome their addictions, but some are still struggling. My daughter has also been by my side through the hard times in my life. We are learning many lessons together. The trials and tribulations have made us very close. She is my best friend. Many of the concepts of truth I have learned through martial arts I use in my own life leading by example. I have done my best to teach her through stories of my personal experiences as history lessons. I have tried to instill in her, the codes that I live by. I believe she is very wise for her age and is a born leader. I believe she will have a positive influence on many throughout her life. She already has had a positive influence on mine. My little girl ads balance to my life. Knowing she loves me and needs me, has kept me on my path.
I didn’t used to like east coast hip hop our east coast slang growing up. I was a more of a west coast gangster kind of guy. My friend Mikey used to always call me “son” when he called or text me” but he would spell it “sun”. One day I asked him. “Hey dog…why you always call me sun?” Mikey said “because you shine like the sun!” I like that.
My daughter is my sunshine “shining like the sun!”. She is my light.
Hip Hop Sun
The week before I left to Oklahoma for the fight, my wife an I had the biggest argument since being married 9 months earlier. I lost my temper and screamed back at my wife as I pushed what was on the shelf off, which was a plant, and a statue of Buddha. The Buddha statue broke and was symbolic, it was the was the end of my peace with my family. My wife left with her two kids and my daughter and I stayed, cleaned up and finished dinner. There was a knock at the door and it was the cops. I told them what happened. I guess my wife had already told them what happened. She told them she was pushing me and I lost my temper and broke the statue. They nearly took me to jail for domestic violence. I could of lost everything. My wife and her kids left to stay in Santa Fe with her parents and we agreed not to talk till after my fight. I still had to do the final weight cut and get mentally prepared for battle and try to block out the negative energy. Everything went well, till I arrived at the event center. I received a text from my wife that she moved out and wont be there when I return. I have dealt with a lot of things over the years such as fighting days after my best friend took his own life, and consider myself very strong mentally.This news of losing my family broke my heart and spirit. I was depressed and didn’t even want to be in there. I did OK but lost a decision. When I got home after throwing down in the cage and driving for hours to get back home the next day, I came home to an empty house. My wife and I had many conversations about how much emotional support I needed. It was something she could not give me. and she knew this. There is a lot more to the story but it is a little too personal for me to discuss with the world. It feels like it was a test.
We were separated for over 8 months and finally are going through the final divorce process. Being alone, my teenage daughter and I we have pulled it together and I managed to focus the negative energy into training very well for another fight. My original opponent for this new fight in 2012 was changed and last minute. KOTC matched me up with a guy with a lot of experience and we knew nothing about him. I found out the hard way that dude had very powerful hands and good counter boxing, and in the second round I was knocked out. I went from 4 fright win streak, to a two fight losing streak. My ex-wife had nothing negative to do with this fight. I was really focused. My training had went well. Maybe I shouldn’t of fought a guy with that much experience on short notice.Bottom line is, I just got caught. My ankle twisted like Crocop’s did when he got KO ed in the UFC so I had to take some time off to let my ankle heal.
Holiday times comes around, and my daughters mother and I made arrangements that she fly out of state to go visit that side of her family for the holidays. This seemed great for everyone but me. My daughter and I are very close and It has been the hardest holiday time alone I have ever dealt with in my lifetime.
Many people, when they think of new years, They have New Years Resolutions or revolutions lol, and they make sure to celebrate and party down to bring in the new year. This is a tradition for many. I don’t drink and am actually a little anti social. That means, most likely you will not see me at any of the big bashes in town. For me this NEW YEAR stands for something else. I landmark to a new chapter of my life. I have been through so much emotional pain this year , that I am embracing 2013 with optimism, the year for change, and finding my inner peace again.
I know many of my fans are waiting to hear when my next fight is, well I am excited to say it will be very soon. Thanks to my coaches and teammates at FIT NHB for their support through all of my drama this year and the FIT KIDZ MMA Program. These kids didn’t let me give up. I feel bleesed. Thank you.
Leaving the past behind and looking forward to a great future in 2013. I feel reborn!
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! Be safe and”EMBRACE” 2013
Albuquerque has always been a boxing town. With boxing legends like Johnny Tapia repping New Mexico, he made poor street kids like me proud to be from New Mexico when I was growing up. Like many of us growing up in Albuquerque’s rough culture, Mr.Tapia experienced some of the negative things in the “Duke City” that your average New Mexico tourist ever get to see. I truly respect the way he used negative experiences and turned that negative energy into into positive energy. He has inspired myself as well as many other people with his positive energy.
November 17th, Johnny Tapia presents “The Next Chapter” going down at The Crown Plaza Albuquerque. Some of New Mexico’s finest boxers will be on the action packed fight card!
I have trained in mma since 2004. Over the years I have made many friends and sparred with many boxers in the boxing community. We invite many different boxing teams to come spar at our gym. They help us keep our boxing game sharp for the cage.
I am a big fan of the home grown fighters on the card. Donald Sanchez, Joaquin Zamora, Josh “Pit Bull” Torres,and Archie Ray Marquez to name a few.
The fighter that has me really excited is Donald Sanchez. Not Just because Donald Sanchez is one of my best homeboys, but because Donald is someone I look up to. His hard work has inspired me to train harder and push myself to my personal limits during training for years now. He is a world champion. When we go on mountain runs together I usually try to stay a few steps behind him. I even try step in the same spot as him. In my mind I am taking the step of a champion.
Donald Sanchez has 40 mma fights and seems to be new to the boxing game with only one professional boxing bout. The truth is, our Team at FIT NHB respects the boxing game and our head striking trainer Arlene-Sanchez Vaughn has always made sure our team focuses on their hands as well as our over all martial arts skills. I have a feeling many boxing fans are going to be surprised to see an mma fighter showcasing his skills using the sweet science of boxing and the heart of a New Mexican fighter. Sending my love to Johnny Tapia and all of our New mexico fighters. I know this will be a great show.
I wanted to say a few words about a good friend of mine Matt Priest. Priest and I came up together in the early days of our fight career. We fought on many amateur mma fights, boxing/kickboxing shows, and and grappling tournaments. We did a lot of road trips in those early days, and we have many crazy stories that we have collected over our journey.
Matt competed in professional mma until he suffered a severe knee injury. There was an exciting technical striking style Matt used in the cage along with his back woods fearless country attitude.Priest always put on a great show. After suffering his knee injury Matt took a step back from mma and focused on his boxing. He trained many hours hitting mitts with FIT NHB Boxing Coach Rob Monroe who would eventually move on to be one of the leading cut men for the UFC, Bellator, and Strikeforce. All of those hours Matt trained, refining the techniques with coach Rob, Matt picked up on those same flow patterns. Priest has now developed his own unique style with an mma perception to help others.
You might still see Matt Priest in the cage but as a Referee. He has reffed thousands of mma fights over the years but has now really focused on training others.
Matt now works with UFC fighter “The Dirty Bird” Tim Means, KOTC World Champion and Professional Boxer Donald Sanchez, KOTC Women’s World Champion “Bam Bam” Brenda Gonzales, as well as myself, and many others. Priest is a top notch world class trainer that many don’t know about. Fans usually only get to see the stars shine but rarely get a chance to see the ground work fighters and trainers put in to get there.
Our head striking trainer Arlene Sanchez-Vaughn has stressed to us that “A fighter has to practice a technique thousands of times in the gym, just to land it once, when it counts…”
Matt has always been an awesome friend to me. Now he is an awesome trainer to me! Thank you Matt.