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meet the team

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Lily Sanchez

Owner

BJJ Blue Belt, Running & Fitness Coach, and Successful Entrepreneur 

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Liliana Sanchez, or Lily for short, is a native of Mexico who grew up in the El Paso, TX, and Las Cruces, NM areas.  She is an avid athlete who participates in a wide variety of sports and activities.  She has competed in a number of triathlons and races of all distances including Ironman, Spartan, half, full, and ultra-marathons.  She has coached several athletes in training for their own competitions.  Her competitive spirit has led her to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu over the last several years and now a Blue belt under Professor Ivan Rios.  She has taken in all disciplines as a whole through her journey in Martial Arts.  Lily has trained with Muay Thai experts in Thailand, with MMA and Jiu Jitsu legend Tom DeBlass in Costa Rica, and learned the business side of a Martial Arts Academy with Professor DeBlass and his team in New Jersey.  With humble beginnings, Lily worked her way up into the business world through hard work.  She started in the medical field building several private practices, all while managing and leading them to success.  Her entrepreneurial mind has guided her into several successful business ventures.  Her latest engagement, Ocelotl Martial Arts Academy, brings together her acumen for business with her passion for Martial Arts.  Lily has put together a team of outstanding instructors whom will be teaching a wide variety of Martial Arts classes to the El Paso community. 

Head COACH
IVAN RIOS

 Ivan “The Terrible” 


Professor Ivan has been actively training and competing for the past 10 years under the tutelage of Professor Jacob Benitez (Three Crosses Jiu Jitsu, Las Cruces, NM).  In January 2023, Professor Ivan received his Black Belt from his Professor Jacob Benitez.  Professor Ivan has participated in numerous BJJ competitions both on the regional and national levels.  He as also competed in amateur and professional MMA bouts as well.

 

    Along with his love for the Martial Arts, Professor Ivan also carries a passion for endurance training having completed a marathon and partaking in various other endurance challenges. Still, his main obsession remains with the art of BJJ and the burning desire to strive for greatness both on and off the mat.  He is forever grateful to have the opportunity to coach and the privilege to teach all who are willing to learn. This is exemplified in his ability to instill the techniques, virtues, and  values that he has learned over his years of being a student.

"As a Coach, I will always cultivate my students to continually strive towards personal growth and development. Anything is possible. OSS!" 

“Martial Arts Saves Us” 

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Head Coach Professor 

 Ivan Rios

BJJ Black Belt Belt, MMA Pro Fighter, Endurance Athlete, Runner. 

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Justin Winn

Fourth Degree Black belt in Judo, BJJ Purple belt, Triathle  Coach 

Sensei Winn has experience as a Continental & National Referee and a Master's Degree in Exercise Science

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Justin winn

Sensei Winn is a Fourth-Degree Black belt through USA Judo. He is a continental Judo Coach and National Referee. After wrestling for years, he started Judo to continue with combat sports. His passion for combat sports and coaching led him to his Master’s Degree in Exercise Science to better serve the conditioning needs of his athletes. That education afforded him the opportunity to teach at the U.S. Army Physical Fitness School, where he started to transition to health coaching by looking at the individual and their goals holistically. Credentials include Personal Trainer, Special Needs Judo Coach, and many more.

On July 9, 2023 Sensei Winn received his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple belt from Professor Ivan Rios. 

coach
luc nguyen

  Luc Nguyen began training at age 7 in various forms of Karate and Kung Fu until the age of 14. In 1994 he was introduced to Muay Thai, Boxing, and Jeet Kune Do and dabbled in various martial arts expanding his striking range which included more elbows, knees, clinches, and throws. 

   He gained grappling experience from traveling over 30 miles on a weekly basis to train with his black belt BJJ sensei and spent the other 6 days of the week training under a purple belt. coach Nguyen is skilled at NoGi for Mixed Martial Arts and Self Defense including wrestling and leg-locks providing a well-rounded IQ for close-quarter combat. 

