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.
Coach Charles Martinez:
Hey, this is Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena, and today I wanted to talk briefly about how to get the most out of your learning. Now, sometimes in a class setting, maybe there’s multiple things being taught. They might not all specifically apply to you in your game right now. But in a class, I feel like when I’m teaching, I usually feel like I’m teaching to the middle of the room. Some of the technique is above the head of a new person, but it’s a little too simple for the advanced person. As you’re learning things, maybe you could be attracted to certain technique more than others, and maybe that’s… It could be a body type, it could be where your skill level is currently, so when you’re taking in information, this is kind of the information age for martial arts. Everything is out there. Fundamentals are fundamentals across the board, but then after you learn basic fundamentals, you want to start developing your own game.
There’s this Bruce Lee saying of, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and then add what’s specifically your own.” I think that’s important, but first… You don’t know at first what’s going to be the most useful for you. So when you’re taking in information, try and take it all in. Maybe there’s a piece today that you can apply today. Maybe the bare bones of what’s being taught today is important for your fundamentals of your game. Maybe one of the moves, or one of the versions of the move, just doesn’t make sense to you; you just don’t get it. And that’s fine. Maybe it’s not applicable to you today, but it could be. It could be as you get older, whereas maybe you have an injury, or maybe there’s an easier way of doing it. When you’re young, you have the tendency of behaving one way. When you’re older, maybe you find a path of least resistance a little bit easier. So the technique often is taught across the board, to everyone in the room, regardless of tall, short.
A good coach, as you start to develop, if you’re training specifically for yourself, you can start to tailor and decide what’s best for your body type, and your game, etc. But first you have to have the basis to build that on top of. Sometimes the technique is just not for you; maybe it’s just not for you ever, maybe it’s just not for you right now. I think when you have that mentality as you’re learning technique, it will be a lot easier to develop what is your own, but also have an open mind of other technique that could be applicable down the line, or it could be applicable against a different opponent, or a different body type. I think once you have that, you can draw something useful out of all technique, rather than being like, “I like this. I don’t like that.” Maybe you don’t like it right now because you don’t understand it right now, but down the line, you might be able to really draw something from it that benefits your game. That’s your tip.
Arena MMA Pro Alex Trinidad is preparing for a huge fight at LFA on UFC Fight Pass! Alex started with us as an amateur and is now a professional ready to show the world he is ready for the big stage! He balances being in the Navy, taking care of his family, and still outworks everyone. Ice Cream Man is coming.
Coach Charles Martinez:
We have Alex Trinidad scheduled to fight on LFA, December 4th in Kansas. LFA is a great show. It’s on UFC Fight Pass. They’re basically a feeder show for the UFC. His opponent’s Anthony Romero, kid’s really good, 8-0. He already fought on Dana White’s Contender Series and he won. So it’s really an opportunity for Alex to go out there and show what we already know here that his skill level is world-class and that he can compete with these guys that are right there on the cusp of getting into the UFC.
Alex is the hardest worker in the gym. He’s been here the longest. He was a top ranked amateur in California. He’s 5-2 as a pro, took two hard losses, big shows against really good guys. He’s matured. His skill level now is there to put himself right there in contention for fights on big shows. So it’s a good opponent, it’s a good fight, and he’s training hard.