Local

July 11, 2014

Luke Airman warrior on two fronts

Tags:
Airman 1st Class PEDRO MOTA
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Keli Manglona, 56th Maintenance Group aircraft armament specialist, shows off his double striped purple belt for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well as his entire collection of gold, silver and bronze medals June 17 at Luke Air Force Base. Manglona started his career six years ago earning medals and awards from four states and three countries.

There are few who are prepared for battle, not the type of battle fought overseas, but those fought stateside in the ring.

Mixed Martial Arts fighters are warriors who train daily to prepare for a war about honor.

Staff Sgt. Keli Manglona, 56th Maintenance Group aircraft armament specialist, is a professional MMA fighter who began his career six years ago with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training.

“Currently I am a double striped purple belt in BJJ,” Manglona said. “BJJ’s lifestyle helped me become more resilient, determined and balanced.”

Everyone has a story to tell about where it all began for them. Manglona’s began when he was a sophomore in high school. His social studies teacher was a supporter of MMA and liked to resolve disputes between angered teenagers by fighting, said Manglona. In a “training session,” students who disliked each other would face off in a sparring match of martial skill.

Manglona just happened to be in the right classroom at the right time and it transitioned into something great for him.

Since the days of fighting in extracurricular activities after school, Manglona’s determination and love for the sport led him to train with multiple high-level gyms in various states and countries. He is now under the guidance of John Crouch, MMA Lab head coach and BJJ black belt under Royce Gracie, a founding father of BJJ.

Manglona isn’t the type of person to let success go to his head. He stays humble, accepts knowledge and understanding from his mentors, and continues to strive for improvement.

“Every day I learn something new, so every day I train is always a rewarding day,” he said. “One of my old professors would always say there’s nothing that a good day of rolling can’t cure, and I believe that completely.”

But when he isn’t rolling with partners on the mats, he’s serving at Luke Air Force Base and supporting his wife Kaila, his 20-month-old daughter, Anella, and his 7-month-old son, Manasseh. Manglona’s work ethic in BJJ has also positively impacted his work performance in his job, and it shows, according to his boss.

“Sergeant Manglona sometimes comes into the shop with a few bangs and bruises, but he is a highly motivated Airman I can count on to get the job done,” said Tech. Sgt. Ruben Ligon, 56th MXG lead quality assurance inspector. “He is on-point and is definitely one of the sharpest Airmen in the weapons QA section.”

Manglona said the effects his MMA training has had on his work play a big role in how he analyzes situations at work while keeping a clear, calm and level head, and keeping him focused on assigned tasks.

“I actually plan on competing at a town event called ‘King of the Cage’ as long as everything lines up,” Manglona said, who has big plans for the future. “I hope to receive a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and open my own MMA and Jiu-Jitsu school after the military.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy graphic

Fitness center gets Xtreme makeover

Courtesy graphic Above is an architectural rendering of the changes to the outside of the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center. Renovations also include a remodel of most of the interior. The project will take place over t...
 
 

People — Air Force’s greatest asset

As I reflect on almost 25 years of military service, I find it easy to remember my assignments, the multiple jobs I’ve had and duties I have performed. I have served on four continents and for four presidents. Within that same time period, our nation has been in numerous campaigns ranging from operations Desert Storm...
 
 

Character, good or bad, will be passed on

Your character is who you are when no one is watching. At the same time, your character is who you are when everyone is watching. Your character is the sum of your morals and values and the quality of your character is of the utmost importance when leading others. In addition to your own values...
 

 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

History gets paint job

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY James Bridges and Hayden Yager, civilian contractors, prepare the F-104C Starfighter static display for painting Aug. 12 in the Luke Air Force Base Airpark. The static displays in the airpark will be ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2015

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will begin an active-shooter exercise between 8 and 10 a.m. Thursday. It is expected to continue throughout the day. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruption of...
 
 
Tech. Sgt. 
BARBARA PLANTE

944th Airmen live life as military couple

Tech. Sgt.BARBARA PLANTE Staff Sgt. Adam Jenkins and Senior Airman Cassandra Jenkins, 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron, are a dual-military couple and work together as maintainers in the refueling vehicle maintenance shop. St...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>