  After taking a hiatus, Nguyen returned to BJJ training in 2018 and after 2 years received and was ranked a purple belt by Professor Carlos Freire. In July 9, 2023 Coach Luc received his brown belt from Professor Ivan Rios.  

  Nguyen has learned from the best coaches of Jiujitsu and created a simplified curriculum that is cohesive, easy to learn for beginners, and also great at finding new concepts for himself and those with more experience.

   "Learning how to learn is important and I have been very fortunate to be allowed the freedom to teach a more modernized Jiujitsu grappling system. As of November 2022 I now have 20 years of martial arts experience and am truly grateful to share my Journey with everyone." 

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Luc Nguyen

Brown Belt in BJJ, skilled in MMA, Kickboxing and Self-defense 

Coach Nguyen has over 20 years of experience in martial arts training 

Sensei 
Travis Adam Rogers
 

Travis Rogers is a true embodiment of martial arts excellence, holding the esteemed rank of Shodan Black Belt First Degree. With over two decades of unwavering dedication to the discipline, Travis has cultivated not only impressive skill but also profound wisdom within the realm of martial arts.

A native of New Mexico, Travis's journey into martial arts began in the spring of 1997. His passion for the sport led him to delve into various disciplines, including Judo and Jiu-Jitsu, where he honed his abilities and expanded his knowledge base.

Travis's commitment to martial arts was further solidified during his time in the United States Marine Corps from 2006 to 2010. Serving in Camp Pendleton, California, with the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, Travis demonstrated exceptional dedication and leadership. His service included deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he exhibited courage and resilience in the face of adversity.

Following his military service, Travis pursued further education at Dona Ana Community College before embarking on a journey that took him to Idaho and Wyoming. While there, he engaged in farming, tire shop management, and even served as a firefighter and EMT, showcasing his versatility and commitment to serving others.

Travis's martial arts journey continued to evolve as he ventured into teaching and coaching roles, becoming a valuable assistant in Judo and MMA classes. His expertise in self-defense, weapons tactics, and martial arts instruction earned him respect and admiration within the martial arts community.

Today, Sensei Rogers contributions to the martial arts world extend beyond his personal achievements. Holding the titles of National Judo Coach and National Judo Referee, Travis plays a pivotal role in guiding aspiring athletes and ensuring the integrity of competitions.

Travis's journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of martial arts, embodying values of discipline, resilience, and leadership. His dedication to the martial arts community and unwavering commitment to excellence continue to inspire and shape the next generation of practitioners.

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Travis A. Rogers

Judo Black Belt  First Degree 

National Judo Coach 2024

National Judo Referee

coach
Damion Medina  

Coach Damion Medina is a vibrant force in the world of martial arts, bringing a blend of expertise, passion, and grit to everything he does. With a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and over seven years of experience, Coach Medina stands as a testament to the power of dedication and perseverance in the pursuit of excellence.

An active MMA fighter, Coach Medina has navigated the intense arenas of mixed martial arts, honing his skills and pushing the boundaries of his capabilities. His journey through the trials of the cage has not only forged him into a formidable competitor but also instilled in him a deep understanding of the physical and mental demands of combat sports.

Beyond his personal achievements, Coach Medina is a beacon of inspiration for aspiring athletes and students. His coaching philosophy is rooted in a deep respect for the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA, emphasizing technique, discipline, and the cultivation of a warrior spirit. Under his guidance, students not only develop their skills on the mat but also grow as individuals, empowered by confidence and self-discipline.

Coach Medina's commitment to the martial arts community extends far beyond the gym walls. He is a mentor, motivator, and role model, dedicated to nurturing the next generation of fighters and instilling in them the same passion and dedication that fuels his own journey.

In every aspect of his life, Coach Damion Medina embodies the essence of martial arts: discipline, resilience, and unwavering determination. His impact reverberates through the hearts and minds of all who have the privilege of training under his guidance, shaping them into warriors both on and off the mat.

