POW CHICAGO TRAINERS
The first priority of my staff is to teach anyone, at any age. POW!’s instructors have mastered the art of “second nature” training, organically teaching members in striking, kicking, MMA and self-defense skills. You will find that some staff is highly pedigreed and actually pioneers in creating Chicago’s combat sports /MMA market over the past 20 years.
MEET OUR TRAINERS
Katalin OgrenTrainer, Boxing The first priority of my staff is to teach anyone, at any age. POW!’s instructors have mastered the art of “second nature” training.
Brennan CoxProgram Director, Parisi Speed School Brennan Cox is the Program Director for Parisi Speed School Chicago, a trainer and speed coach.
Robbie ColeMuay Thai Coach Robbie Cole is from Birmingham, England. When training in one of Robbie’s classes you are likely to enjoy his whimsical sense of humor and his workouts.
Susan ShenGroup Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer
Robert DannenbergWest Loop Personal Training Robert Dannenberg spent 10 years competing in martial arts and boxing. He was the 2001 Oxford Boxing Champion and a member of the 1995 USA Tae Kwon Do team.
JoshuaAll-round POW! Gym Trainer Josh started his martial arts training at age 4 years old. He first studied Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido and Shaolin’s long fist.
Jennifer ImigWest Loop Trainer Jennifer Imig is a certified personal trainer, certified Krav Maga Instructor under Ryan Hoover and CPR certified.
I’m a native Chicagoan who grew up on Chicago and Wells in my father’s photo/art studio. My brothers and I were raised in a creative environment provided by my artistic father and brilliant mother, a Cuban exile. Today, I feel lucky that I work close to where I grew up, in Chicago’s West Loop. As the Owner of POW! Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness, a WBE company, I strive to make the martial arts accessible to everyone, while simultaneously meeting their fitness goals. Since 2001, POW! has become the home of a wide variety of fitness, combat sports and martial arts classes, as well as, Chicago Krav Maga, POW! Kids and POW! Health and Wellness. For over a decade, I have offered 45+ classes a week that offer cross-training and intense interval training with a my martial twist. My customers want to be fit to fight back.
The first priority of my staff is to teach anyone, at any age. POW!’s instructors have mastered the art of “second nature” training, organically teaching members in striking, kicking, MMA and self-defense skills. You will find that some staff is highly pedigreed and actually pioneers in creating Chicago’s combat sports /MMA market over the past 20 years. But even the newer staff sets the bar high by teaching technique and motivating their students to learn more. POW!’s staff has a great sense of humor making the science of boxing, striking and ground fighting the most fun part of your day. As the Owner, I enjoy participating in each of the instructor’s classes because they all blend an authentic and progressive athletic training experience. Everyone invests in making the martial arts your second nature.
POW! is the culmination of Katalin’s training since the age of 9. With 32 years in the martial arts and now 18 in the fitness industry, she has developed a pedigree that represents accomplishments in the martial arts and fitness industry that has not been replicated. Katalin is a certified trainer, but has also developed areas of expertise in post-rehab training, special populations and kid’s fitness. Her style of training is thorough, disciplined, focused and kind.
Some of her key career highlights include earning 4 blacks in various martial arts, authoring two books, starring in 17 dvds, completing a 100 city speaking tour across America, authoring 4 industry educational manuals, publishing over 200 articles in national magazines and playing the role of three characters in one of the largest selling video games in history (Mortal Kombat).
Katalin’s book’s Weight Training for Martial Artists (Price Publishing) which is available in the POW! pro-shop, some Barnes and Nobles or on Amazon.com . Katalin’s is also a regular presenter for Revgear University.
I started writing in 1998. At the time, I was building a reputation for combining martial arts and cross training. I knew I was one of the few preaching an athletic approach to martial arts and boxing training, so I pitched an article to Inside Kung Fu. Once my first feature was published, I was hooked on writing. My first National article lead to several features and a monthly column. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to wrote for every major martial arts magazine, but I also loved boxing. I then got a job covering boxing in Chicago and Las Vegas for a bi-lingual boxing magazine called Chicago Boxing. This was fantastic! I was present during the days of Oscar de la Hoya, Hector Camacho, Andrew Golota, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. As challenging as it was to assimilate into the ‘scene’ as a female writer, I would not change it for anything. During this time I was still writing educational material and lecturing in the fitness and martial arts industry.
