Coach Erin Brooks

What made you get into martial arts?
I’ve always been interested in martial arts, and it has been a goal of mine to start mastering one or more forms for a very long time. I believe Martial Arts embodies a number of qualities I desire, such as discipline, strength, self control, and respect. I always imagined that I would feel powerful and self confident practicing martial arts, and I was absolutely right. Many people get a high from running… I get that same high from kickboxing and BJJ.

Many of my physical goals were put on hold after a near fatal car accident. I was told by my physicians that I may not walk again, and certainly would not be able to be as active as I was prior to the event. Well, it has been a long journey, but I have successfully proved them all wrong.

Tell us about your journey/background/accomplishments.
I was born in Florida, raised in rural, south Georgia. I had a vocal scholarship to Georgia Southern University and was attending college when I was in a near fatal car accident that changed the entire course of my life. It broke my back in three places, shattered my pelvis into 8 fragments, compound tibial fracture, complete radial and ulna fracture, and a severe concussion. I was not able to feel my legs for a few days after the accident, which was really scary. After a month in the hospital, 8 weeks in a wheelchair, and 6 weeks on crutches, I had to begin my journey back to health. I was visited once by a nurse and OT who gave me a list of exercises and told me if I wanted to walk and have full use of my arm, this is what I needed to do. So, I facilitated the recovery process myself. There began my interest in fitness.

I earned my personal training certification a few years later, in 2004, and have held a number of certifications over the years including ACE & NASM personal training, YMCA group fitness, Les Mills BodyCombat, ACE lifestyle and weight management consultant, and ACT personal trainer. I’ve worked for Golds, 24hr fitness, and have owned my own in-home personal training company. Currently I teach BodyCombat and Kick Fit. In my 12 year career as a trainer, I’ve worked with a number of types of clients, from weight loss to fitness competitors. I’ve actually competed in several figure competitions, and plan on competing again, starting in early 2017. I also hope to fight in my first smoker by the end of 2016.

I finished my individually structured bachelors degree at UC Denver, and my masters in healthcare management / project management at Colorado State. Currently, I work for a home care agency in the HR department. I am sort of the resident educator and IT go-to when it comes to our electronic medical records.

What is your goal as a coach?
My desire is to motivate students to exceed their performance goals, and have fun while they are doing it. I want them to leave class feeling exhilarated, exhausted and proud of how hard they have worked. It brings me joy to help students push their limits, and develop such a high degree of conditioning that when they step into the ring they totally dominate. For those students who don’t have a goal of fighting, I want them have a blast getting in shape, and reap all the benefits of high intensity intervals.

What makes High Altitude MA special? High Altitude is the best place to train, in my opinion. The coaches are so talented, experienced and passionate about what they do. It’s a real honor to train under some of the most talented fighters in the state, and the world for that matter. The programs at High Altitude are intelligently designed to prepare students to be successful, whatever martial art they choose. The introductory courses teach students the basic stances, grips, and strikes they need to know before hopping into a regular class. I’ve trained at other martial arts gyms that did not have this in place, and I felt intimidated and unprepared. The coaches at High Altitude take extra time with new students to make sure they have a great experience; and when coaches recognize aptitude in a student, they celebrate it and push the student to develop their fighting skills. I’m so humbled and honored to be a part of the team at High Altitude.