Maverick Muay Thai is Cultivating Strength and Spirit in Scio
Maverick Muay Thai is a new gym in Scio Twp, emerging as a distinct training ground for combat and the human spirit. A duo with diverse backgrounds spearheads the effort - Bryan Glidden, an Army veteran, and Courtney Ho influenced by a family legacy of law enforcement. Their joint venture is not merely about martial arts. It's a community hub fostering resilience, empowerment, and healing.
"I've been training people for years," Bryan says. "When I left the Army, I started training with other people in the area." His journey began as a kid in the shadow of VanDamme and Stallone and carried him through high school wrestling and into the crucible of the military. "Army infantry," he clarifies, "15 months in Ramadi, Iraq. Combat infantry."
The return home brought clarity and a renewed partnership with his old trainer. "He was really, really high level," Bryan recalls. Their bond deepened through adversity when his coach battled cancer, accelerating the dream of a gym - a haven for fighters and survivors.
Courtney's path intertwined differently. "Self-defense was always top of my mind," she shares. “Especially as a woman in case something bad happens.” Her narrative is one of constant movement, from Krav Maga to Brazilian Jujitsu, until Muay Thai captured her spirit. It was at a gym where Bryan worked that their stories melded. "He’s the best trainer I've ever met," she says.
Maverick Muay Thai became their joint manifesto, a gym that stood for something more than just training. "We really want to prioritize giving people freedom in their moves," Courtney emphasizes, a philosophy at odds with the regimented forms of karate and other martial arts.
Bryan nods, "It's like dancing in that it’s very interpretive." He describes Muay Thai as "exercising with the intent to protect yourself," a simple yet profound distillation of their art.
Maverick Muay Thai stands out for its philosophy and ethos. "We want to prioritize like giving people the freedom to make their own choice," Courtney shares, emphasizing the gym's focus on empowering individuals through martial arts.
Their gym becomes a sanctuary for various individuals, from those dealing with addiction and PTSD to business professionals seeking a physical challenge. Bryan notes the diverse benefits members find, "Everybody enjoys it, and everybody gets something they want and what they need."
Bryan simplifies Muay Thai for the uninitiated: "It's not complicated, but it's not easy." He assures that the gym has a system to welcome newcomers without overwhelming them, "meeting them at their level."
The spiritual aspect, though not overt, is significant. Courtney speaks of members who find solace and strength within the gym's walls. "One member has been going through a tough time with their family. Just coming here has not only been able to distract them from dealing with those things but also a chance to make new friends."
The name 'Maverick' itself embodies their approach. "It's very interpretive," Bryan says, aligning with their belief in the individual's journey through martial arts.
Their narrative, imbued with personal anecdotes and reflections, paints a picture of Maverick Muay Thai as a place where the physical meets the personal and where every punch and kick carries the weight of their life experiences. It's a story of combat and kindness, where every member, regardless of their past, can find a new beginning.
Bryan's last words are a philosophy encapsulating their mission. "We have a pretty good system to welcome people into it without having the intensity just kind of thrown in their face." At Maverick Muay Thai, it's about meeting each person at their level in a dance of discipline and freedom.
Maverick Muay Thai is located at 355 S Zeeb Rd, Ann Arbor, 48103. For the curious, they offer the first lesson free. For more information and classes and memberships visit https://www.maverickmuaythai.com/
Photos by Doug Marrin