After I opened POW! I then moved onto covering the sport of MMA. Ultimate Grappling Magazine offered a great opportunity for me to dive into the MMA scene. I covered the fights as a independent features writer for almost 4 years. Since the UFC only had fights about once a month, it worked well with my operational and teaching educational responsibilities at POW.
Since having a family (3 kids) I have moved on from covering fights. Despite how busy the sport of MMA has become, my focus is on POW!’s fitness and training programming. Our classes always offer relevant and progressive fitness, instruction and training options. My most recent projects include completing a business program (Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business) and writing a book (Ultimate Guide to Strength Training for Martial Arts).
Brennan Cox is the Program Director for Parisi Speed School Chicago. Even though he has a busy schedule, he still works closely with all the young athletes at Parisi. Brennan is an experienced strength coach who also excels in speed and agility training. Before starting at POW! Gym, he completed a tour in Kuwait in the US Army National Guard. He was an honor graduate of Army Basic Training for being the top overall fitness performer.He later became a Unit Fitness Coordinator helping soldiers pass the Army physical fitness requirements and educate about nutrition, in addition to his full-time job as a Blackhawk Helicopter Mechanic.
Brennan completed his B.A., in Marketing and Management in May 2010 from Evangel University in Springfield, MO, where he played a year of baseball as well. He managed for Natural Foods and Vitamin Shoppe before finding his rightful place at POW! Gym. Brennan is a certified national Parisi Speed & Agility Coach and possesses extensive background and experiences in strength and conditioning both for fitness and athletic performance. He helped develop the POW! Kids program for two years before accepting the Program Director Position at the Parisi Speed School.
Brennan is an avid superhero fan, Captain America was his nickname while serving on active duty. One day, if the super serum ever becomes available, Brennan hopes he would be considered worthy to accept the powerful potion. In addition to being a comic geek, Brennan was an all star athlete during his younger years, he played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track thru-out his high-school years and well into his college. His favorite athletes growing up were David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs, Ryan Sandburd of the Chicago Cubs, and Sterling Sharp of the Green Bay Packers. As great of an athlete as he was, today Brennan wishes that he can be better at Golf.
Robbie Cole is from Birmingham, England. When training in one of Robbie’s classes you are likely to enjoy his whimsical sense of humor as much as his workouts. He is the quintessential English gent. The combat sports has always been a part of his life since childhood. His father was boxer in England and from the moment he laid eyes on the sport he was hooked.
He began his career as a fighter at the young age of 7 when he began training at a local Shotokan school. His first fight was at 10 against a boxer and he lost badly. That’s when he decided to switch gears and train in boxing. After 3 years of boxing, a Muay Thai school opened in a community church hall. After training for a few years in Muay Thai, he had his first amateur fight and received the 1st Place trophy for the School Boy Championship.
Robbie’s amateur career started out a little slow. He lost his first 11 fights and was aptly nicknamed “Canvas Cole” because he spent most of his time there. Soon he was winning fights consistently, but his nickname stuck since he was sending his opponents to the canvas. In the ring, Robbie was known for his ability to take a beating and keep coming back, outlasting many of his opponents.
Robbie turned pro at age 25 and went on to win the “All Area Title” and the “English Title” before retiring at the age of 29. Since retiring he has dedicated his time to coaching amateur fighters and teaching enthusiastic students in the Art of Muay Thai. He has had 20 different fighters on his Muay Thai Team. They have won 5 Championship belts in the past 3 years. He is a huge supporter of the Chicago Muay Thai community and welcomes even a beginner to learn the fundamentals of sparring in a safe and encouraging environment.
Robbie’s classes are high energy and his positive energy is contagious. After a class with our local Englishman you feel fulfilled and motivated to return. Robbie integrates fabulous kicking drills into his classes and is also one of our resident instructors for kids.
