Holiday Closure: All Easton Schools Closed Dec.14 & morning classes cancelled Dec.15

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April 17, 2022

Community Members of the Month: Easton Training Center Longmont

Tatyana Sharpton

Community Members of the Month: Easton Training Center Longmont

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.

People may walk through our doors for the Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai, but they stay for the community — 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 Jay Clark, Jadyn Powell, and Toby Brunson of Easton Training Center Longmont.

Jay Clark, Easton Muay Thai

Coach Jay began Kickboxing in 2020 when the Longmont Academy first opened up. A three-stripe Blue Belt, he had already been training Jiu Jitsu at the Boulder location for years and wanted to try his hand at striking. He quickly fell in love with it and today holds a green shirt in Muay Thai, coaches adult Kickboxing two nights a week and heads up the weekly Kids Muay Thai classes.

Jay first found Easton back in 2017 through his love for grappling, when Amal Easton did a seminar at the BoCo Sheriff’s Office and the Longmont Police Department where Jay worked attended. After the seminar, learning that Jay had wrestling experience, Amal invited him to try his Jiu Jitsu class, where Jay proceeded to train among some of the best practitioners at the academy.

Today he balances the two sports, training Muay Thai at Longmont’s academy and traveling to Boulder during the week to take Professor Amal’s no-gi class.

What drives Jay?

Coach jokes that he’s probably one of the laziest motivated people you’ll ever meet. (We still don’t see it.) A naturally laid-back person, Jay has worked to develop systems and structures to his day so that he stays on track and continues to crush goals

“When I do something, I get immersed in it,” Jay tells us. “I build a ‘I go because I have to get better’ mentality, whether I want to or not.” Whether it’s running or training, he structures his day so that those things have to get done – otherwise, he says, he could find any excuse not to do them. Forever pushing himself to new limits, Coach Jay’s next adventure involves joining the Special Forces, and he’ll be leaving us temporarily for Georgia where he’ll be training!

Stick with it

Taking in everything at once — the whole range of a martial art — can be extremely overwhelming, whether it’s Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai. Jay’s advice to anyone starting out is simply to stick with it. Instead of looking at the big picture, think of the small things. Take it one class at a time and don’t give up. 

“It’s kind of like the military when you do Special Forces,” Jay says. “They think about making it to lunch, then making it to dinner. Small wins because it’s so demanding.” 

Coach Jay’s favorite part of Easton is the people! He tells us he hasn’t met a single person who isn’t friendly and welcoming, willing to take the time to share experiences or help out with a technique. We’ll miss you Jay!

Jadyn Powell, Easton Kids Assistant

Jadyn, 15, came to us nearly a year ago as a fourteen-year-old just out of the range of our Kids Program. He got put into adult classes right away, and today trains in our Intermediate/Advanced classes and has started helping to coach kids!

Jadyn started training at Easton when kids at school began picking on him and, Jadyn jokes, the only way he could get his mom to not go to the school and beat them up constituted learning how to defend himself. Her boyfriend came up with an idea: he gave Jadyn a list of martial arts options and asked him to chose.

At the time, Jadyn was reading a bunch of comic books, and Jiu Jitsu had come up several times. He always considered himself a pretty unathletic guy, but until then nobody had ever messed with him before. Suddenly, Jiu Jitsu became a way to pacify my mom, and learn some new moves — plus he thought it would be cool to choke his friends out. (Don’t we all -lovingly- relate!)

What motivates Jadyn?

While initially the sport itself gave Jadyn enough motivation to keep showing up, as he began to level up and start taking advanced classes, Jiu Jitsu had consumed his schedule and left him with hardly any free time.

Jadyn would come to the 5:30 PM Fundamentals class and stay until 8 PM, when the Advanced class ended. He’d do both classes every week all week, and then he’d have to go to bed at nine because his little brother wouldn’t go to sleep unless Jadyn went to bed too.

The burnout left him less motivated than he’d like for a couple months, but luckily through friends he made in class and the community, he was able to get back to a healthy rhythm. Now Jadyn helps assist kids classes twice a week, and that brings him a whole new level of joy in Jiu Jitsu!

“I don’t have a desire to become the greatest, I just want to help teach,” Jadyn says, “Teaching is a huge part of wanting to stay in it.”

Jadyn’s advice: just do it

“I couldn’t do a push-up for the first six months of Jiu Jitsu,” he recalls. “But if you start, you’ll meet some people that make it fun for you, like I made a couple friends who would always be at Fundamentals. Get a good standing and have a good time.”

Like so many others, Jadyn’s favorite part of Easton is the community! The coaches are awesome, everyone is nice, and he likes how people of any age can set and crush goals. “You can start Muay Thai as a tiny kid like Landon, or those giant guys like their dad (Jay! who we featured above) who’s the size of four of me.”

Toby Brunson, Easton Jiu Jitsu

Toby, 19, first started Jiu Jitsu around nine years old, when his dad put him in the sport to learn how to defend himself against bullies at school and develop confidence.

Toby trained for a year-and-a-half before being a young rascal caused him to lose BJJ privileges, but he always wanted to start back up. After Toby finished high school, with a bunch of time on his hands, he decided it was finally time.

His love for MMA also came from his dad. Ever since Toby can remember, his dad would rent the UFC fights and watch them with all his friends in the basement, throwing a big party. To this day he still follows fighters and stays up-to-speed on fights and tournaments in the community.

What drives Toby?

One thing that drives Toby on and off the mat is that he wants to set a positive example for his five-year-old brother, so that he grows up with a good male role model in his life.

“I have a passion for Jiu Jitsu and it helps keep me on track in the rest of life,” Toby tells us. “It gives me something to do and gives me structure, so I don’t have a bunch of spare time that I’m wasting.

Toby’s advice to anyone looking to start training is: just be consistent and you’ll get better.

Nothing good ever happens overnight, and Toby echoes Jadyn’s sentiments: Just DO it!

For Toby, the community aspect makes Easton much more than just a martial arts gym. It’s truly an academy, and you develop special relationships with people you train with and the coaches.

Toby has also began working at Longmont’s front desk this year, is one of our most consistent students, and even participated in his first In-House BJJ Tournament this year!

Interested in trying a free class in Kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, or the Kids program? Visit our website and schedule one today!


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