It's hard to keep up with the enthusiasm of this instructor. He is our resident Johnny Cash, and we are pretty sure he lives by this quote: "The more I learn, the more excited I get."
Now, who doesn't want to meet this guy? We had a chance to spend some time with Dan and this is what he had to say:
I teach the adult Brazilian jiu-jitsu class. I am excited to also be a part of the classes that will be offered to individuals with autism. It's a ten-week program and it gives them an opportunity to take part in a one-hour class that will be half Muay Thai and the other half Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which is what I will be teaching. (What an awesome way to spend a Saturday morning!)
It's sometimes hard to convey a person's enthusiastic answers to the questions we ask, but just imagine this for a moment: Johnny Cash playing in the background, and Dan waving his arms up and down, in a cool way of course, telling us this about jiu-jitsu:
I love jiu-jitsu’s creativity and the ability to adapt and the fact that regardless of your physical attributes, you can design a game that works best for you. (He walks the line.)
Dan is a superstar when it comes to teaching and it's no wonder – he's a school teacher by day, and (into a telephone booth) turns into a jiu-jitsu hero and mentor at night.
This is the kind of guy Dan is. Check out this link. It's the feel-good story of the week:
(i'm telling you, he's here, he's there, he's everywhere!)
Dan told us he's going to be celebrating his forty-eighth birthday soon. (I know, right? Our gym seems to have the fountain of youth in the water.)
He went on to say that he is the strongest, mentally and physically, that he has ever been, in any period of his life.
My move of the month would have to be the wrist-lock. (It's a superhero thing.)
This is what Brian Bird had to say about Dan:
Dan is such a positive guy and he loves life. Years ago he had a serious mountain biking accident. From that he had some challenges to overcome, but he faced it head-on and learned to adapt.
When you experience something like that, it's easy to use excuses to not try something.
But because of Dan's work ethic, he pushed through and he is better and stronger today because of it.
That could be part of the reason Dan is so good when he works with individuals with autism. He has such great patience, and he encourages and supports them as they learn and grow at their own pace.
–Coach Brian Bird
Being a school teacher has added to his background of teaching and he is always finding new and innovative ways to inspire. Part of his inspiration comes from the Man in Black (yeah, that's right, the legendary Johnny Cash).
So, you want to meet him, right? (We all know you'll take a quick glance at the phone booth on your way in. Ha, we all did!)
To find Dan in our gym, just listen for the Johnny Cash music – you can't miss it!