From Martial Arts to Fitness – Meet Our New Instructor

The fitness side of Freestyle draws heavy inspiration from the martial arts academy. And if you want an idea of how legit our classes are, well, just look at the number of crossovers we get from one side to the other (and vice versa, honestly). Case in point? Our newest instructor, one Jennifer Owens. After training in Tae Kwon Do on and off since childhood, she’s back into the swing of things in MMA and Brazilian jiu jitsu here at Freestyle. But the former personal trainer had her eye on our fitness classes too, and it wasn’t long before we got her behind the mic.

freestyle-fitness-instructor-spotlight-jen-owens-renoJust Call Her One of Those Active Types

“I actually began my martial arts training as a child,” says Jen. “I trained in Tae Kwon Do for about two years in Singapore, where I grew up. I started at around 10 years old, then took a break as I took up sports instead, playing soccer, basketball and softball through junior high and high school. I loved being active, learning new skills, and seeing what my body could do as I got stronger.”

In college, Jen picked up Tae Kwon Do again and got her ACE certification to teach group fitness classes. “I spent the next 14 years teaching boot camp, kickboxing, HIIT, step aerobics classes, and spinning classes,” she says. “I switched it up and spent a season enjoying triathlons and running a number of 10k’s and half marathons before taking a break to have my babies and nurse a few injuries.”

a new perspective

And then, in the spring of 2017, along came Jen’s fortieth birthday. “I had a sort of epiphany,” says the mom of two. While she found satisfaction in fitness for the sake of staying fitness, she “really wanted to pursue a goal and learn something new.” Jen had enrolled her kids in martial arts classes at Freestyle the previous December, and she was done sitting in the bleachers and just watching. “I joined both the BJJ and MMA programs, and now, over a year into my training, my body has not only gotten stronger, but I have found that mentally I am tougher, too,” she says. “That’s what I love about martial arts – it takes you to what you think is your limit and then empowers you to break through it.”

And that’s the experience she’s bringing to every fitness class she teaches.

“I want to encourage every individual to push their limits or modify their workout as they see fit,” Jen explains. “Everyone is on a different journey, and it’s important for participants to know themselves and their goals. In my classes, we work really hard, but there are always modifications so that each class is accessible to everyone, beginner or advanced athlete alike.”

That Community thing again

We write often about the sense of community that Freestyle fosters, and hey look, here it is again. “The thing I love about Freestyle the most is the community,” says Jen. “I’ve been a part of gyms in the past where you can scan in, get a workout done, and not even interact with a single person. It’s not like that at Freestyle. People know you by name, know your kids, and care about what is going on in your life. Everyone is encouraging and positive, and we’re all part of the same team.”

It’s awesome because it’s true! Fitness at Freestyle is different, and it’s the kind of thing you have to try for yourself to understand. So to anyone on the fence, worried about diving into something new, listen up. “JUST TRY IT!” says Jen. “Come in and see what you’ve been missing! Every class is accessible to every ability level, and there is no comparison or judgement. We are all on our own journeys – let us be a part of yours!”

Very well put, Jen. Welcome to the team.

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