Susan has been with POW! Gym since we opened our door back in 2001. She took a trial class on a whim and has been with us ever since. Susan had limited experience with fitness when first started. While during her training at POW!, she fell in love with Boxing, Kickboxing, and Brazilian Jujitsu. Through training, Susan began to discover her passion for body movements, and eventually becoming a certified trainer herself. Over the years, her passion has led her from mixed martial arts to other disciplines such as Muay Thai, Yoga, Aerial Arts, Climbing, Dance movements, etc., just to name a few. Furthermore, her wide exposure to various movements fuels her belief in the importance of the mind-body connection.
Recently, Susan's movement focus has shifted towards dynamic body movements based in adult gymnastics, seeking to balance strength with mobility for a more holistic approach to physical fitness.
Grow the mind, grow the body; grow the body and grow the mind.
Susan is a creative artist by trade. She graduated from UIC with a degree in Graphic Design and was an Art Director before she embarked on her second career as a fitness instructor. Over the years, she continues to expand her training knowledge both physically and mentally. Susan is certified in Group Fitness, Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai Fitness, Kettlebell Strength, Core Specialist, Power Yoga and Dance Movement. Furthermore, her passion for the mind and body connection inspired her to seek out in the academic arena and earned herself a Master Degree in Sports, Exercise & Health Psychology from Adler University. Her love for movement is powered by her intuition in conjunction with scientific research. Today, Susan continues her growth with nutritional certification and body movements that promote mobility and injury prevention.
Susan is an avid superhero and star trek fan. Some of her favorite superheroes are, Spider-man, Batman, Wonder Woman, and X-men, to name a few. Susan also loves Cat-woman, as she believes sometimes it's healthy to live by our own rules (as long as no one else gets hurt in the process). Also, Susan proudly admits she is a "Trekkie", Captain Jean-Luc Picard is one of her favorite star trek character of all time.
When Susan was a little girl, her dream was to be a ballerina. She loved dancing in her tutus while watching Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire twirling around on the silver screen. Today she finds "dance" in her dynamic body movements as she continues to discover the infinite possibilities her body has to offer.
Robert Dannenberg spent 10 years competing in martial arts and boxing. He was the 2001 Oxford Boxing Champion and before that was a member of the 1995 USA National Tae Kwon Do Team.
He has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and was therefore able to easily blend his boxing training to build a well-rounded set of kickboxing skills. Robert spent several years training at POW between 2008-2010 expanding his own skills. He is a NSCA certified Strength and Conditioning Coach and a IKFF Kettlebell Coach and Competitor.
Robert has built a great reputation in Chicago as a technical trainer. He has the ability to impress proper kicking form on his students, while keeping them motivated. He understands the value of offering modifications and tailoring the high-intensity conditioning elements found at POW to the adult population.
Robert is very attentive when he teaches his students and finds a way to always blend technique with high intensity conditioning.He makes kicking look easy and fun. His exercise science education allows him to modify the martial arts for anyone, no matter their limitations or needs for modifications.
Coming from a large martial arts family, Jimmy started learning martial arts and earned a WTF Tae Kwon Do black belt at a young age, but was also cross training in several martial arts being heavily influenced by the popularity of martial arts films in the 80s as 90s. Jimmy was also multi-sport athlete competing in basketball, soccer, tennis, swimming, and table tennis throughout middle and high school while training and competing in martial arts. He took a break from competing in martial arts and sports to focus on his culinary career, but after moving to Chicago in his mid 20s, Jimmy got the itch to compete again and began training Muay Thai with Robbie Cole and joined his team in late 2011.
Jimmy was a nationally ranked junior table tennis player and was the junior champion in central Illinois. In Tae Kwon Do, he won many junior forms and sparring titles in his city. In Muay Thai, Jimmy has competed in the TBA World Expo tournament earning a silver in his first year as a novice. Jimmy recently competed in Glory World Series; which is the top kickboxing promotion in the world, losing a close decision to one of the best amateur fighters in the country. Through a connection from martial arts, he landed a role as a featured extra in the film Divergent and had the opportunity to perform some stunt work for the film and was featured in several magazines as well as a special edition of People magazine. Being cast in Divergent also lead to television work where he was featured in Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, and Crisis working as a stand in, body double, and minor stunts.
