Enthusiastic, technical and motivating are all traits of a really great fitness instructor, for sure, but what about courteous, punctual and kind? We’ll argue that those characteristics are just as important, and we have walking, talking proof in Chris Rios.
With a background in wrestling and boxing – ahem, and captain of the team senior year – it’s no surprise that Chris found himself practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu just a few years later. We have our own Danelle Clarke to thank for that.
“During my sophomore year at UNR, I took a statistics class with professor Danelle Clarke,” says Chris. “It is safe to safe that she intimidated me until we had our first conversation that wasn’t about statistics. During a study session, she asked me if I played any sports in high school. I told her about wrestling. Before I left she gave me a Freestyle BJJ flyer. That semester I found out two things: my love for martial arts, and that I would be retaking statistics during the summer.”
Let’s just make it official: thanks, Danelle!
After a few months of BJJ, Chris decided to cross-train with some Muay Thai. And that was fortunate, too.
“I fell in love with both martial arts,” he says. “Simply put, I could not get enough of the training at Freestyle. I started off as a white belt and now I’m a brown senior. I think the other instructors took notice in my love for the art, and after a year of training Jo offered me a job as an instructor to teach Fighter Physique classes.”
When we added Throwdown, Chris was a natural fit. He enjoys teaching fitness classes, and it shows. His goal for every class is simple: Chris is committed to “teaching in different ways so every member can learn something new in each class.”
So, you know, fair warning. You’ll hear a lot of TURN YOUR HIPS OVER and CHIN TUCKED and HANDS UP in Chris’ class. “Sometimes I repeat myself ten times until I see improvement in technique,” he says. And that’s a good thing.
When he grows up, Chris wants to be like the coaches in his own life who helped him see his own worth. That’s a tall order, but we have complete faith that Chris will make many a positive impact on the lives of people around him. He already does.