July 18, 2024

Joker's Fitness Factory opening a 'big picture' dream for owner

JR Hicks demonstrates a move at a recent open house at Joker's Fitness Factory in the basement of the Warren Cultural Center.

Editor’s Note: This story is updated online to include the correct Facebook page name: Joker’s Fitness Factory.

Increased self-confidence, strength, problem solving and a mamba mentality are all examples of things JR Hicks hopes he can instill in his students at a new gym he’s opened up in Greenfield.

Hicks, a 2011 graduate of Nodaway Valley High School, longtime participant and combat sports and a former college football player, opened Joker’s Fitness Factory in the basement of the Warren Cultural Center with an open house Saturday, June 27.

During the open house event, refreshments were available and Hicks was able to demonstrate some of the things his students will be learning when they sign up for all the things the gym has to offer.

“This has kind of been my big picture since I got into combat sports about 12 years ago. To now have an opportunity to fulfill that dream is more than exciting,” Hicks said.

Looking for an additional or different opportunity, Hicks discovered the space in the basement of the WCC, which totals about 2,600 square feet. He responded to a post on social media about the space and it led to this opportunity presenting itself as one he couldn’t pass up.

“This seemed like an opportunity that would be dumb to pass up considering there’s not a gym between here and Des Moines or here and Omaha,” Hicks said. “It’s super discouraging for people to have to drive an hour or two there, train for an hour and then come back.”

That’s not to mention higher pricing in the city, and Hicks thinks he can beat those prices at Joker’s Fitness Factory.

Joker’s Fitness Factory will hone in on either Brazilian jiu jitsu — a self-defense martial art and combat sport that is based on grappling, ground fighting and submission holds — or fitness, depending on which track students want to take.

Hicks said jiu jitsu is a great cardio workout that releases endorphins and gives you a sense of accomplishment. There will be team and individual aspects to classes tailored to each student’s goals.

“It gives you a second little family. You can put your issues away for that hour and get to relieve stress and put yourself in a better space mentally,” Hicks said.

There’s also the self-defense side of jiu jitsu.

“It gives you a quiet self-confidence because it doesn’t matter your size or how tall the task,” Hicks said. “It gives you that freedom because it is a self-defense and if something does go sideways, you can have the self-confidence to know you can protect yourself and make sure you can leave that situation OK.”

Hicks is also excited to host group fitness classes at the gym.

Those interested in signing up can contact the Joker’s Fitness Factory Facebook page for more information.

“What excites me is that I know that this is going to help kids with self-confidence and help them to understand their self worth a little more,” Hicks said. “Hopefully it also helps the bullying situation. We don’t know what kind of homes kids are going home to. This is a place that is safe. With me growing up with a rough childhood, this was something I have always wished that I could’ve done when I was younger, because I think I would have found myself in a lot less trouble. Through this, we can hope we can help make the future better in Adair County.”

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.