Rank: 5th degree black belt, brown belt BJJ
Position at FMA: Owner, instructor, custodian, receptionist, punching bag
When he’s not fixing toilets and answering phones, you’ll find Tres teaching our advanced belt classes. He doesn’t like talking about himself, but he was a sparring champion at one time and he’s been practicing various forms of martial arts – including TKD, Tang Soo Do, Japanese and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and Escrima – for close to four decades. He’s proud that Freestyle continues to rank among the top martial arts schools in the country, and he’s quick to point to his program directors and instructors as the reasons for the school’s success. Earning a black belt at Freestyle means something, and the truth is, most of that has to do with Tres.
Rank: SBN 3rd degree black belt, blue belt BJJ
Position at FMA: Program Director
From the tiniest Little Dragons to the adult beginners, everyone has the privilege of meeting Rebecca when they’re getting started in our martial arts programs (Hiiiiii, Miss Rebeccaaaa). On a given day, you’ll find her behind the front desk, troubleshooting accounts receivable, teaching private lessons and introducing new students. With 13 years of martial arts training under that third degree belt, Rebecca still gets a thrill when new people take up the sport. Her favorite part about martial arts? She says there are just too many good things to choose.
Rank: 4th degree black belt, blue belt BJJ
Position at FMA: Head Instructor of Children’s Program; Head of Charitable Events for Freestyle Fights Back
Back in the day, Shannon was one of those little karate kids running around in Tres’ class. Today, with 20 years of martial arts under that fourth degree, she’s the one turning new generations into karate kids. Her favorite part of martial arts is Thai boxing – which makes her a natural as a fitness instructor for Throwdown – and the strength and confidence that comes with the discipline of the sport. When she’s not at Freestyle – which is pretty much all the time – she’s hanging out with her gigantic dog, reading or out exploring the trails.
Rank: 4th degree black belt, purple belt BJJ
Position at FMA: Head Instructor of Beginner Adult Program
Danelle began martial arts with her husband, Scott, in 2001. She took over the beginner adults martial arts program after earning her first degree. She loves the sense of accomplishment inherent to practicing martial arts, and she thinks that nothing beats the empowered feeling she gets from a really great boxing round (hey, we hear you). When she’s not on the mats or looking after the menagerie she and Scott have at home, you’ll find her directing the math center at UNR.
Rank: Brown senior
Position at FMA: Assistant Instructor
Jo started practicing martial arts three years ago, and you’ll find her on the mats these days not just training, but teaching both martial arts and fitness classes. While she loves lots of things about martial arts, it’s the opportunity to find peace in uncomfortable situations and the ability to react with intention – not panic – she’s learned from martial arts that really resonates for her. When Jo’s not at Freestyle, you’ll find her out with her husband Tres, teaching at UNR, hanging out with her dogs, and spending time with family and friends.
Rank: 3rd degree black belt, brown belt BJJ
Position at FMA: Head Instructor, BJJ; Beginner Adults Program Instructor
With 15 years of martial arts training and 11 years of BJJ, Scott has had plenty of time to hone his craft. His favorite part of martial arts is that it’s constantly evolving, and that calls for creative thought and energy to solve ever-changing problems and puzzles. For Scott, practicing martial arts serves as a creative outlet, and that’s pretty cool. When he’s not problem-solving on the mats or spending time with his wife Danelle, you’ll find him managing their five pets, rocking out with the band Flannel Fish, or rolling on other mats in town for more inspiration.
Rank: 3rd degree black belt
Position at FMA: Front Desk Manager
Whether you’re scheduling a private lesson or buying sweet new gear, Karina’s got you covered. But don’t let that friendly efficiency fool you – Karina has been practicing martial arts for 13 years and knows how to handle herself. She loves the choreography of forms and basics, and when she’s not practicing those, she’s plugging away at the university towards her mathematics degree.
Rank: 3rd degree black belt
Position at FMA: Little Dragon and Youth Program Instructor
Michelle started in our beginner martial arts program some 12 years ago, and here she is now, all grown up and leading class herself. Martial arts has given her a sense of control over her body and mind, and it brought this former shy-girl out of her shell too. Freestyle is like family to Michelle, and she counts many of her fellow instructors among her closest friends.
Rank: Brown belt BJJ
Position at FMA: Head Instructor, BJJ
Andrew heads up our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program with Scott. He has close to a decade of experience in this branch of martial arts, and he continues to enjoy the combination of strenuous physical activity and mental focus it requires. For Andrew, there’s a harmony to that physical/mental flow, and the result is a kind of holistic fitness that he digs. Off the mats, you’ll find Andrew with his nose in a book, exploring the great outdoors, or spending time with his loved ones.
Rank: 2nd degree black belt, blue belt BJJ
Position at FMA: Adult and Youth Program Instructor
Eric has been doing this martial arts thing for 35 years now, and he’s dabbled in the branch of Tang Soo Do as well, where he’s ranked as a 3rd degree black belt. It’s the constant challenge of martial arts that keeps him interested, plus the people from all walks of life who are drawn to it. At Freestyle, Eric works directly with the kids in our youth program and jumps in to instruct adult classes as well. Then he takes off on his motorcycle to recharge before his next training session.
Rank: 2nd degree black belt
Position at FMA: Little Dragons and Youth Instructor
Maybe it’s his eleven years of martial arts experience, or his spot on the demo team, or his tricking and weapons prowess, but the kids love Kyle. It works out nicely, since you’ll find him in the Little Dragons room or with our beginner youth students. When he’s not at Freestyle or in class, Kyle likes to spend time longboarding and being artistic.