La Feria News

The First Jiu-Jitsu Gym in La Feria!

Selene Olguin
Special to LFN

Passionate, humble, and dedicated are three words that I would use to describe the owner of Anomaly Jiu Jitsu. Beginning from a fight that he almost got into in 2007, Art Castillo stumbled upon a gym that specialized in mixed martial arts, Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. This is where he began his training. Over time he moved from gym to gym for various reasons, for example, gyms closed or instructors moved on to become professional fighters. Consequently, he had struggled to discover one that he felt comfortable in, or as he had put it, “A gym to call home.” Eventually, he found Cinco MMA in Weslaco and was able to meet and continue his training with Dan Rodriguez. Art had expressed his fondness for this new group, teacher, and atmosphere. He stayed with this gym until he got his black belt.

Having been raised in La Feria, Art had wanted to contribute to his hometown. Art Castillo says, “It has always been my dream to put a gym in La Feria. Something local. If it wasn’t for my wife, I probably wouldn’t have done it.” Art’s Wife, Jennifer Castillo was the one who had encountered the building where they are currently doing business in now. Jennifer had begun to explain a dream that the Lord had given to her, “At the end of the year, I had a dream. The mats were full, there were men, women, and kids. It was just real bright and airy, and my landlord had said ‘The building was now available, do you know of anyone who wants this spot?’ and I said, ‘I do.’” She then proceeds to say that exactly how she had the dream, it happened in real life. According to Jennifer, “It was basically a prayer come true.”

Jennifer had also added that Art was hard on himself and that he didn’t think he was ready or capable of taking such a big step. Art expressed that he is afraid of failure, that is his biggest obstacle. He didn’t just want to be good at something, instead, he wanted to be proficient in his skill. But despite all the trials and tribulations, he was able to continue with the help of his wife’s encouragement.

Anomaly Jiu Jitsu was finally opened on April 23, 2019. In Art’s words, “I pour my heart and soul into my students.” He explained that he can take time for someone if they are struggling or need pointers. He had also specified, “I don’t make my students sign any contracts. If they are here then it’s because they want to be here, not because a paper is telling them to be.” This actively demonstrates that he not only wants his classes to be safe but also an enjoyable environment. Art Castillo wants his students to know that there is always room to grow and that failure is a pathway to success, with that I will close with one more quote from Art Castillo, “They can have a bad time while training, but I want for them to have a good time here.”

Art Castillo would like to recognize his group and Edgar Sifuentez for playing a big role in this life-changing journey.

For more information or questions contact Arturo Castillo at 956-454-7516 or visit

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