Gymja Warrior Master Sensei Raymond Butler is a man who backs up his own words. And he’s got a Guinness World Record on his mantle to prove it.
“My mentality is that if you really want to do something, you can do it,” says the 30-year-old Butler, who joined the Gymja Warrior team over the summer. “If you put your mind to something, it doesn’t matter what shape or size you are. Because if you really work at it and commit yourself, you can do it.”
That’s exactly what the 5-foot-2, 145-pound Butler has done over the past decade. Growing up in Boston, he was always outside mimicking the moves of the Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles he saw on his TV. He played an assortment of sports as a youth, but his true passion was pulling off stunts and different jumps and flips. After graduating from Norwood High School, Butler started to take that passion to a new level by working out in a gym with a spring floor and tumble tracks. With a background in Taekwondo, the fundamentals of pulling off advanced handsprings and other stunts came natural to him.
“Before long I was doing all of the same flips and tricks that I had always been doing, but the level of difficulty was times 10,” he explains.
Butler’s dedication paid off, helping him appear on American Ninja Warrior (Season 6) as well as land jobs as a professional acrobat and NBA Performer. Along the way, Butler also become the world record holder for the longest backflip into a pair of trousers -- twice.
He initially broke the record back in 2013 when he took advantage of an opportunity to fly to Los Angeles and compete on the TV show, Guinness World Records Unleashed, where he pulled off a flip of 6-feet, 11-inches.
As exciting as it was to hold a world record, the adulation didn’t last long because Butler saw his record get one-upped just three months later when professional snowboarder Mario Fuchs topped him with a jump of 7-feet, 8-inches.
Undaunted, Butler went back to the drawing board, dedicated himself and went on NBC’s TODAY Show in September of last year to break the record again, on live TV, with an effort of 8-feet, 6-inches.
“The best part is hearing the crowd go wild,” says Butler. “I love it when I stick that landing and hear the cheers. It’s an amazing feeling.”
With the world record back in his grasp, Butler is now happy to be working with the Gymja Warrior team, mostly in the Woburn location. Since coming on board he has thoroughly enjoyed seeing guests come in, work hard and see results, just as he did on the road to mastering his craft as a tumbler.
“The great thing about Gymja Warrior is that people get to exercise without feeling like they are actually exercising, because it’s so much fun,” he says. “I’ve already see some kids come in and really enjoy themselves, but then after a few classes they kind of hit a wall. That’s when we tell them that not everything is going to come easy. They have to work at it.
“And when they do, all of sudden a few classes later you see them getting stronger and more motivated. For me, that’s the most gratifying thing of all. That’s why we come to work every day. To see people make progress, get stronger and achieve goals that they didn’t think were possible.”
All Gymja Warrior members can now take advantage of Ninja Warrior, Parkour, Tricking and Tumbling classes at both our Danvers and Woburn locations for just $150 a month. For additional information, call us directly at 978-816-6767.