Health & Wellness Feature: Empowerment Through Fitness


Empowerment Through Fitness

Sean Patton has always had a love of fitness, discipline and health, which is why when he decided to open a UFC GYM in Hendersonville. It was no surprise the great results that those who attended the gym started to see.

Patton grew up wrestling throughout school and attended college at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. From there, he went on to spend ten years as an Army officer, five years in the Infantry and five years in the Special Forces (Green Berets). He commanded combat units in both Iraq and Afghanistan earning two Bronze Stars during his service.

As he transitioned out of the military, Sean decided that he wanted to be part of a business that improved lives and community around him. “The obesity epidemic in America is out of control, and we wonder why our health care is so expensive? It’s because we are living unhealthy lifestyles.”

“Empowering others through fitness and healthy living, to have more energy and vitality, has always been something I’ve been passionate about. We only get one chance at life, so we need to maximize our time and experience,” says Sean.

In 2014, Sean purchased the franchise rights to Nashville, and while looking for an exact location to open, he fell in love with the Hendersonville community and the growth opportunities there.

Flash forward to January 2016, the gym was fully up and running. Now, it has more than 650 members and classes ranging from Fitness Kick-boxing, Boot camp style circuit training, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, mixed martial arts, youth classes, to self-defense and weight lifting.

Soon after opening, Sean started to see results.

At UFC GYM, their motto is “Train Different.” What does that mean to Sean? “I would see people come in and… after thirty days they carry themselves differently, they hold their head differently. Part of it is the fitness and part of it is the empowerment that comes from real martial arts…part of it is the community, the closeness.”

UFC GYM focuses on functional fitness. “We are not a body builder gym. We are focused on enhancing the efficiency and health of the everyday person. Real, true, sustainable healthy living.  Lose fat, build lean muscle, increase your flexibility, all while having fun in a supportive community atmosphere, that is what makes us different.” 

Community is what separates this gym from the rest. Along with close-knit group classes, it offers kid programs so that the whole family can be involved.

Having adult and youth programs at the same time and location “creates a unique family community,” he says. “The whole family comes to one place to be healthy and improve themselves together. We have success because of that.”

UFC GYM also specializes in private coaching and personal training. “We have the best coaches in Sumner County. Our coaches are professional, educated, and motivating. Every successful person, from the CEO to the professional athlete has one or more coaches to help them achieve their potential and guide them through tough times. Everyone needs a good coach to help them reach their health and fitness goals, and we have a coach at UFC GYM that is the right fit for everyone.”

Outside of empowering members to live longer, healthier lives, UFC GYM has three main focuses for community service. They are an affiliate with the Rock Steady Boxing program. “Rock Steady Boxing is for those that have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. This training has been proven to slow, stop, and in some cases can reverse the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.” UFC GYM Fitness Director George King is consistently impressed with this special member group. “They come in with an open mind and a determination to fight back against this terrible disease, and they are winning!”

In addition to Rock Steady Boxing, UFC GYM also hosts seminars and incorporates Self-Defense/ Sexual Assault Prevention training for women and Anti Bully training into their programs. “We have put hundreds of women in Hendersonville through safe, effective, and potentially life-saving self-defense training,” Sean says. In the last six months, three women have had to use their training, and they have been successful, including one member who had to use her training to get away from an attacker during her vacation to Paris, France. “We run a free and open to the public women’s self-defense seminar ten times a year.  All you have to do is call and reserve your spot.”

Finally, bullying is on the rise and is becoming a serious problem. “We use a specific program that empowers our students to stand their ground, avoid physical contact whenever possible, but if necessary defend themselves without throwing a single punch or kick. It’s simple, proven and effective.”

Despite winning Small Business of the Year from the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce, Sean is most proud of the people that frequent the UFC GYM. To learn more, visit

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