Taekwondo

Rose “Little Samurai” Ellison, A Fighter & Mixed Martial Artist

A fighter by nature and a warrior of God; Rose has cerebral palsy, but remains undefeated. After years of being bullied and told she would never accomplish her dreams, Rose found passion and purpose in the Mixed Martial Arts community. "I actually got my name "Little Samurai" from a former UFC fighter who used to train me. I had just gotten my haircut when I started training and I could barely have it put up in a ponytail, but I guess the look made him think that I looked like a Samurai." It's an honor to share Rose's story with you. -Jessica Lea Nolette (blog creator)

When did you first start Mixed Martial Arts classes and how has it changed your life?

I started training during the summer of 2015. It has absolutely increased my dexterity, muscle movement, confidence social skills and how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Do you have a mentor or someone you look up to and admire?

I look up to my Heavenly Father, my parents, Coach Young, Ernie Fitch, Bruce Boyington, Aaron Lacey, my Personal Trainer, Scott Kahkonen, Hal Pierce, Ryan Sanders, Glenn Cugno, Dustin Veinott and Raymond Wood. These people have been angels to my life who often remind me that I am loved, that it’s okay to be myself and that I can do anything that I put my mind towards with ultimate courage and determination. Without them and their loving guidance, I wouldn’t be the warrior I am today. They have given me the guidelines to not only be a better warrior but to be a better person. I’m inspired by each and every person to love and cherish life and to love with all of my heart.

What is your biggest goal and how will you achieve it?

My current goal right now and it has been my ultimate goal ever since February 2015 when I first saw Josh Harvey fight and the return of Raymond Wood at New England Fights in Lewiston, Maine was when I knew that I wanted to be a fighter.  With my faith in God’s hand in it and continue to do my training every week, I have faith that I will someday get to the NEF cage.

What is the greatest struggle you've overcome and what lesson has this taught you?

I’ve struggled with my cerebral palsy disability, as well as depression and anxiety. It certainly hasn’t been an easy life with people not understanding how to be around or how to deal with a person who has a physical disability which is absolutely understandable for people who don't particularly have one.

The main reasons why I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety is because I was bullied all my life. Not just from former fellow students, but from former teachers as well. I was told continuously at school every single day that I wouldn’t be able to do anything that I dreamed of doing. That made me extremely upset and sad that no one at school chose to believe in me.

Anxiety in social settings is another one. Cerebral palsy affects my speech, and it’s often a challenge for people to understand me when I talk. So, talking to people in person or through the phone can make me really uncomfortable. But thank you to my friends and coaches within the mixed martial arts community, I’ve learned to slowly overcome that with my training at the gym and socializing with a lot of extremely friendly fighters on social media. I’ve certainly learned not to let my cerebral palsy, depression and anxiety get the best of me because I know that I have a ton of love and support that will always be there. 

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Can you share a single piece of advice to encourage others dealing with life's hardships?

I would advise anyone who has any disability or not, to not let anyone tell you that you cannot do anything because you can and stay determined to follow your dreams. 

What is something uniquely Rose not many people know about you, perhaps not even your family and friends?

What people might not already know about me, would be that I’m actually a shy person, lol.

"I am God's Warrior." -Rose “Little Samurai” Ellison

"I am God's Warrior." -Rose “Little Samurai” Ellison

Aside from fighting and training what things do you enjoy doing?

Aside from going to fights and training, I love going to the movies and occasionally play video games.

What is one message I can repeatedly share with the world on your behalf?

Don’t bully and disrespect people who have disabilities. They have dreams and feelings just like anyone else.

What is your favorite motivational/inspirational quote?

I have quite a few quotes:

“Go Big or Go Home. No Pain No Gain. May you always be an inspiration to many.” ~Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington

“When the mind, body, and spirit work together anything is possible.” ~Criss Angel
“Just believe you can do things that people think are impossible.” ~Ray “All Business” Wood

In one word describe yourself:

A child of God 

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Thank you for reading!  

Bruce 'Pretty Boy' Boyington - Professional MMA Fighter

I'm honored to share Bruce's story. We trained and traveled the country competing, and grew up together in the Taekwondo Community. The core principals of Taekwondo are something we forever share and have shaped who we are today. Bruce is a top-ranked MMA fighter and a kindhearted, loyal father, husband, son, friend, and veteran. -Jessica Lea Nolette (blog creator)  

I am a man chasing a dream in which I feel I’m already living! I believe in what’s right.
— Bruce Boyington

Your nickname is Bruce 'Pretty Boy' Boyington. Who gave you that name?

