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Co-Founder + Company Director

SHAKA

Hometown: O’Fallon, Illinois, aka O-Town!! 
 

What attracted me to fitness: I hired a personal trainer to prepare for a national Taekwondo tournament. He had the most annoying laugh, but it was a great experience. Before training with him, I suffered from chronic knee pain for 13 years. After working with him for four 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: Learning, traveling, dancing (I'm starting to find my swagger in salsa class), biking, sports, anime, music, hanging out with family and friends, etc. 
 

Fun Fact: I got a Master’s Degree in Taekwondo from Yong-In University in South Korea. I lived there for three and a half years and stayed in the school dorms (we had to sleep on bunk beds, but at least I got the bottom bunk).

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: The World's Largest Village. For real though, google it!

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 didn't learn how to ride a bike (without training wheels) until I was 20.