Spotlight on Jovanny Hernandez-Soto Jenelle Gilliard
This month, we would like to take the time to recognize one of The Warrior Factory Rochester’s NinjaSport certified Ninja Instructors, Coach Jova! Formally, he is Jovanny Hernandez-Soto, born in Santiago, Chile, but sometimes he goes by ‘Jumping Jova’ or ‘Jovial Jova’. With previous experience in trampoline and parkour, The Warrior Factory was the perfect landing place for Jovanny to put his skills to the test in a new and different environment. Not only is Jovanny a skilled ninja, but a talented artist too! He has painted graffiti-style murals in each of our party rooms and assisted with other designs as well (e.g. warped wall). Be sure to check them out next time you are here at The Warrior Factory Rochester!
Want to know more about Coach Jova? Keep scrolling to read more in the interview below!
Q: Why TWF? What piqued your interest in this brand? Jova: I was in search of new opportunities when I came across The Warrior Factory. As soon as I saw the facility, I knew it was something that I had to try out. What really drew me in was the passion and dedication that the owners and other coaches have for this brand and for creating future ninjas. It was infectious. The Warrior Factory provides such a safe and challenging environment for all skill levels. With many obstacle variations, and a space that changes daily, there is always something new to train on.
Q: What is your favorite part about your job? Jova: The versatility. The freedom and knowledge that I gain every day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new. Of course, I can’t forget about the connections that I have been able to establish within the Ninja community as well- it holds a special place in my heart.
Q: How did you learn the techniques that you teach to kid/adult ninjas? Jova: I was a natural. I say that in the most modest way, haha. As a kid I was always climbing and falling which made me pretty aware of my body and how it moves. The Warrior Factory taught me the vocabulary so I was able to translate it and teach it to others.
Q: What are your coaching/personal ninja goals? Jova: As a coach, my goal is to spread my knowledge to others so that one day they can do the same thing. This way, the sport of Ninja is continuously growing and being transferred from one generation to the next. Personally, I will continue to explore everything that Ninja has to offer me. Ninja will always be a big part of my life.
Q: What has been your most important accomplishment as a coach? Jova: Seeing our students grow and become stronger. I love being able to watch them overcome their fears and see their weaknesses turn into strengths.
Q: Have you competed on American Ninja Warrior? Jova: I was lucky enough to have been selected to compete on American Ninja Warrior Season 10 and was an obstacle tester for ANW Season 11 in Baltimore. Although I didn’t make it onto the City Finals, it was such a cool experience.
Q: What is the future for Ninja training? Jova: Some beast kids, haha. I can see the sport growing and becoming more complex. I’m just glad to be a part of the growing process. I’m also glad I won’t be competing against this future generation of ninjas because they are stronger than ever!