It was over 10 years ago, I was in the health club business. I was a salesperson with high quotas and was stressed out. It’s a little known thing but being in the fitness center business if your competitive in sales it’s hard to keep fit. Every time you are on the workout floor there is potential to missing walk in traffic, so you don’t workout. There is also the fact that when you are on the floor working out a member may recognize you and ask you about the tread mill that is not working etc.,so you don’t workout. I was working long hours and eating fast food and had gotten into bad shape. Needless to say I needed to find an outlet, because, you guessed it I was not working out.
I had wrestled from age 3- 15 years old and was always in good shape doing that, and I liked the UFC, so jiujtsu seemed interesting. I had stumbled upon the Gaijin Ryu Dojo in Sykesville Maryland, 5 minutes from my house. Being a former Golden Gloves boxer I made a deal with Master Lee Epperson, if I taught his guys to box, he would teach me jiujitsu.
As time went on I came to really enjoy the jiujitsu workouts and was going to classes every chance I could. One day Master Lee came to me saying he was looking to move the gym to Columbia and asked if I wanted to go there to teach boxing. I said that the gym was so close to my home I hoped he would not move. Then my career would soon change as Master Epperson asked if I wanted to take over the lease, I discussed with my wife and when she agreed Ishould, Shaddock MMA Fitness was born.
Now in our tenth year in business I am really enjoying teaching fitness through the martial arts. Even though I had a short stint at body building, it never really stuck. The workouts in boxing, wrestling and jiujitsu were far more satisfying to me than any weight training workout. Having always been a competitive athlete I find the boxing and jiujitsu workouts very similar to the training I had in high school and college. There is a different kind of dedication and discipline that is involved in boxing, wrestling and jiujitsu that is important in building character in young men and women. I enjoy teaching people of all ages and hope to continue for a while. The great thing is even at age 50 I still enjoy working the focus mitts, rolling with my students and on occasion I even still spar with our pro boxer Yahu Blackwell.
My goal is to help the Sykesville/Eldersburg community get exposed to the fitness and self defense benefits of boxing and jiujitsu and shaddock MMA fitness. I am hoping that I can one day be as good and instructor and life coach as my brothers Dale, Chris and Scott were to me in boxing and wrestling, and as Master Lee was to me in jiujitsu. I want to keep doing this as long as I physically can, which I hope is for quite a bit longer. Come try my gym out for a different experience. You will be glad you did.
Keep your hands up,
Coach John “Bones” Shaddock