(WAOW) - Earlier this year, Lah Thao and his brother tried out for the ultimate fighter challenge on Spike TV. Out of 700 contestants, both Lah and his brother were selected as one of 50 finalists.
"Both my brother and I made it through the interview and everything," Thao said. "They told everybody, 'we'll give you a call back if we want you'. I guess I'm just not TV-personality type because that's pretty much what they told us."
Even though his goal of winning , his passion for the sport didn't die. Today, he runs a the Rising Son mixed martial arts gym in Wausau, in order to promote the sport he loves.
"Not everybody plays basketball, hockey, that kind of stuff and some people just naturally love martial arts, so just kind of giving that exposure to another option," Thao said.
Rising Son offers varying classes each day of the week to help promote fitness in a fun and refreshing way.
"We try and offer alternative fitness classes to what's traditionally been done, so we try and use strength in a conditioning sort of way and we just try to do things differently than its been done before," said Rising Son strength and conditioning coach Matt Raduechel.
Participants at Rising Son gym say they've noticed a difference in their fitness level and enjoy the variety offered in the classes.
"I thought it was awesome," participant Thomas Denfeld said. "I was really excited. I love getting a good workout in and I love waking up the next day and being exhausted, so I thought it was awesome."
To contact Rising Son Gym, log on to www.risingsonmma.com, call 715-218-9199 or visit the gym at 1725 Pardee St. Wausau, WI .