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bjj blue belt poses with bjj black belt instructor

Community Members of the Month: Easton Training Center Arvada

The Easton Training Center community is vast, and every member brings their own special gifts.

In the Arvada academy, one of our members has risen through the ranks, both on the mat and in the business. She started her journey riding her bike to the gym every day and helping clean the mats down in Denver to joining the Arvada team at the front desk and becoming a beloved coach. Now, she’s Director of First Impressions and a beastly blue belt, coaching little tigers with a fun fist while welcoming and encouraging new white belts in her fundamentals classes.

You won’t forget her powerful teeps and crazy clinch game, either.

If you haven’t met her yet, I recommend coming by on any given day and you’ll likely see her smiling face, ready for a rough roll or a well-timed pep talk.

Once you meet “The Morg,” you won’t forget her.

Philosophy, Psychology, and Gis – Oh My!

Morgan Shabani started her jiu-jitsu journey after a friend was harassed in a nightclub. She was able to de-escalate the situation but realized that she didn’t know what to do if it had gone any farther. She found Easton Training Center online, read Professor Eliot’s Gospel of Fire, and was hooked. As a student of philosophy and psychology, Morgan found that the benefits of practicing martial arts were way more than she anticipated:

“With jiu-jitsu, you have to do the work. There’s no way around it. Your work and what you put into it is reflected at you on the mats. You can fake your way through most of life, but jiu-jitsu keeps you honest. I love that it’s such a meditative activity; it puts you in a state of being. As soon as you enter the mats, you bow in and create a sacred space. Just the ritual of stepping onto the mats trains your brain to be more present. Jiu-jitsu requires all of you: your mental focus, your physical focus, your emotional focus.”

Most of us have heard that physical exercise can improve mental health, but there’s something special about martial arts. You not only get a good workout, but you also get community, support, and physical touch (what’s the difference between a clinch and a hug anyways?).

A Positive Force

It’s not just the personal benefits that drive Morgan, but the philosophy behind teaching and sharing what she’s learned with others. She believes that martial arts are for everyone and works hard to personalize her teaching style so no-one feels left behind. She knows that we all learn differently, have different bodies, with different abilities, and different histories that shape everyone’s journey.

“One of my favorite things about coaching is realizing that everyone is capable of learning jiu-jitsu. I just need to figure out how to best convey it to each student. And the act of figuring that out together with them brings a lot of growth for both of us. I also really enjoy sharing my passion for the martial art and being an ambassador for the positivity it brings in so many sectors of peoples’ lives. I love bringing out the best in people and finding out what their strengths are and how to amplify them. I get to be a positive and encouraging force in people’s lives.”

Growing Together

Morgan is especially passionate about the martial arts community and keeping our Arvada academy connected. She attends every competition our members compete in, cross-trains in both BJJ and Muay Thai, and is starting a weekly “Women’s Intensive” open to all Easton members in January.

“I love that jiu-jitsu brings people of all walks of life together. I’ve made friends with people that I probably wouldn’t have met in normal life. Being in a gi, you get to know people for who they are, instead of what they do. Plus, we’re all struggling together and helping each other… it creates bonds. We’re all challenging each other in a positive way – challenging people to grow and become better.”

That’s what makes “The Morg” such a super star at Easton Arvada! She’s always there, providing support, cultivating community, and being a positive force. She inspires our little and big ninjas alike, staying late, offering advice, or even just crushing and challenging you on the mats.

She’s equal parts tough and love, and we appreciate her all the more for it.

Ready to start your journey?

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