At the age of 41, I was overweight, out of shape, & dealing with severe knee issues. I weighed 291 lbs when I first started. I had a hard time exercising with my knees. Diets failed. My cholesterol & blood pressure were sky high. I developed a liver issue from pain killers the doctors prescribed for my knee pain. I’ve had 7 knee surgeries. My x-rays showed I have advanced degenerative patel…lofemoral compartment disease.–I have little cartilage between my knee joints & alot of scar tissue. Just walking around was almost impossible–knees would swell up & the pain was unbelievable. The doctors wanted to give me total knee replacement, but due to my weight, weren’t sure how long my new knees would hold up. A friend convinced me to check out Wise Warriors. After months of deep tissue massage, Ray helped relieve the pain & taught me how to deal with my knee issues. I’ve been a proud member for over a year. I’ve lost 73 lbs so far, completely off pain medications, & cholesterol & blood pressure are normal. I am currently taking the Warrior Training class and focus on Mixed Martial Arts.
I believe that to be successful you must surround yourself with the best people in their field–at Wise Warriors I did! RAY NORRIS, thank you for making me feel young again. Thanks for looking out for me. You made me feel as if “life has no limitations!” WWMMA MEMBERS, thank you for all your support. You’re like family to me!–Joe
I was introduced to Wise Warriors MMA & Fitness over a year ago when I was overweight, had a terrible self-image, & had a pretty negative outlook about my ability to lose weight or even keep up with an exercise program. Enter Ray Norris. At that time, Ray offered a strength & conditioning class that sounded do-able. When I showed up for class, saw all the activity in the gym, and heard that phrase, “MMA training,” I thought, “Yikes! That doesn’t really sound like me.” I was so wrong! Ray is a great trainer, encourager, and motivator. He works with each person where they are and progresses them when appropriate. He’s always challenging us, yet making it fun & leading by example. This is the most fun I’ve ever had exercising! The yoga classes have really helped my flexibility, and I love boxing, kickboxing, and learning self-defense/MMA moves. Ray is always coaxing me to be a little more adventurous by trying one more new thing. I love it!
Ray also has the patience of a saint. Before I started classes, I had been having foot & ankle pain, but was unaware I had torn tendons in both ankles. After several months of trying to work through the pain, I realized I had to have surgery on one foot. I was out for over a month, but when I resumed classes, Ray was very encouraging and curtailed my sessions so I could still get a good workout without doing damage to my ankles. Plus, since starting at Wise Warriors, I had slowly started losing weight, so when I was unable to workout for 1-2 months and didn’t gain any weight back, it was great! This year Ray (and Lisa) introduced me to Isagenix, so my weight loss has really taken off. I get compliments everywhere I go.
So here I am 15 months later, 50 lbs lighter (and 16.5 inches thinner just in the past 6 months), happier, feeling younger and more energetic than I have in years, and totally addicted to my MMA classes!!! All my doctors are thrilled with my weight loss and improved cardio, my blood pressure meds have been cut in half (hopefully I’ll be able to get completely off them once I lose more weight), and my foot surgeon is amazed at the strength & balance in my “surgery” foot.
I have to agree with my fellow warrior, Joe, when he says everyone at Wise Warriors MMA is like family. They truly are. It’s a fun, encouraging, energetic atmosphere where everyone helps one another, and I look forward to every session. God bless you, Ray! You really do have the #1 MMA gym in St. Louis. Thanks for all you do for us.—Kathy
I have been working out with Ray and the Wise Warriors for two years. I have always been an active person. I played volleyball, basketball, softball and ran track in high school. I remember saying after my first class, “I haven’t sweat that much since high school basketball practice!” I was having so much fun during these classes, and I knew they were working for my body! When I first started, I was almost busting out of my pants. Within weeks, they were fitting better. After a couple months, Ray said I need to go buy new pants because they were falling off of me! They were too baggy around my butt and thighs! My confidence sky-rocketed! I really enjoy the Self Defense & Scupting classes. I knew I would be able to protect myself if I were ever attacked because I had improved so much. I also really love boxing and kickboxing. Every month, there is a new combo to learn. Ray has always pushed me to do better, not only in the gym but in my personal life. He has been helping me reach my weight loss goals, and now that Isagenixs has become a part of my life, I know my goal is in sight. With the mix of classes and great advise about nutrition, Ray has helped me to improve my all around fitness and health goals.–Becca
An enthusiastic recommendation really is the best compliment you can give a local small business. And that is why I tried out Wise Warriors, due to the hearty referral by a church friend, Braxton. Now, I know why he spoke so highly of Ray and his MMA and fitness club.
It has been two decades since I wrestled or did Judo or grappling. Just one class at Ray’s re-ignited that passion. It is SO MUCH FUN! And great exercise as well. My 9-year old son, Noah, loves it as well.
