If you ever wanted to know about martial arts, Aaron Jones is your man. In our interview, our Accounting Analyst talks about how he got into it as a teen and the many ways it’s affected his life and work.
Martial Arts is much more than just exercise for you. Tell us about how you got started just over a decade ago?
My dad was big into karate when I was growing up and he would enter competitions on a regular basis. He and my older cousin (who boxed) would constantly roughhouse to see who was better and which discipline was the best. My dad also talked about how his dad used to train boxers all the time. He always wanted me to learn and would randomly try and teach me things here and there. So it was only a matter of time before I found myself partaking in some form of martial arts. I was formally introduced to boxing in 11th grade and have not stopped practicing different kinds of martial art ever since. Guess you could say I’m keeping up a family tradition.
How has this shaped you as a person and influenced your perspective on life?
Boxing, Muay Thai and Capoeira have all taught me resilience and adaptability. As Mike Tyson likes to say: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” I think that applies to just about anything in life. Just look at the pandemic! At the end of my Capoeira class, we form a Roda or a circle where some participants will play instruments and lead the songs while other participants forming the circle will sing and clap along. The ones in the middle will essentially spar with light contact, but it is more about understanding the flow of things as opposed to actually fighting the other person. It’s a fun life balance for me, having the physicality of martial arts and the challenging mentality of working in accounting.
During the pandemic, did you set up your own home gym?
The pandemic definitely made it tough to keep up with my workouts. Luckily, I was able to keep up my routine by either working out at home, occasionally taking a class outside when gyms were open or I would train with friends.
You are a trainer yourself, tell us more! Do you plan on teaching again once studios open up?
My first boxing trainer was a man named Redwood who took me under his wing. He asked me to start showing up to classes more often and he would show me how to teach and train other people. Then, one day he left the gym and his protege took over and gave me a job working as a trainer. I have met a lot of great people working at the gym, four of whom are some of my closest friends. It’s wild to believe because we probably would have never met if it were not for boxing. Two of them are trainers there still and they’re my roommates. So my working out has really worked out great for me!