Instructor Highlight: Kilian Beggan
At 18 years old, Coach Kilian is one of the youngest members of the ETC Boulder staff. She’s been training since she was 10, and in the years since, she and her family have become fixtures at the academy. Kilian is now a purple belt, a rising Sophomore at CU, and one of the head instructors in the kids’ Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai program. She also occasionally coaches adult Fundamentals classes.
Growing up in the academy, Kilian says, “I’ve had so many instructors who have become big parts of my life, people that I can always count on, and people that I can call family. I would like to be that for some of the kids and even adults that I teach.” A better role model than Kilian would be hard to find. She started assisting kids’ classes when she was 14, and loves helping her students along in their own martial arts journeys. When asked what she enjoys most about her job, she says, “Any coach knows that feeling when your student nails a technique, or when they finish a training round smiling ear-to-ear. Or hearing a kid go to their parents and beg to stay. I love knowing that I am impacting someones life positively.” Some of her young students are even looking forward to following in her footsteps, counting down the years until they’re old enough to start coaching. This makes Kilian especially proud. She is thankful for her time at the academy because of how much it’s helped her to grow, and she wants the same for the kids under her care.
Kilian is known for her patience and ability to make even the most timid young ones comfortable in class. She emphasizes understanding each student’s unique learning style. She notes that, “While some kids respond really well to being told what they need to fix, others need you to show them, and some need you to physically move them.” She tries to cater to each student, so nobody leaves her class feeling frustrated that they weren’t able to understand a technique. She also knows the importance of staying humble, and owning up to mistakes. After eight years of training, she recognizes that she still has a lot to learn, and wants her students to understand that the martial arts she teaches aren’t things one can perfect in just a few years. Mistakes will happen, but that’s okay, as long as we can take responsibility for them, and continue to work to improve.