Fit Defense offers a unique blend of traditional martial arts training combined with a strong emphasis on fitness, situational awareness and self-defense. Offered in a non-threatening, family-friendly atmosphere, Fit Defense offers programs that promote confidence, develop self-esteem, and enhance discipline.
While our core martial arts training is based on American and Shaolin Kempo. Sensei Tyson weaves in aspects of other classical martial arts he has practiced and studied including Jeet Kune Do, Karate, Krav Maga, grappling and kickboxing as a basis for self-defense training.Students will also have the opportunity to incorporate weapons training. Both classical martial arts weapons such as swords and bo staffs as well as practical weapons training with knives, guns, and sticks are included in our curriculum.
As a certified personal trainer, Sensei Tyson understands and puts into practice a strong underlying fitness that enhances his capabilities as a martial artist. But if your goals are strictly fitness related our fitness program will give you the same benefits without the formality or protocol associated with traditional martial arts training. You will learn to punch, kick, defend yourself and others while you get in great shape. You will also learn practical self-defense skills should you ever need to apply them.
My calling and my passion is to teach and protect others while helping them learn to protect themselves. My 17 years of studying martial arts has given me confidence, focus, and self-discipline and there is nothing that compares to watching those attributes develop in the students I teach. I am a 3rd Dan Black Belt in Shaolin Kenpo. And while Kenpo forms the basis of my martial arts education, I also have experience in other disciplines such as Krav Maga, Siliat, Jiu Jitsu, Taekwondo and numerous weapons. As a young boy I had many of the same interests of my peers; action movies, figures, and heroes, but it wasn’t until I watched, Bruce Lee’s movie, “Enter the Dragon” that I became enamored with martial arts.
That was it for me, I was only ten years old, but I was ready to learn. Unfortunately my first lesson was not what I envisioned. The instructor was intimidating and yelled at me. I was devastated and decided to give up martial arts. I just wasn’t cut out for it, or so I thought.
I entered high school, with satisfactory to poor grades due to a learning disability, and low self-confidence. I tried to avoid trouble and stuck with my own group, but one day trouble was unavoidable. My friends and I were being bullied by upperclassmen and I was truly scared until my best friend turned around and executed a karate technique disabling one of the bullies. I was shocked. He then told me he had been training in martial arts because he was sick of being bullied. In fact his father owned a martial arts studio. I signed up the next day. With the right instructor I quickly realized that I can learn martial arts and quickly gained confidence. I found that I excelled in martial arts and became intent on learning and developing my skills.
Success is an awesome feeling!
During my seventeen year martial arts education I explored many other styles of martial arts as well as becoming a personal trainer. My skills grew as I taught other students and I shared in their successes as they too gained confidence to be their true selves as they continued to train and grow.
I was once told that, “In order to be an instructor you must continue to train and evolve as you grow from the roots up, otherwise you become stagnate and die.” That’s why I continue to study with Master and Grandmaster level Senseis and continue to develop new skills and further refine the ones I already possess.
“Martial arts has saved my life in many ways” – Caitlyn
Caitlyn Rhodes began training in 1995 and is now a Blackbelt Shaolin Kempo Martial Arts Instructor at Fit Defense. Her dedication has earned her 22 championship tournament trophies. Caitlyn was exposed to violence as a child. A life she says no child should ever have to witness. Drug addictions, bullying, physical, mental and verbal abuse were demonstrated regularly in her mother’s home. Teachers and counselors diagnosed her with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) believing she was a “problem child” but few knew that she was only a malnourished, fearful, traumatized child learning to survive daily life. She guarded her mother for years knowing that if she were exposed, her mother would be taken away.
When the truth was revealed, her uncle Dan signed her up for Martial Arts and her Father Don was dedicated to making sure she could continue training. During her first year in the Dojo, her grades went up and she became an honor roll student. No more Ritalin, her focus was sharp. She won the districts DARE program speech of the year and continued to prove that she could overcome any obstacle with the help of those who believed in her.
She has since dedicated much of her life to human and child development. When time and money allows you can find Caitlyn traveling the world and staying strong and healthy. With a degree in Psychology studying human and child development, she worked as a drug rehab mentor. Caitlyn is now an energetic healer and life-coach with Guided Light Healing in Los Angeles. Her mission today is to powerfully impact and empower those who are ready to step into their best life.