ABOUT US

About Us 2018-05-11T21:55:40+00:00

OUR OTHENTIK FOUNDATION

Life in the high-tech world of the 21st century is complicated, especially for modern women who are working hard to balance increasing responsibilities to our families, our communities, and our professional lives. Our time runs short and our own health often falls to the bottom of the list. The chaos can be overwhelming, but with a strong foundation, we can withstand the whirlwind.

The owners of OTHENTIK Gym are passionate about wellness and about helping women to develop their own natural strength and abilities. Founder Ka’imi Kuoha, a world renowned martial artist, teamed up with longtime friends Israel Palacio, professional soccer player, and Nolan Zackel, full contact fighter. Together, they created their unique 3 5 7 Program. With classes and private coaching available in a wide variety of disciplines, you can design a well-rounded fitness program tailored to your own needs. Guided by a mentor who will inspire you to attain your goals, you can build a strong foundation that will allow you to focus your training and conquer the demands of your busy life.

To make it even easier to dedicate time to yourself and your fitness goals, OTHENTIK Gym offers an inclusive environment with simultaneous classes for students of all ages and fitness levels. Your entire family can enjoy the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle while you maximize your own potential. Imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel when you rise to meet every challenge and find your own strength of mind, body, and spirit.

OUR TEAM

The Right Team

A training program is only as good as the people behind it. With Othentik gym, you’ll have a mentor rather than a traditional trainer. These skilled leaders are uniquely qualified to design breakthrough programs that deliver not only results but dramatic improvements in quality of life.

You’re only as solid as what you build on.

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MEET OUR TEAM

Ka’imi Kuoha
Ka’imi Kuoha

Ka’imi is a SAG / AFTRA / EQUITY actor, working professionally since she was 2 years old. She was a competitive gymnast for 5 years and is also a dancer and jazz singer. She is a 7th-degree black belt in Kempo with 30 years of experience. She also trained in Kung-Fu (13 years), Aikido (20 years) and Arnis stick fighting. She has held the world record for female ice breaking since 2010 and she was named one of the “Top 10 Female Martial Artists in the World” in 2013.

From 1993-1999, she was rated #1 in 3 regions. She has been featured on the cover of martial arts magazines around the world.

Ten years ago, when her daughter was an infant, Othentik Gym CEO and founder Ka’imi Kuoha needed a way to get back into her training regimen. The mother and baby classes she found at the time were limited, and much of the inspiration for Othentik Gym grew from that need for a space where mothers could work out with their babies, rather than just placing them in day care. The Othentik Mini & Me Bootcamp program allows moms to meet their own fitness needs while spending quality time with their babies. To make things even easier, there are classes for older siblings at the same time, so the whole family can enjoy the benefits of an active life.

Throughout her years of training as a martial artist, Ka’imi found that she needed to learn various styles of martial arts, and even different disciplines like dance and yoga, to become a balanced athlete. She spent a lot of time traveling from studio to studio for those classes and even to other states and countries. At OTHENTIK Gym, Ka’imi and her partners have created a place where students can access a well-rounded training curriculum, with world-class teachers from many disciplines, all under one roof. Her ultimate goal is to is to be an example for her daughter; to empower her, and all women, to create a healthy world for themselves and their families.

Israel Palacio
Israel Palacio

Israel was a professional soccer player for second division Pachuca F.C. from 2007-2009. Playing at a competitive level honed his self-discipline, teamwork, and strategy skills as he learned how to pace himself through the soccer season, pre-season, and team travel. Part of his training regimen has always been martial arts and he began learning Judo and Kempo as soon as he could walk.

Israel believes a person can always change and improve oneself and one of his greatest accomplishments is creating a life doing what he loves by starting his own company. He’s especially pleased that he’s been able to recover from an injury through training without having to undergo surgery. He says that his teaching career began the day his little brother was born. As a mentor, he strives to lead by example, giving his students the tools and knowledge they need to create their own style of doing things. His passion is living, learning, moving, and sharing.
Nolan Zackel
Nolan Zackel

Nolan has competed in full contact fighting since he was 16 years old. He is a certified Group Fitness, Personal Training, and Strength Training Professional (NASM). Nolan began his teaching journey at an early age by learning from and observing the teaching styles of many excellent instructors that he’s had over the years. Prior to teaching formal classes, he worked with friends who needed direction. Now, he teaches martial arts, boxing, strength, and conditioning, and grappling.

His passion is showing people that they can achieve an active lifestyle regardless of age, fitness level or any other physical limitations. He sees mentors as people who have learned through their own success as well as many challenges. They understand that trust and respect are earned over time and never something simply expected or demanded. He believes that a mentor accepts others for who they are but also for who they could become.

Justin Flores
Justin Flores

Justin has a BFA in Dance from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Science degree from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and is a certified Neurokinetic Therapist. He danced professionally with 13 companies on both coasts and was a soloist with The Metropolitan Opera in New York. He has been a featured performer on Live at Lincoln Center and on Great Performances on PBS.

