Today we witnessed one of our good friends Eloy Quintin earn her black belt at I.M.P.A.C.T. Athletes Martial Arts Academy. Now this ain’t your average black belt earner at your every day belt factory in a neighborhood shopping center. Eloy earned her black belt in mixed martial arts. Even more cool than that, it includes filipino martial arts. This girl can not only handle herself with her two fists, but also weapons like kali knives, swords, and whips. As part of her testing, she went through two 3 minute rounds of one-on-one muay thai kickboxing with her black belt mentor…and did I mention it was her husband?
And oh yes, the two of them have 3 kids and own this awesome martial arts academy. They made this business out of love and as a gift to the community. I have never met such giving people in my life. They live for the betterment of others. They have a deep sincere respect and appreciation for the filipino culture, traditions, martial arts, and history. Through their academy they teach all of this. On our visit to her testing and celebration, it was wonderful to see their new “space” which includes a shower, kitchen, and multiple rooms for administration. I’m glad to see their mission is flourishing.
So after the grueling testing, Eloy’s husband Ervin presented her with a black belt with the word “Mandirigma” embroidered on it, which means filipino warrior. He also presented her with a framed certificate declaring her as the first black belt earned at I.M.P.A.C.T. It was a touching moment full of raw emotion. It was an accomplishment for Eloy, her husband, themselves as a couple, their family business, their kids… I know Eloy has worked hard for this and dug deep emotionally, spiritually, and physically to get to this point. In her celebration speech, she said it best in explaining that she initially didn’t like the martial arts when her husband first introduced her to it. However, she opened her mind and her heart to appreciate what it was, developing a respect for it. She is one badazz momma!
Lesson Learned: It doesn’t matter who you are, what stage of life you are in, what other people say….if there is something you dream of, you can achieve it.