Owner and founder, Elite Combat Systems
Sifu LaDell Elliott began his martial arts career in September of 1979, training under Dwayne Nickel in Goju Karate. It was the beginning of a 38 year journey in the pursuit of knowledge of the martial arts.
LaDell’s love and admiration of Bruce Lee began when his mother took him to the Drive-In Theater to see Return of the Dragon. He was in awe of the tremendous display of footwork, movement, and over all talent that Bruce showed through his movies and philosophy on Martial Arts. From that moment on, LaDell sought to pattern himself after Bruce Lee. The idea of how combat should be an expression of oneself gave LaDell the motivation and direction to follow, research, and emulate the best fighters and Martial Artists that he could find.
After receiving his black belt in karate, he began training with the late Richard Cagle in boxing. While training in boxing, LaDell began to notice the flaws that can come with training in a traditional martial arts style. He found boxing very liberating in its footwork, efficiency and economy of motion. This transitioned into the philosophy he learned from such books as: “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do”, “Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method” and “Jeet Kune Do: the Philosophical art of Self Defense.” LaDell watched and emulated Muhammad Ali because Bruce Lee himself was an admirer of the legend’s footwork and quick jab. LaDell is also a great admirer of Sugar Ray Leonard and Anderson Silva.
While training in boxing, he met a man named Khpra Senwosret (formerly known as Joseph Mason) who was a practitioner of Chinese Gung Fu. During a sparring session they had, LaDell was amazed by the skill and technique that Khpra showed. He knew he had to learn from him because not only was Khpra a great martial artist, he was also a Bruce Lee historian and Wing Chun practitioner. For the next three years, LaDell trained with Khpra as his personal private student. Training with Khpra was very unique because of his attention to detail and body mechanics that he demonstrated and taught.
One of the most important moments in LaDell’s journey happened when he started training with the late Terry Gibson. Terry was a great friend and the one who really introduced him into the JKD and Kali family along with other arts like Silat and Muay Thai Kickboxing. Along with being a great teacher, Terry was also a gateway for LaDell to meet and train with other phenomenal martial artists such as the late Larry Hartsell, Paul Vunak and the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto.
One of the biggest inspirations for LaDell is Guro Dan Inosanto. Guro Dan Inosanto has been at the forefront of learning new martial arts systems and teaching these arts to his students. Here at Elite Combat Systems, LaDell is continuing the legacy of Bruce Lee’s JKD through Guro Dan. LaDell is a 2nd generational student and instructor in JKD.
“Martial arts is about knowledge, improving oneself, testing your abilities and patience to become the best person that you can be. My goal as a martial artists is to remain a student first and an instructor second.” By remaining a student first, LaDell is able to understand the mindset of a student. This allows him to understand the process and the highs and lows that come with training in the martial arts. He is able to instruct his students through every stage of training and helps each student get to the next level of training. His mindset of remaining a student first helps him to constantly grow and never remain stagnant. This is an attribute that is uncommon for people who have reached the black belt level.
In addition to being a full instructor in Muay Thai Kickboxing, Kali, Jeet Kune Do, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and a Yellow Glove in Savate, Ladell has also been able train in other martial arts like: Catch Wrestling, Judo, Russian Sambo, Akido, Pencak Silat, Harimau Silat, Lameco Eskrima, Bahala Na Eskrima, Sayoc Kali, and Wing Chun Gung Fu.
Sifu Elliott trains under:
Sifu Francis Fong: Wing Chun
Professor Nicolas Saignac: Savate
Kru Oumry Ban: Pradal Serey
Professor Fredson Paixao: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Sifu Khpra Senwosret: Chinese Boxing
Coach Tim McFatridge: Catch Wrestling
Coach Richard Cagle: Boxing
Sensei Dwayne Nickel: Karate
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Sifu Elliott has trained in seminars with:
Jean Jacque Machado
Rener and Ryron Gracie
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
Professor Nicolas Saignac
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Sifu Elliott’s JKD and Kali Instructor:
Sifu Elliott’s Black Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach: