World-class kickboxing |

World-class kickboxing

Everybody loves kung fu fighting, huah! But in Grass Valley, if you want your kicks as fast as lightning, you can now learn kickboxing from a former world champion.

Lisa Jeanson, 39, has begun teaching kickboxing classes at the Jiu Jitsu gym at the Fairgrounds. Jeanson, a former world kickboxing champ, has taught in several locales before moving to Grass Valley with her husband to settle down.

“I taught off and on,” Jeanson said. “I would go to a gym wherever my husband’s job would lead us.”

That includes Bakersfield, where she worked with the renowned world champion Kathy Long (Michelle Pfeiffer’s stunt double in “Batman Returns”), Grand Junction, Colo., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Arizona, Fresno and Elk Grove before moving here.

Her motivation for teaching the kickboxing class, which she’s been teaching since January at the blessing of the Jiu Jitsu instructors, in addition to working a full-time job as a family nurse practitioner, is simply a matter of love.

“It’s a passion,” she says. “Especially telling people in my business, when I’m counseling people on their labs, their cholesterol is out of whack, their high blood pressure is out of whack and I tell them about exercise. It goes in one ear and out the other. Unless I tell them, you need to find something you love to do for exercise. Don’t just think of it as a chore. If it’s a chore, it will not be done, because there’s too many chores already in life. So, you find your passion whatever it is, you try whatever, and that is what you’ll do.

“This is what keeps me young, what keeps me fit,” Jeanson continued. “I’m 39-years old; I’m in the best shape of my life.”

Jeanson quit competitive kickboxing when she was 25, only a few years after she won her world title. Suprisingly, she may make a move to cage fighting now, the increasingly popular mixed martial arts seen in UFC, Pride and other sprawling franchise brands. The upcoming movie “Never Back Down” ventures into the world of MMA, which Jeanson says will “spark some interest.”

But it’s her expertise that is important for her to pass on. She tries to help people stay fit, while getting a bit of stress reduction as well.

Her students learn each session the basic jabs and cross punches to more combative combinations for enthralled fighters.

“I want people to have a passion because I love fighting,” she said. “They don’t necessarily need to love fighting but they can find passion in the martial arts; Find the beauty of it, the ability to use the body in that way and then be fit through that. But you don’t have to go to the extreme and use it against another person.”

Her stance is simple: Everyone is welcome in her classes because it’s not necessarily about sparring. Novices can come in for the simple work out while those seeking training for competition and tournaments are just as easily accepted. But even those that don’t want to put their chin in the action can join the class.

“If you don’t want to get hit, it’s OK,” Jeanson said. “My 73-year old grandma even came in for a lesson once.”

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