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YOUR VOICES: Spotlighting a local trailblazer in boxing and acting
On most evenings you can find David Jofre teaching boxing and other fitness classes at his gym, Axtion Club, in Belltown. The gym has been open since 2011, and Jofre says his aim is to make people feel comfortable and at home there.
“David is a great teacher, he’s a great first start and the first coach I’ve ever had, so I’m very impressed and I want to stick with him,” Russell Caswell, a student at the gym, said. Jofre was born and raised in Chile and said he grew up in a gym like his. He said the discipline and perseverance he’s learned in the gym have carried him throughout his life.
“In boxing you don’t really lose a fight when you get knocked down. You lose a fight when you get knocked down and you don’t keep fighting,” Jofre said. He said this lesson has given him the confidence to overcome some of his greatest challenges, like when he first came to the U.S. in 2002. He didn’t know much English when he arrived in the States.
“I knew very little, muy poquito,” he said. Jofre worked as a news photographer for several years in Spokane and Seattle. He perfected his English by running the teleprompter and with help from one of the anchors.
“I said, ‘Bryan, how can I learn more English? What do you think about this idea?’ and I said, ‘I learn three to five words everyday,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, that’s great,’ and then he would help me out. He would ask me questions where I have to use those words,” Jofre said. Despite his time in the news room, Jofre’s dream has always been acting. He decided to go from working behind the camera to starring in front of it. That’s when he decided to open Axtion Gym to help support his acting career.
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“Let’s just go back to what I used to do and, yeah in 2011, well, it was 2010, I wrote a business plan and got a loan and opened the gym,” Jofre said. His first love, boxing, is what, he said, allows him to pursue his passion of acting. Jofre has now starred in more than 200 commercials and 14 films.
“This is one of the greatest countries in the world where you can achieve any dreams you want if you’re consistent and you work hard and don’t let English or the language be a barrier,” he said. “Keep moving forward and magic will happen.” Jofre hopes his story will inspire other Latinos to keep pushing forward no matter how hard things may be.
“Boxing for me is not different from life. Once you get in the ring, you are by yourself. No one will come over and take care of you or help you out, so if you don’t do it yourself and go through those barriers on your own, you’re not going to make it,” he said.
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