The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

October 29, 2012

Enlightening Experiences holds MMA display

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer

Monday, October 29, 2012 — Webster defines enlightenment as “factually well-informed, tolerant of alternative opinions and guided by rational thought” which is exactly what Enlightening Experiences on West Main Street strives to accomplish.

Through Elite Care Services, Inc., Enlightening Experiences came into existence about a year and a half ago and has been providing cultural knowledge to their clients through their Day Support program ever since.

“Elite Care Services is committed to assisting individuals with mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse issues lead regular lives within the community. We are committed to providing services and resources to individuals and their families no matter age, skill levels or background,” according to the organization’s mission statement.

Every week at Enlightening Experiences, an organization or individual from the community will come and put on an exhibition or do a demonstration.

“We have an event once a week on Fridays. In the past we’ve had music, art and pets. Last week, for pet week, we had a seeing-eye dog who was in training,” said Scottie Rush, a direct support professional and trainer with Elite Care Services.

“We ask our clients what they’re interests are and we build on that. For our non-verbal people, we read their body language to determine if they approve or not.”

This week’s theme was sports and the guys from Salvation Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), located on 125 US 52 N., were there to put on an exhibition.

Brandon Davis and Thomas Covington showed the clients at Enlightening Experiences a diverse repertoire of strikes, blocks and escapes.

From on his back and other various positions, Davis demonstrated the range of attacks and escapes with which knowledge of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can provide.

Davis informed that Salvation MMA has been in Albemarle for a little over a month.

“We are a Christian-based MMA school. I don’t think people realize that what we’re doing is not just barbaric. You can be tattooed, live this kind of life-style and still be about Christ,” said Davis.

“I’m really close to my pastor and this is something we’ve prayed about. This was this angle that we wanted to go at it.

“We promote no cursing and no fighting outside of the gym.”

One of Salvation MMA’s goals is to take the youth of the county in a different direction once they’ve aged out of high school activities.

“We want to lead the youth in the direction of God, discipline and health,” said Davis.

For more information on Enlightening Experiences, please visit

For more information on Salvation MMA, visit