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 Lillie Montes, Jiu-Jitsu coach Derrick, and Kickboxing coach Thomas.
Lillie Montes, Easton Kids
Lillie Montes knew she had to give Jiu-Jitsu a try because of her father, who also trains at Easton. “He always made it sound interesting and fun,” she remembers.
She now loves being a part of the Little Tigers program at Easton Longmont for both Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai!
What drives Lillie?
“What drives me is my family, friends, and trying to be the best me,” Liliie says. She appreciates how Little Tigers pushes her to be brave. “It’s given me the courage to go against bigger kids in class.”
Lillie also finds the Easton community special. “I love everything about Easton. I really like all the coaches, learning everyday with my friends, and being part of a great environment,” she explains.
She would like to give her coaches a special shout out: “Coach Jordan, Coach Mike Wooley, Coach River, Coach Jen, and Coach Ross!”
Lillie is determined in working towards her goal of becoming a black belt. And her coaches admire the growth they see in her after each class.
Coach Derrick Betting, Easton Jiu-Jitsu
Derrick Betting, one of our newer Jiu-Jitsu coaches, fell in love with martial arts after watching the movie Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee at a very young age. “I have pictures of myself when I was 6 years old passed out on the floor with a pair of nunchucks in my hand because I just wouldn’t put them down,” Derrick shares.
Derrick’s discovery of Jiu-Jitsu came much later when stumbling across Rener and Ryron Gracie’s famous “Gracie Breakdowns” video on YouTube. “Apart from making Jiu-Jitsu sound so practical, they made it sound beautiful and artistic in certain ways,” he says. He was immediately hooked after trying out his first class in Steamboat Springs.
After moving away from Steamboat Springs, Derrick trained at several gyms before finally finding the place that felt right: Easton Training Center! “When I walked into Easton Longmont, I was met at the door with enthusiasm, positivity, and a smile from the front desk,” he recalls.
What drives Derrick?
“Jiu-Jitsu has been somewhat of a metaphor for life. It challenges me every single time I step on the mats (whether it’s training or coaching) and overcoming those challenges every day has made me more resilient and determined outside of the academy,” Derrick says. “Jiu-Jitsu shows me what my strengths are, but more importantly it exposes my growth areas. It is a journey of self-discovery.”
It is also the community at Easton that motivates Derrick. “I’ve never met a group more welcoming and accepting than the Easton community” he says.
Although Derrick is finishing a M.A. in Counseling, his dream is to coach Jiu-Jitsu as a full-time job. “Coaching has proven to be one of my most rewarding experiences,” he tells Easton. He loves being able to share the passion that he has for this beautiful sport with all of his students.
Coach Thomas Broadway, Easton Muay Thai
In September 2020, Thomas Broadway began his martial arts journey by taking kickboxing classes at Easton Longmont. “I was a big fan of MMA and have been saying I’d try to learn a good striking base for a long time,” he says. Thomas became extremely dedicated, making it to 6+ classes for most weeks!
A year later, Thomas is now one of our newest kickboxing coaches with two Easton smoker fight experiences under his belt.
What drives Thomas?
“I keep coming back to Easton because I want to push myself,” Thomas shares. “When I’m off the mats it’s harder to do so, but I try to take that drive I learned in Muay Thai and try to implement it in my outside life.”
Thomas would like to thank the Easton Longmont community as a part of the reason he has grown the past year. “My favorite part about Easton is the people, hands down,” he says. “I can’t say for certain if I’d be where I’m at, if it weren’t for the friends I’ve made throughout the time I’ve been training.”
Thomas will be expanding his martial arts skills as he is looking to start Jiu-Jitsu this year. We are excited to meet him on the other side of the mats!
Ready to get started?