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Community Members of the Month: Easton Training Center

Each month, we’ll be profiling three members of our community.

We truly value our community at Easton Training Center. From our students to coaches and staff, and all those who put in extra time to help around the academy, it’s the heart and soul of the whole operation.

Time and time over, we hear our members say how it’s the people — their friends, partners, and classmates — that kept them coming back. The disciplines we teach are important, but in the end, they are tools. They’ll only go as far as the people who use them, and how.

This month, we highlight Augustus Michel, Tyra Pritt, and Adam George.

Augustus Michel, Easton Kids

Feeling isolated at times due to starting kindergarten remotely, Augustus joined Easton Longmont in March 2021 as a surprise birthday gift from his father. They hoped Easton would be a place for both the opportunity to learn a fun sport and to make friends.

And soon Augustus found himself a part of the Easton community, surrounded by friends that care for each other. He has even gotten his sibling to join as well! “My sister, Adelais, wanted to start learning Jiu-Jitsu after watching me at classes,” he shares. “So she is now a student in the Big Tigers and Muay Thai programs, too.”

What drives Augustus?

Augustus is motivated by seeing the progress he has made over time. “I like to earn new belts and get stripes. I also like wrestling rounds,” he says. “Ninja Nights are my favorites as well as all the friends I’ve made while learning Jiu-Jitsu!”

He would also like to give a special shout out to his coaches, “I really like all my coaches, especially coach Jen!”

And to that coach Jen responds, “Augustus has the heart of a lion and he brings it all on the mat! If he continues to use the four principles (focus, respect, energy, and discipline), the Jiu-Jitsu world is his oyster!” She further adds on, “the commitment he shows at such a young age coupled with not only his natural instincts but ability to employ coaches’ instructions in real time make this little warrior a force to watch out for.”

Off the mats, Augustus enjoys munching on lots of snacks, reading books, and sharing fun facts!

Tyra Pritt, Easton Jiu-Jitsu

In February 2021, Tyra’s son started learning Jiu-Jitsu at Easton, which was her first exposure to any form of martial arts. The longer she watched her son train and compete, the more she became fascinated with the sport.

“This is truly beautiful, it really is an art,” she captures what she realized about Jiu-Jitsu while watching her son’s first competition. Soon she found herself constantly thinking about the techniques and how to counteract or react to them. “I decided if I was thinking about it so much, then maybe I should give it a try.”

So Tyra officially joined Easton and she stepped on to the mat for the first time to attend a women’s Jiu-Jitsu class in October 2020. “I was training with Gelsey, she is a fellow Jiu-Jitsu mom and a big reason why I had the courage to get on the mat that day,” Tyra recounts.

“I have a terrible habit of saying sorry all the time, to the point that I don’t even realize I’m saying it most of the time. We were doing a drill and I was apologizing for not doing something perfectly and I had probably already said sorry a handful of times,” Tyra remembers. “Gelsey looked me straight in the eyes and in the sincerest way said, ‘Stop apologizing! Are you kidding me, this is awesome!’ That really stuck with me because I say sorry so much that it’s almost as if I’m apologizing for my existence, but in that moment, I felt like I was enough.”

Tyra feels that she will be forever impacted by the memory, and that moment will be with her everywhere she goes. “It helped me to really relax and just be proud of myself for trying and enjoying what I was learning. I am so grateful for that lesson on the mat.”

What drives Tyra?

On the mats, Tyra is driven by conquering her fears and anxieties. “The unfamiliar scares me. But at the same time, I don’t want to miss the possibility of finding something that might bring me joy or change my perspective or help me grow stronger mentally and physically,” she shares.

Off the mats, her kids are her biggest inspirations. Tyra values teaching them to be good members of their communities. “I want them to be confident, strong, loving, and kind. So I have to lead by example, which means I have to live that life, too. Knowing that they are watching and learning from me motivates me to be my best self whether I’m on or off the mats.”

Tyra and her son love being a part of Easton for its community that genuinely supports and cares for one another. “It truly feels like a big family,” she describes. “My favorite thing by far is witnessing the way Easton has facilitated a place where everyone, especially the kids, feel like they belong. People are loved and celebrated for being exactly who they are. Nothing beats the feeling of being enough. It’s truly a heartwarming thing to witness and experience on a daily basis.”

And to that Easton Longmont would like to thank Tyra for being a valuable member of our big family!

Adam George, Easton Muay Thai

For the most of his early life spent at the gym, Adam focused working on strength training. Over the years, he discovered that he enjoyed working with other people more than by himself. Although he still loves and continues strength training to this day, this realization motivated him to try out combat sports, which he has always been intrigued by.

“At the ripe age of 39 in 2011, I walked into a boxing gym. I had been watching the UFC for a short time and decided that it would be an interesting new avenue to explore. My instructor on that mat was Justin Salas, who is a very talented martial artist, during his pre-UFC days!” Adam tells the story. “That first day and for many days after, I was very uncomfortable. But I learned quickly that a large part of martial arts, like life, is becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Adam started learning Muay Thai when he joined Easton Longmont, soon after our opening a couple of years ago.

What drives Adam?

“Accountability to others! The sense of responsibility that the group, consisting of both fellow students and coaches, provides,” Adam explains why the community at Easton is important to him. “The accountability and consistency gained from leaning into others is hard to beat.”

“I also love the push to learn new things,” Adam adds on. “I appreciate how Easton teaches weekly lessons as I am a step-by-step learner. I feel myself getting better every time I step on the mats.”

“It took a long time for coach Phipps to fix my boxing habits and stance for Muay Thai,” Adam mentions as he thinks about all the progress he has made over time. And our community would like to applaud him for all the hard work!

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