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Co-Founder + Company Director

SHAKA

Hometown: O’Fallon, Illinois 
 

What attracted me to fitness: I hired a personal trainer, even though I used to hate working out (still do actually), to prepare for a national Taekwondo tournament. At that time, I had suffered from chronic knee pain for the previous 13 years. After working with the trainer for three months, my knee stopped hurting. This inspired me to learn more.
 

What’s important to me: Family, friends, mentoring/giving back, and maintaining my health.
 

Top Interest: Travel, music, sports, anime, and hanging out with friends. 
 

Fun Fact: I got a Master’s Degree in Taekwondo from Yong-In University in South Korea. I lived in the dorms there for three and a half years

CLIFF

Co-Founder + Director of Performance

Hometown: Houston, Texas

What attracted me to fitness: My love for fitness sprung from my high school PE teachers. I couldn’t think of anything that could possibly be better than staying active and leaving such a positive impact on students. After college, that quickly developed into an idea to pursue a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. And then once I learned how much of a positive impact I can make in someone’s life through training, I was hooked and never looked back. 

What’s important to me: My family (including my two, wild and crazy little ones), mental and physical health, helping others, living a life of fulfillment.

Top Interests: Too many! I love rugby, sneakers, searching for Chicago’s best burger, traveling, music, art, time with friends and family, making enemies draw 16 in an Uno game, and so much more.

Fun fact: My YMCA bus driver (that looked like Otto from the Simpsons) taught me how to backflip in the third grade.

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NICK

Club Manager 

Hometown: Skokie, IL

What attracted me to fitness: Watching Power Rangers and Bruce Lee movies! I grew up watching the fight scenes and would practice fighting the bad guys in my living room. I was so into it that my dad signed me up for Taekwondo when I was three years old. As I got older, I started competing in local, state, national, and international tournaments. During this time I realized how important being physically fit was in order to compete at this level, so I started to incorporate strength training into my workout regimen.

What’s important to me: Family, friends, my Spotify playlists, community, and health.

Top Interests: MMA, boxing, music shows/festivals, and traveling.

Fun fact: I self taught myself boxing and want to fight at the amateur level some day.