First a teacher, second a storyteller, Lindsay is an Instructor and Social Media Manager for Dragon Gym Martial Arts and Fitness. Lindsay teaches children’s classes at DG HQ. Her goal is to provide individualized instruction, pulling from her background in psychology and teaching to best encourage and motivate each student to be the very best version of themselves.
As social media manager, she approaches marketing via a humanistic and media-driven lens. In just two years, she has built a strong and consistent voice that stretches across each of Dragon Gym’s media platforms, yielding consistent customer and community engagement and communication. Her goal is to make DG’s digital community as welcoming and familial as DG’s one-of-a-kind atmosphere on the mats.
10 Questions with Instructor Lindsay:
1. When did you first become interested in Martial Arts and Kettlebell Training?
My younger brother started training at the Dragon Gym when we were kids. Brennan would often follow in my footsteps--we did the same afterschool activities, piano lessons, went to the same schools. For him, martial arts was his activity, and dance was mine. I always wished I had tried martial arts, but as we were rather competitive with each other growing up, I never wanted to take away something that gave him a sense of individuality.
It wasn’t until high school that I finally asked him what he would think if I started taking classes. To my surprise, he was all for it. So I started the Adult Taekwondo Program. After just two classes, I knew that it was what i wanted to do--it involved all of the athleticism, strength, and discipline of dance, but there was a sense of community that I had never seen before. The people at Dragon Gym quickly became a second family. The techniques fascinated me, and I found myself coming two to three hours early, and staying behind just to talk and train with other students and instructors.
About two months later, I started training in Kettlebells as well.
2. Why did you decide to enroll at the Dragon Gym.
I decided to enroll at the Dragon Gym because of the community and the gym’s commitment to education and the development of each student as an individual. And I have to say there was no hesitation whatsoever. It just felt right.
3. How did you get involved with teaching/becoming an instructor?
When I left for school at the University of Pittsburgh, I came across the school’s tiny Taekwondo Club. With just one instructor and a handful of inconsistent students, something had to be done. So I began instructing classes as well, organizing self-defense workshops, setting up sparring demos, and working with the university to gain more club members. I worked during the day, took classes at night, and then I would run to the gym to teach my 10:00 PM class every Tuesday and Thursday. When I graduated, I came back to Exton to teach for Dragon Gym.
4. You’re also a certified Yoga Instructor. How did you train for that achievement?
I am also a certified yoga instructor (RYT 200). I was lucky enough to train with Shannon Audet, owner of Exton Yoga, in an intensive teacher training. It was an incredible experiences of my life, and I constantly apply what I learned in my teacher training to my martial arts instruction, and vice-versa.
5. Tell me a little bit more about your training regimen, including cross training
I train in Taekwondo twice a week, and Jiu Jitsu 4-5 times per week. I maintain an at-home yoga practice each morning, and try to work in classes when I can on the weekends. I also like to add in weight training two-three times a week (lifting and bells). I run and swim/kayak on the weekends.
6. What would your advice be for someone considering Martial Arts, Yoga or Kettlebell training?
My advice would be to remember that when training in martial arts, everyone is a student regardless of rank or experience. We all have something to learn from each other, and it’s that mindset that forms the powerfully supportive community we have here at Dragon Gym. We train hard and support one another both on and off the mats.
7. What about someone with ambitions of becoming a Martial Arts or Yoga instructor?
My advice would be to always set challenging, specific, and concrete goals, whether it’s completing a certification or setting and then meticulously following a training regimen. And when you do reach the point of instructor, remember that you cannot teach unless you train and have your own practice. It’s just like oxygen masks on an airplane: we can’t help others until we first help ourselves. No matter how exhausted you are from teaching, always take the time to train and better yourself and your technique.
8. What kind of benefits have you received from your Martial Arts/Muay Thai/Kettlebell training at Dragon Gym?
I feel like this is the part where I’m expected to say that I’ve become stronger, more coordinated, more flexible. And this is absolutely true. But I believe that the greatest benefits I have received from Dragon Gym are mental strength, discipline, humility, and my Dragon Gym family.
9. What’s your next goal?
My next goals are to continue to work toward blue belt in jiu jitsu and 2nd dan in taekwondo.
10. What Fears and Reservations did you have about starting here?
My greatest reservation, besides the initial anxiety of trying something entirely foreign, was the fear of harming a training partner. When I first started, I would find myself constantly apologizing, even when doing techniques correctly. I would hold back on takedowns, kick softly, and shrink away from general physical contact for fear of hurting my partner. But I quickly realized that I was the only one holding back, particularly when paired with other beginners. It was a bit of a wake-up call--I was, for the most part, the smallest and the youngest. So the people I was paired up with would hit hard and throw hard. I’ve found this especially true in hapkido and jiu jitsu--as a smaller person, and especially as a woman, new students sometimes perceive me as an easy target or doubt my ability. So I’ve learned to train with more power, but still maintain that careful control and care for my training partners. But my favorite part about this particular is that I have gained a specific insight to teach, particularly to children and other women, who, when defending themselves, often face a larger opponent.