Though I had been in my Father's martial arts studio since birth my earliest memory of that gym atmosphere is from the age of about 4 or 5 years old. I had just finished a class with my sisters and I was super excited to watch the adults. My father had some students that were truly gifted martial artists and I loved to watch them practice and spar. This particular day my dad demonstrated a "jump spinning hook kick" as soon as I saw it I knew I had to learn this kick. After class my dad took a moment to introduce me to the technique. After he explained its moving parts I was ready to start my motion. I began to spin and just as I came around to see my target my father grabbed me under the armpits and elevated me to the height at which he performed the technique. I struck the bag and returned to the ground with a new understanding of the height at which I would now shoot for, as far as I was concerned that was the standard for this kick. This seemed like nothing at the time but as I grew and watched my dad instruct not only me be hundreds of other students I realized that moment from my childhood was symbolic of the importance of an instructor, teacher or coach. The idea is that my father adopted the responsibility to elevate every person who walked through those doors. His dream was not simply to mold martial artists but character in those martial artists.
His dream would become my dream! At 16 years old I was walking out of my high school weight room when a mother of an incoming freshman approached me. she was embarrassed she didn't know my name but knew who I was because I was one of just a couple black young men in my hometown. After we moved passed that awkwardness she stated that her son looked up to me and she asked if I would take him under my wing with the weights and conditioning program all the football players were highly recommended to be involved in. She offered to pay me for my time, I declined (unfortunately I made a habit of this early in my career) but agreed to coach her son. I saw quickly the impact I could have on this young man's life, what I didn't account for was the impact he would have on mine. Later that year I went to watch the freshman play in their first football game normally I would not have taken the time but I felt I had a horse in this race. not long into the first quarter my client jumped out in front of a pass for an interception and took it to the end zone for the score. I remember celebrating as if I was out there with him. The amount of joy that came from helping someone grow, progress, and reach a new standard was so powerful. I knew from that day forward like my father had done for so many years I too wanted to elevate others in a powerful way.
In 2015 I stepped away my Mixed Martial Arts career to pursue another passion of mine. That passion has become Kalvary Fitness. This gym like a church is defined by the people that come through its doors. Fitness is not solely my passion, the lives, goals, growth and overall well being of my clients... that's my passion! The desire to elevate the character of others through attaining and maintaining a high healthy standard is what sustains the drive in me for what I do everyday. Kalvary Fitness was birthed in the heart of an eager 5 year old boy 26 years ago and somehow we are just getting started!!! Believe in your journey.