Also, for my family and I, MMA is very practical. We normally live in a tribal situation in Papua, Indonesia. . I am a Christian missionary. My wife and I are also registered nurses, building a school, health clinic, and church in our remote village. We are “home” in the US for 11 months on a sabbatical. Living with tribal people can be tough. We have been threatened several times. Just knowing and having the confidence that I can defend myself and my family during these times gives me great comfort while serving in such a situation
I have been asked, “Isn’t MMA violent” or even “How can a Christian take MMA…and how can he let his kids do MMA as well?” My answers are these: (1) MMA is great fitness. And Ray’s class is very personalized. A good number of the members are women who do not box or wrestle much but mainly attend class for the group personal fitness training. (2) The Christian ethic of love means that we strive to be peace-makers, yet this does not prohibit the defense of one’s self or the defense of other helpless victims. In fact, defending the helpless against evil aggressors is an act of love. (3) Ray and many others who teach MMA are very gentle and there is no ego-driven aggression during class, just good, intense fun. (4) Statistically, MMA is no more dangerous than many other sports. In fact, I just read that cheerleading, horse-back riding and biking (sports not thought of as “violent”) report injuries more frequently than MMA. (5) Ray knows deep tissue massage and yoga/stretching techniques to help one’s healing and relaxation. People go to Ray, not just for MMA, but for physical healing and rehabilitation as well. (6) I believe that kids learning MMA with a good instructor are not only less likely to be targeted by bullies, but are much less likely themselves to become bullies due to learning self-control, discipline and respect for others. And Ray is a good instructor. (6) Plus, MMA is a great activity for father and son to spend time together.
Try out Wise Warriors MMA and Fitness. You will learn a lot, get in great shape, and have lots of fun.
Thanks, Trevor J
“My story is fairly simple, while I’ve always loved MMA and have a martial arts background, I had no idea that actually training in MMA would change my life in so many ways. First physically, I thought I was in great shape for my age– I’m 42. But after the first session I got a wake-up call. Not only was I not in shape, I was not flexible at all . I began taking the Warrior Training class and focusing on Mixed Martial Arts. Since that first day I would continue to improve in all areas –as did my teammates . I have lost about 15 pounds, which I didn’t realize I needed to lose, but I feel great and people often notice the difference. For years I have severly lacked flexibility in both of my shoulders due to previous injuries. Today I can do things that I had just accepted I would never be able to do again. Next I’d like discuss the personal changes, my decision-making is very heavily influenced by our training schedule. If I don’t go to train then I often make poor personal choices. I recently had a major life setback, had it not been for my friends and coach, I can honestly say I don’t know where I’d be today. Finally, training, eating right, & learning new things are all awesome!!! But a byproduct of all this is new friends, stronger bonds with old ones, and even reconnecting with childhood friends . Wise Warriors MMA is way more than just MMA. Patience, trust, and my coach are the very reasons I can do so much more—and I’m not even close to where I want to be—the sky’s the limit!”–Chris
My friend, Claire, introduced me to Ray at Wise Warriors after a summer long bike trip from Seattle to Jackson, WY. I have always enjoyed running & biking, but I never saw any results in my body….even after cycling 1500 miles across the country. Wise Warriors’ group personal training program, Self Defense & Sculpt, changed everything. My friends have started to comment about the changes in my body. There is nothing like this program in St. Louis. It is the best gym in town, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. I look forward to coming to class, to seeing my friends, and to trying new workouts. I have never felt better! You really feel like you are a part of a team at Wise Warriors. Thanks coach! Thanks for being a wonderful, thoughtful trainer.–Jenna
“At age 60, I am trying to maintain my optimal weight, strength, flexibility, & balance. The group classes are not something that really interested me. However, Ray challenges me during our personal training sessions–which I do twice a week. I also like using the IsaGenix products. I have a protein shake daily as a meal substitute & I feel I have gotten my life energy back. Ray understands the aging body & pushes me–yet modifies the exercises if needed on any particular day. I believe that he also prevents me from injuring myself. “–Ann
Fifteen years ago I was having so much pain in my hip that I could not walk the dog around the block. I saw my physician, had an x-ray, had treatments from my chiropractor, and had treatments with a physical therapist. Nothing was working. No one could tell me what was wrong, and I started hearing the message that “as we get older, we just naturally start having aches and pains.” I did not want to accept that. I am a very determined person. I kept searching for some help. Somehow, I found Ray Norris. We began a series of weekly massages, and I began to get some relief from my hip pain. I learned that he was also a personal trainer. I have scoliosis, and had never felt comfortable going to a personal trainer because I feared that an over-enthusiastic trainer without a clear understanding of my issues could potentially hurt me. Ray’s combination of knowledge as a massage therapist and as a personal trainer encouraged me to give it a try. Also, I was getting relief with the massages, so obviously he knew what he was doing. Fifteen years later, I still see Ray for both personal training and massage. With his encouragement, I have begun taking the yoga classes offered by Lindsey Swift at his studio. I also attend the Warrior Training classes, focusing on Kickboxing, Butts, & Guts, as often as my schedule allows. And why do I do this? I do this because I feel great when I take such good care of myself. With his encouragement, I have lost some weight, and I am now getting compliments on a regular basis about how I look. I find it easier to shop for clothes. I am able to play tennis several times each week, which I enjoy very much. Ray is able to answer my questions about why he is having me do a certain exercise. He is able to change the workouts to keep them challenging but we are not always doing the same series of exercises. He can explain why he works out differently with men than women. He is always challenging himself to learn more, by reading or by workshops, and then brings what he has learned to his workout and massage with me. I will be forever grateful to Ray for helping me stay healthy, pain-free, and active. My quality of life is greater because of him.–Susan
“I found Ray after a broken ankle and frustrated spirit. Now, 20 lbs lighter, completely recovered from PTSD symptoms and ability to defend against people twice as tall as me have created a warrior for life. I take the Warrior Training class & focus on both Kickboxing, Butts, & Guts, as well as, Mixed Martial Arts. Thank you for pushing me and all the holistic wellness you have handed down for the past 2 years! I never knew the strength I had until Ray pushed my muscle limits. I think I might be addicted to being sore! When I was robbed and able to defend myself, I knew this is a class I will be a part of for a long time”–Claire M