Arena MMA Amateur Champion and former #1 ranked Flyweight in California, Enrique Marte, is ready to make his pro debut this Saturday 5/29 in Betonville, Arkansas for J Street Fights! Enrique has been a consistent killer for our MMA team and is ready to start his journey as a professional.
My name is Enrique Marte, I’m an amateur fighter out of The Arena. I have 13 amateur fights and I’m making my professional debut Saturday, May 29th in Arkansas for J Street Fights. My last amateur fight was November of 2019, and I was supposed to make my professional debut a month or two later, but unfortunately COVID happened.
It sucked for a little bit, but I’m glad it happened in a sense because I got to change a lot of things. And it gave me extra time to iron everything out, and really figure out the correct way to do everything. This fight camp, it’s a lot of conditioning, a lot of breaking my bad habits, and making sure that I don’t make any silly mistakes that will cost me the fight.
My professional debut is going to be next Saturday, May 29th in Arkansas for J Street Fights. And if you’re interested in tuning in, go onto jstreetfights.com to watch it live.
Coach Charles Martinez:
So today, I’m training David Daniels, who’s 11 years old, and he’s preparing for USA Nationals, for Pankration, for USFL. If he wins his spot in the Nationals, then he’ll represent America in Turkey at the World Championships. I’ve trained him for a couple of his fights. He’s done over 300 grappling matches, over 200 wrestling matches, done four Muay Thai fights. He’s done four Pankration fights.
Pankration is basically the oldest version of MMA, so it actually came from the Greek Games. And for kids, you don’t want to get hit to the head, you don’t want a bunch of head trauma. So Pankration basically is MMA gloves, shin guards, headgear, and they can punch to the body, take downs, wrestling against the cage, submission. So it’s all put in. It’s a safer way for kids to get introduced into MMA. And this is the future of the sport.
Eventually, the UFC is going to be made up of 25 year olds who started training at five. So David started training when he was five years old. He’s already competed hundreds of times in Jiu-Jitsu, hundreds of times in wrestling. And now, he’s starting really his actual fighting. And this is still just a bridge to get to that higher competition level. So it’s really just preparation. And this is the direction that MMA has to go in order to catch up to things like USA boxing, where they have hundreds of competitions to get ready for their professional career. So David’s a machine.
To achieve what others can’t you must be willing to do what other won’t. Not too many people embody this principle like Women’s MMA pioneer Liz Carmouche. Here you see just one of the many ways she seeks to make herself uncomfortable in fight preparation in order to be prepared for the battle. This Friday April 9th Liz will violently welcome Invicta Champion Vanessa Porto to Bellator on Showtime. This fight has title shot implications and will be the next step to gold for Liz. Wish her, Coach Chuck, and Coach Vince good hunting and tune in to watch!
Jacob Macalolooy is a life long martial artist, coming from a long family tradition of fighting. This is his story and his reflection on his training as he approaches the end of being an elite level amateur boxer looking to go pro. From Kajukenbo, to Kickboxing and MMA, to Division One Wrestling, and now Boxing, Jacob personifies the way of living the martial arts life.
My names is Jacob Noah Macalolooy. I’m a lifetime martial artist, and I’m currently an elite amateur boxer fighting at The Arena.
My family has a deep history in martial arts and fighting. My grandfather and his brother were boxers. And when my dad was a young child, he started training in Kajukenbo. It’s a self-defense art from Oahu, Hawaii. It was during the 1940s, there were a lot of sailors on the island and they would get in fights with the locals. So the locals had to come up with a more effective fighting style and self-defense style. So these five masters got together from karate, judo, jujitsu, kenpo, and boxing, and they basically blended their styles to create this traditional mixed martial art.
In 1997, my dad was able to start his martial arts school just out of my grandparents’ garage. And eventually we got our own building and that’s pretty much how I grew up. I grew up in a dojo and ever since I started doing martial arts, when I was about five years old, I started wrestling at the same time.
Every wrestler has a love-hate relationship with the sport just because it’s so tough and it’s so grueling and hard on the body and the mind. So in high school, I never really wanted to wrestle in college. I just thought of college as a time where I was supposed to have fun, but by the time I was a junior in high school, I started to get some offers. And I started to realize that my wrestling could really give me an opportunity to have a higher education and it can just really open doors for me.
So getting the opportunity to wrestle at Columbia university, was really something special. There’s no way that I would be the athlete that I am now had I not competed at the D-1 level in wrestling for Columbia university.
September 2018, I started training at The Arena. I was mainly just training with the MMA guys, but I always had this idea that I might be able to compete in boxing. So I started getting in Coach Basheer’s ear. He’d seen me in there scrapping with MMA guys. So, that’s pretty much his perspective of me. “Yeah, yeah, you think you can just come in here and box because you got some MMA stuff.” But I knew as a martial artist, I really had a foundation, so I knew that would be able to switch gears and really just focus on my hands and focus on my movement.
I just stayed at it and I just kept training hard. And one day Coach is like, “All right, you can go jump in with one of my guys.” And I showed him what I really had to offer. It has just been such a learning and growing experience to be able to learn under Coach Basheer. I just feel really blessed and excited and grateful to be part of this team. Now I’m getting ready to compete in my last competition as an amateur at the Nationals in Louisiana. And from there as soon as possible, I’m going to try and get my pro debut.
