February 29, 2016

A Weekend With The Capital Family

What a weekend for Capital MMA & Elite Fitness! Capital’s kids won the second place team trophy at the Junior Grappling tournament. Five of our purple belts competed at the BJJ Battle Royal invitational tournament. Chris Piriz won another professional MMA fight at CFFC — with a 3rd round TKO. Professor Carlos David Oliveira put on a great seminar at the Lorton, VA location. And the CrossFit Open 16.1 is in the books!

To top it all off, check out this letter Dasha’s father (Nick Anderson) wrote about the Capital Family experience:

What does ‘Capital MMA Family’ mean?

So you may have heard this thing about the Capital Family. When you signed up to join Capital you probably heard the staff say something like, “we’re a family here.” But what does this actually mean? Well for a start egos are left outside the door. It doesn’t matter if you show up fat, thin, buff or anything else. You’ll be treated with respect and as a friend no matter what. You’ll be guided when you need help and you’ll be pushed when you want pushing. You’ll be brought inside the circle of a group of people who love jiu-jitsu, Crossfit and Muay Thai and whether they simply want to learn self defense or go all the way to fighting inside the octagon, they’ll be supported every step of the way. Sure, other gyms are friendly. Other gyms have quality instructors. So what’s different about Capital compared to those other places? Well this I found out at a kids’ grappling tournament at the weekend just gone. This is when I really discovered what ‘Capital Family’ means to me.

Dasha’s my 11 year old daughter. She loves jiu-jitsu. In fact, she’s the one that persuaded me to buy a gi and start rolling on the mats. She has friends that do Tae Kwon Do and Karate and she had the choice of joining them. But then just over a year ago she noticed something called the UFC and heard all about the Gracies, and after that all she wanted to do was roll. And roll she did. So much so that she needs to compete to keep herself challenged. So when another local tournament was announced Dasha jumped at the opportunity. As usual, she worked hard to get ready, cross training at Capital Alexandria, Fairfax and Loudon under the instruction of so many good coaches (too many to name here but you know who you are).

Tournament day arrived and we thought we were the only Capital people attending so it was cool to see her friend Micah and his dad Darrell from Alexandria. But looking around at all the other schools highlighted that Dasha and Micah didn’t have their coaches with them on this occasion. Now of course, I’m going to help Dasha and guide her from the side of the mat to the best of my ability. But I’m only a one-stripe white belt who is still in ‘get thrashed around the mat and eat humble pie’ mode, while most of the coaches walking the tournament floor have years more experience.

So what does all this have to do with ‘family’? Well as Dasha and Micah warmed up, Darrell and I spotted a guy wearing a ‘Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Competition Team’ hoodie at the other end of the gymnasium. Nothing special about Gracie apparel these days. But this hoodie had something else on it. Three letters, C, M, E superimposed on each other in the unmistakable symbol of Capital MMA and Elite fitness. A quick introduction and suddenly we were friends with Miguel and Hernan from Capital Takoma Park. They’d brought 5 of their kids and it took literally seconds for them to offer to coach Dasha and Micah once they knew that we were there on our own. All they needed to know was that we were Capital and that our kids needed some help. It didn’t matter where we were from or which Capital school we rolled at. Dasha and I had never set foot anywhere near Takoma Park. Yet here we were with people who accepted us as kin. How many other schools across northern Virginia and Maryland can claim to have a network of family members like that? Well this is what makes Capital special. You’re part of the family and ‘we got your back.’”

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