• What got you into learning Parkour?
I’ve been into comics, video games, and outdoor exploring all my life. I used to go out in my 20 acre back yard and pretend to be my favorite action hero or video game character. Looking back on it, I was just being a kid. I would run through the woods, jumping over stumps, climbing over fallen trees, and sometimes slide down hills. It wasn’t until I was 18 when the name Parkour became a part of my vocabulary.
• How long did you train for Ninja Warriors when you tried out?
Without realizing, I’ve really been training for Ninja Warrior my whole life. Although I didn’t actually get into fitness until I left the Marines. I would have to say I only trained specify for Ninja Warrior for a bout 6 months before I got called back for ANW 6 in St. Louis.
• What workout exercises did you use in your training?
My training wasn’t too crazy. I stuck with training Parkour outside and anytime I got the chance I did pull-ups, or climbed a rope. I started doing more rock climbing, lifting weights, and running just to keep myself confident that I was strong enough to do well.
• What influenced you to try out for Ninja Warriors?
I’ve watched Ninja Warrior on T.V. since I was 14 and maybe even younger than that. It just fit with the things I was already doing. I used to watch every episode of the Japanese show Sasuke, which is where Ninja Warrior was created. I remember distinctly telling my Mom and my Grandma that I WILL be on that show one day, and, well the rest is history.
• How did you get into teaching for kids at Gymja Warriors?
I was in the Marines so leading people, and teaching new people became apart of my life. When I was stationed in Japan I volunteered to be an Instructor at the Young Marine unit on my base. The Young Marines are similar to Boy Scouts except they are heavy on military and Marine Corps knowledge. I was a Young Marine as a kid so I thought it would be good to give back and teach kids how to be Young Marines. This is where I knew I wanted to be a teacher and help mold our youth into something great. When I left the Marines and moved to Massachusetts I found a job at a local gymnastics gym coaching Parkour. I loved coaching there and I coached there for some time. When I was asked to create a program and build a gym called Gymja Warrior, I couldn’t pass this opportunity up!
• What’s your favorite trick or move you like to teach? And why?
Most people who know me would probably say my favorite trick is a backflip because I do it all the time. I think my favorite trick is a Lache, more commonly known as swinging from one bar and jumping to the next. It’s just so fun to swing from your arms, launch yourself, and catch on to something else! It feels like I’m in a video game.
• How do you think Gymja Warriors could benefit kids?
Normal activity in general can benefit everyone. What we do at Gymja is focus on basic human movements that students may not be using in their everyday life. Then, we get into fixing improper form and building coordination. The more the student progresses in their movement, strength, and understanding of what they’re body can do; the better they will be at other sports, activities, or everyday tasks that their used to already. Gymja doesn’t just benefit the body. Boosting confidence, getting over fears, and instilling discipline is what we do best.
• What is your motto?
I’ve had many mottos over the years, but the one that has stuck with me the best is, “Practice brings Progress, NOBODY is Perfect!”