Josh started his martial arts training at age 4 years old. He first studied Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido. As a teen he studied Shaolin's long fist, a Chinese martial art and then began wrestling when he entered high school. Since then, Joshua has served as an assistant wrestling coach for his high school, Plainfield South and continued to train in a wide variety of martial arts including freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and Western Boxing.
Although he is still a devoted student of the martial arts, Joshua combines many aspects of the his traditional martial arts training into his youth fitness classes and POW!’s birthday party curriculum. Joshua brings an athletic energy to POW! Kids. It is clearly seen when you watch him teach his favorite baseball and football drills during the POW!’s Fit Kid Camps and birthday party programs.
Besides his love of sports and martial arts, Joshua has a passion for music. He plays the cello, french horn, bass and guitar. Joshua combines teaching techniques from both the music and athletic community. Josh’s youthful and playful personality makes him a great addition to the POW! Kids staff. Although he is finishing his economics degree, you will see Josh behind POW!’s reception desk, teaching our kid’s martial arts classes, leading birthday parties and hosting many of our kid’s events.
Grew up in Chicago, loved hitting the parks up to pick up basketball as often as possible when I was young. After breaking an arm during football in high school had to find other athletic outs. Transitioned into competitive flag football where we earned both state and national championships.
Four seasons with the Chicago Dolphins and several years in the USFTL inspired and rejuvenated my athletic desires. After coaching many years as an assistance with friends and family, I knew Coaching was a passion of mine. Seeing the Parisi Speed School develop in POW! (where I currently train Boxing and Strength), I began diving into sessions as an assistant coach, soaking up as much movement knowledge as I could. Now, as a certified Speed and Performance coach, I am constantly researching training methods to help improve the Chicago athletic community.
Ever since Lizzie's little brother was born when she was 11- she started babysitting him while her parents were having parties or doing housework and needed someone to keep an eye on him. At 13, her best friend and Lizzie started co-babysitting together. She has enjoyed working with kids in every possible way. She loves working with kids because she gets so in tune with her inner child as she always has been, it makes it easy to relate to them and understand them.
Lizzie's first non-babysitting job was at a paint your own pottery place — hosting birthday parties! She was also a dog groomer, floor manager of a pizza restaurant, interned at a lighting firm and Brooklyn Boulders. Lizzie was also a junior sales intern for Fresh Wave, but she wasn’t fully fulfilled until she found a job, outside of babysitting, but was still working with kids here at POW! Kids.
Lizzie was a dancer, gymnast, coached a regional title winning cheer team, and was the captain of her High School Cheer Squad. She also loves reading, but she tends to get obsessed and will finish them within hours or days of starting her books. She's also a bit of an adrenaline junkie, lovesroller coasterss, bungee jumping, tumbling, swimming with dolphins, parasailing, jetskiing, and one day she wants to skydive. Lizzie is a huge GOT fan, but her all-time favorite show is Arrested Development. She has watched every episode of that show more than 5 times.
Diamond just recently graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a B.S. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. While in college, she played collegiate Rugby and recreational softball. Now after graduation, Diamond plans to obtain her certification in Strength and Conditioning and eventually go on to pursue her doctorate in Physical Therapy to one day work for a professional sports team.
2 nd Dan in Judo. Kasia was born and raise in Poland. She and her family moved to Chicago in 2013. Kasia is a mother of two teenagers, wife, fitness instructor, and Judo coach. She's energetic, spontaneous, hardworking and an open-minded individual. Kasia started dance class when she was 10 years old, but when she turn 14 and her friend showed her Judo Club, she instantly fell in love with it. In just 3 years of training, she became a member of the Poland National Judo team. Since then, she has earned 12 medals from various Championships and two titles Champions of Poland. She had also competed in international competitions held in Germany, Lithuania and Ukraine. Kasia started coaching more after her son was born in 2000. But she returned to competition in the last two years and snatched two silver in the Master Division for USA and a bronze medal in Tokkon Classic in New York. Kasia loves to be active, and loves to work with kids and seniors alike!
