Kids and parents have a new place to train

Jiujitsu and cross-fit businesses share building and grand opening celebration

By Sheila Miller
sports@taosnews.com
Posted 6/6/19

Two fitness outlets in Taos, FreeWorld Fitness and Mata Leao Brazilian Jiu Jitsu celebrated their grand openings Saturday (June 1) at 112 Dona Ana. The former …

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Kids and parents have a new place to train

Jiujitsu and cross-fit businesses share building and grand opening celebration

Posted

Two fitness outlets in Taos, FreeWorld Fitness and Mata Leao Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, celebrated their grand openings Saturday (June 1) at 112 Dona Ana. The former Cross Fit Taos opened as FreeWorld Fitness on April 1, now under the ownership of 26-year-old Española Police Officer Summer Mirabal.

Mirabal was born and raised at the Taos Pueblo. After serving in the Army for two years right out of high school, she joined the Taos Pueblo Police. In 2015, after the birth of her second son, she "got motivated" and started doing cross fit.

The set workout and instructor-led sessions helped to keep her motivated. It's "always a challenge and always fun," she said, and "everybody is so nice."

As much as she enjoyed her workouts, Mirabal hoped to do more outdoor workouts, and to have more positivity and coach-led activities in a cleaner space. To create that space, she decided to move from patron to owner. "I want to inspire other women to go for it," Mirabal said.

While lifting barbells and throwing tires might not be appropriate for small children (kids 14 and over can participate with guardian permission), there are lots of kids around the gym, especially "if the parents can't find a sitter."

"The kids usually end up going upstairs," Mirabal said.

Upstairs, one can find Mata Leao Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, started in April by Morgan and Tyler Massey. A few weeks after opening their doors, they brought two competitors, David Varga and BreAnna Taylor, to the New Mexico Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation Championships in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, on April 28.

Taylor and Vargas each won first in both the No-Gi competition and the Gi-Competition. Even as a team of two, they won third place as a team in both categories from a field of 12 teams. To their next competition, NAGA (North American Grappling Association), on June 22, they are taking a team of nine kids that includes both season competitors and some who are brand new to competitions.

One of those seasoned competitors, Taylor, explained that early in competition training, one of the things young athletes learn is to sit still and wait their turn, as they will have to at a meet.

When asked his favorite thing about competing, Vargas answered, with a small smile but without wanting to elaborate, "The different situations."

Kids who want to experience those situations for themselves can join the summer Ninja Boot Camp, run jointly by FreeWorld Fitness and Mata Leao, that includes fitness, outdoor activities and Brazilian jiujitsu.

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