Elite Training Center Academy recently relocated to a Summit Street storefront, after years of holding classes in the Elite Advertising basement.

Courtesy photo

“We are now easy to find in the middle of our downtown area at 220 South Summit, and we hope to grow with our community,” said owner Steve Bruce.

The move puts the academy in a much larger space.

“We had outgrown that location in the lower level and I felt that we needed a bigger facility,” Bruce said.

“I also felt that we needed to be in sight of the public so they can be aware of what we have to offer to our community,” he said.

Bruce teaches many styles of martial arts and offers classes for every age range.

Not just jiu-jitsu

Bruce has trained in martial arts for 15 years and he currently is a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

“I am ranked under Christian Derr, who is a black belt under Jean Jacques Machado,” Bruce said.

He also has trained with LaDell Elliott, Renor Gracie, Rickson Gracie, Royler Gracie, Dan Inosanto, Tim McFatridge, Frank Mir, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Keith Owen, Fredson Paixao, Ciao Terra and Leonardo Xavier.

“I have trained (in) Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, catch wrestling, Jun Fan (Jeet Kune Do), Kali and, of course, Brazilian jiu-jitsu,” Bruce said.

He said he uses martial arts to bring balance and peace to his life.

“If you ask many of my students, they will tell you the same thing,” Bruce said. “You would think that we are training to be violent, but it is the complete opposite.”

Benefits of martial arts

Martial arts serve as a way to discipline inner impulses and exercise outer calm, Bruce explained.

“What I have learned, and what I try to teach, is to control the emotions and master the techniques,” he said.

The concentration on the finer points of various martial arts helps those who practice them to focus.

“(It) makes you focus on what is important to overcome adversity, be confident and win,” Bruce said.

Those effects are what he tries to hone in on when teaching — and in general in his life.

“I have a few students that are ex-military and have suffered with PTSD, and they are amazed at the calming effect of training has on their condition,” he said.

“As martial artists, I believe we are striving to become better people. We are always trying to improve ourselves, both inside and outside of the Dojo.”

Elite Training Center Academy offerings

Elite Training Center Academy kids classes are geared toward children from the ages of 6 to 12.

“We teach the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu to help (them to) build up self-confidence and self-esteem,” Bruce said.

He also makes sure to take the time to deal with important issues while teaching the youths.

“We deal with issues of bullying in our classes, and teach our kids self-defense techniques and give them options to deal with confrontations,” Bruce said.

Women’s cardio kickboxing classes are just some of Elite’s classes that have been very popular.

“For teens and up, we offer adult Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai,” Bruce said. “These classes are all perfect for anyone wanting to get in shape or learn to defend themselves.

“Our mixed martial arts classes are designed to allow anyone at any fitness level to join in.”

Simple signup process

Anyone who has an interest in taking classes at Elite is welcome to do so.

“They can come down to the academy Monday through Thursday after 6 p.m. and fill out some simple paperwork,” Bruce said.

The first class always is free, he said.

“We also have a brief description and schedule of classes listed on our website, elitetrainingcenteracademy.com,” Bruce said.

The academy also has a public Facebook page and Bruce can be contacted at (620) 446-1969.