Kasia graduated with a Masters in Physical Education and Sport in Poland. She has been an aerobic and fitness instructor since 2009, and coached Judo since 2006. Kasia was a Physical Education teacher from 2003 until 2013. Since she moved to the USA, Kasia has also been certified as a Zumba Instructor, AFFA Group Instructor and SFA Senior Fitness Instructor. In additioin, she is also a certified USA Judo State and
Regional Coach, member of USA, USJA and USJF Judo organizations and founder of Kata Chicago Judo
Club. Furthermore, Kasia is also a teacher at the Polish Catholic School, Senior Fitness Instructor at the Lutheran Home, Zumba Instructor at the Polish School of Kosciuszko, and Head Judo Coach for the Kata Chicago Judo Club.
Kasia loves to live, loves to eat, loves to sleep, and loves to love people! Physical activities are
great outlets for her active personality. With that being said, Kasia also has a sensitive and intellectual side where she enjoys reading, with a strong interested in history! Kasia loves to work with kids as she feels right at home with them. She loves to laugh, loves to cook, her favorite is bread making, all-in-all, Kasia loves being around people and making a difference where she can. She is just a girl with a black belt in Martial Arts, loving life and having fun!
Jennifer Imig is a certified personal trainer, certified Krav Maga Instructor under Ryan Hoover and CPR certified. Jennifer began her training at POW 5 years ago. Jennifer brings extensive knowledge from working 7 years in the medical industry. This clinical experience has given her a great perspective when working specifically with our students over 40 years of age.
Jennifer brings her jocular wit along with her when leading punching drills. This humorous attitude offers those struggling with the patience required to pick up the combat sports late in life motivated and optimistic
Jennifer is a great example that anyone can learn new things later in life. She first began training with POW’s staff at age 35. As she immersed herself into POW’s classes, she began to recognize her desire to be part of the fitness and wellness industry.
She left the medical industry and began working for POW as the Operations Manager. Her long-term goal was to be mentored into being an instructor and trainer. Jennifer has reached that goal and continuously works on expanding her knowledge of Boxing and Krav Maga. Additionally, she is increasing her clinical certifications in the fitness industry.
Jennifer is anticipating receiving a certification in Sports Nutrition later this year. Jennifer teaches a dynamic and high-energy class, always focused on the participants.
Ashlyn is currently completing her senior year at Roosevelt University as a Musical Theatre major. Originally from a small town in southwest Missouri, she moved to Chicago just over three years ago and has loved every moment spent in this vibrant city. Ashlyn has dreams and passions that reach far and wide; she loves being able to dive into all of those while working at POW! You can spot Ashlyn working with kiddos of all ages through birthday parties, superhero training class, and all POW! Kids events. She also is part of the admin team, spending some of her time at the front desk keeping the gym running smoothly. Ashlyn is energetic, hard working, and creative. She believes positivity is vital and contagious and loves to spread it everywhere she goes.
Ashlyn will be receiving her BFA in Musical Theatre in just a few short months. She has been trained since a young child in dance, acting and singing. She loves incorporating her theatrical traits and skills into her workplace. Ashlyn has also worked with children since she was old enough to take care of someone younger than herself. She has spent numerous summers working as cabin staff, leadership, and interning at various summer camps and children’s programs across the country. Ashlyn has been able to create positive and exciting summers for kids of every age and background.
When Ashlyn is not working at POW! or in rehearsal for a musical, she is probably in a coffee shop reading a good book, journaling or writing a blog post about whatever may be on her heart. Ashlyn loves to travel and takes any opportunity that may come her way to take a getaway, near or far. She loves living an active life and is very open to trying new things. Ashlyn has some incredible family and friends in her life, and thoroughly enjoys spending time with them. She has big dreams for her life and tries to use each day to propel her closer and closer to reaching some of those dreams.