My nickname came from my Coach, Christopher Young of Young's MMA. I'd go into training showered and looking all "pretty" and tanned up. I was different than everyone else without the raggedy clothes on to train. Every time I walked in the first words out of his mouth were "What's up pretty boy....."

How did you first get involved in Martial Arts & furthermore MMA?

I started Taekwondo at a very young age, and I've never stopped, I think I was seven. I've had many amazing experiences with Taekwondo. Many of us including my friend, Jessica Nolette would travel together to nationals, state tournaments and all throughout the country competing and training. I continued to do it right up until I went in the Marine Corps. I started experimenting with grappling and other martial arts, and I ended up becoming a martial arts instructor for the Marine Corps. It was at that time I realized mixed martial arts might be better suited for my body. As much as I love Taekwondo, it was a sport, favorable to tall, skinny people with length. I felt like I was naturally, a good wrestler and grappler. When I got out of the Marine Corps, someone approached me and asked me if I wanted to take a fight against former Olympian Rick Hawn. He was undefeated at the time and went on to be a multiple division Bellator Tournament Champion. I jumped all over that opportunity, traveled to The Cape in Massachusetts, and took to fight. Even though I lost, I was hooked. I've been doing it professionally for 10 years since then.

Taekwondo family reunion @ The 2014 Lightweight Championship Title Rematch. Israel Phillips, Jessica Nolette, WINNER: Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington, Eric Bishop, Jen Brown

Taekwondo family reunion @ The 2014 Lightweight Championship Title Rematch. Israel Phillips, Jessica Nolette, WINNER: Bruce "Pretty Boy" Boyington, Eric Bishop, Jen Brown

What does it mean (for you) to be a professional fighter?

To be a professional fighter isn't as important as being a father and good husband. I don't want this taken out of context. I love professional fighting, and it's been an incredible passion for me that's changed the course of my life and created more opportunity than I could ever imagine. But, when I rank it as far as significance or what it means to me, it has to come second to my family and friends. It is an unmatched journey in this world, and I am forever grateful.

How have martial arts impacted your life and where do you think you would be right now, without it?

Martial arts, as I stated above has forever changed the azimuth of my life. Martial arts shaped and molded me from a young age. Although there was always more room for discipline, I don't want to know where I'd be without the structure taught to me. Most of all it gave me a network of lifelong friends and opportunities to travel the world. I've visited Russia and fought in Madison Square Garden, the world's most famous arena. Being a martial artist has become a way of life and who I am. Follow your passion and your fate will be decided.

What is one challenge and lesson you've learned from your training?

Most people don't know this, but I have a titanium plate in my neck. I've had two neck surgeries, so it's pretty hard not to mention that as far as lessons learned in training. You have to protect your body as a martial artist and think about longevity. I've also learned you must make time and the commitment to training. If you're in-and-out of the sport and back-and-forth on your training, the results will be a reflection.

How important is having a daily routine?

I've found without a routine I was on a roller coaster ride. Between being a martial artist and in the United States Marines, there's a lot of daily routine and planning happening. With having a big family, other jobs and businesses, it's critical to get your routine in sync. Otherwise, you end up drowning in it, and I've been there as well.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I have three proudest moments, the first is traveling to Russia and headlining a fight there. It was like a real Rocky versus Drago story. The second is getting the opportunity to compete doing what I love in the world's most famous arena. This experience was a very proud moment. The third is receiving my black belt in Taekwondo because I think it's what catapulted me to experience the other two. 

What's your favorite kick? I'm asking for a friend ;) 

My favorite kick is either a spinning hook or back kick. Without a doubt, I like anything that has a spin on it.

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If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?

If I could have one dream fight with anyone, this is pretty easy, because I've always wanted to fight with Connor McGregor. I've always found him to be a lot like myself in life and to some extent how we fight. I always thought that would be a fun matchup. I'm reasonably sure it will never happen because he has put himself in a wonderful position.


Tommy O’Connell vs. Bruce Boyington this Saturday 4/28  Tickets for the April 28, 2018 Championship Boxing event in Windham, NH are on sale now at  www.BoxingNH.com  || Catch it live on AXY's TV

Tommy O’Connell vs. Bruce Boyington this Saturday 4/28

Tickets for the April 28, 2018 Championship Boxing event in Windham, NH are on sale now at www.BoxingNH.com || Catch it live on AXY's TV


What is your favorite inspirational/motivational quote?

I have so many favorite quotes but the most simple and basic one stays with me all the time, and that is, "Life is what you make it." It's forward thinking and relevant to everyone. It's very true. People create their destiny in their mindset. 

In one word, describe yourself:

Happy.

Twinning!  Bruce  &  Randi Beth Boyington  || Married since May 16, 2015

Twinning! BruceRandi Beth Boyington || Married since May 16, 2015

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