John Cook is the owner of Evolve Performance Fitness. With almost 20 years experience training athletes of all ages he has personally worked with thousands of clients. John has used the Evolve method of training with great success to help individuals unleash their true potential. His fundamental and common sense approach to physical development has helped people take their performance to the next level.
A standout athlete his entire life, John has competed in Wrestling, Power lifting, Mixed Martial Arts, Grappling and Jiu Jitsu. He has always believed that in order to be successful at coaching it is very important that you have also competed at a high level. You must have a true understanding of what is really necessary to be optimally prepared to compete.
"I believe that you must first instill confidence in someone before you can really tap into their potential. Physical and mental conditioning must be a staple of the training program, if an individual is not strong and in excellent condition, they will never have confidence in their ability. So many trainers today focus too much on the technical aspect of training, they forget the importance of teaching fundamentals and hard work"
"Shaun is an excellent asset to our performance team. His coaching style is very effective with athletes of all ages and abilities. He has the ability to push our kids to their limit, and they still like him when the session is over!" John Cook.
A graduate of Cleveland State University with a degree in Exercise Science specializing in Strength and Conditioning.
Ryan played 4 years on the Olmstead Falls soccer team as a midfielder, and continued his soccer career at both Myers University and Lake Erie College. He began coaching at Evolve in 2009 and is an elite level fitness and performance coach. Ryan’s enthusiastic approach and outgoing personality makes him a valuable asset to Evolve.
Ryan coaches general fitness classes as well as athlete development and specialized programs. Ryan is available for personal training and speed/agility training.
Liz is currently the Program Director as well as Performance-Fitness Coach. Liz has been with Evolve since 2010. Moving here from Boston, she received her degree in Sport and Exercise Science with a concentration in Sport Management. Liz was a two sport athlete in College. For 2 years she was the starting point guard at Springfield College, and then transferred to St. Joseph’s College in Maine and played both basketball and softball.
Liz knows what it takes to become a successful athlete. After only playing intercollegiate softball her junior and senior years, she made both First Team All-Conference and First Team All-Sportsmanship by her senior year. Liz’s accomplishments, along with her outgoing personality have made her a great attribution to our Evolve team.
Liz specializes in creating new programs at Evolve that include an 8 Week Transformation Program, Yoga, seminars, and various events at Evolve.
Steve Traczyk heads up our World Class Striking Program. Steve has been training in boxing and kickboxing for many years and brings an intangible passion for the Martial Arts to his students. Coach Traczyk teaches our evening Fundamentals and Advanced training program and also offers private sessions for students wishing to work on specific skills individually. He is a leader and an excellent instructor.
A tireless coach, Steve is known for spending hours working with individuals on the side so they may reach their highest potential. Steve also is a Fight Day coach for our Competiton team and has extensive experience as a corner man.
With many so called coaches out there that spend more time showing than teaching, Steve sets himself apart with his passion, drive and overall dedication to his students and Team Evolve.
Mike began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1997. In 2001, he met famous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach Ricardo Pires while on vacation in Las Vegas and has been training under him since. Mike is the third black belt ever promoted by Ricardo, the other two being UFC Veteran Frank Mir and BJJ phenom Cameron Diffley. In addition to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mike is also a second-degree black belt under legendary karate fighter Joe Lewis, trained boxing under Bobby Giachetti in the '90s and volunteers as an assistant wrestling coach for Cardinal High School.
Mike is incredibly well rounded in many types of Martial Arts, making him a valuable asset to the Evolve coaching staff. His vast knowledge and experience allows him to work with all levels of student. As a Mixed Martial Arts coach, Mike is one of the best.
Josh Lasich is a Purple Belt under Ricardo Pires BJJ and Head Black Belt Instructor Mike Riedel. A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu phenom he has only trained for 5 years but has the skill of someone who has trained for twice that long. Josh spent time in Brazil with BJJ master, Ricardo Pires, and while there was the Champion of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament where he beat and submitted several BJJ Black Belts. An experienced MMA fighter, Josh has become a dominant force as an amateur fighter and is ranked #2 in the Midwest at 170lbs.
An amazing teacher, Josh brings his own agressive style of BJJ to his students. He teaches the NO GI and ALL LEVELS classes at Evolve and even at his young age he is one of the most seasoned competitors, winning many high level tournaments, in the US. As a Fighter his work ethic is unparalleled and the sky is the limit in both MMA and Grappling for this young elite athlete.
Josh is the current NAAFS 170lb Amateur Champion. The most prestigious Title in MMA at the amateur level.
Dave was a 2 Time State Champion Wrestler at Walsh Jesuit. He went on to wrestle at Powerhouse Ohio State University.
Dave brings a wealth of knowledge to Evolve and is as skilled working with Youth Wrestlers as he is training our MMA Fight Team. Dave is also a skilled Performance Coach and heads up several of our Fitness Training sessions.
Coach Rella has been training athletes for years and brings a wealth of knowledge from both the wrestling and fitness aspects of Evolve Training.
Jon Looft was raised here in Northeastern Ohio, graduating from the University of Miami (FL) with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 1999. He began his martial arts training in 2001, studying Hung Ga Kung Fu. Jon next began training in Jeet Kune Do (JKD), Bruce Lee’s martial art based on his concepts for street fighting. It was training JKD in NYC where Jon got his first chance to train gi BJJ, under 4x CBJJ Mundials (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championship) champion Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, and quickly developed a passion for jiu jitsu. Jon started training at Evolve in 2010, taking advantage of all the mma and sports performance training he could. Jon received his Blue Belt from Mike Riedel this past March, and has taught our Fundamental BJJ program since inception. Jon also assists in teaching Evolve’s the Muay Thai when needed.
"When I look for a gym to join, I need 4 things: great coaching, great teammates, Class/Training schedule, and location/facility/equipment. I’ve had the benefit of training with a lot of great martial artists and fighters in multiple gyms/cities, and Evolve definitely offers the best combination of those 4 factors I’ve ever experienced. I’ve always had great coaching/teammates because that’s paramount in a martial artists’ improvement, and Evolve is right there with the ‘big city gyms’. Evolve offers classes in the morning and evening to accommodate all working/school schedules.