Being a fighter has always been a core part of my identity ever since I could remember. And really being close with my family, having a big family, competing ever since I was a little kid and just always having all this support. And there’s really no feeling like it, especially when you’re successful and for them to cheer you on and to just be proud. There’s just nothing that motivates me more. And here in San Diego, I have my own family and that just adds to it on a whole different level. I’m really just planting seeds for it right now. And soon enough, I’m really going to start to see the fruits of all my work.
When he’s not in the gym, you might find Chris Leben at beautiful Sunset Cliffs hitting mitts with The Arena’s Boxing Coach Joe Vargas. Chris recently fought and won his last professional fight in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. We look forward to the next step in his career.
Arena MMA Pro Fighter Jefferson Creighton @jeffcreighton prepares for his 5th professional fight in Texarkana, Arkansas at Peak Fighting 7! Jeff started his amateur career with us and was the #1 ranked amateur in California. Now he is building his pro career on his way to the big show!
Coach Charles Martinez:
We have Jeff Creighton fighting at Peak Fighting 7 in Texarkana, Arkansas, looking for his fourth pro win fighting the town’s local guy, a lot of fights to a decent record. Jeff’s going out there just to get a fight while we’re here stuck in California, we haven’t really had any local shows, pro shows, and he’s a young pro trying to build his record up. So got to get on the road to get fights. Jeff’s usually a gamer in every area. He got good striking, good wrestling, solid Jiu Jitsu. So wherever the fight goes, Jeff’s able to handle himself.
You see our coaches dropping knowledge on you about combat sports, so you may think we’re all great on camera……sometimes we just can’t get it right. Once you start laughing its hard to get back on track! Enjoy!
We’re all walking different paths. Coach Charles Martinez discusses how everyone we interact with on this martial arts journey has different goals and motivations. We should help build each other up instead of letting our egos and greed dictate how we treat each other. Leading into the new year we will all grow and get stronger together.
Coach Charles Martinez:
Hello. My name is Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena and today I wanted to discuss a motivation. I want to take this from a slightly different perspective, often in sport especially in these combat sports that we all train in, the motivation is always to be the best and to smash everyone. And I think we forget sometimes that that’s not what most people’s motivation was when they came into the gym. A lot of people are training to address fears or to feel more powerful and I think a lot of times we, especially if you’ve been training a long time or you’re a fighter, or you’re a competitor, you have the tendency of looking down on people that aren’t as good as you. And just because they’re not as good as you at this sport that you’ve chosen to be good at it doesn’t make them lesser. It just means that either their athletic ability isn’t as high, but really their motivation could be different than yours.
Just because your motivation is to go out and be the best in the world, maybe that’s not theirs. Maybe their motivation is to feel stronger, to just be more comfortable in their skin every day and maybe that’s what they’re getting. So sometimes we have the tendency of getting frustrated with our training partners and kind of forgetting that we were new once also. Maybe they’re new, maybe one day they’re going to be your best training partner, they don’t have to be a world beater to give you good work.
So I think sometimes we stray away from that and we forget that we’re all walking a different path but we all ended up in the same place. So if you take that and you treat everyone as if, hey, this could have been me on one of my first days and if someone was kind of crappy to me, maybe I would have never come back. So I think once you switch your perspective, if you could look from outside of yourself and see that maybe this person’s not like you, maybe they’re scared, maybe they’re terrified and they don’t want to get screamed at. Maybe they’ve never been an athlete, maybe they’ve never played a sport. They came here to feel better and to feel empowered and how you treat them, even if something trivial, something like, hey, good job. Even if it wasn’t a good job, just that little bit of motivation might be the reason they come back the next day. And maybe one day they turn into a valuable training partner, but either way, even if they’re only here for six months and it improves their life somehow, and it was worth it, that was their motivation, not yours.
So sometimes I think we forget, we think everyone is looking at the world through our same perspective, it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe their motivation is different than yours. You should still respect it because ultimately that’s what we’re all here for.
Everyone has different interpretations of victory. And it can be real superficial, it can be really deep. Some people, victory is getting your hand raised at the end of the fight. Some people, victory is coming home alive. That is a form of victory. But then if you go deeper, there’s another form of victory. Like Glenn said, giving everything you got. Win, live or die, giving everything you got.
So that, I believe, is controlled. You can control that victory. Winning and losing is hard to control. I always told you guys before, don’t dwell on wins and losses, just give everything you got. Whatever comes with it, it’s like the tail of a dog. When he turns the corner, if the dog walks around the ring right there, I don’t know if his tail is going to be on the left side or the right side, but I know it’s going to be on one of those sides.
It’s like when we fight. We don’t know if we’re going to win or lose, but we know it’s going to be one or the other. And can you control it? You can try. You can train hard. You can get ready. You can fight hard. But you can’t control it. So no sense to dwell on it.
My view of victory in the fights is not getting my hand raised, it’s giving everything I got to the very end. My sign of victory in life, I always have this image of a building burning and a child on the second floor. My sign of victory isn’t walking, going home that night. My view of victory on that is running into the building and see if I can save that person, whether I live or die. That’s my victory. Okay. So just food for thought. Yeah. It’s a different range of success and different ideas of what people view as success.