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Rising Stars: Meet Sean & Jessica Moran

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sean & Jessica Moran.

Hi Sean & Jessica, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My husband Sean and I have been movers, martial artists, dancers, acrobats and performers since we were teens. We both fell in love with Capoeira about 24 years ago and met while training with our teacher, Mestre Boneco of Capoeira Brasil, LA. For many years we taught at our teacher’s cultural center in the mid-city area and at schools, universities, cultural events and in city programs all over LA. In 2005, we began our own youth and adult program in Northeast LA. This program blossomed, we were in four charter schools, ran a free community class, taught in the Summer Night Lights program, performed in countless events and so much more.

In 2020 we had the opportunity to take over the space we were sharing with another trainer and became full-time gym owners, CounterBalance was born. Despite the pandemic hitting soon after, we were able to survive and thrive because of our amazing community of students. Our students are more than clients; they are family.

Today our gym is home to martial arts programs in Capoeira, Kajukenbo, Muay Thai and Filipino Martial Arts. We are also home to amazing fitness and recovery modality called TACFIT, Viking Ninja Steel Mace classes, a circuit training program called Body Balance and of course, personal training.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We had all kinds of ups and downs…we worked so many different jobs – multiple jobs at once in order to continue training and teaching our art. My husband continued acting and booked good gigs when he got lucky. I worked for Mayor’s office, in community programming, in marketing, and special event planning – it was always seven days a week for both of us. Finally in the beginning of 2020, we were ready to go it on our own, full-time commitment to a brick and mortar that was ours. We had a lot of adult and youth students, a strong family of clients that were loyal…we signed an expensive five years lease then weeks later the pandemic hit. It was crazy. But we were determined, we had just taken a huge step forward, we had to make it work.

We closed the gym, quickly pivoted to a robust Zoom schedule and a few months later did outdoor classes until we were able to get back into our space. We did classes with masks, limited numbers and weekly covid testing for over a year…we hustled but it was worth it. We are still paying back rent and loans we took to stay a float. But our community did stick with us. It was miraculous.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Sean and I are well-known in the Capoeira community for our creative and innovative curriculum. We work with kids of all ages and build awesome skills courses (aka obstacle courses) in order for students to develop their acrobatic techniques and learn their Capoeira basics.

Our annual Capoeira festival is well known throughout the USA and internationally, we bring the best athletes and host an awesome week-long event.

Our fitness programming is unique, we run the only weekly Steel Mace class in Southern California and have a strong TACFIT program that focuses on mindful training and recovery.

At CounterBalance, we see fitness as both functional and artistic. Our mission is mindful movement with an emphasis on creative movement, mobility, health, and community. The diverse, supportive, dynamic community we have built is what we are most proud of…

How do you think about luck?
We have had our share of bad luck but in reality, our good fortune has far outweighed any of the negative forces that we have stumbled upon. We opened the gym and two weeks later the pandemic began, we had to fight like crazy to sustain and grow what we had. But that bad timing allowed our amazing community to step up and show us they were about it and truly believed in our mission. It forced to think outside the box and get even more creative.

I believe that luck is where your work intersects with forces beyond your control. Therefore it really can go good or bad depending how you react to this intersection. Of course, there are moments that you are powerless and bad luck can sweep you away but most of the time you have a say on how things play out.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
The pictures are by Feneco the Creator & the pictures in the gym are by Artvizualz

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