He teaches Ballet, Modern Dance, Improvisation, Composition and Choreography and he is a proud father to his young son, Jude.
At OTHENTIK, Justin created and teaches Munchkin Mash, and he also teaches workshops in Fall & Recovery. He is passionate about movement, medicine, and music. His teaching philosophy is to always start slow. He believes that a mentor is someone who helps you not only become better at your craft but also at life.
Laura Rutledge
Laura Rutledge

Laura is a professional ballet and modern dancer and a classically certified Pilates instructor. She began her Pilates training in 2000 while dancing with the State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara, CA and she continued to incorporate the method into her daily training regimen. In 2010, she moved to New York City to dance with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. When she retired from her performance career, she completed her 650-hour Comprehensive Pilates certification through Power Pilates.

She taught for a wide variety of institutions while living in NYC, including dance intensives at the Joffrey Ballet School and Lar Lubovitch Dance. Laura has recently added the role of mother to her resume and in addition to Pilates, also teaches “Mini & Me”, a fitness class for parents and their babies.

Laura strives to help her students push themselves past their perceived limits with encouragement and humor. At the same time, she respects that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so she tailors classes with various modification options in order to meet everyone’s individual needs. Above all, she asks each person to listen to their body and trust their instincts. “My goal is to provide a fun and safe class environment while building strength, flexibility, and stamina.”

Dru Hall
Dru Hall

Dru is a decathlete who trained professionally to qualify for the Olympic Trials and was sponsored as an Under Armour Athlete for 3 years. He attended Dartmouth College as a 2-sport collegiate athlete and was a 4-year starter for both Football and Track & Field. He was a 2-time Ivy League Heptagonal Games Champion for Decathlon and an NCAA Regional Championship competitor for the javelin. He was also a US Championship competitor for the javelin.

Dru discovered that training in multiple disciplines was the key to success as an athlete and in everyday life, including parenting his son Phoenix. “I enjoy working with athletes of all levels to help guide them to being as well-rounded and functional as possible so that they can be outstanding in all that they do.” He also believes in the necessity of mental work for athletic achievement and finds yoga to be a powerful tool in implementing the mind/body connection. He is currently working towards certification as a yoga instructor so he can share that tool with anyone he mentors.
Meleah Nelson
Meleah Nelson

Meleah has been a dancer all her life, beginning with classical ballet, tap, jazz, and gymnastics, and she has been a professional belly dancer for 25 years. She is also a dance teacher, fitness instructor, model, makeup artist, and style advisor. In class, Meleah motivates her students with gentle but firm encouragement. She doesn’t believe in “good enough” and she wants everyone in her classes to experience the success that comes with striving to be better than good. She firmly believes in the adage, “to get what you’ve never had, you must do what you’ve never done.”

She acknowledges that as we age, we may have to work harder to maintain optimum health, but she believes that with determination, a 60-year-old can still have the same fitness level as a 40-year-old. Her mission is to help her students of all ages to look and feel their best from inside to outside and top to bottom through health, fitness, nutrition, and beauty.
Dan Mergens
Dan Mergens

Dan has trained in martial arts for over 30 years and has a 6th-degree black belt in Kempo. He is also an avid climber, with years of experience climbing all over California including Yosemite and Joshua Tree. His favorite place to climb is Holcomb Pinnacles near Big Bear. The sport requires flexibility, balance, strength, problem solving, and dedication; skills that he uses in martial arts and passes on to his students.

A software engineer and father of two, Dan has spent many weekends on the soccer field with his kids’ teams as a coach and referee. He gives that same level of dedication to his students, helping them develop their martial arts skills by giving them a strong foundation on which to build. As a mentor, Dan encourages his students to set personal goals to maintain their motivation. He feels that conditioning is important to be able to do the basics, as is getting things right the first time. “Unlearning bad habits is the hardest thing to do, so starting with the fundamentals is critical to success.”
Claudia Gomez
Claudia Gomez

Claudia is a yogi, dancer, and musician who performs in venues throughout Southern California, New Orleans, and New York City. She is an award-winning choreographer, director of the San Diego Tap & Jazz Dance Festival, and co-founder of Olio Productions, a company dedicated to the preservation, education and presentation of jazz music and its American vernacular dances. She currently tap dances, plays percussion, and tours with the gypsy jazz band Trio Gadjo and with the eclectic chamber trio Besos de Coco.

As a mentor, Claudia enjoys passing on what she learned from her own teachers and mentors. “If I can inspire or help someone to find their passion, or guide someone through the process of finding their voice in order to express themselves, I have done my job.”
Brenton Wynn, M.D.
Brenton Wynn, M.D.

Dr. Wynn specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has a private practice in San Diego and is a member of the Paradise Valley Hospital Inpatient Rehabilitation staff. He is also a martial artist with experience in Kung Fu, Kenpo Karate, Arnis De Mano, Capoeira Angola, and Sanshou Chinese freestyle kickboxing. He has a Black Sash in Green Dragon martial arts under Sifu Dwight Love.

Roxie Peters
Roxie Peters

Roxie believes in the importance of using dance as a tool for self-expression. She began dancing and participating in theatre as a child, and her passion for performing grows each day as she works with local theatres and dance organizations. She believes in always absorbing new knowledge, and continues to study dance and theatre as she works toward degrees in dance and education.

She is elated to have the opportunity to share her art and training with young minds and future dancers. As she teaches campers about different styles of modern and jazz dance, they’ll learn fundamental dance techniques. Through practicing a combination and learning how to change it, they’ll see how music and timing can alter a dance phrase, and ultimately, how the concepts of time and space affect everything.

I MOVE THEREFORE I AM

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