Erik began training at Mountainside Martial Arts Center in 2004. In 2010, he earned his 1st degree black belt and in 2014 he achieved the rank of 2nd degree black belt. Through Mountainside, he learned many important skills such as discipline, perseverance, focus, teamwork, leadership, and the importance of physical wellness. Erik has met many extraordinary people at MMAC who do not know the meaning of defeat, age, or limitations; they have instilled a sense family, challenged him to do things he otherwise would not, and have undeniably impacted his life for the better.
In 2016, during his last semester at Mesa Community College he was conversing with one of his then First Kyu students, Jerome Elwell whose wise words would stick with him and profoundly change his future, “find something you enjoy doing and you won’t work a day in your life.” After which, Erik switched degree tracks, acquired a passion for flying, and began pursuing a Private Pilot’s License while finishing his Associates Degree.
In the Spring of 2019, Erik graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Minor in Military Leadership, and a Commissioning as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Erik will begin undergraduate pilot training in 2019 at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma in the T-6 Texan II. Erik hopes that others can experience the same unforgettable lessons, sense of family, invaluable knowledge, and wisdom imparted on him at Mountainside Martial Arts Center.