I took over Solis Martial Arts about 5 months ago. I had trained specifically with Alvis and our team for the last 16 years. From white to black, he has been my only instructor in Jiujitsu.
I was given the opportunity to take over as owner and head instructor and at first I was very hesitant. I didn't know what roads lie ahead. I could have easily said "NO WAY" and taken a much easier path. Then I thought, where am I going to train??? Welllll??? I had a few choices worked out in my head like Kevin Henderson's ATA, Eddie Avelar's Grounddwellers, Mccalls MMA and Shawn Keys' Iron Mantis. They have their own gyms as well so I had options. What was I going to do?
My wife and I sat down and talked a little, but I am a kinda "shoot from the hip" kinda guy. So we decided to go for it. Man was I in for an eye-opening experience.
I had been teaching a couple of the classes at the Humble location for several years. The no-gi and fundamentals was my area. I was able to come in, teach my classes, roll and drill as I pleased and then head home. Not anymore. Now not only did I have to teach all the classes, I had to prepare material to teach. and not only that, I had guys looking to me now for guidance and direction. WTH!!!
Needless to say the first month was overwhelming. I had truly thought of giving up. People were upset about the change, some were unsure of me as a Head instructor. The future for the TEAM and the school was very unclear. We had a few guys leave for whatever reason. I was truly worried about the future myself.
The first thing I had to do was to assure everyone that I was there to stay and try and continue what we had started. Ugo Arimo helped a lot to assure people that we were trying to keep this going. Creating an awesome MMA program. We have Jiujitsu, kickboxing, and Filipino Martial Arts. Our main focus has always been on the Jiujitsu and continues still.
Continuing the kickboxing and Filipino classes was not going to be easy. I started teaching the kickboxing but really hadn't thrown any kicks and punches in years. Slowly but surely it started coming back. But the Filipino Martial Arts program was another animal. Luckily we were able to retain Billy Atwood as our head instructor in FMA program.
Next was the morning classes. I still work a day job and had quite a few guys who only trained mornings. I didn't want to lose those guys. Some have been training here for years. Man, if we didn't luck out again with Jacob Allphin. This kid is amazing. He took over the morning program and I have got to say, I am impressed. This is a young guy with great Jiujitsu skill, and definitely one of the leaders around here for sure.
We had to decide on a name. So, we went back and forth bouncing ideas around and ended up where we started. Davis Martial Arts Academy. Not very original but it works.
Next was a logo. Dang. Thanks to Eddie Avelar, we have the logo we have now and its freakin awesome.
I am not gonna lie. This has been pretty HARD. An uphill battle from pricing, scheduling, upkeep, buying gear and getting your name out there, IT IS TOUGH! Thanks to Ugo Arimo "The Black Spiderman", Jacob Allphin, Billy Atwood, Amy Hamilton and of my wife SARAH DAVIS!!!
I am very thankful to all the guys that have stuck it out here with us. I am dedicated to building some quality Martial Artist and spreading the word of Jiujitsu throughout the Humble area. I love Jiujitsu and hope to train as long as humanly possible. This is now not just a hobby, but my Life.
Train hard. Make life long friends. Love what you do.
Davis Martial Arts is here to stay!!