Body Strong, Spirits High: Meet Pentagon MMA Muay Thai Student Mark Felipe | Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
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Levi Vise-grip Sadr reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Pentagon MMA has a range of different programs unlike many other gyms. It is wonderful for those who want to get fit and it's serious enough for those who want to fight. They have an amazing kids program as well

Karen Yvonne Lucas reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

There is no better place to train for your children or for you. Very Highly Recommended. Say hello when you visit !!

Katrina Combs reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I couldn't ask for a better fight home. This gym makes you feel like you are amongst friends and family. The staff are awesome, the coaches are awesome, and the atmosphere in the gym will give you that charge to put in that extra work!!

Leo Lainez reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Amazing place. The staff is beyond friendly and create a truly welcoming environment. At no point do you feel like an outsider. The training is top notch. Master Chon is a true professional and makes sure you're learning step by step. Walking into Pentagon MMA has been one of the best decisions of my life.

Michelle Welti reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Pentagon MMA is an excellent place to train! Vivek is an outstanding Muay Thai coach and their BJJ instructor, Sugi, is not only a BJJ Black belt but also a 2x Olympic Judoka. They are both friendly, welcoming, and great at what they do! If you are looking to start training in the Arlington area, this is definitely the place to go!

Cindy Ali reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I have seen, from far away, how Pentagon MMA has grown from its beginnings to what it has become today. Vivek, the owner, introduced me to Muay Thai a few years ago and ever since I can’t seem to stop. Vivek showed me the basics to this beautiful art, back then he would tell me about his dream of opening a gym where he could share his knowledge with everyone else. After a few years, I finally went to visit his accomplished dream, his own gym, I was truly impressed. Pentagon MMA is a true Muay Thai school, where people are learning how to perfect their moves. I haven’t yet seen anyone who is there to show off or to put anyone down, everyone is focused and is there to learn. Thank you Vivek for Muay Thai is now part of my life. Thank you Kru Chon for never letting me quit!

Natalie Wong reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I couldn't ask for a better place to train and call my second home! Pentagon MMA has hands down the best instructors. Master Chon and Master Vivek run an awesome Muay Thai program that keeps you fit and always learning more techniques. The gym has a "family vibe" atmosphere and everyone in the community is supportive of your fitness goals. I've already lost 20lbs thanks to PMMA's fight team, training, and encouragement. If you're looking to train with the best, you should definitely check out this gym.

MaryEllen Hickman reviewed Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I highly recommend Pentagon MMA. I've been taking the women's kickboxing classes since November. Staff members are warm, welcoming, and immediately made me feel comfortable. I love the instructors (Belinda and Patti are particularly fantastic) and the challenging and supportive environment. If you're on the fence, try a free class or two. I think you'll love it.

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Body Strong, Spirits High: Meet Pentagon MMA Muay Thai Student Mark Felipe

A lot of people are a bit grumpy first thing in the morning until they have that first (and second, or maybe third) cup of coffee.

For Pentagon MMA student Mark Felipe, Muay Thai is his morning coffee. “I find myself getting cranky if I’m not in the gym at least three times a week.”

It wasn’t always that way. Mark says his first class challenged him harder than he could ever recall being challenged—but it sparked something inside him.

“I thought, ‘Mother of God, what have I gotten myself into?!’” he recalls. “I remember being so worn out that to sign up for further classes, I had to use both hands to hold the pen steady. But I fell in love with Muay Thai.”

Mark says it goes even further than that – he credits Muay Thai and the Pentagon MMA community for keeping his body strong and his spirits up as he recovered from surgery to remove a brain tumor last year.

Despite the challenge, Muay Thai kept him coming back

Mark describes himself as someone who used to fall in love with a particular type of activity quickly, then drop it later when he lost enthusiasm for it.

“I go through periods where I get really into activities,” he says.

First, it was running.

“In the early 2000s, I was a runner. I ran 5k and 10k races, and ran the Marine Corps Marathon twice,” he recalls. “Now, I don’t think I’ve run more than five miles at a time since.”

Then, weight-lifting.

“I used to lift weights, but a herniated disk and spine surgery put an end to that,” he says. “After that, bodyweight calisthenics were a lot easier on my back. But it just seemed like I was doing pushups, pullups and squats just for the sake of doing pushups, pullups and squats.”

One day, his wife drove by the Pentagon MMA building in Arlington and told him about it.

“I’ve always been interested in martial arts. I studied Isshinryu Karate at various stages of life, first in high school, then in my late 20s to early 30s. Then the kids came along….” he says. “Pentagon MMA is close to our house, so I came in to check the place out—and I’m still here!”

Mark has been at Pentagon MMA for close to three years, and he says he can’t imagine life without it—though his brain tumor diagnosis last year forced him to, for a short while.

Coming back after brain surgery

“The tumor wasn’t cancerous and wasn’t going to kill me, but it had to come out,” Mark explains. “Recovery from the surgery took three months. Having to take a break from training last winter was tough on me, but I didn’t have much choice.”

As eager as he was to get back to Muay Thai, his doctor warned him to take it slow.

“After being cleared for physical activity, my surgeon told me that drills are okay, but that I couldn’t spar. Obviously, getting hit in the head was—and still is—a bad idea. I thought, ‘maybe I’ll give Jiu-Jitsu a try—they don’t hit each other in the head.’” he said. “But not training just isn’t an option.”

These days, Mark’s face is a regular sight around Pentagon MMA again, and he said he loves all the positive ways his workouts and training have changed his body.

“I’ve lost about 15 pounds and three inches off my waist. Most of my pants are loose in the waist and tight in the thighs. And I have more energy,” he says. “But more importantly, it’s improved my state of mind. If I have a rough day, I know I’ll walk out of the gym happy.”

He also credits the friends and mentors he’s made at Pentagon MMA for his new outlook on life.

“Vivek and his staff don’t just run a gym—they’ve built a community,” he says. “It’s a community I’m glad to be a part of.”

When asked what he would say to anyone who may be thinking of giving Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu a try, Mark says, “Give it a shot! If I can do it after having brain surgery, so can you!”