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Damion Medina 

Brown Belt in BJJ, skilled in MMA, and  Kickboxing 

Sensei  Ricardo Colon

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Sensei Ricardo Colon 

Judo Black Belt  First Degree 

Sensei Ricardo Colon is a dedicated martial artist holding the esteemed rank of Shodan Black Belt, First Degree, in Judo. With over a decade of experience in the art of Judo, Sensei Colon embodies the principles of discipline, respect, and perseverance both on and off the mat.

 

Having immersed themselves in the world of martial arts for more than ten years, Sensei Colon has honed their skills and expertise, earning recognition for their commitment to the craft. Their journey in Judo has not only been about personal growth but also about sharing their knowledge and passion with others.

 

Sensei Colon finds immense joy in teaching, seeing it as an opportunity to pass on the invaluable lessons and traditions of Judo to future generations. Their teaching style is characterized by patience, encouragement, and a deep understanding of the art.

 

Beyond teaching, Sensei Colon is an active competitor in Judo tournaments, continually challenging themselves and pushing the boundaries of their abilities. Their competitive spirit fuels their dedication to self-improvement, inspiring those around them to strive for excellence.

 

In the dojo, Sensei Colon serves as a mentor and role model, instilling in their students not only the technical skills of Judo but also the core values of integrity, perseverance, and sportsmanship. Their leadership and guidance enrich the martial arts community, shaping the next generation of judokas with passion and dedication.

Coach  Mikey Tovar 

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Coach Mikey Tovar 

MMA Pro Fighter

Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt 

Wrestler

Mikey Tovar is a highly experienced athlete and martial artist with a diverse background in wrestling, jiu jitsu, and MMA. With over a decade of dedicated training in wrestling and more than five years of expertise in jiu jitsu, Mikey brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to his practice and teaching.

As a professional MMA fighter, Mikey actively competes and fights in various competitions, showcasing his exceptional abilities and commitment to the sport. He is not only a competitor but also a passionate coach and instructor, sharing his techniques and expertise with others.

In addition to his martial arts prowess, Mikey is an avid runner and certified personal trainer. He is dedicated to helping individuals achieve their fitness goals, utilizing his extensive experience to tailor personalized training programs that focus on both technique and conditioning.

Whether you're looking to improve your grappling skills, prepare for competition, or simply get in shape, Mikey Tovar offers comprehensive training that caters to individuals of all levels. His dedication, experience, and passion for martial arts make him a valuable asset to any training regimen.

Oscar Galicia 

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Oscar Galicia 

Cubs  Coach

Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt 

Meet Coach Oscar Galicia, a dynamic individual with a passion for sports and a wealth of experience in athletics. From his early days, Coach Oscar excelled in basketball, clinching numerous national championships during his high school years. Not content with just one sport, he also ventured into swimming and marathon running, showcasing his versatility and determination on various competitive platforms.

In the realm of martial arts, Coach Oscar's journey has been equally impressive. Recently awarded his blue belt under the tutelage of Professor Ivan Rios, he embodies the spirit of fearless competition. With over 13 competitions under his belt as a white belt, Coach Oscar's remarkable track record speaks volumes—7 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze medals in Jiu Jitsu competitions attest to his dedication and skill.

As a coach, Oscar brings his expertise to our cubs classes, where he shares his love for teaching and connecting with young minds aged 3 to 5. His nurturing approach fosters growth and confidence in our budding athletes. Not one to shy away from new challenges, Coach Oscar also ventured into judo, where he clinched 1st place in a competition, boasting an orange belt in the discipline.

Off the mat, Coach Oscar's love for football shines through, with the Dallas Cowboys holding a special place in his heart. With his diverse athletic background and unwavering commitment to coaching, Coach Oscar Galicia is a valuable asset to our team, inspiring and empowering athletes of all ages to reach their full potential.

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