A Warrior’s Tale


By Job Abraria

Shaun Antrim is a 7-time Professional Mixed Martial Arts Fighter, Master in Tae Kwon Do, 3rd Degree Black Belt in Hakido, and 10-time Marathon Finisher, along with being a Coach and Board Member of a High School Wrestling Team.  How does a nonathletic chubby kid plagued by asthma transform himself not only into a man of physical prowess, but accomplish some amazing athletic accomplishments before his 40th birthday?

Martial arts opened the door to Shaun’s possibility.  In the 7th grade, Shaun began training in Tae Kwon Do and connected with “the way to kick and punch.”  He also began studying Hapkido, which introduced “the way of coordinated energy.”  These two foundations connected Shaun to his true capabilities and built a strong dedication to perseverance that still exists today. Shaun is famous for saying, “No one can push you as hard as you can push yourself. When I am asked if boxing or fighting or BJJ hurts. I always say NO.  Marathons hurt, Training hurts, Bumps and bruises are nothing”

After learning to control his own movements, Shaun began applying his abilities to wrestling.  In his freshman year in high school he joined the wrestling team and later that year began working out with weights.

Throughout this time, Shaun continued his practice of the Martial Arts.  “Earning my Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do took four years, and then I began studying Hapkido more seriously.”

High school also opened more opportunities for Shaun to find connection with developing his capabilities as an athlete.  Through his introduction and subsequent participation in the cross country team, Shaun learned ways to improve his breathing and improve his lung capacity.

Then, life began.  Shaun married at age 18 and supported and wife and daughter.

“Life was pretty full for me for a long spell,” said Shaun.  While working three jobs, he continued to train and earned a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Through his determination and consistency in action, Shaun earned his 3rd Degree Black Belt at the age of 21.  A year later, the opportunity arose for him to buy the martial arts school he had trained at.  Shaun did so and became the head instructor.

Within two years, he earned the promotion to 4th Degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and, focusing back to basics earned his 1st Degree Black Belt in Hapkido.  This year, he pushed himself to enter in his first “Tough Man Competition.”

A year later, his 2nd Degree Black Belt in Hapkido was earned and Shaun competed in his first “Tap Out” submission wrestling tournament.  He also took on the Tough Man Competition again.  This continued for a few years.

At age 26, Shaun decided to shift his training and begin learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) with Professor Brad Peplow, Professor Jack McVicker and Professor Megaton Diaz.

A year later, Shaun began competing in BJJ tournaments and, still running, completed his first marathon.  He soon started coaching youth wrestling and working at Gold’s Gym in Morton.

At age 29, Shaun competed in his first Professional Mixed Martial Arts fight.  He also earned the designation of Master in Tae Kwon Do and his 3rd Degree Black Belt in Hapkido.

Shaun sums it up best, when he says, “Nobody is as close to me as people I train with. We seem to stay friends forever”

If you want to train with Shaun, You can find him  Gold’s Gym in Morton www.goldsgym.com\mortonil teaching classes, Monday and Wednesday at 7pm, Sunday at 230pm, Friday at 5am.  He teaches Kids Tae Kwon Do on Tuesday 4pm, Friday 6pm, Sunday noon, also Gold’s Gym Morton.  Please Call Gold’s Gym to sign up for any of Shaun Classes, and remember in October they are doing a new ramp up, adding classes and other fun exercise routines. Call 309-263-GOLD for information.

Fitness impact: Five stars – There is no way to do any work out or training with Shaun and  leave feeling like you have not had the best work out of your career.

Learning Curve: Three stars – Depending on the classes you are taking you will have to learn moves and Techniques, luckily Shaun is a great teacher.

Social Aspect: Five stars – Super great guy.  Totally get you involved in all of what he is doing and makes you part of the team, genuine and real guy.

Availability/Cost: three stars – As with any gyms and classes there are costs and fee, so work that into your budget.