Mario Aguirre, Movement is Life

In this episode, I have a deep, keep- it-real conversation with L.A. born, Michigan based turntablist, martial arts instructor, mindfulness master, Mario Aguirre. Mario and I go way back and this conversation is filled with truth bombs and check-yourself moments. Mario challenges everyone to take a good look at their life and to live their truth. Mario and I talk about his martial arts training and philosophy, and how it has helped him through the gritty moments in life. Mario’s passion for teaching his students at Eastern Michigan University shines through as shares how and why he takes the approach that he does. Take a listen because this episode is so much more!

Mario Aguirre’s full bio:

Mario Aguirre began his physical journey at an early age, receiving training through such sports as wrestling, boxing, soccer and martial arts. Later, he joined the U.S. Navy and served on the U.S.S. Essex (LHD-2), where he was trained as an aircraft director and as part of the crash and salvage team, as well as in security, interpersonal skills and management, and stress management.

After an honorable discharge, Mario studied Shaolin boxing for almost twenty years and Iyengar yoga  for ten. He also received additional training in the following Shaolin methods: strength and conditioning, flexibility, mobility, Qi Gong/breathing, and Chinese yoga.

Mario continued his education at Eastern Michigan University, where he achieved a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine: Exercise Science. His coursework included specialized classes in exercise physiology, kinesiology, exercise programming, and motor development, as well as Personal Training to ACE standards, Principles of Strength and Conditioning to NSCA/CSCS standards, and Lab Techniques and Human Performance to ACSM Standards. Mario’s internship was split between T.A.F.T. Strength and Conditioning and Hyperfit, a CrossFit/Krav Maga facility.

Mario began teaching as an assistant instructor at The Ann Arbor School of Shaolin Boxing.

While attending EMU, Mario was also able to instruct classes at the College of Martial Arts of Ann Arbor, where he taught adult level 1 Tai Jutsu self-defense, created a strength and conditioning class, and implemented a children’s class that developed physical, athletic, and martial abilities, and basic anti-bullying and anti-abduction techniques. This facility also allowed Mario to attend additional Krav Maga training in handling an active shooter, intervening in third party attacks, defending against knife or gun attacks, and examining the threats of knife versus gun attacks.

Upon graduation, EMU offered Mario a position as an Adjunct Lecturer teaching Physical Education courses through the School of Health Promotion and Human Performance. He developed, modified and taught the following classes for credit: Kung Fu-Strength and Conditioning, Jogging, Yoga, Weight Training, Mind/Body Toning (Emotional Regulation/Mindfulness), Cardio Kickboxing, and Core Training. In his decade of teaching at EMU, Mario has been able to fine tune his approach towards exercise, health, and self-defense. A R.A.D. certified EMU police officer enjoyed Mario’s 15-week Kung Fu class so much that she invited him to join her in offering classes featuring his “Physical Awareness for Self- Protection” workshop to students living in dorms across the EMU campus.

In addition, Mario was a Guest Lecturer at Michigan State University where he presented his Physical Awareness program as a joint series for MSU’s C.A.M.P., Engagement Center, and Inclusion Intercultural Initiatives. This included training in self-awareness, mindfulness, time management, motivation strategies, emotional health and exercise, and self-defense tactics. He was also invited to the first and second annual Latinx Youth Conference for Hispanic Latino Heritage Month at Siena Heights University to present the parts of his Physical Awareness course that teach self-awareness, emotional regulation, and mindfulness. Mario has also taught mindful movement workshops for emotional regulation, mindfulness, and compassion fatigue for the following organizations: EMU’s Graduate School of Community Counseling (Ypsilanti, MI), Jewish Family Services (West Bloomfield, MI), The Lotus Center (Ann Arbor, MI), Wolverine Human Services (Vassar, MI), Starkweather Alternative School (Plymouth, MI), New Concepts Family Services/Medically-Assisted Detox (Toledo, Ohio), Lutheran Social Services of Michigan (Lansing, MI), Vesper Hospice (Encino, CA.)

Mario maintains up to date training methods and concepts through participation in such seminars and workshops such as:

  • A. School of Shaolin Boxing-Qi Gong, Emotional Regulation and Mindfulness (Master Michael Gillespie)
  • A. School of Shaolin Boxing-Shaui Jiao Throwing, Grappling/Ground Fighting, Strength and Conditioning (Master Michael Gillespie)
  • Red Dragon School of Shaolin Boxing-Shaolin Boxing, Joint Locking and Ground Fighting (Master Maurice Freeman)
  • Ann Arbor School of Yoga- Iyengar Method of Structural Integrity (Laurie Blakney)
  • 52 Blocks-Boxing/Conditioning (Lyte Burly)
  • WuJi Taiji-Internal Power Training and Qi Gong (Master Zhao Jilong)
  • Satria-Strength and Conditioning, Empty Hand/Knife and Ground Fighting Defense (Pendekar Steven Benitez)
  • Satria-Yoga (Instructor Laarni Benitez)
  • Close Quarter Combat Academy-Silat Strength and Conditioning/Empty Hand Fighting (Instructor Taqqee Kabbir)
  • Kali Center-Single Stick/Single Blade Training (Instructor Paul Ingram)
  • I Liq Chuan-Mind Body Awareness/Internal Yin Yang Concepts of Combat (Grandmaster Sam Chin)
  • Threat Management Center-Tactical Psychology, Tactical Law, Tactical Defense (Commander Dale Brown)
  • Hurricane Combat Arts-Knife Defense (Master Frank Monsalve)
  • S2 Strategic Defense-Empty Hand/Knife Defense (Chief Instructor Nik Farooqi – Trains Military, S.W.A.T., Police, Civilian)
  • SSBD-Empty Hand/Knife Defense and Throwing/Sweeping (Guru Maul Mornie – Trains U.S. Secret Service and Civilians

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