Coach Matt Bloss is the new head of Kickboxing and Muay Thai at Easton Martial Arts Academy in Arvada. He’s been a part of the Easton community since 2014, when he and his mother began training at Easton Training Center Boulder. He began coaching kickboxing classes there in 2015, and this year made the transition to heading up his own program.
Matt started in martial arts at a very young age, taking up karate in the mid-’90s. He also was raised watching Boxing, from the Tyson era through to the end of Lennox Lewis’ reign, and seeing those Heavyweight prize fights with his father made a big impression on him as a child. However, for most of his childhood and teen years in Salt Lake City, Matt was busy splitting his time between karate, ice hockey, basketball, cross country, and track and field. As a high schooler he focused in on hockey, becoming one of the top goaltenders in the country. When he was 19 years old, while playing Junior A hockey in Montana, he happened to meet a group of local pro boxers and MMA athletes at a local charity event, and began boxing training to diversify his workouts.
Since moving to Colorado, he’s had the opportunity to train with and under some of the best coaches and fighters around, and in the process has been exposed to more than a few striking systems. As a childhood Bruce Lee fanatic, Matt embraces Lee’s ethos of taking what works for your personal style from a plethora of martial arts. This has led him to an eclectic striking style that incorporates elements of traditional martial arts, including side kicks, spinning back kicks, wheel kicks, and axe kicks, as well as a very heavy emphasis on traditional boxing, all on top of a pretty clearly fundamental Muay Thai base. He likes to teach the same way, finding what works for his students’ individual expressions. Matt firmly believes that every single person’s body type, level of athleticism, and conditioning is different, and a coach must recognize that what might work in teaching one student, could completely baffle another. For this reason, his striking program avoids the “one size fits all” approach, and just as he values mixing up his training and exploring different techniques, he also tries on different teaching styles to best suit his students’ needs.
Teaching has always been something Matt enjoyed. He first started coaching younger kids in hockey when he was 14, and has long taken pleasure in helping others to improve in their sport. He believes in the unique power of the deep connection between a student and coach, and says that “getting someone to trust that you have their best interests in mind, even at times when they might think what we are practicing isn’t applicable to them, is an amazing journey in and of itself. Having a student smile at me after a technique has clicked is the best thing in my life!”
In his own practice, Matt has seen training act as a catalyst for some major life changes. Before becoming a coach, he was working an unsatisfying 8:00-5:00 job, freelancing as a music journalist and publicist, partying a lot, and not getting enough sleep. When he began training to compete for the Colorado State Muay Thai Tournament earlier this year, he fell in with the supportive community in the Easton Academies, started eating clean, sleeping more, and stopped partying. Before he knew it, he’d dedicated his life to the community. He says, “Now with a full-time job at EMAA, I’ve never been happier and spreading that energy is so rewarding… not to mention easy to share! I’m most proud of what it has done for my lifestyle, my relationships and how I’ve grown as a human in general.” He’s looking forward to making his boxing debut later this year and is excited to compete in the sport that first ignited his love of striking arts.
A message from Matt:
“I can’t say enough about the exciting things happening at our Arvada location. Now called Easton Martial Arts Academy (formerly Easton BJJ West), the striking program has been doing its best to catch up to the already stellar BJJ program set in place by Black Belt professors Chris and Nick Kline and our General Manager December Erin-Kennedy. We have a full-time on-site massage therapist, child care available with a dedicated open area for them to hang and play in, we’re in talks to get an industrial quality float tank, we have a Yoga and traditional Boxing program just taking off…. I could go on for days! Come check us out, Easton friends and family, and see what EMAA is all about!”