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Instructor Highlight: Garin Runyon

Coach Garin Runyon began his martial arts training over eight years ago. He played college football, and when he finished his final season, he knew he needed a new physical outlet. He found T’s KO in Wheat Ridge, and soon, martial arts became the foundation for his life. Though he is a kickboxing instructor today, Garin’s approach to his striking is eclectic. He likes to take the best techniques from different styles of striking and incorporate them into his own practice–his philosophy is to always keep his opponent guessing.
Since his early years, Garin has been passionate about teaching and helping other people. Becoming an instructor has long been a life goal of his. Football was in his blood, but once he found kickboxing, he knew he’d found his niche. He realized that martial arts had given him a great deal both physically and mentally, and wanted to pass those benefits on to as many people as possible. To him, being an instructor is about having a positive impact on the lives of his students.
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At the start of every class, Garin always surveys the students present before deciding how and what to teach. His adaptive coaching helps him to give everyone the best experience. In Level 1, he emphasizes high energy because it gets everyone excited and motivated to train and learn the basics. In the technique-heavy higher levels, he adapts to his students’ individual abilities and styles.
This attentive approach to instruction makes Garin a great option for private lessons. “Working one-on-one is a different game,” he muses. “I like to highlight your strengths early, and work on your weaknesses later. Depending on the level of striker I will work on technique and one-on-one controlled sparring if they are getting ready to compete. Mentally preparing someone is also important, with positive reinforcement boosting self-esteem. No matter where you are in your journey I will make sure you reach your goals.”
To Garin, the most important thing is that every student leaves his classes and lessons better physically and mentally than when they came in. He emphasizes teamwork, hard work, and fun! When everyone is firing on all cylinders in a class, he describes it as “a thing of beauty.” When asked what he loves most about being an instructor, Garin says, “There are so many great things about teaching–from helping a new student throw a proper jab to teaching a veteran how to set up a same-side high whip kick. If I had to narrow it down, it would have to be when a student comes up to me and tells me how much they enjoy coming in to take my class and what a difference it has made in their life.”
As he looks to the future, Garin hopes to take his students to new heights in their training, and to devote more time to his personal training in order to compete at higher levels.

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